May 2020 | Issue 16
The New Normal

It is hard to believe that this is the third newsletter we have sent out that has been dedicated to sharing resources related to COVID-19. That being said, it is time to be cautiously optimistic and slowly but surely open our City and State back up.

We have all missed eating at our favorite restaurants, taking our kids to the park, or visiting our friends. A lot of us really need a haircut or a manicure. And so many Rhode Islanders really need to get back to work.

We look forward to being able to do these things again, but we must remember to continue to prioritize the health and safety of ourselves and others.

As our economy reopens, things are going to look a little different. We will have to get used to wearing masks, practicing new social distance guidelines and keeping our businesses and workplaces clean.

With so many rules and regulations, it can be hard to keep track of what you should be doing. But there are so many resources to help, from /, to the State's new Crushing COVID app, and our City Council COVID-19 Resources page.

As always, our COVID-19 resources page is updated daily with resources employment, small business, distance learning, health resources and more.

Continue reading for Council news, COVID-19 resources, upcoming events and more!

Visit our website for more resources, news, and information about your Councilor:

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 .
Statement from Council President Sabina Matos on the
Tragic Death of George Floyd
As a Black-Latina Immigrant, instances of prejudice and racism are not unfamiliar to me.

Yet, the experience of the African American community in our country is one rife with hatred, destruction, and travesties of justice. I was proud to have taken my teenage son to the peaceful protest this past weekend in Providence.

There he witnessed the pain and outcry of black and brown communities who fear for their lives simply for existing. I pray for a world where my son’s skin color doesn’t make him a target of senseless violence.

Racism is our country’s oldest virus and one that we as leaders must work collectively and tirelessly to suppress and eradicate.

So let's continue to chant, let's continue to protest, and let's continue to expose the evils that cause harm upon those we love. With peace on our side, there’s no way we can lose.

Sabina Matos, President
Providence City Council
Voter Information
June 2nd Election COVID-19 Procedures
Information From Secretary of State Website:
  • Voting by Mail: Voters who completed an application by May 19 at 4 p.m. will receive a ballot in the mail. Before filling out your ballot, please read the instructions carefully. The delegate selection process is determined by the Democratic and Republican parties. Be sure to return your completed ballot immediately in order to be counted on Primary Day.  Track the status of your mail ballot here
  • Voting by Emergency Mail Ballot: Voters who missed the mail ballot application deadline may still vote early with an Emergency Mail Ballot. Contact your local board of canvassers to learn how.
  • Voting on Primary Day: Fewer polling places will be open on Primary Day. Voters wishing to vote in person should confirm their polling place location and be prepared to follow social distancing best practices.
City Council Ward 1 Special Election
To apply for a mail ballot for the Ward 1 Special Election click here for an English application and here for a Spanish application.

Ward 1 voters who did not vote by mail ballot and wish to vote in person for the 1 st  Ward Council Seat  ONLY  must vote at the Joseph Doorley Municipal Building – 444 Westminster St, enter on Greene St.
For More Voter Information
Call the Providence Board of Canvassers: 401-680-5530
Call the Secretary of State's Office: 401-222-2340
Spanish COVID-19 Informational Campaign
Council President Sabina Matos teamed up with several Spanish speaking community leaders from around the City of Providence to share much needed information regarding COVID-19 with our Spanish speaking neighbors!
Tiana Ochoa- Guatemalan Center of New England
Council President Matos and Tiana Ochoa discuss personal safety and protection at work as well as the fear among the immigrant community in times of need.
Carina Pinto- President of Providence Public Schools
Council President Matos and Carina Pinto offer advice for anyone struggling with domestic violence, mental health issues or food insecurity.
Carolina Briones- Providence Community Libraries
Council President Matos and Carla Briones offer ideas on social distancing and personal protection.
Albelardo Hernandez
Council President Matos and Abelardo Hernandez discuss what you should do if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you are caring for someone with the virus.
Sussy Deleon
Council President Matos and Sussy Deleon talk about the symptoms of COVID-19, what to do if you are feeling sick and where to get tested.
Phase 2
Reopening RI
The best place to find up to date information regarding reopening different sectors of the economy is . Here you can find guidance on how to safely reopen your business from childcare, to gyms, restaurants and barbershops. You will also find a detailed outline of each phase of reopening the economy and learn what to expect moving forward. This page is frequently updated and is useful to both business owners as well as customers.

For a comprehensive outline of what Phase 2 will look like to everyday Rhode Islanders, click here .
  • Social distancing restrictions will be relaxed to allow social gatherings of 15 or fewer people
  • Mask wearing will still be required in public spaces
  • Most sectors of the economy will be allowed to reopen under new restrictions and guidelines. This includes restaurants, hair and nail salon, barbershops, gyms and faith based organizations.
  • Parks and beaches will be opened
  • Rhode Islanders are still encouraged to work from home if possible
  • Businesses and workplaces should be prepared to implement social distancing and frequent cleaning regiments.

Click here for a list of Providence restaurants currently open for outdoor dining. Remember to call and make a reservation first!
If you are feeling sick, you should make an appointment to be tested for COVID-19. You can do this by calling the Department of Health, your primary care provider or making an appointment with CVS. Starting June 1, CVS will be opening 10 new drive through testing sites throughout the State of Rhode Island. You must make an appointment here . Below is a list all of the testing sites in Providence (not including CVS sites).
Doing our Part
Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic
On May 2, Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia were in the Olneyville Neighborhood to present Clinica Esperaza/Hope Clinic with a $100,000 grant to increase testing and expand testing hours. Their hard work in the community has made a big difference, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Council President Pro Tempore Correia joined the Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on May 25 to hand out face masks to local business owners.
Luis Estrada Group, the Guatemalan Consulate, & the Elisha Project
On May 26, Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Corriea joined the Luis Estrada Group, the Guatemalan Consulate and the Elisha Project to hand out PUMA gear, and food kits to residents and share information about the 2020 Census.
Council News
Councilman Espinal Introduces Legislation to Protect Providence Residents
At the May 7 City Council meeting Councilman Espinal along with his colleagues, Councilwoman Anthony, and Councilor Miller, introduced an amendment to the City’s Zoning Ordinance that would eliminate incinerator or waste facilities from being able to open in the City of Providence.
Councilors Call for Action After Dangerous Behavior at Local College
After reports of an over-crowded gathering at a local college which went against the many social distancing restrictions currently in place, Majority Leader Ryan, Councilman Salvatore and Councilwoman Kerwin all spoke out calling for action. This inappropriate behavior endangers many Providence residents and the Council has moved to enact legislation in an effort to prevent this from happening again.
Committee Approves Second Round of Community Block Development Grant Funding
On May 12, the City Council’s Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal, and Planning (URRP) passed a second round of Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) Funding to help local agencies in the fight against COVID-19. URRP Chairwoman Mary Kay Harris and Vice Chairman Nicholas Narducci both stated the difficult decisions that had to be made when deciding which local agencies to allocate funds to, but hope the funds will help in this time of need. For a full list of awardees, click here.
Angela Harris Appointed Second Deputy Clerk
On May 21, Angela Harris was appointed as Second Deputy Clerk to the City Clerk's office. Ms. Harris has served the City of Providence for many years and is an asset to the City Clerks office. Congratulations Angela!
RI State Supreme Court Upholds Majority Leader Ryan’s Student Housing Ordinance
On May 27, the Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the 2018 ruling by the State Superior Court, regarding an amendment to the Providence zoning ordinance that limits student housing in residential neighborhoods. In 2015, City Council Majority Leader Ryan, introduced an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that placed a limit on the number of students who could live in non-owner occupied single-family homes.
Council Events
LBGTQIA+ Round Table
On May 4, Councilor Rachel Miller and Council President Matos hosted an LGBTQIA+ Roundtable on Facebook. The panelists included Congressman David Cicilline, Rhode Island Senator Sam Bell, Rhode Island Director of Administration Brett Smiley and the Providence City Council's own Director of Communications Billy Kepner! The panel discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the LGBTQIA+ community.
City Council Meetings
In compliance with social distancing guidelines, the Providence City Council has been holding all Council meetings online and has been streaming them via YouTube. All of the meetings are online and can be watched any time! Click the below links to view this month's meetings on on YouTube.
Committee on Finance
The Providence City Council Finance Committee has been working diligently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting very frequently through online meetings. The City Council Youtube channel has a playlist of all of the meetings available below.
Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal and Planning
Like the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal and Planning has been meeting frequently with online meetings. These meetings are always streamed live and available to watch afterwards on the City Council Youtube channel. For a playlist of all of the Urban Renewal, Redevelopment and Planning meetings, click the below link.

Celebrate PRIDE Month with the Providence City Council!
The Providence City Council is teaming up with the City Archives to create an online exhibit in celebration of PRIDE Month. This exhibit will feature the history of LGBTQIA+ Rights in Providence as well as the stories of community members who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community. Anyone can fill out our online survey (you can do so anonymously if you would like), to be featured in our PRIDE Month Exhibit. Share your story about how the LGBTQIA+ community in Providence has impacted your life!

Fill out the survey here .
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

Thursday June 4
5:30 PM
City Council Meeting

Thursday June 18
5:30 PM
City Council Meeting

Upcoming City Council Events
Every Friday
May 29, June 5, & June 12
What's Next? A 3 Part Series to Help Young Adults
Hosted by Councilwoman LaFortune

Wednesday June 3
1:30 PM
Small Business Round Table Discussion
Hosted by Councilwoman LaFortune
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