June 2020 | Issue 17
Combating COVID-19: Where We Have Been, Where We are Going

On the Providence City Council, we are lucky to be in a position where we can affect positive change in our communities. When disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic strike, it is our duty to do everything we can to keep the City of Providence on its feet and protect our neighbors.

That is why our office got to work right away, creating a COVID-19 Resources web page that is frequently updated with the latest information. Additionally, despite the sudden closure of City Hall, the City Council was able to perform Council and constituent services remotely thanks to the diligent work of our Councilors and office staff.

The Council has also worked to aid local businesses and organizations throughout the pandemic. From awarding grants to local organizations working to fight COVID-19 like Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic , to handing out hand-sanitizer and PPE to local businesses trying to get back to work. The Council also joined forces with the Providence Revolving Fund to create a Commercial Corridors Micro Business Loan Program , aimed at assisting small businesses prepare to safely reopen in Providence's commercial corridors.

We have created educational content about COVID-19 in Spanish, held Council and Committee meetings online and open for public viewing and continued to remain committed to quality of life improvement throughout the City.

Councilors are out every week passing out masks, food and Census information to residents throughout the City.

As our fight against COVID-19 continues, our City faces new challenges, from economic distress, to racial injustice and City issues like illegal use of fireworks. There is certainly a lot of work to be done, and the Providence City Council will continue to fight for our neighbors as we walk through this uncertain time together.

Visit our website for more resources, news, and information about your Councilor: https://council.providenceri.gov/

Or call our office at: 401-521-7477
Meet Your City Councilor
Providence is separated into 15 distinct Wards, comprising 21 unique neighborhoods, each a diverse and dynamic community. We believe that access to your Councilor is paramount.

By clicking on the link below you will be able to learn more about your Councilor, and have the opportunity to send them an email to share your thoughts or concerns.

Don't forget to participate in the 2020 Census! Fill it out here .
Welcome Councilman Goncalves!
On June 10, Councilman John Goncalves was sworn in as the new Councilman representing Ward 1, comprising of the Fox Point, Wayland Square, College Hill, The Jewelry District, and Downtown Providence neighborhoods.
Meet Councilman Goncalves
Councilman John Goncalves is a passionate educator and DEI coordinator at the Wheeler School in Providence and a community advocate who has worked to advance issues on education, environmental justice, and neighborhood quality of life.   He has been a resident of Ward 1 as a Fox Point and East Side community member for over 25 years. He attended Vartan Gregorian, and he frequented The Fox Point Boys and Girls Club and the Providence Public Library as a child. Councilman Goncalves has a B.A. from Brown University and also a masters degree from Brown University.
Doing Our Part
Throughout the month, Councilors were out and about in their neighborhoods, working to ensure their constituents and local businesses had access to the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councilman James Taylor passed out masks to constituents and local businesses on June 8.
Council President Sabina Matos and Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris sponsored Higher Ground International 's efforts to pass out food, flowers, cleaning supplies and masks to the community on June 11.
On June 7, Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia and members of the City Council staff partnered with ONE Neighborhood Builders and their Central Providence Health Equity Zone to pick up 50,000 masks to be distributed in the community to neighbors, nursing homes, and other public service organizations.
Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, State Senator Ana Quezada, State Representative Grace Diaz, The Elisha Project and the RI Complete Count Committee were at The Colony House on June 11 to pass out food and Census information to residents.
Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, State Senator Ana Quezada, State Representative Grace Diaz were out again on June 12, first passing out hot lunches to first-responders and later meeting The Elisha Project and the RI Complete Count Committee to pass out food and census information to community members.
On June 25, Council President Matos, The Elisha Project and the RI Complete Count Committee passed out food, masks and census information to residents of Pocasset Manor in the Silver Lake neighborhood.
Councilman Goncalves joined with Cricket Wireless, Partnership for Providence Parks, and community volunteers on June 26 to pass out over 100 bags of fresh vegetables to residents at Fox Point Manor.
Food and Fitness at Wiggin Village
Council Deputy Majority Leader Harris joined Kobe Dennis, the YMCA of Greater Providence , the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging and her neighbors at Wiggin Village to kick off a new food and fitness program. The goal of this program is to encourage a healthy lifestyle among residents throughout the changes that come with social distancing.
Peace in Providence
There is no doubt that this is a difficult time for our Country and City. After the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officers, activists and advocates throughout the nation have elevated the long fought battle for racial equity, police reform and social justice. The Providence City Council remains dedicated to creating a City that embodies these ideals .
Walk for Peace
On June 14, Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Councilman Espinal and Councilwoman Castillo joined Mayor Jorge Elorza and community members at Roger Williams Park for a Walk for Peace.
Juneteenth (June 19) commemorates the liberation of black Americans in Galveston Texas, who were among the last enslaved Americans to be emancipated after the Civil War. To honor the day, Council President Matos, Council Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris and Councilman Pedro Espinal joined Mayor Jorge Elorza for a ceremony at City Hall. During the ceremony Mayor Elorza signed an executive order to remove the word "Plantations" from all City of Providence documents and Ceremonies.
Police-Community Relations Discussion
Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Majority Leader Ryan, Deputy Majority Leader Harris and Chairman Igliozzi hosted a discussion with community advocate Kobi Dennis and former Rhode Island State Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell to discuss productive strategies to help improve police and community relations in the City of Providence.
State of Rhode Island Changes Official Name
Council President Matos, Councilwoman LaFortune, Deputy Majority Leader Harris, Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Senator Harold M. Metts, Faith Quinnea and Reverend Howard Jenkins all spoke on June 22 in celebration of Governor Raimondo's executive order to remove "And Providence Plantations" from all State documents.
City Improvements
Mt. Pleasant Fire Station
Council President Pro Tempore Correia shared the above photos of the renovations at the Mt. Pleasant Fire Station, which are nearly complete. This project is funded through the Council's Capital Improvement Plan and will include a new kitchen, new boiler, structural repairs, new living quarters and an emergency generator for our hard working firefighters!
Wood Carvings by Keith Yeaw
Council Majority Leader Ryan presented City Arborist Keith Yeaw with a citation thanking him for his work with the Providence Parks Department to create and install wooden carving sculptures throughout the City. Mr. Yeaw's work has added a lot of beauty to our City streets!
Joslin Rec Center
Council President Matos was at Joslin Rec Center on June 26 to view their current construction projects. The rec center is building an ADA-Compliant elevator and completely rebuilding the second floor.
Reasons to Celebrate
Elementary School Graduates
On June 18, Majority Leader Ryan was at Pleasant View Elementary School celebrating with the graduates of the fifth grade class! Congratulations to 2020 grads of all ages!

See Council President Matos' message to 2020 Grads here.
Water Parks Are Open!
Deputy Majority Leader Ryan celebrated the opening of George West Water Park on June 26. City water parks are open through the Summer, Mondays through Saturdays from 12-5 pm.

The  Providence City Archives  and the  Providence City Council  are pleased to present the City’s first LGBTQIA+ Pride Month Exhibit. With the help of Rhode Island Pride, Ray Rickman and Robb Dimmick, Providence Journal articles, and your personal stories, we are able to build the Archives’ first collection dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community of Providence. 

Fireworks: Know the Facts
The City of Providence has seen an influx in the use of illegal fireworks this Summer. With the leadership of Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan, City departments have teamed up to spread the word about what is legal and what is not, when it comes to fireworks in our City. Watch the above video to stay informed and do your part to keep our City safe!
Council News
Councilman Espinal Proposes Resolution Urging State to Distribute PPE to Individuals that Test Positive for COVID-19
Councilman Espinal introduced a resolution at the June 5 City Council meeting urging the State of Rhode Island to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to any individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Additionally the resolution urges the State to provide individuals with information regarding PPE, self-isolation and best practices to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus translated into the individual’s native language.
Council President Sabina Matos and the Providence Revolving Fund Announce A Micro-Loan Fund Pilot Program in Five Business Corridors in Providence
Council President Matos, in partnership with the Providence Revolving Fund, announced the creation of the Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan fund. The commercial corridors in the pilot phase of this program are Broad Street, Cranston Street, Elmwood Avenue, Broadway (West of I-95), and Westminster Street (West of I-95) in the City of Providence. The Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan Fund was created to provide financing to micro-businesses to help address safety measures needed for reopening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, funded in collaboration with the City Council, will be managed and administered by the Providence Revolving Fund, who capitalized the micro-loan fund pilot program to provide small loans to micro-businesses with an initial $100,000.00, and the City Council has matched this amount.
Councilman David A. Salvatore Proposes Two Police Reform Resolutions
At the June 18 City Council meeting, Councilman David A. Salvatore (Ward 14) put forth two resolutions regarding police reform in light of tragic events that have taken place across the nation. The first resolution requests that the Providence Retirement Board review the rules and regulations surrounding police officer pensions, and specifically how the City of Providence handles pension benefits for police officers who have been disciplined for the use of excessive force. The second resolution urges the Rhode Island General Assembly to enact legislation imposing a duty to intervene on all Rhode Island law enforcement officers who witness misconduct by a fellow officer.
City Council’s URRP Committee Approves Renaming the Providence Pedestrian Bridge in Memory of Michael S. Van Leesten
Deputy Majority Leader Harris and Chairwoman of the Council’s Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal, and Planning announced that they have voted to rename the Providence Pedestrian Bridge in memory of Michael S. Van Leesten, who was a long-time resident of Providence and passed away on August 23, 2019, at the age of 80. The Resolution to change the name of the Pedestrian Bridge was sponsored by Council President Sabina Matos, and Co-Sponsored by the Full Council.
City Officials Crack Down on Local Illegal Firework Use
Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan joined Providence Public Safety Officials to announce a collaboration across City Departments to crack down on local prohibited firework use and sales. The City will now require all firework vendors to hold a   firework sales permit . Vendors must submit a separate application for each location where fireworks will be sold. Each permit will cost $50 and is valid for one year. Over the next few weeks the Providence City Council will work with Mayor Elorza’s Administration , the Providence Police Department, the Providence Fire Department and community members to remind residents to practice safe celebrations and to remember to keep neighbors in mind who may be sensitive to noise, especially at night.
City Street Sweeping Schedule
Below is the schedule for street sweeping in the City of Providence, by ward for the next several months. You can also get updates on street sweeping here on the City street sweeping map.

Ward 7: May 10 - May 20                August 31 – September 6
Ward 15: May 21 – May 28               September 7 – September 13
Ward 6: May 30 – June 4                  September 14 – September 20
Ward 8: June 7 – June 11                  September 21 – September 27
Ward 11: June 14 – June 18              September 28 – October 4
Ward 9: June 21 – June 25                October 5 – October 11
Ward 10: June 28 – July 2                 October 12 – October 18
Ward 12: July 5 – July 12                  October 19 – October 25
Ward 13: July 13 – July 19                October 26 – November 1
Ward 1: July 20 – July 26                  November 2 – November 8
Ward 2: July 27 – August 2               November 9 – November 15
Ward 3: August 3 – August 9           November 16 – November 22
Ward 4: August 10 – August 16       November 23 – November 29
Ward 14: August 17 – August 23     November 30 – December 6
Ward 5: August 24 – August 30       December 7 – December 13
Upcoming Council Events
Upcoming City Meetings
City Council Meeting
Thursday July 2
7:00 pm

City Council Meeting
Thursday July 16
7:00 pm

Upcoming City Council Events
Ward 1, 2 & 3 Community Meeting on Policing and the City Budget
Thursday July 9
5:00 pm
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.
Providence City Council
©Providence City Council 2020