Yesterday I welcomed Mayor Elorza into the Council Chambers to offer his proposed budget for the City of Providence. I look forward to working with the Mayor and my colleagues on the Council to ensure a budget that is both fiscally responsible and addresses some of the most critical issues facing our city.

The City Council is looking forward to deliberating the budget and hearing from City departments.

Affordable Housing — The housing market is strong, but we need more affordable housing in Providence. It has been suggested that our city will need roughly 20,000 units within the next ten years to meet demand. With housing costs continuing to rise, our housing market is pricing out first-time home buyers, especially Millennials who are facing higher student debt. The City Council looks forward to working with the newly-created Special Commission to Study Affordable Housing and Mayor Elorza to create solutions to the challenges we face.

School Infrastructure — Our school buildings have been ignored for too long and our kids deserve better. I am looking forward to seeing the details surrounding the $20 Million investment Mayor Elorza has proposed.

Increasing our Tax Base — We need to expand our tax base to keep pace with the momentum of development in our city – without raising taxes. We will achieve this by creating new opportunities for business development, jobs, and generating more pathways to homeownership. We also need to make it easier for businesses to interact with our local government.

Public Safety — My colleagues and I believe that we must continue to increase the number of new recruits to our Fire and Police Academies. I commend the Mayor and our public safety departments for their commitment to making Providence a safer city.

Continued Collaboration — I am appreciative of Mayor Elorza’s recognition of the City Council’s commitment to our City’s youth. I am proud of my colleagues on the City Council for their dedication to creating recreational opportunities for the people of Providence and their commitment to making access to open spaces a priority in our City. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Mayor Elorza and his administration to continue this important work.

Delivering an On-Time Budget — During my first term of the City Council we were faced with what economists have called the “Great Recession,” and we learned that in order for us to grow to where we are today, we had to focus on fiscal responsibility. Every budget faces challenges, and I look forward to following through on that commitment in collaboration with Mayor Elorza.

Rhode Island’s capital city leads the way for the rest of our state, and I am committed to working closely with Mayor Elorza and my colleagues on the Council to lead Providence into the future.