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Archive | Election 2010

Inauguration Providence Neighborhood Celebrations & Thank You! (Jan. 7)

The Providence Mayoral Inauguration events wrap up tomorrow with Mayor Taveras visiting the schools he attended in Providence:

INAUGURAL NEIGHBORHOOD EVENTS
FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 2011

The Inaugural Neighborhood Events are being held at the schools that Mayor Angel Taveras attended growing up as a child in the City of Providence. All events are free and open to residents and friends of the City of Providence. All events offer refreshments and are alcohol-free.

Friday, January 7, 2011
3 – 4 pm Mary Fogarty Elementary School
4 – 5 pm Roger Williams Middle School
5 – 6 pm Nathaniel Greene Middle School
6 – 7 pm Classical High School

Los eventos de inaugración en los vecindarios tendrán lugar en las escuelas en las cuales el Alcalde Angel Taveras asistió cuando estaba creciendo en la Ciudad de Providence. Todos los eventos son gratis y abiertos a los residentes y amigos de la Ciudad de Providence. Todos los eventos ofrecerán refrescos y serán libres de alcohol.

Viernes, 7 de enero, 2011
3 – 4 pm Escuela Primaria Mary Fogarty
4 – 5 pm Escuela Media Roger Williams
5 – 6 pm Escuela Media Nathaniel Greene
6 – 7 pm Escuela Secundaria Classical

For additional questions or information please e-mail inauguration@transitionprovidence.org or call 401.424.1841. Thank you for your continued support and participation as we work together to move Providence forward.

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Governor Chafee’s Inaugural Address

Gov. LIncoln Chafee

Photo from yesterday’s Mayoral Inauguration. By Jef Nickerson

Prepared text of Governor Chafee’s Inaugural Address:

Governor Lincoln Chafee
Inaugural Address
January 4, 2011

With deep humility, aware of the adversity we face but confident that, together, we will meet the challenge of our times, I am honored to stand before you as our state’s 58th Governor.

I ask you to join with me in thanking Governor Carcieri for his service to Rhode Island over the past eight years.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that there are no second acts in America. Fortunately, he was not a political sage. I believe a second chance begins at this very moment”¦. not just for me, but for our wonderful state of Rhode Island and for each and every one of her citizens. Today, I humbly ask each Rhode Islander to join me in embarking on a new era of opportunity for Rhode Island.

I pledge to devote every ounce of energy I have to this task. Indeed, I will not rest until we reclaim the promise that lay in the heart of our founder Roger Williams some 375 years ago.

This magnificent building behind me is replete with symbols of that promise, from the great charter of 1663 that gave a king’s blessing to our “lively experiment,” to the flags that Rhode Islanders carried into battle against another king, in defense of our basic rights.

We were the first colony to stand up to the crown by signing the Declaration of Independence. And we were the last to ratify the Constitution as we prudently waited to be persuaded that America’s standard of freedom was as high as our own.

Continue Reading →

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What Cheer/What Jeer 2010

What Cheer/What Jeer was originally supposed to be a monthly, or a quarterly thing, but you know what, it is a lot of work putting a list like this together, so it has become an annual thing. So join us as we take a look back at 2010, What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.

whatcheerProvidence River Pedestrian Bridge

Whether you love it or hate it, Providence will soon be getting a new pedestrian bridge over the Providence River. Design firms large and small from around the world entered the competition that led to the winning design. And the competition got people around the city interested in transportation and design.

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge

whatcheerRIPTA

Last year we declared that 2010 would be “The Year of RIPTA” and not to be too smug about it but, we were kinda right.

In December 2009 RIPTA and the City of Providence released the Metro Transit Study, which drew a lot of attention to its proposal to run a streetcar line through Providence. This year, RIPTA embarked on their Core Connector Study, the first step toward bringing streetcars back to Providence. In June, U.S. Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood visited Providence and was very excited about our future plans. RIPTA also took delivery of a new fleet of hybrid buses and trolleys in October. This year also saw RIPTA unveil a 5-year plan for the future of transit in Rhode Island. Finally, RIPTA hired a new CEO, Charles Odimgbe. It is early days yet in Mr. Odimgbe’s tenure, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be What Cheered or What Jeered next year.

Certainly all was not good for RIPTA this year, 2010 saw the continuation of an annual tradition wherein RIPTA’s budget falls short resulting in the agency looking to cut routes and/or increase fares. This year they went with increasing fares yet again. Here’s hoping the incoming Governor and General Assembly can work to address the issues surrounding RIPTA’s budget.

whatcheerElection 2010

What an exciting year that was. New Mayor, new Governor, new Congressman from Providence (even if he is a freshman and in the minority party, that’s good for us!), many new City Councilors, Shoveitgate, The Uncaucas, Chris Young… Let’s do that again real soon (well, not too soon).

whatcheerThe Interlink & MBTA to Warwick

October saw the opening of the long awaited Interlink. The skybridge connects T.F. Green Airport to a parking garage, rental car facilities, and a train station via a skybridge with moving sidewalks over Post Road. The Interlink opening was followed in December by the extension of MBTA Commuter Rail service from Providence to the station at the Interlink facility. Next year that service will be expanded and will go further south to a new station currently under construction at Wickford Junction.

Interlink

whatcheerThe Box Office

The Box Office was completed this year. The building, made out of shipping containers brought national attention to Providence within the construction and design communities for its innovative design. Developers from near and far want to replicate the building in their communities.

whatcheerThe Arts

We What Cheered the arts last year, and we’re What Cheering them again this year. Woonsocket’s Riverzedge and Providence’s Community Music Works each took home one of fifteen 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (after Providence’s New Urban Arts won the same award last year (go Rhody!)). AS220 celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year, commissioned RISD alum Shepard Fairy to create a mural on Aborn Street, and is wrapping up renovation on its third Downcity Building, The Mercantile Block. And basically, art in Providence just continued to be pretty damn awesome. Buy Art!

Last year, we weren’t really in the mood to What Jeer, we had jeered enough I guess. But this year, oh, here go hell come, are you ready? Let’s do it.

whatjeerRIDOT

RIDOT, seriously, you’re killing us here. While we’ve said it time and again, we really like what Director Michael Lewis has to say about not being able to build more highways to end congestion and needing to be multi-modal and what not… the Director’s words have not been matching the agency’s actions.

From the craptacular original design of the Wickenden Street intersection related to the 195 Relocation, to the ridiculous placement of signs on the sidewalk on the Friendship Street bridge, to the utter disregard for any mode other than automobiles in the planning of the new Union Avenue Bridge, and more, RIDOT has proven that they have a long way to go in understanding how to build infrastructure in an urban environment and serve a multi-modal population.

Governor-elect Chafee has decided to keep Director Lewis on at RIDOT, a decision we agree with. Let’s hope that the Director can make the agency’s actions match his own and the Governor’s visions for how our transportation system should look. We’re hoping next year we might be able to What Cheer RIDOT.

whatjeerThe Arcade/35 Weybosset

Though these are separate properties, they are linked in the public consciousness and the destiny of each may best be served by thinking of them together. The What Jeer here is pretty obvious, the Arcade still sits empty and the facade at 35 Weybosset Street remains neglected.

The neglect of the 35 Weybosset facade is the clearest example available of a developer attempting a demolition by neglect, and he is beginning to get a lot of support for that option, though we clearly think there is a better way.

As for the Arcade, we might have to agree with one of our commenters that the best course of action is eminent domain.

whatjeerGrove Street School

Seeing as the Grove Street School’s current owner, Michael Tarro won election to the General Assembly, the school’s future seems more tenuous than ever.

Grove Street School

The good news is, the new City Councilor for Ward 13, Bryan Principe is an ardent supporter of the building. Let’s hope Bryan and the new Mayor can work on an arrangement with Mr. Tarro on the building’s future.

whatjeerCVS

While in the end, CVS agreed to some minor concessions on their initial proposal for a CVS in Edgewood, they’re still basically dropping a box from the sky into the middle of a parking lot. We still don’t know why CVS hates Rhode Island.

whatjeerUnion Wadding Mill Fire

Did they ever catch the bastard who did this? There’s a $10,000 reward you know.

Photo from Pawtucket Foundation Facebook Page

whatjeerParkinglotification

Last year we What Cheered the Smith-Mathewson Building proposed for where the Downcity Diner used to be. This year it is a parking lot. Sigh.

whatjeerAtwells Avenue

As if enduring 14 months of construction at the intersection with Dean Street wasn’t bad enough, at the other end of the Avenue we had a girl who works at a Salon and a City Councilor run down by errant drivers within weeks of each other. We all know which one got the most attention from the media, including us.

After years of people getting hit on Atwells, to the point where those of us who live up there see it as part of life, the hit and run of Councilman Hassett did serve to jolt us all out of our malaise on the topic. After years of inaction we now have some repainted crosswalks, more signs, and a speed bump at the western end of the Avenue (where most of the pedestrians have been struck). Much more needs to be done to improve the safety situation not just on Atwells, but on roads throughout the city.

Let us not fall back into our malaise where we accept people being struck by cars as an inevitable part of city life, it is not. Let us make sure that we follow through on the outrage that followed the Councilman’s injuries and act to do all we can to ensure that it does not happen again.


We could probably go on, but let’s wrap up the What Cheering and What Jeering there. Feel free to add you own in the comments.

Thank you to everyone who reads and contributes to Greater City: Providence. It was a great year discussing the city we all love.

Happy New Year!

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Inauguration of the 37th Mayor of Providence, January 3

Mayor-elect Taveras and supporters celebrating on election night

Mayor-elect Angel Taveras’ inauguration is Monday, January 3, 2011. All inauguration events are free and open to the public.

All the details you need to know are on the Transition Providence website.

Importantly, though the events are free, you do need to register for the evening Inaugural Celebration at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Visit the Inauguration page and fill out the form. The form must be filled out for each person attending. For people without internet access, one can either submit a reservation for them (in their name), or they can pick-up tickets in person at the Rhode Island Convention Center December 28, 29, or 30 between 4pm and 6pm. Registrations need to be submitted by Dec. 28th.

This event is expected to reach capacity quickly, so register now if you want to attend. The event will be business casual and will feature desserts, live music, a cash bar, and a “special guest.”

The inauguration of Mayor Angel Taveras, the 37th Mayor of the City of Providence, will take place on Monday, January 3, 2011.

Schedule of Events:

  • 1:30 PM
    Swearing-In Ceremony (free and open to the public)
    Steps of City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street
  • 3:00 PM
    Reception (free and open to the public)
    City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street
  • 7:00 PM
    Inaugural Celebration (free, requires admission ticket – register below)
    Rhode Island Convention Center
    One Sabin Street, Providence

Inaugural Neighborhood Events – Friday, January 7, 2011

  • 3-4pm Mary Fogarty Elementary School
  • 4-5pm Roger Williams Middle School
  • 5-6pm Nathanael Green Middle School
  • 6-7pm Classical High School

See my disclosure regarding serving on the Mayor-elect’s Transition Committee. I was also invited to be a Inauguration Ambassador, which basically means they want me to tell people about the Inauguration, which I just did.

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Full disclosure regarding Transition Providence

Today the Transition Team for Mayor-Elect Taveras issued a press release announcing seven committees devoted to determining how to put Mr. Taveras’ campaign promises into action.

If you read the release closely, you’d have noticed that my name is on it. A couple weeks ago I was asked to be on the City Services Committee and accepted. So in the interest of full disclosure, I’m letting you, Greater City: Providence’s readers know.

I can assure you that I will continue to be as critical and snarky as ever when a critical eye and/or snark is warranted. It is an honor to be asked to provide input for the next administration though.

The City Services Committee will be meeting at least two more times (and we have split ourselves into subcommittees which are meeting more frequently), then we need to prepare a report for the Mayor-Elect by December 21st.

Head over to Nesi’s Notes on WPRI.com for a full list of all the committees and committee members.

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Transition Providence

Mayor-Elect Taveras has a new website up, TransitionProvidence.org. It is early days so it is pretty light on content at the moment, but he is already seeking your feedback.

We’re looking forward to seeing more content on the site soon. In the meantime, feel free to discuss here what you want to see the new mayor get to work on.

Update

Mayor-Elect Taveras also has a new Twitter for all you Twitterati to follow:


Follow @Angel_Taveras for transition updates and more.less than a minute ago via web

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Happy Election Day!

Election 2010

This is it, the day we’ve all been waiting for, the first day of the 2012 campaign season. Ugh.

Before we get into that, let’s wrap up the 2010 campaign season by getting out and voting.

Head over to the Secretary of State’s website to get your sample ballot and find your polling place. Then get out there and vote, and tell your friends to vote, and give your grandma a ride to the polls to vote, then vote again.

Polls are open statewide until 9pm.

On Primary night, Ted Nesi had excellent coverage on his blog on WPRI.com. I fully expect more excellent coverage tonight and highly recommend navigating there as the polls close. Ted will also likely have a Twitter storm of election coverage as well, if that’s your preferred media consumption medium, check him out here

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Happy Primary Election Day!

Primary election day is finally here. Polls in Providence are open 7am to 9pm. Some communities the polls open later than 7am, all polls statewide are open until 9pm, if you are in line by 9pm, you will be allowed to vote.

ProJo has a rundown of voter Primary information here.

The Secretary of State’s Office has all the info you need, polling places, poll hours, sample ballots, etc., here.


And if you haven’t decided yet, you can read our Mayoral Candidate Surveys:
Angel Taveras
John Lombardi


Feel free to let us know in the comments area, your election day experiences. If you take some interesting primary day photos, please share them in our Flickr Group. And if you haven’t already, get to the polls and vote.

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WBNA Candidates Night, Tonight

When: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 from 5:30pm-8:30pm

Meet & mingle with candidates from 5:30pm-6:00pm. City Council Forum begins promptly at 6:00pm; House and Senate Forum begins at 7:15pm.

Where: WBNA, 1560 Westminster Street

WBNA invites you to meet local city and state candidates and ask questions about neighborhood issues.

City council candidates from Wards 13 & 15 and Democratic Primary Candidates from House from Districts 8 & 9 and Senate Districts 2 & 6 have been invited. The evening will be moderated by Mike Ritz, Executive Director, Leadership Rhode Island and John Taraborelli, Assistant Editor of Providence Media, will keep time.

Invited:

  • Ward 13 Candidates
    Steven Meresi, Bryan Principe
  • Ward 15 Candidates
    Josephine DiRuzzo, Sabina Matos
  • Democratic Primary House District 8 Candidates
    Nathan Barchus, Anthony Scarcella, Michael Tarro
  • Democratic Primary House District 9 Candidates
    Anastasia Williams, Wynnel Wilson
  • Democratic Primary Senate District 2 Candidates
    Juan Pichardo, Luis Pimentel
  • Democratic Primary Senate District 6 Candidates
    Mario Mancero, Harold Metts
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Preservation Matters – Mayoral Candidates Forum

Providence Preservation Society
Mayoral Candidates Forum

Preservation Matters

When: Thursday, September 9, 2010 5:30pm-7:30pm
Where: Providence Public Library Auditorium – 150 Empire Street (enter on Washington St)

Send your questions in advance to kphilp@ppsri.org. Get to know the candidates’ position on issues that impact the quality of life in Providence’s neighborhoods. For further details, please call PPS Preservation & Advocacy Coordinator Kathleen Philp at 831-7440.

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Where the Ocean State Aquarium Should Be

Ted Nesi over at WPRI just posted some analysis on Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Moffitt’s proposed aquarium. An aquarium in Rhode Island rivaling the Georgia Aquarium, in Atlanta, in size has been a cornerstone of the Moffitt campaign. Moffitt has even gone so far as to set up a non-profit for the project, and has some rudimentary renderings of a possible building.

Moffitt states, “In its four years in operation, the [Georgia] aquarium has brought in 12 million visitors, pumped $4 billion into the local [Atlanta] economy and spun off 50 new businesses. Moffitt foresees a larger aquarium on Aquidneck Island or, perhaps, in East Providence.”

Nesi in his analysis pokes holes in Moffitt’s claims on the economic impact of the Georgia Aquarium on Atlanta, which are well worth following the link over to read, but his final conclusion is what we’re talking about here:

Long story short, if Moffitt wants his aquarium to have the same impact as Atlanta’s, he’d better plan to locate it in a major regional capital city and surround it with three professional sports teams, a top global news organization and a huge public park. I’m not sure if Aquidneck Island or East Providence fit the bill.

It is likely a safe bet that an aquarium in Rhode Island would have some sort of positive economic impact on the region. Would I base my gubernatorial campaign on the idea? Probably not. And I’m not really seeing how the state at this time could focus on such an endeavour, Moffitt suggests the aquarium would cost $500 million. Certainly the state doesn’t have $500 million lying around.

I’d be all for the state doing what it can to help a non-profit or some other entity raise the funds for an aquarium, so long as it was in a place that would maximize the economic impact. As Ted says, Aquidneck Island or East Providence are not those places. The Dynamo House might be though.

Dynamo House

If we wanted an aquarium rivaling the size of the one in Georgia, we’d need the Dynamo House plus a substantial addition to it. Though we don’t necessarily need one that huge, the New England Aquarium would likely fit nicely inside the Dynamo House shell for instance.

With SBE&R having pulled out of Rhode Island, the Dynamo House’s future is very much in flux. Dynamo is not situated amongst three professional sports teams or the headquarters of a global news organization. It is however next to a proposed waterfront park, on the route of a proposed streetcar line, up the block from the extant Children’s Museum, and in the heart of the next great development frontier in Rhode Island.

Dynamo House

If Mr. Moffitt is serious about his aquarium, this is where I think it should be.

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Voter Registration Deadline This Saturday (Aug. 14)

Reminder, the Voter Registration deadline for the September Primary is this Saturday, August 14. Voter Registration information can be found on the Board of Elections website.

The site instructs you to mail your registration to the Board of Canvassers, at this late date though, we would suggest submitting your form in person. In Providence, bring it to City Hall. The Board of Canvassers is on the first floor, go in the Washington Street entrance, first door on the left. The office is open from 8:30am to 4:00pm.

If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, it doesn’t hurt to check, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

And as you’re deciding who to vote for, check out our Mayoral Candidate Surveys:

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Mayoral Candidates Survey: John Lombardi

Election 2010

Greater City Providence sent surveys to all candidates for Mayor of Providence who qualified to be on the ballot. Below is the survey submitted by John Lombardi.

John Lombardi

Website: LombardiForMayor.com
Facebook: John J. Lombardi
Twitter: @JohnJLombardi

Candidate photo courtesy of the Lombardi campaign


Survey:

1. Other Cities
It isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to best practices. Across the globe small cities like Providence are doing amazing things to make their cities more livable, increase their tax base, and improve services. What city (or cities) do you look to for inspiration of what you would like Providence to be like or to strive for? What are the characteristics of those cities that you think Providence should emulate?

Prior to identifying inspirational cities, I respectfully propose the following vision that would guide and measure the success of my administration if elected mayor of Providence, RI.

Our Vision of Providence, RI

Providence will become one of the top ten U.S. cities in terms of jobs, economic growth, public safety, education, and commitment to environmental sustainability, and overall livability by the year 2018.

Our city will attract people with great ideas to create a collaborative network that expands the economic base, resulting in a desirable and vibrant city where we will live in harmony, learn together, work together, and where our children play together and grow together.

Providence will build a small business-friendly environment by establishing the Providence Main Street Business Exchange. We will use our city’s many resources to develop and offer programs that help entrepreneurs build their businesses by establishing Providence as an Innovation Zone. Our businesses, non-profit organizations, communities, and city government will work closely to create a thriving economy that provides livable wages, creates widespread job opportunities, and empowers people to prosper and live dignified lives.

Residents in all of our communities will be safe. Each community will be an inviting place where we know and help our neighbors. Our diverse communities will be empowered to interact in quality activities that make a difference in people’s lives, improve their communities, and live in healthy environments, including life-long learning opportunities, high quality schools, the best network of hospitals and universities, and decent, affordable housing.

Providence will be a national Destination of the Arts by further developing its Downtown Arts & Entertainment District, and by offering ready-access to great shopping, recreation, food and world-class entertainment.
Providence city government will be more accessible, accountable, available, effective, reliable, responsive, and transparent to the needs of our community.

Other Cities

The cities that I look to for inspiration will be cities that contain characteristics and/or best practices in the pursuit and realization of our vision of Providence, RI.

  • The City of Portland, Oregon, serves as a model in developing collaboration between city government and the public through its creation of the Public Involvement Advisory Council, a standing City board comprised of volunteer community members and City bureaus committed to improving citywide public involvement in planning, decision-making and implementation. Portland is also distinctive in its commitment to environmental sustainability; quality of living; well-developed intermodal commuting options, and its regional government.
  • Austin, Texas, rated number 3 Best Big City in “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine in 2009 is a city to emulate in pursuing our vision. Known as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, Austin has a robust arts and entertainment industry with the televised music program called “Austin City Limits” and the annual Austin City Limits Music and Arts Festival. Moreover, the University of Texas is central to Austin’s economy as well as providing a high quality workforce to local businesses.
  • Boston, Massachusetts, is a knowledge-based economy model that draws and retains young talented and creative people because of its rich community amenities and quality of life. Boston’s 65 colleges and universities, 35 hospitals, and 3 preeminent medical schools strongly attract the brightest people to Boston’s knowledge industry. These educational and research institutions direct the high quality, high demand and high paying workforce to create and transform ideas into solutions for customers. This in turn draws federal government and industrial research dollars to Boston. This infusion of capital helps Boston to provide capital for start-ups and to help sustain the growth of small companies. Boston retains talented people through its system of high quality education, cultural events, and the facilitation of business entrepreneurship.
  • Miami, Florida, is a city that transformed itself by connecting the city with the world through international trade; that is, Miami developed an export industry that provides value added services. The people’s strong cultural ties to Latin America, the Caribbean and Western Europe led to an external strategy of connecting Miami through trade, particularly with its modern infrastructure and intermodal transportation and logistics system. With Providence and its port strategically located in the Ocean State, Providence can use Miami’s best practices in connecting with the world through international trade.
  • Finally, Charlotte, North Carolina, serves as a paradigm in governance through its groundbreaking use of the Balanced Scorecard. Developed by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, the Balanced Scorecard is a relatively new framework for managing the performance of an organization. With the Balanced Scorecard, the City of Charlotte had a management system that integrated departments, focused on high-impact programs, and actions designed to contribute towards achieving the city’s mission and vision.

Continue Reading →

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Mayoral Candidates Survey: Angel Taveras

Election 2010

Greater City Providence sent surveys to all candidates for Mayor of Providence who qualified to be on the ballot. We planned to post the results of the survey on the website because we believe that while not everyone can get to scheduled coffee hours, rallies, and other important functions, people still want to make an informed, thoughtful decision about who will lead Providence. As of press time, the only complete survey we received was from candidate Angel Taveras, that survey is published below. Other candidate surveys may be posted as we receive them.

Angel Taveras

Website: AngelForProvidence.com
Facebook: Angel For Providence (fan) and Angel Taveras (friend)
Twitter: @AngelForProv
Contact: Lauren Nocera, Campaign Manager
Email: Angel@AngelForProvidence.com
Phone: 401-484-1288

Bio
Mount Pleasant resident Angel Taveras grew up on the South Side, where he attended Head Start before the Providence Public Schools, Harvard University and Georgetown Law. A former Housing Court Judge, he was instrumental in the development of systems to support homeowners dealing with foreclosure, to streamline the interaction between Inspectors and the Court and to improve code enforcement tracking. Angel has profound commitment to public service; Angel was a founding board member of New Urban Arts, served on the board of the Providence Plan, on the International Institute’s Board of Advisers, and was a founding member of RI Latino PAC.

Candidate photo by Jesse Banks III


Survey:

1. Other Cities
It isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to best practices. Across the globe small cities like Providence are doing amazing things to make their cities more livable, increase their tax base, and improve services. What city (or cities) do you look to for inspiration of what you would like Providence to be like or to strive for? What are the characteristics of those cities that you think Providence should emulate?

Providence can learn from the best practices at work in different cities across America. I will name here just a few.

  • Portland, Oregon: Portland is a national leader in light-rail and streetcar transportation. As Mayor of Providence, I will look to Portland in designing twenty-first century transportation infrastructure that reduces road congestion, protects open space and promotes green, sustainable living.
  • New York City, New York: New York City is a national leader in education reform. Under the leadership of School Chancellor Joel Klein, the NYC DOE has dramatically increased student achievement by creating small schools, focusing on teacher recruitment, training, evaluation and development and by supporting high performing urban charter schools.
  • Chicago, Illinois: The City of Chicago has done exemplary work in using twenty-first century technology to deliver city services and respond to constituent needs. Chicago was one of the first American cities to implement a “3-1-1″ hotline for non-emergency requests and the City has won awards for using the system to predict and prevent weather related disturbances.
  • Seattle, Washington: Seattle has done impressive work in the area of environmental sustainability. Specifically, Seattle lowered their 2008 emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels, despite undergoing a population increase of 16% during the same period. Seattle also has an urban composting program that I will replicate as Mayor.
  • Newark, New Jersey: I traveled to Newark to campaign for Cory Booker and I truly believe that he is one of the best urban Mayors in America. His direct communications with voters via new media and his regular night patrols with the police department – both to build relationships with the police and to build trust with the community – are two characteristics that I will bring to the office of Mayor.

2. Infrastructure
Our city’s infrastructure has been poorly maintained for decades. Streets, sidewalks, parks… all are in dire straights across the city. The city needs a comprehensive plan to fix what is broken and maintain our infrastructure properly going forward so that we do not return to the sad state we are in now. How will your administration address our infrastructure crisis managerially and financially?

Infrastructure matters. And it will be a top priority for my Administration. Our City cannot succeed without first guaranteeing that we can maintain strong and safe streets, bridges, sidewalks, sewers, parks, school buildings and other infrastructure needs.

Technology can help in this regard. I will create a citizen dashboard using state of the art technology so that City residents can report potholes, broken streetlights or jammed traffic meters with their cell phones. Anyone who reports a problem will receive a personal follow-up email that details the actions taken to solve the problem.

Regarding known infrastructure problems, we will start at square one. My administration will create a public database of every piece of City infrastructure in need of repair and prioritize based on safety and cost effectiveness. Whether through leveraging federal and state dollars or issuing bonds, we will find the resources necessary to maintain our City’s infrastructure.

We need these changes because the status quo is simply unacceptable. For too long, patronage has governed which streets get plowed or which roads get repaired or which house got a new sidewalk. In my administration, infrastructure repairs will be conducted by need and not by politics.

I want to note that while I recognize the need for a city-wide, comprehensive plan, I am also specifically committed to infrastructure improvements in the City’s emerging Knowledge District and other coordinated economic investment zones. I will invest in transportation infrastructure, fiber optic communication lines, labs and business incubators, and other infrastructure improvements in water, sewer, gas and electric services. I am convinced that these investments will help continue to transform the Knowledge District into Rhode Island’s center for creativity and entrepreneurship.

Continue Reading →

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The Uncaucus Listening Party (04/01 New Location)


Photo (cc) bunkosquad

4.01 Uncaucus Listening Party

It’s an undebate: citizens talk while the candidates listen!

Thursday, April 1, 2010 – 6:30pm-10:00pm
Waterplace Restaurant
One Finance Way, Providence, RI

Join founding members of the Uncaucus, friends, fellow voters, and comrades from the city of Providence in an UnDebate, where those interested in serving as our next Mayor listen instead of talk.

Candidates Steven Constantino, John Lombardi, Daniel Harrop, and Angel Taveras have agreed to participate (thank you!). Carrie Marsh, and Joe Paolino who have yet to declare candidacy but remain interested in the race, will also join us. All candidates, declared and undeclared, are welcome to join. Will update the invite as more RSVPs from candidates come in.

The event will be moderated by Mike Ritz, who will help keep the conversation positive, forward looking, and, in true Uncaucus style, fun.

FREE Valet parking is available. There is limited on-street parking as well. Additional parking is available at the Providence Place Mall across the street. The event is FREE and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served alongside a cash bar. Look forward to seeing you there!

In other Uncaucus news, read PBN’s Five Questions with the Uncaucus founders.

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The Uncaucus Updates

Go Mobile – Uncaucus.org works on your mobile phone

One of the things we’re dedicated to at the Uncaucus is making sure technology makes it easier for you to participate, rather than harder. Today we launched a mobile phone version of the Uncaucus.org site, that will display properly in any phone with a web browser, no matter how small the screen. On your phone, just go to Uncaucus.org, and you’ll automatically see the mobile website. The site even has some extra goodies like letting you click-to-call our Candidate QuestionLine right from your phone!

Thanks to MoFuse for making mobile websites so easy.

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Uncaucus QuestionLine is Now Open — 401.484.8461 — Phone and Text Message Us

The Uncaucus has opened a new phone line dedicated to collecting citizen comments and questions on the Providence Mayoral election. All messages will be translated into text and posted on the Uncaucus site. We will forward questions to the candidates and offer them the opportunity to respond. You can also send a text message to 401.484.8461. Hope to hear from you soon.

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And we are still seeking questions for candidate surveys. Mayor, Governor, City Council, maybe District 1 and the open Providence Assembly seats. Visit this post and submit your questions.

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