Statement from City Council President Sabina Matos on Nighlife Issues in the City of Providence

Last Thursday, the City Council approved a resolution sponsored by Majority Leader Ryan to engage a consultant to provide an updated evaluation of the Board of Licenses. Last Thursday I also announced the creation of a Night Life Working Group to assess the numerous issues affecting the City’s night-time businesses, identify tools to preserve public safety and residential peace, and to ensure the enjoyment of the City’s nighttime arts and entertainment options. These are just a couple of options my leadership team is exploring to help curb the night-time violence in our City.

The working group will be comprised of stakeholders that include public safety officials, members from the Board of Licenses, the City Council, business owners, and community members. It is important that we understand the needs of our business owners and neighbors before we make any substantive changes moving forward.

The one thing that is clear, however, is that we can’t afford to wait any longer. We can’t sit idly by while our City suffers night after night and families wake up to headline after headline about a random stabbing or shooting. No price tag, time commitment, or effort is ever enough to provide our families the peace of mind they expect and deserve from their local government.

That said, I am happy to hear how engaged my colleagues have been in this discussion, but I think we are putting the cart before the horse. We need to fully understand the scope and overriding issues around nightlife culture before we move forward with any major initiatives.

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