Tag Archives | Mayor

2018 Providence State of the City Address

Photo from Mayor Elorza’s Chief of Staff, Nicole Pollock’s Twitter Feed

This of course happened a few days ago, but I like to post the State of the City addresses on the site for discussion and future reference.

2018 State of the City Mayor Jorge O. Elorza As prepared for delivery

February 6, 2018

President Salvatore, Members of the City Council, Members of the General Assembly and members of the Providence community—good evening.

It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your Mayor. Three years ago, you voted for a city that listened and a city that worked. You voted for a better tomorrow and a safer today. But most of all, you voted for the promise of One Providence, a city with 25 distinct and different neighborhoods that come together as one community.

In the past few days, we’ve seen an extraordinary example of the strength and unity of our city and we’ve seen yet again that out of the darkness comes light. A disturbing and hate-filled flyer was distributed by folks who have been emboldened and encouraged to come out of the shadows. They think that if they can cause enough fear and anxiety, and convince us that someone is coming to take away our security and our dreams, that then, we’ll turn against each other. But instead what this incident provoked, was a resounding show of unity, where our city came together to say that we will not be divided; because our love trumps your hate.

And so it is in that spirit – of coming together – that I deliver today’s State of the City. Over the past three years, we’ve been continually reminded of the power of the people and of what we can accomplish when we’re united. Here in Providence, we’ll continue to add our voice to the chorus and lend our hand to the cause whenever someone tries to divide us. And, we will stand up for our values whenever they are threatened. As a city:

We’ve stood with Standing Rock, and we’re divesting our pension fund from the filthy fifteen; We’ve stood with Paris, and opposed an LNG facility here in our port;
We’ve stood with Dreamers, and announced our own city ID program;
We’ve stood with Black Lives Matter, and invested in cradle to career programs;
We’ve stood with the Women’s March, and instituted Paid Parental Leave; and We’ve stood with Orlando, and offered gender-affirming health care.

Cities have always been places that bring people from all and different walks of life to coexist and thrive together. This is what cities do, in spite of all the forces that are working to divide us. And that’s what our city will continue to do because that’s what makes us so strong.

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Providence 2017 State of the City Address

Image from the Mayor’s Twitter feed

Mayor Jorge Elorza delivered his 2017 State of the City Address on February 1st. Below is the text of the address from the Mayor’s Office:

Changing The Narrative About Providence

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Council President Aponte, Members of the City Council, Members of the General Assembly and fellow residents.

It’s been two years since I took office and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to represent the residents of this city as Mayor. I’ve had a chance to meet with residents from every corner of the city and from every walk of life. I’ve scheduled community conversations in every neighborhood and coffee hours in every ward. I’ve visited every school in the city and just about every park, field and court in Providence. I’ve visited scores of businesses and have attended as many events as can fit on a person’s schedule.

At every point, I’ve tried to interact, listen and learn from our friends and neighbors. And what I’ve learned throughout the past couple of years is what makes me more optimistic than ever about the potential we have here in Providence. I’ve learned that our residents’ commitment to Providence is second to none. The connection that we have to our individual neighborhoods is unlike anything you’ll see throughout the state. The kindness that I’ve seen towards others, convinces me that you won’t find a more compassionate group of residents anywhere else. And, the amazing work that’s done in our neighborhoods convinces me that when we’re working together, we’re capable of accomplishing anything.

Now, we’ve had challenges in the past and while it is important to understand the root of those challenges, it is far more important to find solutions. After all, we are elected and placed in these positions to move the city forward. Fellow residents, every decision that I have made has been with my eye towards 5 and 10 years into the future and I’ve focused not only on where we want to be and how to get there, but also on how we’re going to sustain it by doing it together.

Providence is a special city with no shortage of strengths that we have to build off of. But it is also fair to say, that we still have not fully unlocked the potential of our people and our institutions. You see, there are four key challenges (each decades in the making) that we must address to create the strong and sustainable future that our city deserves; and it is these four areas (Finances, Infrastructure, Schools, and City Services) that I’ve been focused on these past 2 years and that I need your continued help to address.

When I took office, we got to work to ensure that the city’s finances were healthy. And just as a doctor would treat a patient, we made sure that we stopped the bleeding first. At the end of fiscal year 15, the city faced a $13M cumulative deficit. Effectively, this is money that we owed on the city’s credit card. But with the support of the City Council, and by reforming the way we put the budget together, eliminating almost every one-time, short-term solution, renegotiating contracts, and keeping track of every cent that comes in and out, we ended the following fiscal year with the largest operating surplus in the city’s records. And, this means that we’ll be paying off the cumulative deficit three years sooner than anyone expected.

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Providence State of the City Address


Image from the Mayor’s Office

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza delivered his State of the City address in the City Council Chambers yesterday evening. Below is the text of the address as released by the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza

2016 State of the City Address

Leading the Providence Resurgence

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 (Prepared as delivered)

Thank you. Good evening everyone; Buenas noches a todos.

Mr. President, honorable members of the City Council and fellow residents of our great City of Providence

It used to be said that you had to “know a guy” to get things done in City Hall. The message I want everyone to hear is that now, “you all know a guy in City Hall”. All you have to do is call 421-CITY.

A little over a year ago in my inaugural address, I said we were going to build the new Providence — a city that works for all of its residents, a city committed to innovation, and a city that provides opportunity for all.

Over the past year, we’ve come a long way in achieving that vision, and while there are still many challenges, I’m proud of what we have accomplished together to position Providence for a better future.

And make no mistake, Providence is beginning a resurgence.

This year will see more construction projects than the city has seen in decades. It will see our school department restructured to better meet the needs of teachers and families. It will see a City Hall that becomes known for being efficient and for responsive customer service. And this year will see us tackle our financial challenges head on with an eye toward the long-term.

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Mayor Elorza’s Inaugural Address


Mayor Jorge O. Elorza Inaugural Address Monday, January 5, 2015 (as prepared for delivery)

Building the New Providence

Friends, family and guests – good afternoon, and welcome to Providence!

I want to begin by thanking some very special people in my life.

I want to recognize my mother and father. All I can say is thank you for everything you have done. You are my heroes and everything I do is to make sure that all your efforts were not in vain. Los quiero mucho y me siento tan orgulloso de ustedes.

Thank you to my sister, my brother-in-law and my nephew and niece. I love you so much and thank you for always being by my side.

Thank you, Stephanie, for being with me every step of the way and for inspiring me with your courage and your strength. I love you, baby.

A Proud Heritage

My parents came to this country to work in our factories and to strive for a better life. They chose Providence because this city offered the promise of steady work and it was a tolerant community that would embrace and welcome them. They came to work hard, and they made sacrifice upon sacrifice to build a life of even greater opportunity for my sister and me.

My family’s story is also Providence’s story. From its founding, Providence has been a city that offers the promise of a new beginning. And generations of families just like my mine have come here in search of that same promise, ready to make the same sacrifices.

Exactly four decades after my family arrived in this country in 1975 with little more than the shirts on their backs, we stand proudly as a family on the steps of City Hall as an example of what dedication, sacrifice, humility and industry can help us achieve. Ladies and gentlemen, the American Dream is still alive, and it is our responsibility to see to it that it endures for generations to come.

Most of the factory jobs that once existed slowly yet surely left our city, changing who we are in the We are no longer the industrial city we used to be; but that’s alright. We have to build the New Providence, along with a new economy, a new identity, and a new purpose. I stand before you with great optimism that by coming together and capitalizing on the many wonderful opportunities that our city offers, we will build this New Providence.

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We officially have a new Mayor!

I’m not sure I ever realized this was a thing before, but apparently new Mayors are traditionally officially sworn in at midnight on inauguration morning. And sticking with tradition, Providence’s 38th Mayor, Jorge Elorza was officially sworn-in very early this morning (or late last night) at his home.

Press release from the City with details on the official swearing-in earlier today and the ceremonial swearing-in today at 2pm and other inaugural events today:

Jorge O. Elorza Sworn in as 38th Mayor of Providence

JOE_Interfaith breakfast.inddPROVIDENCE, RI – Jorge O. Elorza was sworn in at 12 a.m. today as Providence’s 38th Mayor. The private ceremony, which marked the official transition of power in the City of Providence, was held at Mayor Elorza’s home with family and friends. Probate Court Judge John E. Martinelli administered the oath of office.

Elorza, 38, a former Housing Court Judge and professor at the Roger Williams University School of Law, is the son of Guatemalan immigrants who worked in factories and was raised in the city’s West End. He graduated from Classical High School before going on to the University of Rhode Island and Harvard Law School.

As a law professor at Roger Williams University, Mayor Elorza co-founded the Latino Policy Institute, a think-tank dedicated to research on Latino and minority communities in Rhode Island. While serving on Providence’s Housing Court, Mayor Elorza created a process to hold large banks accountable for abandoned properties in the city.

Mayor Elorza began his first morning as Mayor by joining with local faith leaders at an Interfaith Breakfast held at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.

Mayor Elorza’s public inauguration will take place today at 2 p.m. on the steps of City Hall, in front of an anticipated crowd of several hundred residents and dignitaries. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

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Election 2014: Mayoral Candidates Surveys


Back in 2010 we did Mayoral Candidate Surveys (Angel Taveras, John Lombardi); with 50 days left until the Primary, it is time for us to do it again.

As in 2010, this year we are seeking your input on those surveys. We will be sending surveys to the candidates for Providence Mayor by the end of the month; please use the comments section (or email us) the questions you’d like the candidates to answer. When the candidates return the surveys, we will be posting the results here on Greater City Providence.

We do need to make a note about comments on Election posts. We have a wonderful mix of people who comment here and are pleased that the comments are civil and intelligent. Elections and the discussions that surround them can be highly emotionally charged. We trust that the level of discourse here will remain high, but we will be editing and/or removing comments if the discourse degrades.

As always, Greater City Providence will not be endorsing a candidate.

We thank you in advance for maintaining civil discourse.


Mayor Taveras Town Hall presentations on the State of the City

Join Mayor Angel Taveras for a Town Hall style public presentation of the 2012 State of the City on:

Angel TaverasThursday, March 1 – 7:00pm
Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
401 Elmgrove Avenue

Monday, March 5 – 7:00pm
Washington Park Community Center
42 Jillson Street

Wednesday, March 14 – 7:00pm
DaVinci Center
440 Charles Street

Tuesday, March 20 – 7:00pm
Federal Hill House
9 Courtland Street

Contact us for more info

See also:


The Occupation and Public Space

Occupy Providence

Occupy Providence in Burnside Park. Photo © Jonathan Beller from Facebook.

Eventually, at some point, the current situation with Occupy Providence at Burnside Park is going to change. In this post I’m not trying to talk about what the movement is trying to accomplish, or to take a side, or to pass judgement, this is about what that next step could be and how the park can/might play a roll in the future.

As has been widely reported, the City has begun taking action to set up for removing the protesters from the park, Occupy Providence has a copy of the eviction notice from Commissioner Pare here. The notice basically tells protesters they are in violation of a number of city ordinances, most notably, remaining in the park after it closes at 9pm. The notice gives the protesters 72 hours to comply, which would result in them needing to be out by Sunday evening.

Occupy Providence is calling for people to join them on Sunday in the park in an action they are refering to as “Solidarity Sunday” to resist eviction. As the AP reports, Comissioner Pare has stated that the police will not forcibly evict protesters on Sunday evening if they remain in violation of the eviction notice.

Commissioner Steven Pare tells WPRO-AM the city won’t “physically remove them” from Burnside Park and instead will seek to force them out “peacefully and civilly” through the court system.

He said that could take several weeks.

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“My Time With The Mayor” Community Meetings Schedule

My Time With The Mayor

Mayor Taveras and City Hall directors will meet monthly with residents across the city.

Mayor Angel Taveras is pleased to continue My Time with the Mayor, a monthly opportunity for the Mayor and senior members of his administration to meet with citizens from every neighborhood in the City.

At each My Time with the Mayor event, which will be held at different locations throughout Providence, Mayor Taveras and City Hall Department Directors will be available to meet one-on-one with residents, answer their questions and seek to resolve any concerns.

Each My Time with the Mayor event is two hours long, and residents are invited to meet with Mayor Taveras or members of his senior administration on a first-come, first-served basis.

“One of the best things about being the Mayor is the opportunity I get to meet personally with the residents of Providence. I look forward to continuing the My Time with the Mayor program, and encourage citizens to come share their thoughts with me and other members of my leadership team,” said Mayor Taveras.

My Time with the Mayor will be held from 5-7PM on:


What’s the government up to? Press Releases

Surprisingly, there’s more going on in the city this week than my lamenting the unshoveledness of our sidewalks. A couple interesting Press Releases popped up today. First, from the Mayor’s Office:

Senator Whitehouse, Mayor Taveras plan walking tour of Providence Business Districts

PROVIDENCE – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Mayor Angel Taveras will spend Monday morning visiting businesses in neighborhoods throughout the City.

Taveras and Whitehouse will take a walking tour of businesses on Hope Street, Chalkstone Avenue and Broad Street to meet directly with local business owners, discuss the challenges and opportunities they face, and hear suggestions on new policies and programs to support small businesses in Providence.

WHO: U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras
WHAT: Tour of neighborhood businesses
WHEN: Monday, January 31, 2011


  • 9:15 -10AM Hope Street tour led by Nanda Head of Nanda Interiors, and Asher Schofield of Frog and Toad
  • 10- 10:45AM Chalkstone Avenue tour led by Lisa Mattiello of Pranzi Catering.
  • 10:45 – 12PM Broad Street tour led by Marilyn Cepeda of Quisqueya in Action.

Nice to see the Senator and the Mayor working together and being proactive about the small business climate in the city. If you are a business owner in one of those business districts, get your questions and concerns ready.

And out of the General Assembly comes this:

Providence Senate delegation introduces bill to guide land use for reclaimed I-195 area

STATE HOUSE – The seven members of the Providence Senate delegation have introduced legislation to guide the sale, transfer and conveyance of land becoming available for development in the city as a result of the relocation of I-195.

The goal of the legislation, say its sponsors, is to ensure that the reclaimed land is used primarily to support the growth of a knowledge-based economy, due to its direct proximity to universities, hospitals and medical schools.

Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, Providence, North Providence), the prime sponsor of the bill, said that “the legislation balances the needs of the various stakeholders in the land reuse process in a way that helps to create jobs and produce new tax revenues, while growing a knowledge-based economy that will be beneficial to the City of Providence and the entire state.” Among those stakeholders, he said, are academic, medical, research and development facilities as well as hotels and/or conference centers and other commercial and residential development.

The legislation would repeal the “I-195 Redevelopment Act of 2002,” which was intended to plan for the future disposition of the surplus land, and replace it with language that ensures the eventual use of the property in a way that is most advantageous to the public interest. The legislation gives authority for the disposition of the reclaimed land to the Director of the Department of Transportation, with the approval of the State Properties Committee.

In all, more than 277,000 square feet of land – about 6.4 acres – is contained in the parcel that is being cleared with the demolition of the old I-195, as work continues to complete the relocation of the highway – the I-Way – to the south.

In addition to delineating the specific area that is becoming available, the legislation establishes a conveyance process that is fully transparent; allows for title and survey adjustments that enhance project design plans as well as providing for the location/relocation of city streets, utility corridors, easement and rights of way, and provides a payment mechanism for the City of Providence should a non-profit institution buy or lease portions of the land and fail to reach an agreement for payments in lieu of taxes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the responsibility for the dispotion of the land lying with the DOT. But I’m also not sure that the City currently has the resources to handle this themselves, the City has a lot on its plate. What do you think?


Snowblogging: Sick Day Edition

Ugh, I am sick today, snowblogging will be light as I sit at home and sniffle. I’m looking out the window, when it let’s up I may try a run to Walgreen’s (if they are open) for some medication:

Readers are filling in the snowblogging gaps, submit your photos to our Flickr Group or email them to

These photos are from early this morning from reader Jim Beller:

RIPTA was running early this morning.

Matthew Coolidge added these photos to our Flickr Group this morning:


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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:


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 or call 401.424.1841. Thank you for your continued support and participation as we work together to move Providence forward.


Clearing snow from sidewalks

As I impatiently wait for the first real snowfall of the season, let’s take a minute to talk about removing snow from sidewalks, my favorite topic here on Greater City: Providence.

Back in February, the City Council updated the snow removal regulations, I was somewhat non-plussed by their action. My issues with the update were two; the DPW was given the authority to write citations, then immediately said they did not have the manpower to do so (the Police who originally had all the power here have been saying pretty much the same for years now), and the amount of time to remove the snow was increased from 4 hours after sunrise after the end of the storm to 8 hours.

As I outlined in the post in February, this extension to 8 hours could potentially create a situation where property owners are within the law not clearing their sidewalks for up to 24 hours. Were the roads not even attempted to be cleared for 24-hours, the citizens would rise en masse and burn down City Hall. And as I always say, at some point, every motorist leaves their car and becomes a pedestrian. So why have regulations that are so lax on snow removal when pedestrians are effected, but call out the National Guard if we have to to clear the roads?

In Cambridge, MA, a city with an online tool for reporting unclear or icy sidewalks, they are clear about when snow and ice need to be removed.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00 pm when it has fallen overnight. They must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms.

Public Works and the Traffic Department work together to enforce this Ordinance. Parking Control Officers in the Traffic Department conduct enforcement on priority pedestrian routes throughout the winter, and Public Works Compliance Officers investigate all complaints received of uncleared sidewalk.

We all have a shared responsibility for keeping our community safe and accessible during winter weather. For you, your neighbors, people with strollers or using wheelchairs, and the many people in Cambridge who walk, please do your part.

That 12 hour window seems excessively long to me, but the other part, the “remove or melt ice” bit is really the major problem in Providence. This week we’ve had two minor little dusters, the streets were barely impacted, but their was enough snow to make the sidewalks slick in some areas, however, I saw no evidence of anyone treating the sidewalks. This is a condition that repeats all winter. Just enough snow to make the sidewalks slick, but not enough where anyone bothers to clear it. And of course, we have absolutely no one doing enforcement because they have all begged off that they don’t have the manpower.

Cambridge also steps up to the plate and addresses the issue of the elderly or disabled who are unable to clear their own sidewalks:

If you are a homeowner on a low income and/or you are elderly or have a disability, you may qualify for the City’s Snow Exemption Program, in which case the City will shovel your sidewalk. To find out whether you are eligible, please call the Cambridge Council on Aging, 617.349.6220 (voice) or 617.349.6050 (TTY).

If you do not qualify for an exemption, the Council on Aging can provide you with a limited list of professional snow removal companies and a list of students who want to earn money by shoveling – you contact the student yourself and negotiate a price.

That’s what civilization looks like folks. A city that realizes it is located in a geographic area that has seen snow for millennia somehow manages to find itself unsurprised by this climatological situation and has created regulations and programs to deal with it.

We have a new Mayor, and largely new City Council, and importantly a new Public Safety Commissioner starting work in under two weeks. It can never be too soon for them to get to work ensuring that our city is navigable for all citizens all year long. The Public Safety Commissioner should work with the Mayor and the City Council to determine how to tackle the public safety threat which is snow and ice covered sidewalks. The answer cannot continue to be that it is the responsibility of a department who cries that they do not have enough manpower.


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.


News & Notes

The Providence Journal: Endangered properties

Really ProJo? Really!? You’re running a list of the Providence Preservation Society’s 10 Most Endangered Buildings and not anywhere in the piece mentioning that you requested and were given permission to tear one down, making it now the list of 9 Most Endangered Properties?

Way to do some reporting there.

StreetsBlog: “Forgiving” Distracted Driving Won’t Keep Our Streets Safe

Over at the National Journal’s transportation experts blog, Greg Cohen, president of the American Highway Users Alliance, wasn’t convinced that enforcement and driver responsibility are the answer. Writing that “we should admit that we all get distracted sometimes” and “enforced legislation and education can only go so far,” Cohen argued that engineering cars and roads to be more “forgiving” of driver inattention and carelessness is the way to go.


The Urban Times: 1970s Space Colony Art by NASA

Rhode Island Secretary of State: Register to Vote

Saturday, October 2nd is the deadline to register to vote in the General Election. I’m sure everyone is already registered because you voted in the Primary right? Well, just in case, you have until Saturday.

Chicago Business: After Daley’s retirement, Chicago needs a new approach

What Chicago really needs now is fewer ideas and orders from the top and more proposals and initiatives from the bottom. In the same way that this city’s economy is much better at applying than innovating, its political culture needs to be opened up so that new, better policies can be implemented.

:cut: Chicago :paste: Providence

Human Transit: the perils of average density

Sustainability advocates want higher urban densities for a range of reasons, but viability of public transit is certainly one of them. Meanwhile, advocates of car-dominance want to argue that existing low densities are a fact of life; since transit needs high density, they say, there’s just no point in investing in transit for those areas, so it’s best to go on planning for the dominance of cars.

Mees calls on his fellow transit advocates to let go of the idea that good transit requires high densities.


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 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.


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

Facebook: John J. Lombardi
Twitter: @JohnJLombardi

Candidate photo courtesy of the Lombardi campaign


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.

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