< Return to Grand Marshal Listing


Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva Weed

The Honorable M. Teresa Paiva Weed was born and raised in the City of Newport . The daughter of Arthur J. and Marie Paiva, Teresa attended Jesus Savior elementary school, 9 th grade at Thompson Jr. High School, and graduated in 1977 from Rogers High School . She continued her studies at Providence College and Catholic University Law School , where she was awarded a Juris Doctor in 1984. Upon graduation, Teresa returned to Newport and began employment with the law firm of Moore, Virgadamo & Lynch, Ltd., where she continues today as a partner. In 1986, Teresa married Mark S. Weed, whom she had dated since they were ninth-grade students at Thompson Junior High.

Teresa's love for her community and desire to be involved led to her appointment in 1985 by the City Council to chair its Affordable Housing Commission. In January of 1988, Teresa was appointed Assistant City Solicitor for Civil Litigation, a post she held until 1997. In 1992, knowing there was much work to be done in the political realm of the State of Rhode Island, and believing that perhaps she could help make a difference in the lives of her constituents and all Rhode Islanders, Teresa successfully ran for Senator from the 49th District, which encompassed all of Jamestown, the north end of Newport, and a small section of Middletown. In January of 1993, Teresa began serving in the RI Senate and has retained her seat through five ensuing elections.

In 1998, Teresa made political history when she became the first woman in the State of Rhode Island to be appointed chair of a major committee, the Senate Judiciary, a position she held until 2000. This year, Teresa again made history and front page news throughout the state, when she was elected by her peers in the Senate to serve as Majority Leader, the first woman in the history of Rhode Island to hold such a powerful position in the State Legislature. Teresa's appointment to this prestigious position can be attributed her intelligence, honesty, and fairness when dealing with her peers and constituents, and her ability to get a job completed. Teresa has been the recipient of numerous awards and much recognition for her hard work and dedication to the people of the State, and perhaps most notably for her involvement in the Family Independence Act, which revamped the State's welfare system and serves as a model for the entire country.

Teresa and Mark, both life-long residents of Newport, share their home with their fat-cat, Fluffy, a once-straggly stray who managed to find his way to their back door and who, once assured of tender loving care, adopted them and assumed rule of the household. In addition to politics, Teresa's passion has been, and remains, the restoration of Newport 's historic Fort Adams . Her favorite pastimes include reading, shopping, and sunbathing at Easton 's Beach, and savoring Mark's gourmet cooking!