Last month, Councilman David A. Salvatore posted polls on Facebook and Twitter for constituent feedback regarding a potential Providence “Office of Nightlife and Culture.” Fifty-four percent of Facebook respondents and 63 percent of respondents on Twitter agreed that the city should explore creating a similar best practice.
In recent months there has been an uptick in violence surrounding nightlife in Providence, and Councilman Salvatore has been a strong advocate in addressing these issues. “The Board of Licenses has done a great deal of work on addressing long-standing issues,” stated Councilman David A. Salvatore. “It has become clear to me that our City’s elected leaders need to do more, and we need to look at best practices in other cities.”
Councilman Salvatore shared an article on social media from CityLab.com (https://bit.ly/2lY0rPX) which explained how several major cities are addressing the issues that come from nightlife entertainment. Salvatore said, “There is no reason why Providence should reinvent the wheel time and time again. Considering best practices and what is working in other municipalities can help us create a safe nightlife culture that works for us and already has been tested.”
Cities like New York, Pittsburgh, Orlando and other municipalities around the world have created departments to address nightlife culture. Each city referenced in the CityLab article interacts with its departments differently, but the overarching theme is that these departments are in place to liaise with business owners, city officials, and public safety officials. Salvatore continued, “In Providence, we have responsible business owners who have been successful at mitigating issues, and they do so voluntarily, with little fiscal impact. I think of Anthony Santurri and the late Chris Harris, who embraced the responsibility that comes with owning a nightlife venue. Anthony created a handbook that addresses everything from operations to de-escalating fights, and he ensures that all his employees have it in handed before they begin employment. I believe that’s why he doesn’t encounter issues of violence inside or outside of his venue. I think he has lots to share.”
Councilman Salvatore continued, “I am very happy to see that my colleague Councilwoman Kat Kerwin and community advocate Travis Escobar have taken this situation seriously. I look forward to working with them on this important quality of life issue.”
Councilman Salvatore is calling on his colleagues on the City Council to look further than spending tax-payer dollars on unnecessary consultants and attorneys and is encouraging the Elorza Administration to explore best practices that are working in cities around the world.