It’s time for Providence City Councillor Kevin Jackson to resign. Jackson represents Ward 3, on the East Side where I live. He has been plagued by scandal and bad choices for years, and barely won his last election against write-in candidate Marcus Mitchell.
I reluctantly voted for Jackson over Mitchell because of Mitchell’s past association with US Senator Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. Mitchell claimed the mantle of progressive, but I couldn’t trust him, and there was little time to properly vet him. What little I knew about Mitchell didn’t thrill me. In 2005, Mitchell, then a registered Republican, was Senator Rick Santorum’s Director of Community & Economic Development in Pennsylvania. Santorum represents everything I find ugly in a politician.
Santorum once compared Obamacare to apartheid in a tribute speech to Nelson Mandela. Santorum is anti LGBTQ rights at best, a raving homophobe at worst. He’s not only anti-abortion, he’s against your right to use contraception. He supported the privatization of Social Security. He called climate change “junk science.”
Did I allow my completely reasonable disdain for Santorum to cloud my judgement regarding Mitchell? Perhaps. But given what I knew about Santorum and what little I knew about Mitchell, I made the best choice I could.
I voted for Jackson. I don’t regret making what I consider to be the best choice in a bad situation…
…but it’s time for Jackson to resign.
Jackson has done some good things as a city councilor in the last year, including fighting against fiscally irresponsible Tax Stabilization Agreements (TSAs). Some of the most recent TSAs, supported by Mayor Elorza, would have functioned as little more than cash giveaways to connected realtors.
This is all for the good, but I think voters in Ward 3 could do a lot better than Jackson in an open election.
Buddy Cianci is dead, and the culture of casual corruption he represents should have died with him. Jackson backed Cianci when the former Mayor made his quixotic bid at a return to power. I found Jackson’s support of Cianci embarrassing.
Ward 3 could vote for a candidate that both looks after our interests and doesn’t play fast and loose with his campaign cash. We could vote for a candidate that has not been accused of embezzlement. We could vote for a candidate that does not embarrass us but instead represents us.
It’s time for Jackson to resign.