Hello Friends & Neighbors,
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Delicious food made alongside friends and family and the excuse for a moment to consider all there is to be grateful for. This year, I am so grateful for this community and the chance to be of service to you and this amazing city. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, you will each be with me in my heart and my thoughts. I hope you all have lovely holidays.
As usual, there is a lot going on at City Hall and in our neighborhoods, and I want to share that with you here!
Thank you Logan Torres!
This semester, I have been grateful to have Logan Torres intern with me on Council to support the work of the Special Committee on the Environment and Resiliency. Logan is a senior at Brown. During the past semester, he has done some excellent research on recommendations for reducing plastic pollution in the City - which he presented to our Special Committee last week (click here to see his presentation). He is also helping me research and write policy on improving traffic and pedestrian safety in the city. Thank you, Logan!
Upcoming Meetings and Events:
November 27th at 5pm: Commission on Taxation and Revenue: This is the next meeting of the Commission on Taxation and Revenue. Members of the public can watch in person at the 3rd floor of City Hall or on Zoom.
December 1 at 5:30pm -- Holiday Tree lighting at City Hall. This kicks off a weekend of lights in downtown Providence, including Waterfire's Holiday lighting on December 2nd.
December 5th: Nathan Bishop PTO Fundraiser at Flatbread Pizza, 161 Cushing St! Great excuse to have pizza for dinner!
December 10th - 3:30 - 5:30pm: Hanukkah Spectaculah sponsored by the City of Providence, in partnership with the Jewish Alliance of RI; Providence Arts Culture and Tourism; and P3 at Biltmore Park! There will be art-making, tasty snacks from Ward 3's own Bubbies, candle lighting, songs, and open skating at the rink!
December 11th at 7pm: Ward 3 Community Meeting - hosted at the Mount Hope Community Center on Camp Street. There will be a zoom option available - link coming soon.
Through December 16th: Toy Drive at Mount Hope Community Center. See flier below!
December 17th at 6pm: Ward 3 Holiday Tree Lighting at Billy Taylor Park. Mark your calendars for our own holiday celebration in Ward 3 -- more details coming soon.
Miscellaneous Notable Happenings:
I'm keeping busy working for our Community on Council. To keep you informed, I want to share a few of the additional things I've particularly focus on in the last few weeks:
Earlier this month, the Council unanimously passed the Building Energy Reporting Ordinance (BERO), and it was signed into law a few days later by Mayor Smiley. The built environment is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the City. This ordinance will require the largest buildings to track and report their energy use. We can't manage what we don't measure, and this will help us develop further programs and policies designed to respond to the actual conditions and energy usage of our existing buildings.
Carbon Neutral Building Ordinance: After months of careful collaboration and work with relevant city departments and other stakeholders, I introduced an ordinance that would require all municipal buildings to be carbon neutral by 2040. The ordinance was referred to the Special Committee on Environment and Resiliency that I chair -- a public hearing will be scheduled for the New Year.
In October, via Council Resolution, I created a North Main Street Task Force designed to help improve the safety of North Main Street and work collaborative to implement the North Main Street vision led by former Councilwoman LaFortune and the City's Planning Department. Task Force members will represent various relevant constituencies, including Ward 3 residents, business owners, various city and state agencies, and others. Council staff and I are busy inviting official task force members to participate -- the first meeting will be held right after the New Year. Public comment will always be welcome and invited and encouraged.
I want to thank the Providence Public Schools for inviting me to visit and tour Providence Career and Technical Academy earlier this month. Every student should be able to pursue the career paths they are most interested in, and I was grateful for the time with the Superintendant and his staff to learn more about the programs at PCTA. I enjoyed a delicious lunch in the campus cafe cooked and served by the school's culinary students.
Finance Committee continues to meet every Tuesday. Most recently we reviewed the Mayor's proposed updates to ARPA spending, as well as the proposed construction and spending plans for PPSD. All meeting recordings and minutes can be found on the Open Meetings Portal.
Short Term Rentals: I am grateful for the engaged residents who reach out with questions/comments/concerns every week. This week, a number of residents reached out with concerns and questions about short term rentals. Information the City Policy related to shor-term rentals (e.g Air B&B) can be found here: https://www.providenceri.gov/planning/short-term-rentals/
Big thanks to the Hope Street Merchants Association for once again lighting up the neighborhood for the festive season! I was glad to be at their kick off last night outside of Kreatelier!