Key to city to Rosie Rios
The Hayward City Council bestowed a rare honor last week, awarding the key to the city to Rosa “Rosie” Rios, who was born and raised in Hayward, went on to Harvard University and became the 43rd Treasurer of the United States.
Rios, 52, was appointed Treasurer by President Barack Obama in August 2009. At the Department of Treasury, she led a drive to put historically important women on U.S. currency. In July 2016, she resigned to start an initiative called Empowerment 2020. The initiative advocates for greater recognition of the historic contributions of women in the United States, and draws its name from the upcominig 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in U.S. elections.
Rios is the first recipient of the key to the City of Hayward since 2010, when it was awarded to Jon Miller, the Hall of Fame Major League Baseball broadcaster of the San Francisco Giants.
At the City Council meeting Oct. 3, Rios, who is the sixth of nine children, accepted the key to the city in honor of her mother, Guadalupe, who joined her at City Hall. Rios said her mom raised her and her eight siblings on her own, sending each of them to Glassbrook Elementary School, then Moreau Catholic High School, and then on to college.
Rios began her career in public service in 1994 as a development specialist for the City of San Leandro. She next served the City of Fremont as director of economic development and then became director of redevelopment and economic development for the City of Oakland in 2003. In 2008, she was appointed to then- President-elect Obama’s transition team after assisting the Obama campaign in the state of Virginia.