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Providence RI

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Statement from City Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan

I serve in several capacities, and one of them is as a member of the Committee on Ordinances.  At our last meeting, held on Monday, October 15, 2018, we were reviewing proposed amendments to an existing ordinance. This ordinance would ensure that the City of Providence would make a more concerted effort to work with more women and minority-owned businesses.  

During the review process, the attorney from the City Solicitors Office raised concerns that they had received the proposed changes earlier that day and hadn’t had adequate time to review them.  I take my responsibility very seriously and felt that we should honor their request to do their due diligence. That is why my colleagues and I all agreed to continue this item until Wednesday, October 24, 2018 (our next scheduled meeting).  

No one is more invested in encouraging our City departments to do more business with minority and women-owned businesses than Councilwoman Castillo and me.  As women, we both have a vested interest in pushing this ordinance forward. We just want it to be one that works.   

As elected officials, we are called upon to make the right decisions for our City, and sometimes that takes time.  That’s why it was such a shock to have the President of the City Council react in this manner when we were only delaying the discussion by a week.  

Finally, Council President Salvatore’s impertinent remarks directed to Councilwoman Castillo and me after the meeting were regrettable. It was a poor display and behavior unbecoming the Office of the Council President.  He should know better, and frankly, we deserve better. 

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Jo-Ann Ryan, Providence City Council Majority Whip