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Tag Archives | Election 2012

News & Notes

→ The Atlantic Cities: 8 Urban Policy Ideas for Obama’s 2nd Term

If you look at any electoral map, it is clear that Democrats dominate in urban, walkable places. Republicans dominate in the countryside and do well in the suburbs — especially in the South, the corn belt, and the Rocky Mountain states.

The problem for Republicans is that the electorate is increasingly urban. Young people want to live in walkable, urban places, and they see elected officials ignoring their concerns. Millennials are aligning themselves with growing urban minorites — African Americans, hispanics, and Asian-Americans — who identify strongly with the Democratic Party.


→ Better Cities & Towns: The electorate becomes urban — will the Republican Party adapt?

If you look at any electoral map, it is clear that Democrats dominate in urban, walkable places. Republicans dominate in the countryside and do well in the suburbs — especially in the South, the corn belt, and the Rocky Mountain states.

The problem for Republicans is that the electorate is increasingly urban. Young people want to live in walkable, urban places, and they see elected officials ignoring their concerns. Millennials are aligning themselves with growing urban minorites — African Americans, hispanics, and Asian-Americans — who identify strongly with the Democratic Party.


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Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

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The Secretary of State’s website seems to be very slow, or not working at all right now. If you need to find your polling place, both Google and Facebook have tools to help you find it. I just checked my own, Google showed the correct location, however the Facebook tool returned an error for me.
Reminder: Polls close at 8pm in Rhode Island tonight, not 9pm.

Well, it is all over Tuesday, Hopefully

Here’s some information you’ll need to help you vote tomorrow. Importantly, check your polling place as on account of redistricting, it may have moved.

Remember, even if you don’t have a Voter ID you can request a provisional ballot.
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2012 Rhode Island statewide ballot questions

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We ran down the list of 11 City of Providence ballot questions in a previous post, here are the statewide questions on the November 6th ballot.

Update: All statewide ballot questions passed however, voters in Newport rejected a casino at Newport Grand.
Find further details about each ballot question and information on how to vote in the Rhode Island Voter Information Handbook 2012

QUESTION 1:

1. STATE CONSTITUTIONAL APPROVAL
(APPROVAL OF AN ACT AUTHORIZING STATE-OPERATED CASINO GAMING AT TWIN RIVER IN THE TOWN OF LINCOLN)

(Section 22 of Article VI of the Constitution)

Shall an act be approved which would authorize the facility known as “Twin River” in the town of Lincoln to add state-operated casino gaming, such as table games, to the types of gambling it offers?

APPROVE
REJECT


QUESTION 2:

2. STATE CONSTITUTIONAL APPROVAL
(APPROVAL OF AN ACT AUTHORIZING STATE-OPERATED CASINO GAMING AT NEWPORT GRAND IN THE CITY OF NEWPORT)

(Section 22 of Article VI of the Constitution)

Shall an act be approved which would authorize the facility known as “Newport Grand” in the city of Newport to add state-operated casino gaming, such as table games, to the types of gambling it offers?

APPROVE
REJECT

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News & Notes

firstworks dining

People eating at Kennedy Plaza during last month’s FirstWorks Festival

→ The Atlantic Cities: The Power of the Movable Chair

In his classic 1980 study of the use of public spaces in New York City, William H. Whyte and his team of researchers used cameras to watch people and understand how they used the public places in the city. One of the takeaways from the film footage was that people like to sit in public places, and, far more fascinatingly, that if given the option they will almost always move chairs before they sit in them.


→ The New York Times: How the G.O.P. Became the Anti-Urban Party

A leading Republican columnist, trying to re-stoke her candidate’s faltering campaign before the first presidential debate, felt so desperate that she advised him to turn to cities.

“Wade into the crowd, wade into the fray, hold a hell of a rally in an American city – don’t they count anymore?” Peggy Noonan lamented in The Wall Street Journal. “A big, dense city with skyscrapers like canyons, crowds and placards, and yelling. All of our campaigning now is in bland suburbs and tired hustings.”

But the fact is that cities don’t count anymore – at least not in national Republican politics.

See also: → Greater Greater Washington: Presidential debate again ignores urban issues


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City of Providence 2012 Ballot Questions

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Update: Information from the Mayor’s Office about these ballot questions. 2012 Providence Ballot Question and Charter Amendment Summaries
Update: All the ballot questions in the City of Providence passed.

Do you ever get to the polling place on election day and wish that there were more things for you to vote on? Perhaps a long list of issues for you to read and decide about? Well if you live in Providence then November 6th is you lucky day, the City has 11 questions on the ballot in addition to the 7 questions the state has.

Perhaps one should think about these questions before election day, so here are those ballot questions.


City of Providence November 6 Ballot Questions

8. Finance the Design, Construction, Repair, Rehabilitation and Improvement of Streets and Sidewalks $40,000,000
“Shall an Ordinance of the City Council effective on July 31, 2012 authorizing the issuance of up to $40,000,000 general obligation bonds of the City to finance the design, construction, repair, rehabilitation and improvement of streets and sidewalks in the City, including but not limited to, drainage, traffic control devices, safety improvements and landscaping, pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws § 45-12-2 and § 807 of the City’s Home Rule Charter, be approved?”

Question 8 YES
Question 8 NO


QUESTIONS 9 – 18 AMENDMENTS TO THE PROVIDENCE HOME RULE CHARTER

9. Shall the terms used in the Charter be defined as follows for clarity and consistency? [Adds Section 107]

  1. “City” shall mean the City of Providence, in the County of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island.
  2. “Council” shall mean the duly elected city council of the City of Providence.
  3. “Domiciled” shall mean that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and to which whenever he or she is absent has the intention of returning.
  4. Mayor. Whenever the word “mayor” is used, it shall mean the mayor of the City of Providence.
  5. “Quorum” shall mean a majority of the members of a public body or duly appointed committee.

Question 9 YES
Question 9 NO

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Rhode Island’s Primary Election Day is Tuesday, September 11th

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Primary Election Day in Rhode Island is Tuesday, September 11th. Some information you need to know to cast your ballot.

  • Voter ID Information
    • No eligible voter will be turned away at the polls. Voters who do not bring an acceptable ID to their polling place can vote using a standard Provisional Ballot. The ballot will be counted if the signature they give at their polling place matches the signature on their voter registration
    • Voter ID will be phased in over two election cycles. In 2012 and 2013, voters can also use a variety of non-photo IDs including a Social Security or Medicare card. Beginning in 2014, only Photo IDs will be accepted at the polls
  • Find your polling place – Due to redistricting, there is a high likelihood your polling place has changed.
  • View a sample ballot
  • Voting at the polls
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News & Notes

→ Forbes: The Economic Secret of Vacant City Spaces

Most of us feel attached to our neighborhoods, but can this emotional connection help fuel local economies? According to a multi-year study by Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the answer is yes: Communities with high levels of attachment actually have higher local GDP growth.

Surprisingly, the top factors that encourage community attachment are aesthetics and having spaces for people to socialize, according to 43,000 survey participants who ranked these factors above safety, education, and municipal services. But with foreclosures and vacant buildings and the resulting loss of tax revenue, how do you create and pay for public spaces?


→ Bloomberg: U.S. Taxpayers Are Gouged on Mass Transit Costs

American taxpayers will shell out many times what their counterparts in developed cities in Europe and Asia would pay. In the case of the Second Avenue line and other new rail infrastructure in New York City, they may have to pay five times as much.


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News & Notes

Traffic

Photo (cc) Joe Shlabotnik

→ The Transport Politic: As the U.S. Presidential Election Begins in Earnest, a Study in Contrasts

What is obvious is that Mr. Ryan has a dramatically different view of the role of government than President Obama; indeed, his perspective on that which Washington should be concerned is a deep expression of the conservative movement’s success in pushing the GOP to the right.

In matters of transportation, this attitude would steadily decrease the role of the federal government in sponsoring infrastructure projects, especially those that cannot be sponsored entirely through user fees. It would discourage the consideration of negative externalities, such as pollution and congestion, in deciding what subsidies should be provided for alternative transportation — because its political ideology opposes government subsidies altogether. It would dismantle enforcement of federal environmental regulations, especially those that recognise climate change, and encourage the privatization of public services such as transit systems or parking meters. These are the very tangible implications of a Romney-Ryan presidency.


→ The Wall Street Journal: Streetcar Plans Plow Ahead

Proponents say the streetcars would boost economic growth and catch the fancy of younger generations.

“Kansas City’s downtown has bled jobs, people and buildings for decades,” said David Johnson, a 38-year-old engineer and co-founder of Streetcar Neighbors, a residents group that advocates for streetcars in that city. “We’re trying to reinvigorate the downtown.”

But others see a waste of tax dollars on projects that, they say, offer little more than a way to move downtown workers from their offices to lunch.


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News & Notes

→ From Here to There: A Creative Guide to Making Public Transport the Way to Go [Embarq]

Major automobile companies spend billions of dollars annually to advertise their products to customers. In 2009, General Motors alone spent $3.2 billion on advertising campaigns and overall marketing efforts for their products. Major auto companies collectively spent $21 billion worldwide and it looks like their investments are working. The number of private vehicles in Brazil more than doubled in less than a decade — 1.2 million in 2001 to 2.6 million in 2010. India experienced a 20-fold increase in the number of private motor vehicles in the last decade.

Such overwhelming statistics in favor of private vehicles, backed by billion dollar investments in advertising campaigns, point to the urgency with which public transport must catch-up in this competitive marketplace. Often times, so much energy is focused on the technical and financial aspects of getting public transit projects off the ground that branding and marketing become an afterthought.

In an attempt to give public transport a competitive edge, EMBARQ released a report on marketing and branding public transport.


→ Great places: smart density as part of economic flourishing [Grist]

Done right, density can be an engine of prosperity. Business executives should love great places just as much as hippies like me do.

Here’s the basic idea: When smart, skilled people start to gather in a place, the process becomes self-perpetuating. More smart, skilled people show up to be near the others. And the more smart, skilled people you get close together, the more you reduce transaction costs and increase “knowledge spillover,” which leads to commerce and innovation.


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