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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 (February 15, 2018)…Councilman Michael Correia (Ward 6) has formally requested a meeting with members of Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s administration to review current safety protocols and procedures in the wake of yesterday’s tragic shooting in South Florida.

As this is the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018, Councilman Correia believes that we must come together to ensure the safety of our students, teachers, and staff at every Providence school.

 

“All too often we see events like the one that happened yesterday in Parkland, Florida, and we tell ourselves that it can’t happen here,” stated Councilman Michael Correia.  “I’m guessing that the families, the administrators, and the elected officials in Parkland had thought the same thing.  I’m asking my colleagues on the City Council, Mayor Elorza, Superintendent Maher, Commissioner Pare, and Chief Clements to come together to review what we are doing in regards to school safety, look for and fill gaps, and ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep the students, teachers, and staff in our care safe.”

 

The Councilman will be asking for an increased presence of uniformed Providence Police Officers at and around our city schools, a complete review of all policies and procedures in place regarding active shooter scenarios, and increased safety training for all members of the Providence School community.

 

 

 

 

 

PROVIDENCE (February 14, 2018)…The Rhode Island Superior Court on Monday upheld an amendment to the Providence zoning ordinance that limits student housing in residential neighborhoods. In 2015, City Council Majority Whip, Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), introduced an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that placed a limit on the number of students that could live in a non-owner occupied single-family home. The amendment was passed by the Council, signed by the Mayor and later challenged in court.  The Plaintiffs who brought the suit were a landlord and several tenants who claimed the law violated their constitutional rights. The Court, in a 20-page decision, rejected the Plaintiffs’ claim that the ordinance discriminated against college students in violation of article 1, section 2 of the R.I. Constitution.

 

“I am pleased that the Superior Court upheld the City ordinance,” said Ryan.  “This ordinance is about preserving the single-family housing stock and about public safety.  Single-family homes were not intended by zoning law to be used as mini-dorms. In a city where individuals and families are finding it harder and harder to find safe and affordable homes, it is imperative that we as elected officials work to preserve our housing stock and to protect the residential character of our neighborhoods.”

 

The ordinance states that in R-1 and R-1A zones, a single-family dwelling, which is not owner-occupied, may not be occupied by more than three college students. A college student is defined as an individual enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at any university or college who commutes to campus.

 

Ryan introduced the legislation in response to concerns from residents in the Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods she represents, who were frustrated that single-family homes were being purchased by investors and rented to numerous college students. Ryan, whose ward borders the Providence College campus, said “off-campus student housing creates a host of challenges for residents in our City’s neighborhoods. Moreover, the Court held that limiting population density, congestion, noise, and traffic are all valid governmental concerns. This ordinance will help to ensure that our neighborhoods remain safe and will preserve the quality of life for all residents.”

 

Please find the full court ruling attached below:

 

COUNCILWOMAN JO-ANN RYAN DEDICATES WARD 5 REC CENTER

 

Providence, RI (January 20, 2018)… Providence City Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan, (Ward 5) hosted a ceremony on Saturday to name the Providence Ward 5 recreation center after long-time community volunteer, coach, and public servant Armand E. Batastini Jr. Councilwoman Ryan was joined by 100’s of Batastini’s former players, colleagues, friends, and elected officials to help honor this amazing son of Providence.

 

“I’m humbled to honor Armand E. Batastini Jr. with this much-deserved recognition,” stated City Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan. “Armand has been a force for good in the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence for decades - not just from his 60-years of coaching young people in basketball or from being the founder of the Elmhurst Little League, but as a public servant as well.  He serves as an inspiration to me and countless others in our pursuit to serve the people of Providence and the great state of Rhode Island.  It’s for these reasons that I’m grateful to be able to ensure that his legacy will live on with the naming of the Armand E. Batastini Jr. Recreation Center for the decades to come. Congratulations Coach!”

 

Today’s dedication included remarks from the very Reverend Kenneth R. Letoile, O.P. Dominican Provincial, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, Mayor Jorge Elorza, City Council President David Salvatore, City Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan, Providence Police Chief, Colonel Hugh Clements, and Batastini’s daughter Christina.  In addition, Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Jim Langevin, and Governor Gina Raimondo all sent well wishes recognizing Batastini for his lifelong commitment to the youth of Providence. 

 

Batastini is a lifelong resident of Rhode Island and has been an active member in the Ward 5 community for many years.  He served as the Rhode Island State Representative for District 8, which included the Elmhurst and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods of Providence, from 1977 to 1992, working as the Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Accounts and Claims and the Vice-Chairperson on the Health, Education and Welfare Committee. In addition to his nearly 20-years in public office, he spent 36 years in the Providence School Department as a student support specialist. Over his long and illustrious career, he has been very involved in youth sports, founding and acting as a board member for the Elmhurst Little League and coaching St. Pius CYO basketball teams for over 60 years. Known as “Coach” to many, he currently serves as Chairman of the 5th Ward Democratic Committee and Vice Chair of the Democratic City Committee.

 

Armand E. Batastini Jr. and his wife Mary are the proud parents of four children and five grandchildren. He is a Navy veteran, a graduate of Providence College and holds a Master's Degree from Boston University in Physical Education.

 

 

Providence, RI (January 18, 2018) – Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris introduced a resolution to establish the Special Committee to Study Homelessness in Providence at tonight’s City Council meeting.

 

As elected representatives of the people of Providence, as well as members of this community, we have a moral obligation to help the homeless,” stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. “In order for Providence to be a truly strong city, we must ensure the protections of all people. We must enact policies that will reduce the level of homelessness in our capital City, and I am confident that this committee will work to find solutions that will end homelessness in Providence one day

 

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), 39% of people experiencing homelessness nationwide are female, 21% are children, and another 10% are between the ages of 18 and 24. While African-Americans are just 13% of the U.S. population, more than 40% of homeless people in the U.S. are African-American. In 2017 the number of unsheltered homeless in America increased 9.4% from 2016 to 2017.

 

“As an African American woman it is not lost on me that people of color and women experience homelessness at far greater levels than others in our society,” stated Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Ward 11. “I’ve worked my whole career helping people rise out of homelessness, and this opportunity to lead a committee to study and to enact change makes me very proud.”

 

The Special Committee to Study Homelessness will be composed of:

  • Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Chair
  • Councilman Nicholas Narducci Jr., Vice-Chair
  • Councilwoman Carmen Castillo
  • Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune
  • Councilman Samuel Zurier