Ward 12

Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin

Councilwoman Kat (Katherine) Kerwin was elected to the City Council in 2018. She represents Ward 12 which includes the majority of the Smith Hill neighborhood, downtown, and parts of the East Side, Elmhurst, and Valley.



Ward 12: Smith HIll, Valley, and Capital Center

Ward 12 includes the neighborhoods of Smith Hill, portions of Valley, and Capital Center. Located northwest of the city center, Smith HIll is bound by three of the city's rivers: the Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck, and West rivers. This neighborhood was once the home of many industrial mills that relied on the rivers to provide power to their mill wheels. Roger WIlliams Medical Center is located off Chalkstone Ave in Valley. The Capital Center (located off Smith street, one this ward's main roads) is where the Rhode Island State House, and many of the state's administrative offices can be found. It's also where you'll find the Amtrak/MBTA train station, Providence Place Mall, and Providence River, where the Water Fire lighting ceremony begins and ends.

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Statement from Councilwoman Kat Kerwin

Statement from Councilwoman Kat Kerwin

On this first day of school in Providence, I remain concerned about both the physical conditions and the academic integrity of our schools. Starting today, students will be in class for hours each day, for many months. It is our duty as elected officials to ensure their experience does not continue to reflect what they have already endured for years in the Providence Schools. We cannot improve this system unless the people impacted by the decision making structure are with us every step of the way.

The truth is our parents, students and youth organizations should not have to beg for a seat at the decision making table. While community conversations have been offered to these stakeholders, dialogue is not enough. To truly build power and address the very real concerns of our community we must offer them a chance to be vocal leaders in the plan to change our school system.

This means more than symbolic conversation and passed mics. This means the Commissioner cannot hire a new Superintendent without allowing parents, students and community members to be part of the vetting process. This means the goals and metrics of any plan to improve the Providence schools must be made transparent to all stakeholders. This means an accountability structure that works for all of our students and ensures we are on a path to make every school stronger. This means providing enough additional resources to ensure the system can support every single student, not just a lucky few.

I stand with students, parents and community organizations in demanding a voice in the plan to reform our schools. Only with their real support will we have the chance to see real change in the district.

Kat Kerwin
Providence City Council
Councilwoman – Ward 12

City Council Passes Pride Resolution

City Council Passes Resolution Welcoming June as Pride Month

At the June 6, 2019 City Council meeting Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) and Councilwoman Rachel M. Miller (Ward 13) introduced a resolution welcoming the month of June as PRIDE month in Providence. The resolution was unanimously passed by the full council.

“Providence is a city that welcomes everyone, regardless of their gender, race, orientation, religion or how they identify,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “As a Catholic, I was deeply hurt by the remarks of Bishop Tobin regarding the LGBTQIA+ community, and believe that God welcomes all and stand by Mark 12:31, ‘The second {commandment} is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’”

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which many consider being the catalyst that moved the gay liberation movement forward. In the early hours of June 28, 1969 Trans-women and men, gays, lesbians, and their ally’s took to the streets after continued abuse at the hands of the New York City Police in a series of riots that would propel the movement forward to where we are today.

“We can’t forget that Pride’s origin was a broad social movement for equity and inclusion. That’s especially true in today’s political climate while the LGBTQIA community is organizing to stop a national rollback on some hard-won victories,” Councilwoman Rachel M. Miller stated. “As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I was angered by Bishop Tobin’s recent comments but I’m proud to create an opportunity for elected officials to be on the side of love and on the side of affirming and supporting our LGBTQIA+ community.”

The first Pride march in Providence took place in 1976 when over 70 brave men and women, marched in Kennedy Plaza, after winning the right to do so after a court battle handled by the ACLU. They were taunted by police and residents alike, yet they were not deterred. Today, known as the “76’ers,” Belle Pelegrino one of the original marchers, told The Providence Journal that, “We totally expected that when we stepped into the plaza, gunfire was going to come. We thought we were going to die.”

As noted by The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time, Rolling Stone, CNN, and countless other news outlets the Trump administration has continually rolled back almost every single LGBTQIA+ protection that were put in place by previous administrations. This is why the City Council believes it is more important than ever to memorialize and codify their support for all members of our community.

Pride is celebrated around the world during the month of June, in recognition of the Stonewall Riots that took place on the morning of June 28, 1969. This year marks the 43rd Anniversary of Providence Pride which has grown from a march of 70 men and women to a weekend celebration that brings 1000’s of people to our city in celebration of equality and love.

In 2018, the City Council officially recognized the month of June as Pride Month in perpetuity and was passed by the full Council. The Providence City Council celebrates and recognizes the contributions, struggles, risks, and many identities of Providence’s LGBQIA+ community and their families and proudly affirms that love is love.

The City Council recognizes and thanks Rhode Island Pride for all they do to for the community not just on Pride weekend, but throughout the year. Pride takes place on Saturday, June 15 with Pridefest taking place along South Main Street (North from Memorial Boulevard and South Water Street to the South ending at Wickenden Street) from 12 pm – 7 pm. It will culminate in New England’s only illuminated night Pride Parade that begins at 8 pm and will travel down Dorrance Street, to Washington Street, to Empire Street and ends on Weybosset Street. This year’s theme is #LiveYourTruth.

For more information on Rhode Island Pride, please visit prideri.org.

City Council Recognizes National Public Works Week

The Providence City Council passed a resolution sponsored by Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia (Ward 6), recognizing the week of May 19 through May 25, 2019 as National Public Works Week.

National Public Works Week is observed as a way to pay tribute to the public works professionals, engineers, managers and employees who make substantial contributions to protect our national health, safety, and quality of life.

“Every day as I travel my ward, and across the city, I see the men and women of the Department of Public Works laboring away,” stated City Council Pro Tempore Michael Correia, Ward 6. “As the Chairman of the Committee on Public Works, I know first-hand the professionalism, the dedication, and the motivation that every employee at the DPW has for their work. It’s because of the ingenuity of a crew member of the DPW that the fountain in DePasquale Square was fixed before the start of the summer season. It’s because of the men and women of the DPW that Councilors like myself can hold community clean-ups and mattress pick-ups. Their work matters and they don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. It’s my privilege and honor to acknowledge our Public Works employees not just this week, but every week.”

The resolution, proposed by Council President Pro Tempore Correia and co-sponsored by Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15), Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. (Ward 4), Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11), Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin (Ward 12), and Councilman James E. Taylor (Ward 8), motivates the residents of Providence to become interested and engaged in the importance of publicly funded construction in their respective communities throughout the City.

National Public Works Week will consist of a series of events and ceremonies that pay tribute to the significant work done by public works professionals, and all citizens are encouraged to participate. 2019 is the 59th year that National Public Works Week has been recognized under the sponsorship of the American Public Works Association.

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