An ordinance regarding catalytic converter theft sponsored by Councilor David Salvatore received final passage at tonight’s Council meeting. This ordinance takes effect as efforts are made at the city and state levels to curb the growing trend of catalytic converters being stolen from cars and sold to junk and second-hand dealers. Councilor Salvatore’s ordinance will impose stricter sales regulations, and record-keeping to be shared with local police and provides law enforcement with tools to closely monitor sales and investigate trends while strengthening penalties for repeat offenders.
Parking for Street Sweeping
Tonight, the Council voted for final passage on an ordinance sponsored by Councilor David Salvatore, creating a framework for parking management options during city street sweeping procedures. This new amendment will allow the Department of Public Works to enact parking bans in areas where streets are being cleaned and provide alternative side street parking for area residents. The DPW will begin piloting this program in the coming weeks, emphasizing resident outreach and project efficiency.
Electric charging stations
Councilman John Goncalves proposed an ordinance that would exempt Electric Vehicle Charging stations from taxation. This proposed exemption will apply to individuals who purchase electric vehicle charging stations for their homes and businesses that provide electric vehicle charging stations for customers. The ordinance was referred to the Committee on Ordinances for further review. “Providence is moving towards the future. My proposal will create incentives for residents and business owners to embrace green transportation as a long-term part of everyday life. As the City’s legislative branch, I am hopeful that the City Council will continue to enact legislation which encourages green lifestyle choices and business practices,” stated Councilman John Goncalves.
Resolution calls on local, federal governments to address climate change
The Green New Deal is at the heart of a new proposal introduced before the Council tonight. Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune, President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal, Councilman John Goncalves, and Councilor Kat Kerwin co-sponsored the resolution calling on the City of Providence to join the federal government in embracing tougher regulations to reduce carbon emissions. If passed, the resolution asks the Mayor, Office of Sustainability, and Planning Department to formalize a detailed plan for how to cut greenhouse gases in Providence. “The time is now to take action to help future generations of Rhode Islanders,” said President Pro Tempore Espinal. “It’s vital to formalize a clear and proven plan to achieve carbon neutrality.” The city’s Office of Sustainability is currently working to create strategies to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Councilors challenge use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island prisons
A group of City Councilors is taking aim at controversial solitary confinement practices in local facilities. Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal, Councilman John Goncalves, Councilor Kat Kerwin, and Councilman Nicholas Narducci co-sponsored a resolution introduced at tonight’s meeting, which cites “an abuse in authority” leading to the solitary confinement of some prisoners for up to 7 years.
“Solitary confinement is an antiquated, ineffective means of handling prisoners in RI facilities,” said Councilwoman Harris.
“We need to take immediate action to limit the duration of confinement and protect the human rights of the incarcerated population.” The resolution supports and urges the passage of House Bill H-7760 to establish policies and procedures to minimize the use of solitary confinement and create accountability guidelines.