August 2020| Issue 19
Building a Better Providence

The month of August in Providence was one that showed many signs of progress and growth in our City.

From numerous school and park improvements, to new local businesses; the City of Providence is on the rise!

Despite August being a month of recess for the City Council, Councilors remained busy and engaged with their community.

Councilors shared in celebration of these new City developments and also got to work giving back to their communities at food drives, cultural celebrations and more. 

As our City continues to face challenging and uncertain circumstances these moments of community growth and collaboration serve to keep us hopeful and optimistic about the future of the City of Providence.

This summer is drawing to a close and as we move into a new season, the Council remains committed to facing whatever challenges lie ahead with a steadfast dedication to representing and supporting the residents of the City of Providence.

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Progress in Providence
Bucklin Park
Councilman James Taylor was joined by Mayor Jorge Elorza, the West Elmwood Intruders, Friends of Bucklin Park, the Providence Parks Department, the Providence Rec Department, Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Corriea, Councilwoman LaFortune, Councilman Espinal, Senator Ana Quezada, and Representative Scott Slater for the ribbon cutting at Bucklin Park on August 3. This park has been improved and supported by community collaboration and will serve as a space for all to enjoy!
Dexter Training Grounds
On August 4, Councilor Miller, Council President Matos, Mayor Elorza, Superintendent of Park Wendy Nilsson, and Kari Lang of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association celebrated the ribbon cutting at the new and improved Dexter Training Grounds Park. The new park includes a special playground for little ones, a play space for older children and an outdoor gym for children of all ages.
Conley Stadium
Majority Leader Ryan was joined by Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Corriea, Former Council President Michael Solomon, NFL hall-of-famer Andre Tippett and a host of other community leaders and organizers for the re-dedication of Conley Stadium on August 5. This exciting moment was the result of years of hard work and collaboration from Majority Leader Ryan, the City Council and many more dedicated community members.
Providence Schools
On August 19, the City of Providence announced a $300 million investment in our public schools along with the donation of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Building by former Mayor Joseph Paolino, which will be converted into a state of the art dual-language school. Council President Matos, Majority Leader Ryan, Deputy Majority Leader Harris, Mayor Elorza, RIDE Commisioner Angelica Infante-Green, former Mayor Paolino, Providence Public Schools Superintendent Harrison Peters and the CEO of Studio JAED Architects, Engineers and Facilities Solutions were all on hand to share this exciting news.
Carriage House
Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Corriea, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Narducci and Councilwoman Castillo celebrated with Mayor Elorza and the Parks Department at the reopening of the Carriage House located in Roger Williams Park. The Carriage House suffered major losses after a fire in 2016, forcing the Parks Department to vacate their offices in the building. Now the new and improved facility is ready to house the hardworking Parks department staff again!
Pleasant Valley Stream
Majority Leader Ryan was at the Pleasant Valley Stream with Mayor Elorza, the Parks Department and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council to celebrate the completion of the stream’s restoration project on August 28.
Back to School
Providence Schools are Reopening Strong on Monday, September 14. Things are definitely going to look different this school year, but there’s no stopping learning for Providence’s students.
In order to keep our students, parents, teachers, and wider community safe, Providence Schools are starting this year under “partial reopening.” That means:
  • Prekindergartners, Kindergartners and Grade 1 Students will return to school buildings on Sept. 14.
  • Grade 2 and 3 students will begin the year with distance learning on Sept.14, 15 and 16 and will return to school buildings on Sept. 17 
  • Grade 4 and 5 students will begin the year with distance learning for the week of Sept.14-18 and will return to school buildings on Sept. 21.
  • Grade 6 and 9 students will follow an alternating schedule, switching between in-person and distance learning, starting on Sept. 14. 
  • Grade 7 and 10 students will begin the school year with two weeks of distance learning. They will then follow an alternating schedule, switching between in-person and distance learning, starting on Sept. 28.
  • Grade 8, 11, and 12 students will begin the school year with four weeks of distance learning. They will then follow an alternating schedule, switching between in-person and distance learning, starting on Oct. 13.
  • For the latest Providence Schools Reopening Strong information, logistics, and tips for parents and students, visit:
Supporting Local Businesses
Farm Fresh Rhode Island
On July 31, Council President Matos toured the construction site for the Farm Fresh Rhode Island market space that is currently being built in the Valley neighborhood. Interestingly, this site was once home to the marble company that built the Rhode Island State House!
Pacito Learning Center
Council President Matos and Councilwoman Castillo welcomed Pacito Learning Center to Broad St on August 3. The Pacito Learning Center will provide early child care services as well as before and after school child care to Providence families.
Serving our City
Mattress Drives
On August 1, Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia joined the DPW to hold a mattress drop-off at the Webster Avenue School.
Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Corriea joined the DPW again to hold another mattress drive on August 21, this time at the William D’Abate School.
Community Meetings
Ward 14
Councilor Salvatore held a community meeting along with the DPW and Providence Police Department to discuss traffic calming, ATV’s and other community concerns on August 21.
Ward 15
Council President Matos was joined by President Pro Tempore Correia and the Providence Police Department to discuss neighborhood issues at the Ward 15 community meeting on August 24.
Giving Back
Cape Verdean Heritage
On August 12, Councilman Goncalves joined the Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place to recognize and honor elders in the Cape Verdean Community. Councilman Goncalves is the first Cape Verdean to be elected in Ward 1!
Higher Ground International
On August 21, Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris, Council President Matos, and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune joined the U.S. Senator Jack Reed and U.S. Congressman David Cicilline, along with the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging, the Providence Police Department and Higher Ground International in South Providence for High Ground International’s weekly food distribution program which feeds hundreds of families in the area.
Center for SouthEast Asians
Council President Matos joined the Rhode Island Office of Health and Human Services at the Center for SouthEast Asians where free COVID-19 tests and Census information was made available.
Chad Brown
Senior Deputy Majority Leader Narducci was at Chad Brown on August 26 to pass out masks and grocery store gift cards to residents in need.
March for Peace and Community Meal
Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Corriea and Deputy Majority Leader Harris, along with the Elisha Project, the Providence Police Department, the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee and Iasha Hall came together with community members for a march for peace and community cooking on August 28.
Community Outreach with The Elisha Project and Rhode Island Complete Count Committee
Councilman Taylor joined the Elisha Project and the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee along with Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Corriea and Senator Ana Quezada to pass out fresh produce and share census information with residents on August 23.
On August 24, Council President Matos, the Elisha Project and the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee passed out fresh produce and census information at the Curtis Arms Apartments.
Council News
City Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia Says “Welcome Home” to Fire Engine 15...August 24, 2020
City Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia announced that the Fire Station located on Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Engine 15, has fully reopened, as of Saturday, August 22, and the men and women stationed there have moved back in. Upgrades and renovations to Engine 15 included new doors and new apparatus bays, lounge area for the firefighters, new bathroom, boiler and emergency generator, and upgrades to plumbing and electrical work. Renovations for Engine 15 came from the City’s Capital Improvement Plan that was passed by the City Council in 2019.
City Council President Sabina Matos and the Members of the City Council Call on the Administration to End Furlough Days for Department of Public Works Employees...August 26, 2020
The Department of Public Works is classified as an essential city department and for good reason. The hard work this department performs everyday to keep our streets and sidewalks in good shape, keep trash off of our streets, and our environment safe is vital to the operation of a healthy and prosperous city.

However, this summer we’ve experienced a rampant decline in the quality and frequency of these services due to DPW workers being put on furlough one and two days a week. This decline is of no fault of our hardworking men and women in the DPW, but of the circumstances we are facing due to the above mentioned furloughs.

While we understand that the city must find cost-saving measures to preserve the short-term financial stability of the city, we do not think those savings should come at the price of allowing our city to decline into a hazardous eyesore. Graffiti, illegal dumping, rat infestations have become a serious threat this summer to our residents’ quality of life.
Not only are these issues dangerous to our individual and collective health, but they also affect the community’s self-esteem and pride in their neighborhoods and invite further vandalism and destruction.

This is why we, the undersigned, are requesting that the administration end furlough days for workers in the City’s Department of Public Workers and that we wrap our arms around these exponentially growing issues before they get too out of control. We ask that you join us in asking the administration to bring back our essential workers in the DPW by signing the below petition so that we can restore these necessary services in our community.

Sign the Petition: End DPW Furloughs

Sabina Matos, City Council President, Ward 15
Michael Correia, City Council President Pro Tempore, Ward 6
Jo-Ann Ryan, Majority Leader, Ward 5
John J. Igliozzi, Esq., Majority Whip, Ward 7
Nicholas J. Narducci Jr., Senior Deputy Majority Leader, Ward 4
Mary Kay Harris, Deputy Majority Leader, Ward 11
Carmen Castillo, Councilwoman, Ward 9
David Salvatore, Councilor, Ward 14
Nirva Lafortune, Councilwoman, Ward 3
Helen Anthony, Esq., Councilwoman, Ward 2
Kat Kerwin, Councilor, Ward 12
James Taylor, Councilman, Ward 8
Pedro Espinal, Councilman, Ward 10
John Goncalves, Councilman, Ward 1
Upcoming Council Events
Upcoming City Meetings

City Council Meeting
Thursday, September 17
7:00 PM
Upcoming City Council Events

Manton Avenue Skate Park Ribbon Cutting
Saturday, September 19
11:00 AM
588 Manton Ave, Providence
Open Meetings Portal
If you want to find information about past, present and future meetings then the open meetings portal is a must. Using the below link you can access meeting minutes, agendas, documents, videos and other useful information at the click of a button.
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©Providence City Council 2020