Jorge Elorza

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Longtime Latino political activist and educator Victor Capellan is stepping down as chairman of the Providence City Democratic Committee. In a news release, Capellan said he is focus on his position as school superintendent in Central Falls.

Welcome to my first TGIF column of 2017, and thanks for stopping by. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss his financial challenges, Mayor Jorge Elorza's job performance, development in the capital city, whether nonprofits need to contribute more, and other issues.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Many Muslims in Rhode Island are feeling anxious about a Trump presidency, following promises to change immigration and refugee policy and discussions of a possible Muslim registry. In response, Muslim community leaders organized a private workshop Sunday to review the legal rights of citizens, immigrants and refugees.

RI DOT

Providence and state officials unveiled Thursday what is likely the final proposal for the 6-10 connector reconstruction project. The aging highway system needs immediate replacement, according to the Governor's office. Several plans to fix it have pitted urban planning advocates against state officials and cost concerns.

RIPR FILE

Following anecdotal reports of an uptick in harassment of minority groups across the country, Providence has created a hate crime hotline. There is currently no statewide mechanism dedicated to hate incidents.  

The new hotline is part of Mayor Jorge Elorza’s effort to allay the concerns of residents, after the election of Donald Trump. Many of the city's minority groups, including sexual, racial and religious minorities, have expressed fears about safety and protection from harassment under the incoming administration.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says he supports an expansion by charter school group Achievement First. But a smaller expansion than the group is seeking. Achievement First wants to add more than 2,000 new seats by 2026.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The City of Providence is recruiting members for a new Muslim-American advisory board.  The mayor’s office says the initiative is aimed at protecting and serving every resident of the city regardless of race, religion, or other identifiers. 

John Bender

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza hosted residents Wednesday night concerned about the future under President-elect Donald Trump. 

RIPR FILE

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins several mayors nationwide in formally announcing no plans to change immigration policies in the face of a Donald Trump presidency. 

RIPR FILE

The Providence mayor’s office is refuting claims that a new proposed firefighter’s contract will not save the city as much as projected. A city council review of the proposed contract found a multi-million dollar discrepancy.

According to a statement released by the City Council, an internal audit found the mayor’s office overestimated the savings of a new firefighter’s contract by $7 million. The savings, the internal auditor found, would add up to about $9 million.

Elisabeth Harrison

Calling it the first good financial news for Providence "in a very long time," Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city operated nearly $9.5 million in the black during the fiscal year that ended in June.

"This is the largest operating surplus in over 20 years in the city," Elorza said. "Our records only go back 20 years, but I’d say that this is likely the largest operating surplus in the history of Providence."

We're heading into the home stretch ahead of Rhode Island's November 8th election. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ward 14 Providence Councilor David Salvatore joins Bonus Q&A to talk about city finances, the proposed agreement with city firefighters, whether Providence's influence at the legislature is waning, and other topics.

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