On Wednesday, August 12, Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1) joined with the Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place to recognize and honor elders in the Cape Verdean community with City Council Proclamations. Councilman Goncalves is the first Cape Verdean to be elected in Ward 1.
As the city of Providence and the State of Rhode Island commit to lead the nation in presenting a truthful and inclusive history of its residents, a significant thread currently absent from State historical narratives of Rhode Island’s rich history: the Cape Verdean experience, an archipelago of ten islands off the West Coast of Africa and the first sub-Saharan African people to immigrate to Providence, Rhode Island, voluntarily.
“I stand on the shoulders of giants, and I am honored that I could help celebrate my Cape Verdean heritage and the elders in our community,” stated Councilman John Goncalves. “The Cape Verdean community is one that plays an important and integral role in the modern economic history of our City. If you visit India Point Park today, you can still see the logs in which the longshoremen would move goods from incoming ships, many of those longshoremen were Cape Verdean. I was honored to visit with our elders and present them with a City Council Proclamations for their dedication to the community.”
The new immigrants sailed and arrived in 1892 on the packet ship Nellie May captained by Antonio Coelho. The community settled and continued to grow in the historic Fox Point area including Tockwotton and Sparrow Parks near the waterfront and the Port of Providence from the late 19th through the mid-20th century. The close-knit Cape Verdean neighborhood of tenement homes and businesses stretched contiguously through Tockwotton, then along South Main, Pike, Brook, Traverse, and Wickenden Streets all of which are located in the City’s First Ward.
Glynis Ramos-Mitchell, President, Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place, Inc. stated, “This recognition serves inclusively to validate, educate, and bring an awareness of the heritage, legacy, and contribution of Providence, Rhode Island’s first Cape Verdean immigrant community in Fox Point. We are proud to memorialize this historic Fox Point immigrant neighborhood by recognizing six elder former residents: John “Johnnie” Britto, Deacon Charles “Charlie” Andrade, Patricia “Pat” (Oliviera) Andrade, Cecelia “Dottie” (Alves) Ramos, Alice (Alves) Andrade, and Domingos “Mingo” Lopes.”
Councilman Goncalves was joined by Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place, Inc.’s Vice President and Project Director, Claire Andrade-Watkins, PhD., and Director of Publicity and Community Engagement, Michelle Cruz to hand-deliver City Council Proclamations to each of the recipients. (They ensured social distancing and safe delivery between the elders and the group.)
“I was born in Fox Point, and I’m Cape Verdean…It gave me the sense of who I was and where I was from. South Main Street has many many memories for me. South Main Street had a lot of pride in the fact that we were a neighborhood that loved each other. It was also a time where you walked to school or wherever you went, you were proud to say, ‘I’m a Fox Pointer,'” stated Domingo “Mingo” Lopes, Retiree, Local 1329, International Longshoremen’s Association (I.L.A.).
The City Council Committee of Finance will be holding a Public Hearing on the City’s proposed 2021 FY Budget on June 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm in City Hall (located at 25 Dorrance Street).
In order to protect participants and listeners from hate speech, those interested in offering public comment must do so in person. Any individual who would like to provide public comment MUST register to do so on the City Clerk’s Website by 3:00 pm on June 22, 2020 or by calling the Clerk’s office at 401-680-5248.
Anyone who would like to submit written testimony can do so by sending their written testimony to the City Clerk via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who would simply like to view the public hearing can do so by visiting the City Council’s YouTube Channel. Please note that you may need to refresh the setting several times until the meeting begins streaming.
When you started your college experience, I can’t imagine that you would have thought that it would have drawn to an end like this -classes ending abruptly, you finishing your final semester via Zoom, and having to say goodbye to the memories and friends you made over your college experience in just a few days. This is the reality that will bind each of you for years to come.
I realize that the pomp and circumstance that you have come to associate as the reward for working hard to earn your degree won’t happen this year, but that doesn’t make your accomplishments any less meaningful.
To all our residents who are graduating from college this month, I wish you well in your future endeavors. I would also remind you to look back on this time for what it was and realize that you were taught a very valuable life lesson – that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, and we need to adjust to change quickly and adapt, and I know you did so very well!
Nicholas J. Narducci Jr., Senior Deputy Majority Leader
Providence City Council
Councilman – Ward 4
Statement from City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan:
Providence, RI (October 31, 2019)… Earlier this week, electric rental scooters reappeared overnight on our streets. This past summer e-transportation devices made headlines for all of the wrong reasons: they were left littered on public and private property, they were hacked and used for criminal activity, and in some cases reckless operation led to collisions with pedestrians and drivers creating serious public safety concerns.
In July, I sponsored, and the Council passed, a resolution asking that the administration provide the Council an Audit of e-bike and e-scooter pilot programs in the City to ensure that informed decisions could guide our agreements moving forward. The resolution asked that the report be provided 30 days after passage and as of today, we still have not been provided with this report. The City Council, or members of our Council staff, were not briefed prior to the arrival of e-scooters on Sunday.
I am troubled that after our bad experience with e-devices this past Summer that a roll-out happened without warning and without going through a full review requested by the Council.
I support alternate modes of transportation. These companies provide our residents an environmentally-friendlier transportation option, something I believe is important. However, we should not move forward without taking the time to review and vet our programs publicly and ensure that implementation is executed in a way that supports public safety, holds businesses accountable, and makes sense for our city.