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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to spend time with Brian, Dexter, Anthony,  Keon and some other amazing young men from our community as well as Mr. Bill Baptiste, a longtime coach, and mentor in Mount Hope. These young men, nearly all of whom grew up in the community, spent five hours with me enhancing the lot adjacent to the recreation center, which offers academic, athletic and social outlets for many of our young people. Dexter, a student-athlete at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, passionately explained to me the importance of giving back to his community. Anthony, a recent graduate of Classical High School, is headed to URI and hopes to one day become an immigration attorney. Finally, Brian, who grew up playing basketball at the recreation center now serves as the head basketball coach and evening programs manager.


Tomorrow, I look forward to celebrating our nation’s Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  For many immigrants this day will be marked with fear and uncertainty of their fate as the rest of the nation celebrates.  On Saturday, I stood with hundreds of residents along Pontiac Avenue, across the street from the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI), to demand that our government and leaders take action to end the separation of immigrant children from their parents.  As I stated in my speech, the issue of separation is not limited to the border states.  I can’t stress the importance of knowing our neighbors, community members and individuals that we engage with on a daily basis because there are people who live right in our ward that have been impacted by these inhumane actions.


As we celebrate the day that our country gained  its independence, let us not forget the many who have escaped violence and persecution seeking liberation and freedom.  As we celebrate the birth of our nation, let it serve as a reminder that the success of our country can often be traced to the contributions of immigrants.


Have  a safe and wonderful July 4th!

City Council Meeting Docket and Notes can be found on the City of Providence Open Meeting website here:

Nirva LaFortune
City Councilor, Ward 3

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Regulation of Airbnb 

Last week, Councilman Zurier and I hosted a meeting at the Rochambeau Library to discuss concerns and potential regulations of Airbnb rentals in the city. Residents offered their opinions on the growing popularity of Airbnb in our ward and across the city. While it is clear that not all short-term rentals are problematic, many residents expressed public safety and quality of life concerns due to absentee hosts and an increased Airbnb inventory in Providence.  Realizing that Airbnb serves as a convenient option for lodging as well as an opportunity for economic generation in the region, Councilman Zurier and I will collaborate on the development of an ordinance that will offer guidelines to encourage the advantages of short-term rentals while minimizing or eliminating the negative impacts. The Planning Department was also in attendance and shared some feedback on this issue. We are using Boston’s recently enacted regulatory program as a starting point.


City Zoning Ordinance

Last Wednesday, the City Council conducted a public hearing on an amendment to the city zoning ordinance regarding College Student Housing Occupancy of Dwelling.  Many College Hill residents have expressed concerns about student housing in the community. The Ordinance Committee decided to place the ordinance on hold until the City Planning Commission completed its supplemental study.

Providence City Budget

On Friday night, the City Council passed the City budget for a second time after reaching an agreement with the administration regarding issues surrounding unspent account balances for neighborhood infrastructure funds.


In February, Diandra Kalish, a local educator, reached out to me about her concerns regarding equal access to menstrual products for students in our public schools.  After speaking with her, I contacted the mayor’s office and coordinated a meeting that included members of his administration, Diandra and Kavelle of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. I am excited to share that this year’s budget includes funding that will offer menstrual health products to PPSD students in need. The Healthy Communities Office will conduct a survey to better understand the needs of our youth and their preferences for products and distribution options. I want to personally thank Diandra and Planned Parenthood for their continued support of and advocacy for equitable healthcare access for all of our female residents, as well as the administration for allocating resources for this initiative.


Additionally, there will be an amendment to the school budget. The school board recently approved a supplemental budget that includes additional state aid that was released after the school budget was finalized.


Our public schools are an in need of additional resources, such as emotional and social support in our schools. The School Oversight Committee will meet to review the updated budget and submit it for final approval by the Council.  I will continue to advocate for our schools because our students and teachers deserve to be in a safe and enriching environment that will prepare every child for college and the workforce.

Fane Tower
Many residents in Ward 3 and throughout the city have reached out to me regarding Fane Tower. I want to assure you that my main priority is for all residents to not only live, but also thrive in our city. We have a homelessness and affordable housing issue and our priority should be the creation of a long-term solution to mitigate these matters.

Ward 3 Community Reading Series
Are you interested in participating in a Ward 3 community reading and discussion series? If so, please fill out this short survey.

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