Providence City Hall

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with Local 1033 of the Laborers International Union of North America, which represents city employees in City Hall, the School Department and the Parks and Public Works Departments.

R.I.P. Chris Nocera

Jul 17, 2015

Christopher Nocera, a longtime Providence political operative, Elmhurst neighborhood activist and City Hall fixture, died suddenly last night. He was 60.

A burly man with an infectious sense of humor, Nocera was instrumental in Patrick Kennedy’s 1988 campaign for state representative in Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant that launched the career of  Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s son, who later became a Congressman. Nocera put together a fine ground voter turn-out effort that propelled Kennedy to victory over then Rep. Jack Skeffington, a Mount Pleasant funeral director.

Providence’s rich baseball history is on display at City Hall in a new exhibit to be formally unveiled tomorrow (May 7) at City Hall.

The exhibit, which features memorabilia, baseball cards and photographs of the city’s long and florid baseball history, is located on the third floor of City Hall.

A reception introducing the exhibit will be held at 6  p.m. tomorrow on the third floor at City Hall. It will be hosted by City Council President Luis Aponte, a Ward 10 Democrat, and City Archivist Paul Campbell, a noted Rhode Island historian.

Former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has landed at the international law firm of Greenberg Trauig, LLC, where he works out of the Boston office.

Taveras says he enjoys his new job with the large firm. The Boston office is located at One International Place in Boston.

The firm’s web site states that Taveras has a practice focused on municipal restructuring (a field he had lots of experience in during four years as mayor of Rhode Island’s capital); public finance; commercial litigation; pension litigation and public infrastructure.


Larry Eichler, who has been the acting executive director of the Providence Talks education program, has left City Hall. Eichler confirmed his resignation today in a brief interview, saying he is leaving to ``explore other opportunities.’’

Providence Talks is the celebrated program, funded by a $5 million grant from a philanthropy financed by the media magnate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that is trying to help disadvantaged children expand their vocabularies.

Jeff Nickerson

  Wendy Nilsson has been appointed the new superintendent of the Providence Parks and Recreation Department, Mayor Jorge Elorza announced today.

Nilsson is founder and director of the Partnership for Providence Parks, a non-profit organization that brings community, business and citizen resources together to improve city parks. She has also worked with the Boston Community Centers and the Rhode Island Department of Education. Nilsson holds a master’s degree in education.


Today is the annual Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay ponders what we can do to advance King’s legacy in Rhode Island.

The great civil rights leader’s legacy will be celebrated across  Rhode Island today in song, sermon and remembrance.  Voices will echo with the strains of James Weldon Johnson’s `Lift Every Voice and Sing’ and that iconic anthem of the civil rights movement, `We Shall Overcome.’

Mayor Jorge Elorza pledged to build a `New Providence’  amid an improving economy  as he delivered his inaugural address this afternoon on the chilly, sun-splashed steps  of Providence’s Beaux-Arts City Hall.

Elorza, the second consecutive mayor of Latino descent tied his immigrant family’s journey  with Providence’s history as a welcoming city for generations of the newly arrived and emphasized the need for a new economic order.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Providence mayoral campaign, aka the Buddy Cianci redemption effort, is drawing national media attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks about the paths to victory for independent Cianci and Democrat Jorge Elorza.

Cianci, Elorza and Republican Dan Harrop faced off in their first campaign debate last week at Laurelmead, an East Side elderly housing complex. There was more heat than light as Elorza, a former city Housing Court judge, and Harrop, a psychiatrist, attacked Cianci’s record as one of New England’s infamously corrupt politicians.

Aaron Read / RIPR

With three weeks to go, the Providence mayoral campaign is heating up. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what to look for in the Democratic primary as the days dwindle down.

One of Rhode Island’s favorite spectator and participant sports has long been Providence mayor elections. A mélange of circus, street theater and rugby scrum, this year’s campaign is bound to land in the capital city’s political Hall of Fame, and perhaps, shame.

The Armenian Community of Rhode Island will sponsor a candlelight march tomorrow in Providence to commemorate the 99 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The procession begins at 6:45 from the Sts. Vartanantz Church at 402 Broadway to Providence City Hall, followed by a program in the city council chambers.

The event is part of a national and international commemoration of the genocide, where more than a million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks and thousands more were deported.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has announced some staff changes in his office, including the hiring of Brian Hull as director of municipal and intergovernmental affairs.

Taveras, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, said in a news release that Hull will begin work April 28th.  The job is basically a government relations post that includes representing the administration before the Providence City Council.