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NirvaWard3@gmail.com   |   401-680-0252  |   ElectNirva.com

Last month, young people across the United States demonstrated the power of their voices. They stood up to demand stronger common-sense gun laws in the wake of the tragic Parkland, Florida shooting. Also, thousands of students walked out of class in a historic show of solidarity that honored the lives of young people lost to gun violence and protest for stricter gun legislation. I was so proud to see both of my children participate in the demonstration and honored to serve as an escort for our Providence Public School students walk-out organized by Providence Student Union.
 
Personally, as some of you may know, I lost a dear friend to gun violence, so I am proud and grateful for the work our young people are doing, coming together to mobilize and declare “enough is enough!”
 
City Council Meeting Docket and Notes can be found on the City of Providence Open Meeting website here: http://providenceri.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx


Nirva LaFortune
City Councilor, Ward 3


Please share this newsletter with neighbors!  Encourage others  to sign up here: 
electnirva.com/contact.html ,
 
NEWS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL
 
Plastic Bag Ordinance
Mayor Elorza announced his decision to veto the proposed single-use bag ordinance following the City Council Meeting on March 15th. In his explanatory letter, the Mayor noted representatives from the City’s underserved communities expressed concerns about the affordability of the $.10 per single-use bag charge and that the legislative process denied them an adequate opportunity to present their concerns. Although sympathetic to the environmental ramifications of the continued use of single-use plastic bags, Mayor Elorza urged the committee to amend the bag ban so as to be more cognizant of the struggles that low-income communities could possibly face in the passing of this ban. I voted in support of the ordinance, and the mayor’s reasoning closely resembles the concerns that I expressed during the Council meeting. My hope is that both sides will come together to propose recommendations that will improve the final ordinance.
 
In-Person Early Voting
A resolution endorsing General Assembly of House Bill 2018 H-7501 and Senate Bill 2018 S-2419 that would lengthen the in-person early voting period for primary and general elections was passed during our most recent City Council Meeting on April 5th. This resolution, co-sponsored by myself and Councilman Yurdin, is in support of passage of these bills that would remove barriers to voting for individuals unable to vote in-person on Election Day.  
 
Fair Housing Practices
In addition to the early voting resolution, the Council also passed a resolution endorsing General Assembly of Senate Bill 2018 S-2301 and House Bill 2018 H-7528, pertaining to fair housing practices. This resolution would prohibit housing discrimination against renters based on their “lawful source of income,” including rental assistance vouchers, Social Security payments, or disability benefits. All deserve fair access to housing and I’m excited about the prospect of this bill becoming a reality.

Providence External Review Authority (PERA)
PERA was created as an investigative body that looks into misconduct accusations filed against Providence Police Department officers. From there, they make potential disciplinary recommendations to the City’s Chief of Police.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Kenneth Cohen, Deborah Wray, Susan DeRita, Dr. Jorge C. Armesto, Nick Figueroa, Phanida Phivilay Bessette, Alison Eichler, and Ward 3 resident, Machiste Rankin, for being appointed to PERA during the City Council Meeting on March 1st.

 
Follow the Providence City Council 
The Providence City Council meets twice a month.  Click here to see the full calendar of upcoming meetings and agendas. The City Council is also active on social media.  Follow the council on twitter here: https://twitter.com/provcitycouncil  Follow the council on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/provcitycouncil/
What's New
The most recent Ward 3 Community Meeting was held at the Rochambeau Library on Wednesday, March 28th. The agenda included presentations by the Department of Public Works (DPW), Public Safety, and updates from both the Mount Hope and Summit Neighborhood Associations. All attendees filled out a short survey to indicate their preferred method of communication and issues of interest. The majority indicated email was their primary method of communication and the areas of interest included housing affordability and gentrification, communication and collaboration between the neighborhoods in Ward 3, education and safety, and parking and sidewalks.

In February, I met with various leaders of some of our nonprofits in Ward 3 to learn about the work each organization is doing in the community, and discussed collaborative efforts to better support our community-based groups.

 
Last year, the City Council approved a $45 million infrastructure bond, which allocated $20 million for road repairs. The City engaged a consultant (Street Scape) to assess the condition of the City’s roads and sidewalks, which they accomplished with the help of pavement penetrating radar. The City then analyzed the cost required to repair all City streets to a “pavement condition index” (PCI) of 100. The estimated cost is $212 million, the bond budget of $20 million will pay for slightly less than 10% of the total identified repairs. The Public Works Department has assigned the highest priority to the repairs of major and connecting roads with PCI below 67. The work will be distributed among the City’s 15 wards. The Department of Public Works expects to release a report of the roads and will announce the list of planned repairs by mid-spring. The report for the City’s sidewalks will be released late summer.

The Mount Hope Housing Coalition has been holding monthly meetings to discuss topics related to housing habitability, affordability, and access to eliminate housing and health inequities in low-income communities. If you are interested in attending these meetings please contact Dr. Dannie Ritchie (dannie_ritchie@brown.edu).
 
As a reminder, as the weather gets warmer here are some tips to protect your homes from break-ins: http://advancedsecurity.us/_images/newsletters/Summer15.pdf
 
Appraisers from Vision Government Solutions (VGS), contracted by the City of Providence, are performing a city-wide revaluation and will be conducting a review of all properties in Providence. The appraisals will continue throughout 2018. All of VGS employees’ information are on file with the Providence Police Department and the Tax Assessor’s Office. If any residents have questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment for an appraisal at a better time please call 3-1-1, the City’s constituent services line.
 
Earth Day Clean-up in Ward 3
The Providence Department of Parks, the Partnership for Providence Parks, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and community partners are once again pleased to announce PROVIDENCE’S 6th ANNUAL EARTH DAY SPRING CLEANING 2018, on Saturday, April 28th! There will be a series of family-friendly community clean-up events throughout Ward 3. Stay tuned for additional information.
 
Tax Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Information Workshop
A TSA workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 15th from 6-7:30pm at the Rochambeau Library. The purpose of this workshop is to provide residents an overview of the Providence Tax Stabilization Investment Act and to engage in a dialogue in order to hear the concerns of the community. This proposed TSA ordinance aims to streamline the process through which businesses receive property tax incentives and broadens the program to benefit a wider range of small, neighborhood-based businesses throughout the City.

If you would like to share your thoughts on this ordinance before the workshop please fill out the survey here: Administrative TSA survey (https://goo.gl/forms/hm6tBbASF3IduveR2) Thank you to those who have already filled out the form and for your interest in this important issue!

 
Ward 3 Community Forum & Coffee Hours
I welcome all Ward 3 residents to stop in at one of my Community Coffee Hours. Please stop by with questions or just to say hello! The next one is Sunday, April 29th, 11-12:30pm at Piemonte Pizza 114 Doyle Ave, Providence, RI 02906. See you there!

As a reminder, all City Council Meetings and notes can be found on the City Council website on the open meetings portal: http://providenceri.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

Have a wonderful and safe week!



 

 

 

 
WARD 3 COMMUNITY RESOURCES LIST
Please visit the new Ward 3 Resources page of my web site for links to emergency and city services, Ward 3 neighborhood groups and more!
 
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