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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.

Sincerely,
Providence City Council



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Providence, RI (March 7, 2018)… Providence City Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11) along with the community group, SISTA FIRE RI, will be hosting a celebration in honor of International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Noon.  The event will take place in The Aldermen’s Chamber on the third floor of City Hall.  Rhode Island’s Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea will serve as the keynote speaker.

 

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with SISTA FIRE to bring the community together to celebrate International Women’s Day,” stated Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris. “Our goal is to bring women and men together for a discussion on the importance of the role women play in our society.  It’s my hope that by sharing stories of our achievements and our failures that we can all learn from our unique experiences.”

 

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The day is celebrated annually on March 8.

 

 

 

 

Providence, RI (February 28, 2018)… Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and City Council President David A. Salvatore are pleased to announce the opening of The Robert F. Kennedy Recreation Center (RFK Rec Center). The new recreation center is located at 195 Nelson Street in Providence (inside the Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School).  A Grand Opening celebration will take place on Friday, March 2, 2018, at 1:00 pm.

 

The RFK Rec Center continues a partnership with the Providence Schools in which the Recreation Department uses existing space in a school for programming. Because of this partnership, students who attend RFK Elementary will not need to be bussed to another location for programming, but will only need to walk down the hall, making the rec center experience more accessible to our students.  The Recreation Department will offer both morning and afternoon recreation opportunities for students of RFK Elementary. 

 

“I’m thrilled that our partners in the Recreation Department have made Ward 14 a priority,” stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. “The services that the Rec Center will provide the families of RFK Elementary are invaluable.  With opportunities for students beginning before the first bell rings and long after dismissal, the recreation program will become an essential part of these students lives.”

 

“Recreation centers add to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods as places where the entire community can come together for family-friendly activities,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “Providence children deserve access to safe and inviting places where they can make friends, have fun and be active when they are out of the classroom. I’m pleased to have worked with my colleagues in the City Council to offer families in Ward 14 a center to enjoy.”

 

RFK Rec Center runs Monday-Friday, with morning recreation from 6:30 am until 9:00 am and afternoon recreation beginning at dismal until 5:30 pm for RFK students.  Programming includes breakfast/dinner, sports, and homework help amongst other programs.  The Rec Center is also open to other members of the Ward 14 community beginning at 6: 00 pm until 9:00 pm Monday-Friday, and 9:00 am until 2:00 pm on Saturdays with similar programming.  The RFK Rec Center acting director is Michael Holland Sr.

 

For more information, please contact the City Council office at 401-521-7477.

 

Photo opportunity:

Immediately following speaking program there will be a ribbon cutting which will include speakers and members of the RFK Elementary student body.

 

 

 

Providence, RI (February 26, 2018) – In the wake of the recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida, Council President David A. Salvatore and colleagues on the City Council today announced the intention to request legislation that would enable municipalities to regulate firearms.

 

“It is a very sad day in our nation when our children are so fearful for their safety that they feel they need to march on their U.S. and state capitols. Our children have become the voices of reason in the debate over gun control, and they have every right to be outraged over the senseless deaths of their friends and peers. I stand with our youth in this fight for justice. Enough is enough,” said City Council President David A. Salvatore.

 

“We must do everything in our power to ensure that there is never another Columbine, Sandy Hook, or Stoneman Douglas High School,” continued Salvatore. “Our commander in chief’s solution to prevent another school massacre is to actually suggest arming teachers. Our schools are not prisons. Since it is clear we are not hearing reason from federal officials, we must create proactive solutions at the municipal level. This legislation would give us the tools to enact meaningful firearm laws that work for Providence, that fit the needs of our citizens, and that serve to keep us safer than we are today.”

 

Council Majority Leader John J. Igliozzi, Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan, President Pro Tempore Sabina Matos, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Terrence Hassett, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr., Deputy Majority Leader Wilbur W. Jennings Jr., Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, Councilman Michael Correia, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune, Councilman Bryan Principe, Councilman Seth Yurdin, and Councilman Samuel D. Zurier also voiced their support of the legislation, which will be sponsored by Senator Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence).

 

“Like thousands of parents in Rhode Island, I have sent my kids off to school every day since the Parkland massacre with fear and grief in my heart. It is unacceptable for us to wait any longer to change our gun laws. Since Congress won’t take action, we must. The people of our capital city have had enough with the NRA. It is time to repeal this absurd NRA-backed state law blocking municipalities, like Providence, that are willing to take on gun safety. Together, we can ensure that state, cities and towns move swiftly to give our citizens the protections from gun violence that they deserve,” said Senator Gayle L. Goldin.

 

“Gun violence has been a public health issue in this country and in the core urban areas of our state for a very long time,” said Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell. “We can fix it through sound intentional legislation, high paying sustainable jobs for young people and their families, and robust investment in small business development. I am a parent and a school teacher here in the capital city. Sadly, I have lost far too many of my own students who have been shot and killed. Almost every day, I speak with and mourn with mothers who have lost their children. Unfortunately, some of the murders are still unsolved. There is a push to arm teachers. My colleagues and I are teachers, not law enforcement officers, and we will not carry guns to school. Legislation like this is a win-win for all of us, and we cannot wait.”

 

The legislation would remove section 11-47-58 – The Firearms States Preemption clause – of the State’s Criminal Offense Code. Its removal would enable municipalities like Providence to enact regulations around firearms and their components. This will provide Providence with the necessary means to examine common sense gun policy in our state’s capital city.

 

 

 

 

 

PROVIDENCE (February 15, 2018)… Tonight, City Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan, (Ward 5) introduced an ordinance that calls for a reduction of single-use plastic bags and encourages the use of reusable checkout bags at retail establishments throughout the City. This ordinance 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, "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."

 

Highlights of the Ordinance Include:

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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.

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It allows retailers to retain the cost of reusable bags sold to customers

(Note: large chain retailers are currently selling reusable bags for as little as .25 cents). Retailers spend over $3.9M on bags annually.)

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Countless studies, beginning with Ireland in 2002, have shown that adding a modest fee for bags reduces the use of single-use bags by more than 90%.

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

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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 with the City's Zero Waste Group and the City's Office of Sustainability. This energetic group is working on an implementation plan and is committed to a strong grassroots education and outreach campaign for both consumers and retailers. 

 

Ryan was joined by the following councilors who cosponsored the ordinance; Council President David A. Salvatore, Majority Leader John J. Igliozzi, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Terrence Hassett, Councilman Seth Yurdin, Councilman Luis A. Aponte, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, Councilman Bryan Principe, Councilman Michael Correia and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune. The ordinance will now go to the Ordinance Committee to be vetted.

 

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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