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2023 In Review

Hello Friends & Neighbors,

Happy New Year! I hope that you have been able to enjoy this festive time of year with your friends and family.

As I complete my first full year serving as the Councilor for Ward 3 on the Providence City Council, I wanted to pause and express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve our City for the last 12 months. It is an honor to serve, and I am inspired every day by the residents and small business owners in Ward 3 and this City. And while we have a lot of work ahead of us - we have accomplished a lot in the last year.

As we look forward to 2024, I wanted to share with you just a few of the highlights of my work on Council in 2023.

Committee Appointments:

I have been proud to serve on the following committees over the last year.

  • Finance Committee: The Finance committee meets weekly and not only reviews the City's budget and major expenses, but also appointments within the Mayor's cabinet and City boards and commissions. Under the leadership of Chairwoman Anthony (Ward 2), we created a thorough and transparent process for budget review -- which included multiple public hearings - and passed a balanced budget that was responsive to the needs of Providence residents.  

  • Commission on Taxation and Revenue: In response to our thorough budget review, the Council created a special commission on taxation and revenue to examine our current revenue sources and propose new solutions that would increase transparency and equity within our tax and revenue structure and generate appropriate levels of general revenue for the City. I was appointed to and actively participated in this Commission, which met regularly throughout the fall and just approved final recommendations to be transmitted to the full Council.

  • Parks Commission: I am one of two Councilors who serve on the Parks Commission. I am so proud that our City prioritizes equitable access to green space and opportunities for outdoor recreation that are accessible to all people.  We have well over 100 parks across the City - and several of the best ones are in Ward 3!

  • Special Committee on the Environment and Resilience: I created (and now chair) a Special Committee on the Environment and Resilience - which has heard several presentations and have evaluated potential city policies to address climate justice and resilience.

Policies Passed

  • Port of Providence: In the first weeks on Council, I worked hard with the Finance Committee and other Councilors to make amendments to the City's agreement with ProvPort - which is a large section of the Port of Providence. We made several major amendments to reduce pollution and make good investments in the surrounding neighborhoods, while developing stronger relationships with the port operators.

  • Building Energy Reporting Ordinance: One of the reasons I ran for Council was watching commonsense policies like Building Energy Reporting (BERO) not pass in prior Councils. This policy requires the largest buildings in Providence to report on their annual energy usage and allows us to craft policies and programs to help them reduce energy use and climate emissions. I worked with my colleagues to reintroduce it this year and we passed in unanimously this fall.

  • Climate Jobs City: In partnership with Climate Jobs RI - a coalition of environment, labor, and community organizations - I sponsored a resolution that declared Providence the nation's first "Climate Jobs City". This is a committment to not only boldly address the climate crisis, but do so in a way that supports jobs with family-sustaining wages, prioritize those inequitably harmed by climate change, and include community transparently in decision-making. 

  • Self-Storage Facilities: After witnessing a large influx of self-storage facilities take up valuable real estate across the City (and hearing from countless Ward 3 residents), I worked with fellow Councilors Roias and Sanchez to unanimously pass a ban on future self-storage facilities in the City.

  • Carbon-Neutral Buildings: After months of work with the City's Public Property and Sustainabilty offices (and our fantastic Council staff!), I introduced an ordinance this fall that would require all City-owned buildings to be carbon neutral by 2040. This is especially important timing as it affects the construction of nearly all of our school buildings. We will be holding a public hearing on this ordinance in the Special Committee on Environment and Resilience on February 7th.

  • North Main Street Task Force: We all know that North Main Street has so much potential. I created a North Main Street Task Force (first meeting on January 10th at 6pm) to focus on the safety of North Main Street for all modes of transportation and to begin shared implementation of the North Main Street Revitalization report spearheaded by former Councilwoman LaFortune and the City's Planning Department. Please feel invited to attend and contribute - I will share updates in my regular newsletters

Responding to Ward 3-Specific Needs:

I take representing the neighborhoods and residents of Ward 3 seriously - and one of my goals is to be as responsive and available to constituents as possible. Some of the ways I did that in 2023 included:

  • Regular community meetings held at rotating locations within the Ward (Community Library, Mount Hope Community Center, Vincent Brown Rec Center).

  • Writing regular newsletters to keep neighbors and residents informed on what's going on in the City, how to access services, and what I am doing as their representative.

  • Office hours at Seven Stars Bakery and Lippitt Park.

  • Earth Day Event in partnership with the Parks Department at North Burial Ground -- collecting trash and taking care of the pollinator garden with 20+ Ward 3 residents.

  • Invested in the 9th Street Basketball Court - which now hosts beautiful murals. (Ribbon cutting coming in spring 2024!).

  • Invested in picnic tables for Vincent Brown Rec Center, as well as set aside funds to make necessary improvements to the Rec Center's building. (Going out to bid January 2024).

  • Planted trees with the Summit Neighborhood Association and provided them with a Council grant to ensure young street trees planted in Ward 3 are watered and maintained.

  • Co-hosted first annual Truck or Treat with Rep. Rebecca Kislak and Sen. Tiara Mack in Billy Taylor Park.

  • Responded to so many hundreds of emails and requests - everything from missing trash bins to discussing how the electric system works to how to sign up for bulky item pick up. Your needs are very important to me - please know you can reach out anytime and I will reply as fast as I can!

And we are just getting started! So much more in the works for 2024 and beyond!

To celebrate the last year, Friends of Sue AnderBois is hosting a Year 1 celebration and fundraiser on January 17th at the XO Bar on North Main Street. Please feel welcome to join regardless of whether you make a donation to raise a glass and celebrate the last year and be in community as we continue the work in 2024. But if you are interested in donating, information is below!

I look forward to continuing to serve this community every day in 2024! Please, as always, be in touch anytime by replying to this email.

With Deep Gratitude,

Sue AnderBois

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