PROVIDENCE – Today, Michael Solomon, president of the Providence City Council, announced his candidacy for Mayor of Providence. Michael, who owns several businesses in the city, spoke before family, friends, and supporters at Building Futures in Olneyville this morning, a non-profit organization dedicated to building career pathways for unemployed Providence residents.
LPR Coverage of Solomon’s Bid for Providence Mayor
«I am running for Mayor to make Providence a city of opportunity for all,» Michael said. «We must build upon the progress and hard work of the last three years. We must focus on growing the city’s middle class, rebuilding our schools, and revitalizing our neighborhoods. We have come too far, worked too hard, and achieved too much to turn back now.»
Providence faced a deficit of nearly $110 million at the outset of Solomon’s term as Council President. Auditors have reported that the city ended the 2013 fiscal year with a $1.6 million surplus.
«We did not have time to ease into office, or learn on the job,» Solomon continued, as nine city council colleagues stood in support of his candidacy to be Providence’s next mayor. «We had to act, and we did so together. We knew bankruptcy would lead to disastrous consequences for this city, so we made the difficult decisions that had been put off for far too long.»
The City Council ratified new labor contracts with Providence’s public employee unions, including police, firefighters, teachers, and municipal workers, to close the structural deficit. The City Council also passed fiscal responsibility ordinances to ensure the city’s budget process was open and transparent as well as approved a negotiated settlement with current employees and retirees to close the pension system’s unfunded liability.
«Together, we overcame a fiscal crisis, and if we continue to work together there is nothing Providence cannot achieve,» said Solomon. «Main street small businesses are Providence’s chief job creators, and, as a small businessman, I’ll work directly with small business owners to improve the business climate in the City of Providence. We must invest in our main street businesses to stabilize our neighborhoods and create jobs.»
Solomon’s campaign will be co-chaired by Rhode Island State Representative Grace Diaz and Dr. Wayne Montague, Director of Community Relations for Winn Residential and Chairman of the Board of the Wiggins Village Apartments.
«Michael’s family story resonates with so many immigrants pursuing the American Dream today in Providence. His grandfather came to this country at age 13 with 25 cents in his pocket and taught the values of hard work and determination to a family committed to building Providence’s middle class. I believe Michael is the best candidate to help Providence families get a good education, find a good job and reach the middle class,» said Diaz.
Solomon has owned Wes’ Rib House in Olneyville for over thirty years, which he opened blocks away from his family’s pharmacy Anthony’s Drugs on Manton Avenue.
Montague, a former principal at Hope High School in Providence, spoke to Michael’s belief in the transformative power of education. «As a father of three and longtime community advocate, Michael knows first-hand the importance of teaching to the strengths of each child,» said Montague. «There’s no doubt in my mind that Michael will strengthen our school system and challenge our entire city to become more involved in the education of our youth.»
He also begins his campaign for Mayor with widespread support from
throughout Providence including the following elected officials: Seth
Yurdin, City Councilman Ward 1 & Majority Leader; Sam Zurier, City
Councilman Ward 2; Nicholas Narducci, City Councilman Ward 4 & Senior Deputy Majority Leader; Michael Correia, City Councilman Ward 6; Wilbur Jennings, City Councilman Ward 8; Carmen Castillo, City Councilwoman Ward 9; Terrance Hassett, City Councilman Ward 12 & President Pro Tempore; David Salvatore, City Councilman Ward 14; Sabina Matos, City Councilwoman Ward 15; Thomas Palangio, State Representative District 3; John DeSimone, State Representative District 5; Anastasia Williams, State Representative District 9; Scott Slater, State Representative District 10; Grace Diaz, State Representative District 11; Joe Almedia, State Representative District 12 & John Carnevale, State Representative District 13.