Providence’s progressive community has a gift – a seemingly honest, if very untested, administration.
Thank you to everyone who voted and worked for a different Providence.
Jorge’s donor list includes dear, dear friends in community work, art, and education, but another swath of Elorza’s supporters are the out of touch developers who help spark the resentment that feeds Cianci.
Providence, like many cities, needs competence- an easy to navigate city hall, transparency, and many day to day infrastructure improvements in schools and parks across the city. There are well placed individuals who will lobby Elorza hard for fantasy plans about street cars for magical wealthy consumers, state subsidized condos, and a million other ways to spend cash downtown, not in the neighborhoods. The challenge for progressives – no, the challenge of all people who care about the city – is how to do good in the next four years.
My late aunt would be impressed.
Maureen Lawlor was a child of Providence – in her 1970s era high school science fair project she was studying the effects pollution on neighborhoods in Providence. After working in adult education in the ACI, she served at the Massachusetts Department of Education before becoming a professor at a community college outside Seattle. When she returned to visit in the early 2000s, around the time of Plunderdome, I remember her ruefully remarking, “It’s like I never left.”
She would be impressed and proud to see that Providence voted for a new chapter, with Jorge Elorza defeating Vincent A Cianci, Jr.
She was also wise. Excited by change, she would likely caution not to get too carried away or hopeful- plan a next step. Her late husband, my Uncle Sherman, definitely would encourage planning ahead.
Like many old mill cities, there is a great agenda awaiting of rebuilding and re-imagining neighborhoods and civic institutions. There are people with goofy plans to spend millions on one side of the highway only -don’t let them.
The campaign for One Providence continues.