Providence Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled a 20-point economic plan Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Providence Foundation. The mayor's repeated rhetorical emphasis -- how Providence has bounced back from the financial abyss thanks to collaboration and shared sacrifice -- sounded like one message he'll wield next year during an expected Democratic run for governor.
An ensemble of a few hundred influentials in business, labor, the arts and other fields offered a warm response as Taveras spoke at Brown University's Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics.
He cited five priority areas for his economic revitalization strategy:
-- Freezing the commercial real estate tax for seven years;
-- "Fix the City's permitting process";
-- "Remove barriers to redevelopment";
-- Use tax incentives to encourage new development on surface lots citywide'
-- Reinvent Kennedy Plaza by relocating RIPTA bus lines and making the area more pedestrian friendly.
The mayor estimated a timeline of months for elements of his plan that require City Council approval.
Taveras and fellow Democrat Gina Raimondo have stepped up their public events in recent weeks. Both have also hired additional political talent as they move closer to possible runs for governor next year. Democrat Ernest Almonte is the only declared candidate thus far. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Moderate Party founder Ken Block are among the other possibilities. Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee has indicated he expects to seek re-election.