Councilman David Salvatore has been a member of the Providence City Council since 2010. He represents the neighborhoods Elmhurst and Wanskuck neighborhoods. Councilman Salvatore has been a strong advocate of financial and pension reform in the city. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Pension Sustainability during his first term, he oversaw the drafting of a report that made recommendations designed to stabilize the pension system and reduce the system’s unfunded liability.
Ward 14: Elmhurst and Wanskuck
Covering the neighborhoods of Elmhurst & Wanskuck, Ward 14 is located on the northwestern quadrant of the city. Here you'll find Providence College, La Salle Academy, and the ever-popular LaSalle Bakery. The Wanskuck Historic District was once the location of a thriving mill village built along the West River. The mills have since closed but many of the buildings are still there, located, including The Wanskuck Public Library. This historic building is located on Veazie Street. The current building replaced the original library that was built by the Wanskuck Mill Company for it's workers. Though the mill is closed, the library is still a going concern. In 1983, the historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
Statement From Councilman David Salvatore Regarding Recent Acts of Violence Outside of City Nightclubs
Once again our City is waking up to the reports of several acts of violence that broke out across Providence in the early morning hours. As elected officials we have a sworn duty to speak up and provide a voice to those that elected us. We must do something to address these issues immediately.
I want the residents of Ward 14 to know that I have been in touch with the Commander of Providence Police, and have been briefed on the situation. I will continue to be in contact with our public safety officials and will update you when I can.
There have been too many acts of violence over the last several weeks, and besides creating serious quality of life issues for our residents – this is also harming our image as a City that is welcoming and a great place to live and visit.
We need to do more, and I’m calling on my colleagues to join me in taking action to protect residents, businesses, and patrons a like.
We are at an inflection point in Providence, as we grow as a City. We are facing crisis’ on multiple fronts; our schools, affordable housing, and the seeming uptick in violence centered around our nightclub culture.
As we grow as a City, it’s time for us to revisit our culture around nightlife and public safety. Every time an act of violence occurs inside or outside of a nightclub, public safety resources are diverted from every neighborhood in Providence leaving communities susceptible to other acts of crime.
I’m calling on my colleagues to revisit the City Council’s 2012 strategy and the Pine Report to ensure that we are working in the best interest of our constituents when it comes to their safety. I am also calling on the Board of Licenses to work with club owners across Providence and the City Council to employ strategies that proactively prevent these seemingly frequent incidents.
Violence is never the answer, and I’m deeply concerned that so many of our young people are resorting to these strategies to deal with their differences.
These acts of violence are systemic, and we as elected leaders need to address the underlying issues that plague our community. I am committed to working with my colleagues at both the state and local level to help address these serious quality of life issues.
David A. Salvatore, Providence City Council, Councilman – Ward 14