October 2019 | Issue 9
Member Highlight
Councilwoman Carmen Castillo
Ward 9
Councilwoman Carmen Castillo has been serving as the Councilwoman to Ward 9 since 2010. She serves as the Chairwoman for the Committee on City Property.

For 20 years, Councilwoman Castillo has been a resident of Ward 9. She immigrated to Rhode Island from the Dominican Republic with her 3 daughters and has stayed here ever since.

Councilwoman Castillo had a long career as a hotel housekeeper at The Westin (now called The Omni). During her time there, Councilwoman Castillo organized her fellow workers to unionize for better pay and treatment. Since then she has become a union steward and member of the Executive Board for UNITE HERE, Local 217.

A dedicated and active community advocate, Councilwoman Castillo has spent many years fighting for the rights of women, workers and immigrants. As a Councilwoman she has brought new safety and quality of life measures to Ward 9.

Her inspiring story was the topic of Margot Guernsey's documentary COUNCILWOMAN which has been featured in film festivals and television programs across the country.

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Hello Halloween!

October was an exciting month full of City festivities from Columbus Day to Halloween. But between all of the spooky celebrations, Councilors were around the City engaging with constituents and local organizations to bring a whole host of changes and improvements to Providence. This month was an example of all of the work our City Councilors do to make the City of Providence a place for residents to grow, thrive and have fun. It's no trick...October was a treat!
Seasonal Celebrations
Octoberfest with Majority Leader Ryan
Mt. Pleasant Park was lively on October 5 for Octoberfest! Hosted by Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan and Friends of Mt. Pleasant Park, it was a day full of music, games, food and fun! Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia, Senator Sam Bell and Representative Raymond Hull all joined in on the festivities.
Columbus Day on Federal Hill
Columbus Day is a time to acknowledge the contributions of the Italian community in the City of Providence and celebrate the City's deeply rooted Italian heritage. Councilors enjoyed the food, music and festivities with community members at the Federal Hill Columbus Day Festival and Parade.
Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Councilwoman Miller, United States Congressman David Cicilline, State Senator Sam Bell, State Representative John Lombardi, Mayor Elorza, Chief of Police Hugh Clements, and the Federal Hill Business Association at the kick-off of The Federal Hill Columbus Day Celebration on October 12.
Council President Matos joined President Pro Tempore Correia, Councilman Salvatore, Councilwoman Miller, Councilman Taylor, Congressman James Langevin, State Senator Sam Bell, and State Representative John Lombardi for the Columbus Day Parade and Festival on Federal Hill on October 13.
Halloween Fun
Roger Williams Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
On October 15, Council President Pro Tempore Correia brought students from Joslin Rec Center to see the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Zoo.Thanks to the Parks Department for donating the tickets so these kids could enjoy this amazing Providence tradition.
Neighborhood Halloween Parties
Councilwoman Kerwin hosted a Ward 12 Halloween Party at Father Lennon Park on October 25. Kids enjoyed the treats, face painting, games and showed off their awesome costumes!
Councilman David Salvatore, the Department of Recreation, the Partnership for Providence Parks, the Parks Department, the Providence Tourism Council and Providence Food Trucks all came together on October 26 for a "Trucks and Treats" event at Fargnoli Park.
On October 28, Councilman Taylor hosted a Ward 8 Halloween Party complete with a piñata, face painting, cotton candy, a DJ and more!
Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia hosted a community Halloween Party at Joslin Rec center on October 30. Spider pizza, bloody cupcakes, cotton candy, a basketball shoot-out, and a giant dance circle made for a great celebration. The kids also got a visit from local professional boxer Lamont Powell!
Councilwoman LaFortune and Friends of Brown St Park hosted a Halloween celebration on October 31. Children and families enjoyed arts & crafts, a giant chess board, cornhole, pizza, and a costume parade lead by the very popular Black Out Drum Squad!
Council President Pro Tempore Correia joined the Providence Police Department, the Providence Police Explorers, and the Providence Fire Department for a Halloween party at the Public Safety Complex on October 31!
Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 through October 15 every year. This month is a time to observe and be thankful for the contributions made to our country by Hispanic Americans. 
Hispanic Heritage Panel at Del Sesto Middle School
Council President Matos participated in the Hispanic Heritage Month Panel at Del Sesto Middle School on October 11. The panelists spoke to the 8th grade class about the importance of celebrating, recognizing and honoring the traditions of Hispanic culture.
Reading to Students at Gladstone Elementary School
Council President Matos was invited to the Hispanic Heritage Night at the Gladstone Elementary School on October 16- just over the border in Cranston. She read a story to students called “Loteria” about a young boy who was nervous to visit his grandmother because he only speaks English, and his grandmother only speaks Spanish. Through playing Loteria they both learned to speak each others language!
Hispanic Heritage Celebration at City Hall
Council President Matos, Pro Temp Correia, Leader Ryan, Councilwoman Castillo, Councilwoman Anthony and Councilman Taylor were at City Hall on October 17 to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month!
Inspiring Young Women
Council President Matos spoke to a group of young Latina women on October 19 about her experience as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and being an elected official. The talk was hosted by the Women's Development Institute.

Celebrating Community Members and their Contributions to our City
The Providence External Review Authority
On October 17, the City Council elected Elise Swearingen and Kimberly Dy to serve on the Providence External Review Authority (PERA). Established in 2002, PERA is a civilian oversight system which investigates allegations of misconduct within the Providence Police Department. The City Council was proud to nominate these two qualified women for the job!
Celebrating Cedric Huntley
Many Providence Community members came together on October 23, including Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia to celebrate the many years of service that Cedric Huntley has devoted to the City through his work at the John Rollins Community Center. The Council wishes him well in his retirement!
Providence Goes Green
Educating Residents About their Clean Water Options
At Council Majority Leader Ryan's monthly community meeting on October 7, representatives from Providence Water met with constituents to share information on their program which provides Providence residents with access to  3-year 0% interest loans  to replace private lead service lines.  Providence Water's 0% Interest Pilot Program  , approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), is a proactive initiative as part of Providence Water’s multi-­pronged approach to minimize customers’ exposure to lead. Providence Water will ensure that the public side of the lead service line is automatically replaced at no cost whenever a homeowner replaces his/her private side of the lead service line.

In addition to their 3-year 0% interest loan program, Providence Water also offers  FREE Lead Testing Kits  to residents.

To learn more about Providence Water, their lead testing kits, and their loan program visit them on the web at:   provwater.com .
The Plastic Bag Reduction Act Goes Into Effect
On October 22, the Plastic Bag Reduction Act went into effect. This exciting moment comes after months of hard work by Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. The Majority Leader spent the morning at her local Stop and Shop at 850 Manton Ave passing out reusable bags to customers. Now that the Plastic Bag Reduction Act is in effect, Providence residents are encouraged to shop with reusable bags at their local businesses.
Community Gathers to Mourn the Loss of Berta Perreira-Roldan
Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, Senator Ana Quezada, and Representative Grace Diaz held a candle light vigil in memory of Berta Perreira-Roldan, who was killed on September 29 after leaving a nighttime establishment celebrating her 19th birthday. The thoughts and prayers of the City Council are with the family of this young woman, whose life was taken far too soon, as we work diligently to ensure future tragedies like this are prevented.
Supporting Students in Providence
Touring City Hall
On October 3, students from Achievement First got a special tour of City Hall and the City Archives with City Archivist Caleb Horton. The City Archives are located on the fifth floor of City Hall.
Providence College Students Engage with Local Government
Students from a senior level political science class at Providence College attended the City Council Meeting on October 4, to engage in the City's legislative process and lead the meeting's Pledge of Allegiance.
Ribbon Cutting at Iola French Veazie St. Connector Park
Councilman David Salvatore, Mayor Jorge Elorza, Superintendent of Parks Wendy Nilsson, the Providence Healthy Communities Office, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, and students from Veazie Street Elementary School all came together on October 8 to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Iola French Veazie St Connector Park.
New Location for Achievement First Iluminar
Council President Sabina Matos celebrated with Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green and students at the opening of the new location for Achievement First Iluminar.
Celebrating College Visions
Council President Matos joined Councilman David Salvatore in celebrating 15-years of  College Visions on October 16. The event helped to raise over $10K to serve the organization's mission of helping first generation college students find their pathway to success.
Keeping Our City Safe
Providence Police Department Community Awards
On October 2, the Providence Police Department, Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Mayor Elorza, Commissioner Steven Paré, Chief Hugh Clements, and Captain Remolina presented community members with awards for their dedication to the communities they serve at the 2019 Providence Police Department Community Awards.
Providence Police Mounted Command Open House
Council President Pro Tempore Correia joined members of the Providence Police Department and their Mounted Command for an open house, where community members spent a fun day meeting the officers and horses who are dedicated to protecting the City.
Providence Police Academy
Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Police Commissioner Paré, and Police Cheif Clements were together on October 18 to introduce the 70 th Providence Police Training Academy.
Providence Police Explorers
Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia were proud to award the Providence Police Explorers with a $2k grant for their program. The Police Explorers is a program which provides young people with the opportunity to learn about being a law enforcement officer.
Council President Pro Tempore Correia Puts Criminals on Notice in Providence
On October 18, Providence Police Narcotics Officers made several arrests of prostitutes and street level drug dealers along Atwells Avenue, Newark Street, Cutler Street, and Academy Avenue after City Council President Pro Tempore Correia contacted the Providence Police Department. After numerous complaints from constituents about illegal activities happening in broad daylight around the City, Council President Pro Tempore Correia is ready to work with the Providence Police Department to take action against criminals disrupting the quality of life in Providence neighborhoods.
Making a Difference with Local Organizations
Conversation with ONE Neighborhood Builders
Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia participated in a community discussion on October 4 with ONE Neighborhood Builders. The organization has been working to develop Providence Neighborhoods since 1988.
Meals on Wheels
On October 8, Councilwoman Kat Kerwin joined Meals on Wheels to deliver meals straight to the homes of senior citizens in Providence.
United Way of Rhode Island
Council President Matos and State Representative Lombardi attended a celebration for United Way of Rhode Island on October 11. United Way RI is a social services organization that provides aid to families across the state.
Refugee Dream Center
Council President Matos, Deputy Majority Leader Harris, and Councilman Salvatore came together to celebrate at the Refugee Dream Center Gala on October 11. The Refugee Dream Center is a post-resettlement refugee agency which helps refugees in Rhode Island thrive in their new lives.
Rhode Island Black Business Association
Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Correia and Councilman Salvatore were at the 8th annual RIBBA Awards Gala on October 11. The Rhode Island Black Business Association hosts this annual gala to support their college scholarship fund and to recognize industry leaders with a commitment to diversity.
Children's Friend
Council President Matos and Councilwoman Harris attended the Annual Children’s Friend Luncheon on October 15. Improving the well-being and healthy development of RI’s most vulnerable young children has been the mission of Children’s Friend since 1834.
Guatemalan Center of New England
Council President Matos, Pro Tempore Correia, Councilwoman Castillo and Councilman Salvatore attended the 9th annual Quetzal Awards Gala on October 11. The gala honored Patricia Sobalvarro for her contributions to the Latino community in New England.
Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
On October 17, Council President Matos joined the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities at their awards gala. This year the Edible School Yard at the Green Animals Topiary Garden, Joe Wilson Jr., Silaphone Nhongvongsouthy and the White family were awarded for their dedication to the humanities in Rhode Island.
Providence Water Fire Fireball
Council President Matos and Councilwoman Kerwin were at the annual Providence Fireball on October 19. The event celebrates the many contributions that Water Fire makes to the City of Providence. Water Fire is a non-profit arts organization that makes art available for all to enjoy in Providence.
Weber Renew
Council President Matos and Councilwoman Kerwin were at Weber Renew's 3 rd annual benefit on October 25. Weber Renew is a harm reduction and recovery service for at risk people in Rhode Island.
City Improvements
New Basketball Courts at Fogarty Elementary School
On October 16, Council President Matos joined Mayor Elorza, My Homecourt, Providence Parks Department, members from Providence College, The Institute for the Study of Non Violence, and the family of Omar Polanco for the dedication of the new basketball courts adjacent to Fogarty Elementary School.
Providence Pedestrian Bridge
On October 14, Council President Pro Tempore Correia joined Mayor Elorza, Chief of Staff to Governor Raimondo - Brett Smiley, Providence’s Director of Planning Bonnie Nickerson, and many more community members who carried a torch for the official community celebration of Providence’s stunning Pedestrian Bridge.
Council President Matos toured the new improvements at AS220 on October 11. The improvements are a part of their 'All Access' Campaign which is striving to make artistic oppurtunities more accessible in Providence.
Planting Trees with Councilman Taylor
The Reservoir Triangle Neighborhood in Ward 8 got a little greener on October 19 when Councilman James Taylor got together with community members to plant new trees around the area.
Conlan Jr Memorial Park Improvements
Council Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris, Mayor Elorza,members of the Providence Police Department. and members of the Parks Department had a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 21 to celebrate upgrades at the Conlan Jr. Memorial Park.
New Housing Development in Olneyville
Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Councilwoman Miller, ONE Neighborhood Builders, State Treasurer Seth Magaziner and United States Senator Jack Reed broke ground on a new housing development on October 28. This new development will house 5 families in environmentally friendly, affordable homes.
Woonasquatucket Adventure Park
On October 23, Councilman Igliozzi, Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Mayor Elorza, the Superintendent of Parks Wendy Nilsson, and the Woonasquatucket Watershed Council all dedicated the new Woonasquatucket Adventure Park at 117 Glenbridge Ave. This new park includes picnic areas, a parkour course, a trail system and more!
City Legislation
City Council Committee on Finance Discussed Asset Transfers as a Tool to Address Unfunded Pension Fund
On October 1, the City Council’s Committee on Finance, Chaired by Majority Whip John J. Igliozzi, Esq. (Ward 7), invited Xaykham Kamsyvoravong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Providence Water Board to discuss municipal Asset Transfers as a potential tool to help address the City’s underfunded pension fund. Asset Transfers are a common practice by corporations to help support their unfunded pension liabilities. This practice moves the ownership of a non-cash asset from an entity to its pension fund, allowing the asset’s appraised value to offset unfunded pension liabilities.
City Council Stands in Support of Keeping IGT Global Solutions in Providence
City Council President Sabina Matos and a majority of the City Council introduced a  resolution , which was passed unanimously by the body, urging the General Assembly to pass  Senate Bill 1031  and  House Bill 6266 . These bills enable the State Lottery Division of the Department of Revenue to enter into a contract extension with IGT Global Solutions Corporation.
Councilman Salvatore Introduced an Amendment to the Code of Ordinances to Help Homeowners and Tenants Alike
Councilman Salvatore introduced an amendment to the Code of Ordinances that would help homeowners and tenants be better informed about their responsibilities when it comes to waste and recycle barrel offenses. The amendment would change the fine structure as it relates to trash and recycle barrels being left out past the designated curfew. The first offense will be a warning, and all subsequent offenses will be tiered beginning with $25 for the second offense (first after warning), $50 for the third, and $100 for all subsequent fines – not to exceed $1500.00 per calendar year.
In the News
Providence Place Celebrates 20 Years
This month, Providence Place mall celebrated 20 years of successful business in the City of Providence. Councilman Igliozzi, who was a Council member when the mall first opened commented on the undeniable positive impact the mall has had on the City's economy and tourism appeal.
Upcoming Meetings, Public Hearings and Special Events
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