Providence City Council

Who needs holiday presents when Rhode Island politics is the gift that keeps on giving? 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.

Legislation to rename Magee Street in Providence’s College Hill neighborhood to Bannister Street has been introduced by City Councilman Sam Zurier, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood.

The measure would change the street named for 19th century Providence slave trader William Fairchild Magee to one honoring two of that era’s leading African-American citizens – Christiana and Edward Bannister.

Christiana Bannister was a business leader and philanthropist and Edward was a celebrated painter.

Your humble correspondent never expected to be in the Statehouse for a budget vote in August. Then again, Rhody politics is full of surprises, right? So 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 Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi joined Bonus Q&A this week to discuss a range of issues, including City Council governing rules; a potential future as president of the council; and a proposed tower above the Providence River. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence City Council Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi joined Political Roundtable this week to discuss how a budget impasse affected the largest city in Rhode Island; President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new immigration bill that would give priority to skilled workers; and Mayor Jorge Elorza’s job performance. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Providence holds a primary Wednesday in a special election for the City Council seat vacated by Kevin Jackson.


The Providence Public School district is reviewing safety protocols, after school administrators failed to report allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher to the state Department of Children Youth and Families.

Cliff Wood, a former Providence city council member, director of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and longtime civic activist, has been appointed executive director of the Providence Foundation.


The Providence City Council is expected to vote on the new city budget tonight. The $376 million proposal includes an increase in spending for the city’s schools.


The capital city is one step closer to a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The Providence City Finance Committee approved the amended spending plan Monday.


The Providence City Council begins public hearings Monday on the new proposed city budget, as the state’s largest city continues to struggle to close long-term deficits.

RIPR File Photo

Banning smoking downtown would be an attack on the homeless and a waste of time for city police, who ought to be dealing with real crime, said Elorza.

In his veto message, Elorza said, while this “`ordinance is ostensibly about smoking, its true target is the homeless community. Homelessness is a serious problem in Providence, just as it is in cities across the country. As you are aware, the causes of homelessness are multi-faceted and include substance abuse, mental illness and, of course, economic challenges.”’

RIPR File Photo

The Providence City Council passed a controversial community policing ordinance Thursday night, known as the Providence Community-Police Relations Act. The measure, which increases protections against police profiling and codifies how police use body cameras, passed overwhelmingly with a 13-1 vote.


Thursday the Providence City Council votes on a community policing ordinance intended to reduce police profiling. Advocates have been working on the Community Safety Act for several years, and they were disappointed last month, when the Providence City Council tabled the measure in response to opposition from the police officers’ union.


The Providence City Council Finance Committee held a public hearing on a new measure that would remove councilors from leadership roles following any criminal indictments.