Election Updates & Ward 3 News - Oct 20, 2022
Hello Neighbors & Friends,
Fall has definitely arrived in Providence! The air is crisp, the farmers market is full of winter squashes, and Halloween is just around the corner! There has also been a flurry of activity across the Ward and all of Providence – and of course, the General Election on November 8 is also quickly approaching. Below we will share some updates about goings-on in Providence and answer some questions about the election.
Upcoming Election News:
General Election Dates:
Early Voting began yesterday and is available at 444 Westminster St. until November 7.
Election Day is November 8. Check your polling location here.
Make a plan to vote!
Meet with Sue: In addition to knocking doors and being available in the community, Sue will be holding open time to chat on Sunday, October 23 from 2-4pm at Three Sisters on Hope St. She’ll be wearing a Sue sticker so she’ll be easy to identify! Stop by, say hello, share your thoughts about the Ward, and ask any questions you might have! She will schedule another session before the election – but also reach out anytime at AnderBois.Ward3@gmail.com.
Sue on the Issues: If you want to see how Sue answers questions about the issues facing Providence, check out the recording of the Candidate Forum at Rochambeau Library. Independent Candidate Michael Fink is also on record with his opinions as well. Thank you to Steve Alquist for recording and posting the forum! But also, reach out any time directly.
Charter Changes on the Ballot: Every 10 years, a Charter Review Commission is appointed by the Mayor and City Council and given the responsibility to review the City Charter. The Commission reports on their recommendations to the City Council, which can approve or amend the proposed changes. The elements of this final proposal are then put on the ballot for all Providence voters to approve or reject. The Commission had 9 members and held meetings that were open to the public.
You can read the report and the proposed changes here. Some of the changes simply reflect the changing of the times – such as increasing the threshold by which the City can spend money without Council approval from $5,000 to $10,000 for regular procurement and $20,000 for a construction procurement. These reflect an increased cost to doing business and can help improve the efficiency of how the City operates.
Other changes would have larger impacts. Currently, the Providence School Board consists of 9 members who are all appointed by the Mayor. The proposed change is to increase the number of members to 10, which would include 5 elected members representing the North, South, East, West, and Central areas of the City – areas essentially equal to 3 City Council wards. There are pros and cons to the proposed plan: it could increase accountability and transparency for school board representation – a process that is currently entirely controlled by the mayor. However, it also does not address the role that the school board can play given the state take-over and potentially sets up very expensive school board elections.
We will discuss other changes in future newsletters before the election. But please reach out anytime if you’d like to talk about the proposed changes or share your opinions. Ward 3 & Providence Updates:
Hope Street Temporary Trail: As you all know, the Hope Street Temporary Trail pilot took place on Hope Street the first week of October. Thank you to everyone who checked it out and for those who reached out to me specifically to share feedback.
In response to feedback received in the planning phase by Councilwoman LaFortune, the City Planning Department will be handling the evaluation of the trial. They have released this survey, and I encourage everyone who lives, works, shops, or otherwise spends time in/near Hope Street to please fill it out – especially if you participated in any way in the trial.
*Also, if the hills of Ward 3 are keeping you from getting around by bike, the State just announced a new e-bike incentive program named after dedicated public servant, journalist, and climate advocate Erika Niedowski. Learn more here. Nathan Bishop Caring Closet Supply Drive: Nathan Bishop is organizing a supply drive for their caring closest – providing essential items for students in need! Drop of items from the flier at the main office between 8-3pm by Friday!
Comprehensive Plan: As we talk with voters, we hear so many folks mention issues affected by zoning: housing, density, small business corridors, North Main Street redevelopment – to name just a few! The City is under-going a once-per-decade update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides all of our zoning decisions across the City. The first phase is a survey – please take a few minutes and have your voice heard! City-wide Events: Sue was so glad to be able to attend the NAACP Providence Branch Freedom Awards Gala this year. Representative Ayanna Pressley gave an amazing and inspiring keynote. And Sue was so pleased to spend some time with Councilors Helen Anthony and Mary Kay Harris and fellow Democratic nominee Althea Graves.
Thank you, everyone! Providence is an amazing City because of each and every one of you. Please don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & our new Instagram and reach out anytime at AnderBois.Ward3@gmail.com.
With Deep Gratitude,