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Providence RI


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Welcome to the Providence City Council website.

Here you will find information about the activities and initiatives of the legislative branch of Providence’s government. From Council meetings to neighborhood meetings, the members of the City Council are committed to taking action to improve the quality of life for every Providence resident.

Providence has vast cultural, artistic, and historical assets, which the Council seeks to enhance as we move forward, conducting the business of the people with integrity, transparency, and efficiency.

We encourage you to get involved in your community, and to make your voices heard by your elected officials on the Council. We are here to serve.

Providence City Council


Providence City Councilwoman Sabina Matos (Ward 15) announces several completed community park projects in her Ward, and several more about to begin. These projects range from building concession stands, to improving current park landscapes.

“I believe that recreation and access to green spaces are paramount to the quality of life in our neighborhood,” stated Council President Pro Tempore Sabina Matos. “Over the past year, I have worked with the Providence Parks Department to improve and redevelop many of our green spaces. This has been an exciting year, and I can’t wait to see all these projects come to fruition.”
Much of the funding for these projects has come from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), City Council Neighborhood Infrastructure Funds, Eagle Square TIF funds, and other grants.
Breakdown of Community Park Projects
Joslin Playground:
  • Completed: Installation of shade sail, new fitness equipment, Water Park, soccer field, and landscaping.
  • In Progress: New entrance to be located on the Kossuth side parking lot.
    James Ahern Park:
    • In Progress: Backstop and fence repairs, foul line pole, updated players’ area that includes benches and dugouts, infield renovations, and new signage.
      Clarence Street Playground:
      • Completed: Outdoor classroom and new higher quality benches have been installed.
      • In Progress: Installation of additional play piece, fence repair, and replacement.
        Riverside Park:
        • In Progress: Construction of parking lot, landscaping, repairs to the swale, renovations to the bike path, and signage.
          Donigian Park:
          • Completed: Areas near Barstow Street received new seating from Downcity Designs and fitness equipment fabricated by the Steelyard and a soccer field.
          • In Progress: Construction of new concession stand, restroom facilities, turf and irrigation improvements. (Community meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 pm in the park.)
            For more information on Providence Parks, visit www.providnceri.gov/providence-parks, or call the City Council Office at 401-521-7477.


The Ordinance has been referred to committee

where it will be vetted and open for public comment



PROVIDENCE (June 21, 2018)…Tonight, Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan reintroduced her ordinance to reduce single-use plastic bags in Providence, and it has been referred to committee for review.  After meeting with Mayor Elorza, constituents, and community groups, she felt that the time was right to bring the ordinance back before the Council.


Changes to this ordinance include the removal of the $0.10 fee for not having a reusable bag, it requires the City’s Office of Sustainability to present an implementation plan to the City Council no later than 30-days after passage, and calls upon the City to work with the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center as part of their outreach and implementation plan.  This ordinance still addresses significant environmental and economic concerns facing the City and is modeled after those successfully passed in other municipalities and is most similar to the one recently passed in Boston.


Ryan, the lead sponsor of the ordinance, said, "After the Mayor’s veto I embarked on a listening tour, and I heard the concerns of the community and worked to ensure that all voices were heard in the creation of this updated ordinance.  This is the beginning of us collectively working together to rid our city, landfills, and oceans of single-use plastics, and I am proud to be leading that effort.  I will continue my work with my colleagues, the Mayor’s administration, and community partners to move this forward and will ensure robust community engagement and public discourse. We will hold a public hearing at an upcoming committee meeting to ensure that all voices have an opportunity to share their concerns, questions, and suggestions on how we can make this ordinance work for the people of Providence.”


The ordinance calls for a 1-year implementation period where the City’s Office of Sustainability will work to educate residents and business owners on the single-use plastic bag reduction plan. This plan will be presented to the Council no later than 30-days after the passage of this ordinance. During this 1-year implementation period, we will work with community partners to distribute free or little-to-no cost reusable bags to those that need them.  This period also allows businesses to use their remaining stock of single-use plastic bags.


The production, use, and disposal of single-use plastic bags have significant adverse impacts on the environment and are a serious economic burden to the City's solid waste disposal and single-stream recycling systems.  Reducing single-use plastic bags will help to curb litter on our streets and waterways, protect the marine environment, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ryan continued, "The economic reasons are also significant as the City will save at least $1 million each year by removing this common contaminant to our recycling system. This initiative will also help to remove 95 million single-use bags annually from our landfill. I recently visited the Rhode Island Resource Recovery recycling center and saw the toll that plastic single-use bags play on their system. Every few hours they have to shut down to pull these bags from the gears that move the recycling along. This slows the process, and is dangerous as employees have to climb into the machine and remove the bags from the gears."


Highlights of the Ordinance Include:


No additional fee for non-compliance by consumers.


All checkout bags must be designed for multiple reuse or be paper.  If the checkout bag is plastic, it must be made from 100% recycled plastic. Paper bags must be 100% recyclable and made from at least 40% recycled paper.


It exempts certain types of plastic bags such as dry cleaning or laundry bags, bags used to wrap or contain frozen foods or prevent or contain moisture, etc.


It gives 12 months from passage for businesses to become compliant allowing time for education/outreach and for retailers to use existing stock.


It provides an exemption for retailers who may have a hardship determined by the Director of the Office of Sustainability.


The Ordinance is the product of numerous meetings, over ten months, with the City's Zero Waste Group the City's Office of Sustainability, and other stakeholders.


Some facts on the environmental impacts of single-use plastic bags provided by Upstream Policy:


Single-use plastic bags are used on average for 12 minutes and live for about 1K years.


Single-use plastic bag production produces over 2.5K metric tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) annually and contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming.


Single-use plastic bags end up in the ocean, breaking down into smaller pieces called microplastics, Clean Water Action found that the Providence River had the highest concentration of these microplastics in the Bay.


It is estimated that over 95M plastic bags are used annually in Providence.


Single-use plastic bags account for roughly 60 tons of garbage.


Single-use plastic bags are NOT recyclable in our single stream RIRRC’s recycling facility.


Single-use plastic bags are the cause of contamination of our recycling bins and compromise our recycling program.



Once passed Providence will join 280 other North American

jurisdictions to ban the commercial sale of dogs and cats


Providence, RI (June 21, 2018) – Councilman Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. tonight introduced an ordinance that would make it illegal for the commercial sale of dogs and cats. It should be noted that the ordinance specifically allows for commercial pet stores to keep and facilitate the adoption of dogs and cats from animal shelters, humane societies, and non-profit rescue organizations. 


“We’ve all seen and read of the horrors of puppy mills in the United States,” stated City Council Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. “For the better part of a year I have worked on this ordinance, and I am very proud to have it passed for the first time tonight. As a pet lover, and as an advocate and board member of Friends of Providence Animal Control I felt a responsibility to ensure the safety and humane treatment of our four-legged friends.”


The ordinance aligns with State standards and establishes exceptions to the spay/neuter law for thoroughbred dogs and dogs with health concerns (letter from veterinarian required). It also creates an additional Dog Permit allowing the owner to keep 4+ dogs, so long as certain health and safety standards have been met.


In passing this ordinance, Providence will join 280 other jurisdictions across the US and Canada to ban the commercial sale of dogs and cats. There is a growing consensus that the best way to stop the proliferation of puppy mills is to cut the demand for them by prohibiting commercial sales. Albuquerque, NM became the first US jurisdiction to ban commercial sales of dog and cats in 2006. In Rhode Island, both East Providence (2014) and Warwick (2017) have also passed bans on the commercial sale of dogs and cats. Other Jurisdictions with such a ban include:  Austin, TX (2010), Boston, MA (2016), Cambridge, MA (2017), California (statewide ban, 2017), Philadelphia (2016) and Pittsburgh (2015).


The ordinance was written in close consultation with the Friends of Providence Animal Control and the Rhode Island SPCA.




Fiscally responsible budget holds the line on taxes, implements public safety enhancement programs, preserves historical assets, improves quality of life in every Providence neighborhood


PROVIDENCE, RI (June 18, 2018) — The Providence City Council Committee on Finance tonight voted approve the recommendation of the FY2019 $748 Million city budget, which is now forwarded to the City Council for passage.


The budget is the result of collaboration between the City Council and City Administration with the ultimate goal of producing a fiscally responsible budget that includes no tax increases; invests in schools, safety and neighborhoods; enhances public safety; preserves significant historical assets; and improves the quality of life in every Providence neighborhood.


“I am pleased to announce that we are holding the line on tax increases, ensuring that our yearly fiduciary responsibility to the pension fund is met in full, and investing in quality of life initiatives to benefit all Providence neighborhoods – like the Council’s initiative to save the Federal Hill fountain located in DePasquale Plaza,” said Committee on Finance Chairman and Council Majority Leader John Igliozzi. “I am grateful for the hard work of the Finance Committee and for the cooperation of every City department that sat before us.  The budget process is not easy, sometimes even contentious; but in the end we all want the same thing – a budget that efficiently and effectively utilizes taxpayer dollars and serves the people of Providence – and we believe we have achieved that end.”


“The review and passage of the budget is one of the most important duties of the City Council, and this budget prioritizes spending to support our public schools and enhance safety and quality of life in all city neighborhoods,” stated Council President David A. Salvatore. “Every year the Committee on Finance is tasked with reviewing the budget and ensuring that it serves the constituents of our city. The process is inclusive and I am proud of the way this body has worked to ensure those principles.”


Council-led budget initiatives include:



Holding the line on all tax rates, providing residents and business owners with the certainty they need to prosper.



No less than 35% of the revenue garnered from portable speed camera violations will be used on school safety and other traffic calming measures. The goal of the speed cameras was always to make Providence streets and schools safer, and the City Council has made this a priority.



Restored Neighborhood Infrastructure Fund (NIF) to help ensure that any unexpected brick and mortar projects that arise in FY 2019 can be addressed. This fund has a positive impact on our neighborhoods and helps to improve the quality of life for all residents of Providence.



Enhancing the quality of life in Providence neighborhoods and improving city services through infrastructure improvements, public safety initiatives, and school and parks improvements.



Saving, preserving and maintaining Providence’s beloved historical landmarks, including the fountain in Federal Hill’s DePasquale Plaza, as well as other significant monuments throughout the City.



Bringing the City’s original charter back to City Hall for display to the public, as well as ensuring the preservation of important historical City artifacts.

The City Council will hold special meetings on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, where the budget will receive its first vote from the Council. Once passed, the second and final vote will take place on Friday, June 22, 2018.


The Council’s Committee on Finance is comprised of:

Majority Leader John J. Igliozzi, Chair

Senior Deputy Majority Leader Terrence M. Hassett, Vice Chair

Council President Pro Tempore Sabina Matos

Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan

Councilwoman Carmen Castillo