PROVIDENCE, RI -Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza delivered his first annual State of the City Address where he presented a city poised for an economic resurgence and improvements to the city’s public schools.
The Mayor detailed a number of initiatives and programs to increase economic development and create jobs downtown and in the city’s neighborhoods.
“Providence is turning an important corner. Businesses are hiring, people are buying homes, and developers are beginning to invest and build in Providence again,” said Mayor Elorza. “Providence is ready for cranes in the sky and workers on the job; we are ready for our resurgence and that resurgence begins now.”
Neighborhood development initiatives discussed include the innovative EveryHome program, which “takes abandoned and blighted homes back from the banks and absentee landlords and puts people to work renovating them,” according to Elorza. “EveryHome is building stronger neighborhoods, increasing property values, creating more affordable homes, and creating jobs in our neighborhoods.”
A major focus of the address was the administration’s commitment to improving public education in and out of the classroom.
“Providence needs a bold vision that will position us as a national leader in education, and we will accomplish this with a 12-month learning calendar,” said Elorza. “That’s because the classroom is not the only place where we prepare students for success.”
The Mayor also highlighted a recent overhaul of the School Department’s Central Office.
“We’re shifting resources out of central office and we’re putting them into our schools where they belong. This will make us more responsive to the needs of parents and students, including a multilingual call center that’s been such a need in our district,” said Mayor Elorza.
Mayor Elorza reaffirmed him commitment to ethics, financially responsible management and innovation to find efficiencies in government.
“Now, our city has its share of financial challenges. But I am committed being fiscally responsible to fix the city’s finances. I refuse to rely on one time fixes and I refuse to kick the can down the road. This is critical to ensure Providence’s long-term stability, and set the city up to succeed,” said Mayor Elorza.
The Mayor concluded his address (full version attached) with an optimistic call to action:
“When Providence plays to it strengths and is united as one city, we can accomplish any goal. And I know that with the phenomenal partners we have in government and throughout the community, Providence’s best is yet to be seen.”