Newport Mayor and Council Chair provided the following weekly update on Sunday, June 14th via email and social media.
Yesterday I witnessed again the frustration, outrage, and determination of Newport’s Black community in response to the continuing racism they face. At the peaceful protest organized by youth in our community, the young voices of Newport spoke out against systemic injustice and called for action to move our community forward. I was proud to stand with them as one of their elected representatives in City Government, and I am proud of the positive energy and drive that was on display in everyone in attendance. There is without question a lot of work to be done, and I am glad that the younger generations are joining the effort.
This Tuesday the Council will be taking a final vote on the upcoming year’s budget. With the change introduced at the council meeting last week, the budget cuts facing the city have increased by $1.5 million to a total of $3.5 million in cuts. I fear that such a severe cut will not allow the City to provide services that align with the values our community expects. With this reduced budget, the School Department will not be receiving $500,000 it has identified as being required for the upcoming year, and the costs associated with deferring maintenance and upkeep on public infrastructure will only grow. The City budget should reflect the values and priorities of the community, and I do not think the budget before us does that.
Finally, this Monday, Rhode Island Pride is celebrating Pride Flags Across Rhode Island, an online event showcasing the Pride Flags being flown in Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Pawtucket, East Providence, Woonsocket, Newport, Central Falls, and Barrington. I am proud that our City is able to join in this celebration!
Newport Mayor and Council Chair