As the City of Newport’s former Director of Civic Investment, it was my honor and pleasure to have worked with Councilor Camacho for over five and a half years. In that time, I was able to observe Councilor Camacho in both public and behind the scenes.
As your reader’s may be aware, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to develop and implement an economic diversification, employment and civic infrastructure enhancement systems-approach initiative based on resilience and innovation for the City of Newport. That public-impact investment-private sector model includes a portfolio of projects that range from: the Pell Bridge realignment, microgrid and Smart Cities initiatives; the recruitment of a group establishing in Newport a national quantum and alternative computing center; the successful efforts to establish a Qualified Opportunity Zone; as well as, dedicating City personnel to be a key partner for the successful pursuit and development of the Working Cities initiative in the North End. This model has been recognized by multiple organizations as a potential national model of convergence between Smart Cities, meta-data, sustainability/resilience AND innovative funding mechanisms. In my current private sector capacity, I now am working with global firms, pilot communities, impact investors and family wealth offices to test Newport’s innovation model in other communities.
Though there are many individuals, organizations and stakeholders that are contributors to Newport’s emergence as a national model for innovation, Marco Camacho is one of the key individuals responsible for that innovation coming to, developing in and expanding nationally from Newport. Throughout my tenure with the City, Councilor Camacho, particularly when he was Vice Chair of the Councilor under the leadership of then Mayor Jeanne Napolitano, recognized the opportunity in the vision, and provided both public and private support and encouragement. More importantly, he was willing when issues got tough and was not always politically expedient for him, to stay the course to ensure the vision of a vibrant future for Newport become a reality. In my almost 30 years of work at the intersection of the public and private sector, I can point to Councilor Camacho’s willingness to stay the course, particularly when issues made it rough going, as a demonstrable case of what is civic and political leadership. From my perspective, that is the type of leadership that we need at the local, state and national level. Newport already has it in Councilor Marco Camacho.
Therefore, I respectfully endorse and support Marco Camacho for Newport City Council.
Paul Carroll | Wakefield, RI