February 2020 | Issue 13
Member Highlight
Councilwoman Rachel Miller
Ward 13
Councilwoman Rachel Miller was sworn in as the Councilor representing Ward 13 in 2019. Ward 13 is mainly comprised of the Federal Hill neighborhood and also parts of the West End Neighborhood.

A Providence resident since 2003, Councilwoman Miller has been an active community organizer, working with and for groups including Rhode Island Jobs with Justice, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, and the Providence Youth Student Movement.

In her role on the Council, Councilwoman Miller prioritizes equitable development, affordable housing, and racial and environmental justice.

She currently works as the Communications Manager for Building Futures; a local nonprofit. Councilwoman Miller serves on the Ordinance Committee and the Public Safety Committee. 

Meet Your City Councilor

Providence is separated into 15 distinct Wards, each a unique 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.

A Message from Council President Sabina Matos & President Pro Tempore Michael Correia Regarding the Coronavirus:

In light of the two recent presumptive cases of Coronavirus and a potential third in Rhode Island, our offices have been in communication with our state and city colleagues to ensure a coordinated response.
We want to commend our first responders and our State Department of Health for their swift action and for their levelheadedness.
We want to take this opportunity to reiterate that risk of transmission of the virus is low for Rhode Islander’s, but we should take basic steps to stay safe from all viruses - like the flu - by following these helpful tips:
  • Wash your hands, and do so often. In the absence of access to soap and warm water, use a hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If you are going to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue.
  • If you are feeling ill or someone you care for is ill - stay at home. If your/their condition gets worse, you should call your/their primary care physician and ask if you/them should be seen.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly, especially those that are frequently touched like light switches and doorknobs.
  • Remind those in your care of the above tips to keep them safe as well, especially children and seniors.
As of now, our public events and meetings will proceed as scheduled until advised to do otherwise by state health officials. As always, the Council will communicate with our constituents should anything change.
For more information regarding the Coronavirus we encourage you to visit the CDC’s webpage: CDC-Coronavirus
Remembering Yesterday, Shaping Tomorrow
Throughout February, the City Council worked to honor many parts of our City's past. From Black History Month, returning Providence's founding documents to City Hall, and celebrating the history of Dominican Independence; the City Council sees the value in remembering the stories that brought our City to where it is today. As we continue to develop our City by engaging with constituents, businesses and local organizations, let us move forward with the Sodom and knowledge that our history has given us.
Annual Black History Month Exhibit- Pillars on Race: The Story of Race in Providence
For the past 5 years, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris and City Archivist Caleb Horton have organized an annual Black History Month Exhibit to display important parts of Providence's History; the good and the bad. This year many Council members, community leaders and community members came to City Hall on February 12 to celebrate the opening of the 2020 exhibit entitled Pillars on Race: The Story of Race in Providence . Several attendees were honored with citations from Councilwoman Harris and Mayor Elorza
Pictured above is Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, City Archivist Caleb Horton, Councilman Espinal, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Council President Matos and Mayor Elorza. Along with citation recipients Jachele Shenck, Pastor Sandra Miller, Jermaine Robinson, Shaynah Ferreira, Cheryl Ison Wie, Senator Harold Metts and Sylvia Ann Soare. Congratulations and thank you for your contributions to the community!
Above, City Archivist Caleb Horton leads a guided tour through the Black History Exhibit on the third floor of City Hall.
Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris is pictured above, speaking with a few guests at the tour.
Returning Providence's Founding Documents to City Hall
It was an exciting evening on the third floor of City Hall on February 18, when the city's founding documents were returned and unveiled for permanent display. This display also offers an interactive kiosk where visitors can learn about the history of their neighborhood in both English and Spanish. The documents returned were the 1637 Providence Civil Compact, the 1638 deed to the City of Providence and the 1648 Town Charter. The return, display and unveiling of these important documents was organized by City Archivist Caleb Horton. Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Councilman Igliozzi, Councilwoman Castillo, Councilman Taylor, Mayor Elorza and Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee were all in attendance.
Council President Matos, City Archivist Caleb Horton, Councilman Igliozzi and Mayor Elorza unveil three of Providence's original founding documents.
The interactive touch-screen kiosk is available to both English and Spanish speakers.
Neighborhood Growth
Opening of PVD Nutrition
Council President Matos and Councilman Espinal joined in the festivities to welcome Yanilda Rodriguez and Luis Ospina to the neighborhood on February 1. Luis and Yanilda have opened their new business PVD Nutrition at 464 Wickenden Street.
Mt. Pleasant Community Library
Council Majority Leader Ryan presented a $2000 Council Grant to the Mt. Pleasant Community Library on February 3. This grant will help to further develop programs and supplies at the community library which is an integral part of the Mt. Pleasant, Manton and Elmhurst neighborhoods.
Cultural Celebrations
Juneteenth Celebration of Cultural Excellence
Council President Matos, Councilman Narducci and Councilwoman LaFortune were at the Juneteenth Celebration of Cultural Excellence on February 21. Juneteenth is an organization that teaches the history of the abolition of slavery and supports local organizations that do good in their neighborhoods. This year, Councilman Narducci presented a cultural excellence award to the Chad Brown Alumni Association; an organization he helped bring together in the North End neighborhood.
Annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner
On February 27, Council President Matos, Council President Pro Tempore Correia, Majority Leader Ryan, Councilman Taylor and Councilman Espinal were at the Annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner, where the Grand Marshall for this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade was announced to be Michael Dillon. This year, the St. Patrick's Day Parade will be on Saturday, March 21.
Dominican Independence Day
Dominican Independence Day takes place on February 27. This is the date that The Dominican Republic won independence from Haiti in 1844. But due to the prominent Dominican community in Providence, many festivities took place throughout the days and weeks before.
El Club Juan Pablo Duarte
Council President Matos and Councilwoman Castillo joined Senator Ana Quezada, Representative Scott Slater, Deputy Secretary of State Gonzalo Cuervo and Central Falls City Councilman Franklin Solano for the annual El Club Juan Pablo Duarte celebration. Juan Pablo Duarte is regarded as the father of Dominican independence and there is a statue honoring him at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Dominican Independence Day Celebration
On January 23, Council members and Rhode Island elected officials gathered in City Hall's Council Chambers for the annual Domincan Independence Day celebration. This year, Council President Matos was presented the Award of Leadership Excellence by Mayor Elorza and Quisqueya en Acción (QIA). Congratulations to Council President Matos!
Dominican Appreciation Day
The Providence City Council was visited by Yaniris Felipe-Castro, the Deputy Director of Dominican Republic Tourism in Miami, on February 26. Council President Matos gave Yaniris and her colleagues a tour of City Hall in celebration of Dominican Appreciation Day, which is observed on February 26.
Dominican Independence Day: February 27
Council President Matos attended a ceremony to raise the Dominican Flag in Central Falls along with Lieutenant Governor McKee, Secretary of State Gorbea and Central Falls City Council members Franklin Solano, Jessica Vega and Johnathon Acosta.
At the Rhode Island State House, Council President Matos and Councilwoman Castillo joined Senator Ana Quezada, Representative Grace Diaz and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea for the Dominican Heritage Awards and Independence Day Celebration.
Community Meetings
Council President Matos Community Meeting
On February 11, Council President Matos spoke with members of the Olneyville and Silverlake neighborhoods that she represents; along with David Walsh from RIDOT, Lee Perrotta from the DPW, Candace Powning from the Neighborhood Planting Program, Lieutenant Ernest Forlini and Captain Fernandez from the Providence Police Department.
Councilman Taylor Community Meeting
Councilman James Taylor joined Providence Police Lieutenant Barros, Superintendent of Parks Wendy Nilsson, Senator Ana Quezada and members of the Reservoir Triangle Neighborhood for a community meeting on February 13.
Census 2020 Meeting
On February 15, Council President Matos and Councilwoman Castillo joined Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee and Clinica Esperanza (Hope Clinic) for a conversation with the Olneyville neighborhood on the importance of participating in the 2020 census. This is just one step in a continuous effort to ensure that every resident in every neighborhood is counted in the census.
Washington Park Association
Councilman Espinal spoke with community members at the Washington Park Association meeting on February 19, concerning the proposed transfer station on Allens Avenue and the consequences for the Washington Park Neighborhood. Council President Matos also attended to weigh in on this pressing community matter.
Councilwoman LaFortune Community Meeting
On February 19, Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune held her monthly community meeting at Hope High School. She was joined by State Representative Rebecca Kislak, City Traffic Engineer Nate Urso, Providence Police Lieutenant Joseph Dufault and the principals of several local public schools in the Blackstone, Summit and Mt. Hope Neighborhoods.
Supporting Local Organizations
AIDS Project RI
Council President Matos, Councilwoman LaFortune and Councilman Salvatore joined Congressman David Cicilline, and State Treasurer Seth Magaziner for the 35 year anniversary celebration of the AIDS Project of Rhode Island. This organization has been providing support services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Rhode Island for decades.
Providence After School Alliance
Council President Matos and Councilwoman LaFortune were at the annual Providence After School Alliance Breakfast with executive director Hillary Salmons on February 21 along with many other elected officials. At the breakfast, students and artists shared stories about how PASA supports them daily.
Hispanic United Development Organization
On February 27, Council President Matos met with the Hispanic United Development Organization (HUDO) during their after school mentoring and leadership program at West Broadway Middle School in the West End neighborhood. HUDO's mission is to improve socioe-economic, educational and cultural outcomes for students in Providence neighborhoods.
In the News
Anjélique Kidjo Visits Classical High School
On February 21, Grammy award winning singer Anjélique Kidjo visited Central High School for a performance and discussion with students, moderated by Councilwoman LaFortune. The discussion was centered on the topic of using your voice to create change.
Upcoming Meetings, Public Hearings and Special Events
Upcoming City Council Meetings

Thursday, March 19
Council Meeting as a Whole
5:00 PM

Thursday, March 19
7:00 PM

Upcoming Community Meetings

Ward 6 Community Meeting
Tuesday, March 10
Blessed Sacrament Church - Basement
239 Regent Avenue
6:00 PM

Ward 11, 9, & 13 Community Meeting
Thursday, March 12
For The First
Althea Street Neighborhood Association
Children's Friend
70 Union Avenue
6:00 PM

Ward 11 Community Meeting
Thursday, March 19
Community Preparatory Academy
135 Prairie Avenue
6:00 PM

Black History Month Exhibit
Pillars on Race: The Story of Race in Providence from 1935 to Today
Tuesday, February 12 - Friday, April 10
Third Floor Gallery - City Hall
Mon. - Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
(To arrange a class or group tour, please call the City Archives at:
401-680-5314 or by email at Cthorton@providenceri.gov )

Friday, March 6
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Alderman's Chamber
Third Floor - City Hall

Ward 6 Neighborhood Cleanup
Saturday, March 14
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Corner of Andem & Geneva Streets

City of Providence St. Patrick's Day Celebration
Tuesday, March 17
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
City Council Chambers
Third Floor - City Hall

City of Providence St. Joseph's Day Celebration
Thursday, March 19
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
City Council Chambers
Third Floor - City Hall

Saturday, March 21
Tour de Patrick (5K Race) - 11 AM
Parade - 12 PM
Parade Route: Smith Street from Elmhurst Avenue to the State House

Open Meetings Portal
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