November 2019 | Issue 10
Member Highlight
Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune
Ward 3
Councilwoman Nirva R. LaFortune has been representing the residents of Ward 3 since 2017. Ward 3 is made up of the Mount Hope, Hope Village, Collyer Park and Black Stone neighborhoods.

Councilwoman LaFortune was born in Port Au Prince Haiti and moved to the United States with her family at the age of 3. She is the first Haitian American to hold elected office in the state of Rhode Island.

Raised in Providence, Councilwoman LaFortune attended   Pleasant View Elementary, Nathanael Greene Middle School and graduated from Mount Pleasant High School. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Temple University and an M.A in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.

She is currently the Assistant Director of The Scholars Programs and Diversity Initiatives in the Office of the Dean of the College at Brown University. Along with her impressive resume and dedication to public service, Councilwoman LaFortune is mother of two and an avid runner!

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A Season of Giving
The month of November is a time to give thanks and to give back. Throughout the month, Council members served the City by taking part in community service, providing Thanksgiving dinners for those in need and supporting local organizations. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Council is thankful for the many community members and organizations who work so hard to make the City of Providence a great place to call home.
Committed to Community Service

Planting Trees in Ward 5
On November 2, Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan and volunteers from Providence College and members of the Ward 5 community planted 72 trees around the City of Providence.
Annual Ward 4 Food Drive
Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas Narducci held his annual Ward 4 Thanksgiving food drive on November 14 to collect food for families in need throughout Providence. Thanks to the many community members came out to help and to make donations, Councilman Narducci was able to provide 60 families with a boxed meal and Thanksgiving turkey!
Think PVD
Council President Pro Tempore Correia was joined by Mayor Elorza and Kim Anderson, a co-owner of Plant City Providence, Providence Flea and Festival Ballet Providence to kick of the fifth year of Think PVD. This initiative encourages residents to Think PVD, and shop at local business during the holiday season.
Morning Coffee for Providence Parents
Councilman David Salvatore was at Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School first thing in the morning on November 20 to hand out coffee to parents at morning drop off along with the school's teachers.
Cooking for the Community
Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Senator Sam Bell and Representative John Lombardi were at Joslin Rec center on November 22 for the 4th annual Cooking for the Community event.
Thanksgiving Turkeys
Councilman James Taylor and his son visited Pierce Manor and Allen AME Church in Ward 8 on November 13 to donate 20 turkeys to the organizations for their Thanksgiving celebrations.
On November 23, Councilman Salvatore and Councilwoman Kerwin joined volunteers to and the Smith Hill CDC to hand out over 320 turkeys to Providence families.
Council President Matos and Council President Pro Tempore Correia delivered turkeys to the Olneyville Veterans Home on November 24.
Council President Pro Tempore Correia handed out Thanksgiving turkeys to constituents around Ward 6 on November 25.
Council President Pro Tempore Correia gave turkeys to kids at Youth Build Providence to bring home for Thanksgiving dinner on November 26.
Majority Leader Ryan brought Thanksgiving turkeys and sides to her Ward 5 constituents on November 27.
With the help of community members Clinton Aneni, Keith Fernandes and Josh Dooley, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris delivered turkeys to the sick and displaced on November 27.
Welcome, Councilman Espinal!
On November 13, an inauguration ceremony was held to swear in Pedro Espinal as a Providence City Councilor. Councilman Espinal was elected to represent Ward 10, which consists of the Lower South Providence and Washington Park neighborhoods. The Providence City Council is excited to welcome Councilman Espinal aboard!
Christmas Kick-Off

Washington Square
Councilman Pedro Espinal was joined by Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Councilwoman Castillo and Councilman Taylor on November 29 for a tree lighting ceremony in Washington Square.
Council President Matos and Council President Pro-Tempore Correia co-hosted a tree lighting celebration in Olneyville Square on November 30. Majority Leader Ryan, Councilwoman Kerwin, Councilwoman Castillo and Councilman Espinal stopped by to join the fun!
A New Generation of Leaders

The Woman Development Institute
Council President Sabina Matos attended the 2019 Woman Development Institute graduation ceremony. The Woman Development Institute works to develop the educational, personal and professional skills of young Latina women in Rhode Island.
The Resident Leadership Academy
Council President Sabina Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia and Councilwoman Rachel Miller got together with the Resident Leadership Academy on November 2 to share their experiences in local government and public service.
Providence's Youngest Constituents

Reading to Students
Council President Sabina Matos visited William D'Abate Elementary School on November 7 to read aloud to Ms. Sanchez's class.
Soccer Stars
Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia and Councilman James Taylor were at Mansion Park on November 9 where New England Revolution soccer player Teal Bunbury was teaching kids his soccer skills.

Father Lennon Park
Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin, Mayor Elorza and members of the Parks Department had a fun morning on November 19 at the opening of the new jump track at Father Lennon Park.
Cheryl M. Fisher-Allen Tot Lot
Councilman Taylor, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Mayor Elorza, members of the Parks Department and the family of Cheryl M. Fisher-Allen all came together on November 19 for the dedication of the Cheryl M. Fisher-Allen Tot Lot. Mrs. Fisher Allen was a dedicated educator and community activist whose contributions to the City of Providence have been greatly appreciated.

Chess Champs
Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, and Councilwoman Harris welcomed the William D'Abate Chess Team to the Council Chambers on November 21 to congratulate them for coming in third place in the Rhode Island Scholastic Chess League Competition!
Supporting Local Organizations to Make a Difference
DORCAS International Beyond Borders Gala
Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune was the keynote speaker at the DORCAS International Beyond Borders Gala on November 2. This organization works to empower and support immigrants and refugees in Rhode Island and the gala raised funds for this cause.

Salsa Bachata Festival
On November 2, Council President Sabina Matos attended the Providence Salsa Bachata festival where the achievements of Jeanne Oki, the founder of Providence's Strictly Salsa Productions, were honored and celebrated.
Rhode Island Pride Council
The Rhode Island Pride Council held their annual celebration on November 3. Council President Matos joined in the celebrations as the Pride Council awarded the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action with their yearly award.
NAACP 106th Freedom Fund Award Gala
Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia and Councilman David Salvatore attended the NAACP Freedom Fund Award Gala on November 3. This event recognized community leaders for their contributions toward the achievement of the NAACP’s mission to ensure political, educational, social, and economic equality for all.
Celebrating Parks Volunteers
Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia and Councilman James Taylor were at the Museum of Natural History on November 6 with members of the Parks Department to celebrate all of the volunteers who help to run and maintain the many parks throughout the City of Providence.
Les Rachete De L'eternal Choir
Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune was honored to present her father, Saint Lot LaFortune with a City Council Citation on November 10. The citation was in honor of the 30 year anniversary of Mr. LaFortune's choir group Les Rachet De L'eternal Choir.
15th Annual Women of Achievement Gala
On November 14, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune attended the 15th annual Women of Achievement Luncheon. This year's winners were honored for their dedication to eliminating racism and empowering others to accomplish their goals.

What Cheer Flowers
Council President Matos checked out the construction site of the new Garden for What Cheer Flowers. With this new and improved garden space, the organization with be able to grow and donate over 30,000 flowers to charity year-round.
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts
On Friday. November 22, Council President Matos was at the Ribbon Cutting of the new location for the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts.

Oak St Health
Councilman Nicholas Narducci celebrated the opening of Oak Street Health on November 30. This new health center will provide primary care for those on Medicare.
City Legislation
Councilman Narducci Joins State Colleagues for the Signing of Legislation to Protect Workers
Councilman Narducci joined Governor Raimondo, Senator Goodwin, Representative Blazejewski and other members of the Rhode Island General Assembly for the signing of legislation that bans non-compete agreements for low-wage workers, nonexempt employees, undergraduate and graduate students, and employees age 18-years or younger.
Councilman Igliozzi Voices Support for
Pro-Democratic Protesters in Hong-Kong
At the City Council meeting on November 7 Councilman Igliozzi introduced a resolution in support of the Pro-Democratic protests in Hong Kong and will be asking the City of Providence to avoid buying items for city use from China – whenever possible.
Providence City Council to Create Youth Sports Fund & Grant Program
At the November 7 Council Meeting Council President Matos introduced an amendment to the Code of Ordinances to set-up a fund specifically for the support of Providence non-profit youth sports programs. The amendment is being co-sponsored by Council President Pro-Tempore Michael Correia.
Council Leaders Introduce Measures to Expand Safety, Quality and Workforce Development in Construction
At the November 7 City Council meeting council leaders introduced a series of amendments to Chapters 14 and 21 of the Code of Ordinances. Together, these changes will create baseline standards for quality, safety, and workforce development in the construction industry.
Councilman Salvatore Helps Uncover Nearly $31K in Overcharges to City Residents
With the help of the City’s Internal Auditor's research, Councilman Salvatore discovered that a change to the Code of Ordinances in 2011 was never implemented by the Department of Public Works. During the time frame of the audit, 940 violations are eligible for a refund totaling $30,625.00. The report outlines the background and recommendations to the Department of Public Works (DPW), as well as DPW’s responses.
In the News
Councilors Celebrate Lieutenant Governor's New Economic Initiative
On November 19, Council President Matos and Councilman Salvatore joined Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee in launching his new International Economic Ambassadors Initiative. This program will help to promote Rhode Island's economic interests at home and abroad.
Councilwoman LaFortune Wins Rebuilding Community Award
On November 21, Councilwoman LaFortune was chosen out of 15 finalists for the Rebuilding Community Award as part of the NewDEAL National Ideas Challenge for her Transit Corridor Opportunity Program.
Councilwoman Kerwin Featured on MTV News
Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin was featured in an article on MTV News all about running for elected office as a young person. The article, titled " Running For Office As a Young Person Isn't Easy — Here's Why You Should A nyway", interviews several of America's youngest elected officials, including Providence's own Councilwoman Kerwin.
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