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.

 

READ HER FULL BIO HERE >

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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2019 Property Revaluation

What You Need to Know

The City of Providence announced on March 29, 2019 that the state-mandated full real estate property revaluation is complete and real estate property value assessment notices will be mailed on April 15, 2019. At this time, the following 2018 real estate revaluation procedures have been executed: Data Collection of Building Data, Building Permit Inspections, Review Analysis of Sales, Cost and Land Analysis, Income & Expense Review, Commercial Market Rate Analysis, and Table Calculations.

Providence property owners will soon receive a notice (after April 15) advising them of the new appraised value of their real estate property prior to when the new value will officially be added to the tax roll.

What You Will Receive

How To Request A Review

The notice that contains the new appraised value will also explain how to arrange for a personal informal hearing to review the proposed assessment if they so choose. Recipients are asked to follow the instructions on your notice to book an appointment with Vision Government Solutions, Inc. for a hearing on any parcel. Please bring any information to support your request for a change; hearings are by appointment only. You can make an appointment online at www.vgsi.com/schedules or by phone by calling Vision Government Solutions at 1-888-844-4300.

Hearings will begin on April 23, 2019 and end on May 17, 2019 and will be held at either the Fox Point Boys and Girls Club located at 90 Ives Street or the Neutaconkanut Recreation Center located at 675 Plainfield Street.

The Hearing Schedule is as follows:

  • Monday-Thursday from 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Friday from 10 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 27 and May 11 from 10 AM to 4 PM

The notices providing the results of the informal hearing will be mailed no later than May 31, 2019 with final values delivered on June 3, 2019.

Per RI General Law 44-5-11.6, cities and towns are required to perform a statistical update every third and sixth year and a full property revaluation every nine years. Vision Government Solutions uses recent sales and market data to inform their findings.

Property owners should not use the current tax rates when estimating their 2019 tax bill. Once the notices have been mailed, property owners may view their 2018 Data on the Vision Government Solutions website.

Learn more by visiting the City of Providence Tax Assessors website.

Young Voices RI Produces report addressing racial disparities in Providence Public Schools

Providence Public School students engaged with Young Voices RI issued a report on Tuesday showing that 49 percent of Providence Public School students, “disagree that teachers handle discipline issues fairly” and 69 percent of students agree that, “adults at my school don’t understand what my life is like outside of school.”

In addition to collecting data over four years from more than 2000 students, the Young Voices RI report, Girls of Color Addressing Disparities in Providence Schools, also uses information collected by the Providence School Department and RI KIDS COUNT.

The report provides quotes from students addressing some issues. For instance, under the heading “Need for academics to be taught in ways that are engaging and relevant to the 21st Century economy” students are quoted as saying:

“If we really want to look at really improving the dropout rate of our schools we have to look at how we are going to engage students in the classroom.”

“We need our classes to be more interactive so students are engaged with their learning.”

Under the heading, “Need for a caring classroom and school environment” students are quoted as saying,

“I haven’t had one teacher throughout my whole freshman year ask me how I was doing. And some teachers still can’t say my name, even though it’s pretty straightforward. One even writes it down wrong, and then marks me absent when I’m always there.”

You can read the full report here.


Students presented the report at an event held in the library of the Rhode Island State House. All the video from that presentation is below:

Xavier Copeland is a 17-year-old resident of Providence, Rhode Island and junior at Classical High School. He is the youth co-chair for Young Voices RI Board of Directors. He is also a contributor to UpriseRI. “I am the first male youth co-chair in over four years and I am very fortunate to have had two strong girls pave the way for me. 80 percent of our boardmembers are female and all of our executive officers are female except me. I am proud an ally to support the development of young women on the board of directors and the organization in general, because an ally doesn’t fight for people. That’s what a savior does. An ally fights with people who are oppressed.”

“We are low-income girls of color that are leading an effort to address the root causes of disparities facing our peers in Providence Public Schools,” said Marie Shabani, the board secretary of Young Voices RI. “We want to make sure girls of color graduate high school, attend college and complete college…

“Being born in a country where women are not allowed to have education, we must fight for women to have an equal education to men. Because when we have women of color graduating, we have a lot more perspective on the table, and we go on to do great things so we can help others in a situation like them.”

Melanie Nunez presented the highlights of the report presented.

“As students we are tired of being frequently asked to do survey work and surveys in general, and have nothing done with the results. we want to actually see our experience improve, instead of just being measured over and over again,” said Nunez.

“When I was [preparing this report] I was a freshman at the time and I didn’t know anything about the State House, Senators, Representatives, anything. But, as the process went on I was able to meet with women of color who had these high positions, like Council President Matos, and it meant a lot to me to see people in power that were women, that were people of color… and I was able to see them see themselves in me, and see what I could potentially be…”

“I grew up in a family that was mostly full of girls… My mother raised her own two sisters because my grandmother was not able to take care of them,” said 14 year-old Jaychele Schneck, a co-chair of the development committee of Young Voices RI and March for Our Lives RI. “So my family has always focused on making sure that we all succeed, making sure we had the resources we need. This lead to me starting my own nonprofit after being bullied in the seventh grade. I started my own nonprofit when I was 12 years old.

“Young Voices has given me the skills to continue my nonprofit, given me the leadership skills in order to make sure my nonprofit is able to succeed…”

“They came to one of our meetings and told us what they wanted to do and I think that they immediately blew a lot of us away with their ideas, their maturity and their poise,” said Beverly Wiley, co-chair of Women’s Fund RI. Women’s Fund RI helped Young Voices RI complete their report.

“When we hear about what’s happening at the schools, in the City Council we have this challenge,” said Providence City Council President Sabina Matos. “I’ve been told to stay in my lane. That I should let the school board do the work and that the City Council should just do its work…

“We have to break those silos that we have,” continued Matos. “And I think you guys can be the ones to call for a joint meeting of the City Council and the School Board…”

“You guys are incredible. You’re awesome. You’re powerful beyond your wildest imagination. Thank you for using your voices,” said Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (Democrat, District 5, Providence), addressing the Young Voices RI students directly. “In a time when women of color and girls of color [when] our voices are often not listened to, they would rather silence us. And a part of that is because they are not used to us. They are not used to us in powerful spaces and places…”

“90 percent of the students [in Providence Public Schools] are students of color,” said Providence City Councilor Katherine Kerwin (Ward 12). They’re facing suspension. They’re facing the impacts of the school-to-prison pipeline…”

Reposted with permission from Steve Ahlquist of UpRiseRI.com

Three Providence City Councilors Introduce Resolution Opposing Monetization of Providence Water (House Bill 5390)

Providence City Councilors Rachel Miller, Seth Yurdin, and Katherine Kerwin introduced a resolution opposing the plans to privatize Providence Water and opposing the proposed state enabling legislation (House Bill 5390).

“It’s not credible that the City of Providence will somehow receive hundreds of millions of dollars today without residents, rate-payers and employees bearing the cost for future decades through higher rates, lower wages and potential water quality issues,” said Yurdin.  “It’s a false choice to pit our water supply against the city’s fiscal health.  No one disagrees that the city faces long-term financial challenges, but the water-transfer scheme is yet another one-time fix with serious long-term costs to our community,” Yurdin continued.

“To consider removing control of our water from the public hand’s in 2019, when access to affordable, quality water is a global risk, is a short-sighted proposal,” Miller said. “What we know from communities across the country, is that when private entities manage public resources like water, rates go up, quality goes down, worker protections are eroded, and the environment is threatened,” she added.

“Water monetization is being presented as the only option in a financial crisis,” Councilwoman Kerwin said. “But, our city spending priorities don’t align with the idea that we are in crisis. There are options we have not yet taken, and after hearing from countless members from my community, I feel selling water, one of our most precious assets at the expense of raising water rates, should be our last resort.”

The resolution was crafted in partnership with the Land and Water Sovereignty Campaign, a group led by Black, Indigenous, people of color, and environmental advocates. They shared the following joint statement:

“Water is an inalienable human right and shouldn’t be commodified. Monetization /privatization would negatively impact our most vulnerable communities and our environment. Over 600 cities and towns have already suffered the negative effects of monetization/ privatization. We oppose Mayor Elorza’s House Bill H5390, and we call for a moratorium of all negotiations and actions leading to monetization/privatization.”

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