Ward 15

Councilwoman Sabina Matos

Sabina Matos was first elected to the Providence City Council in 2010, and was re-elected in 2018. She represents Ward 15, which includes Olneyville as well as parts of the Silver Lake and Valley neighborhoods. In 2015, Matos became the first Latina elected as Council President Pro Tempore in Providence’s history. In January of 2019 she was elected by a majority of her peers as the first Latina City Council President.



Ward 15: Olneyville, Silver Lake, Valley

Ward 15 is located on the Southwest end of the city and covers the neighborhoods of Olneyville, Valley, and portions of Silver Lake.

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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

Council President Matos Appoints Chief of Staff

Providence City Council President Sabina Matos has appointed Erlin Rogel, J.D. as the Council’s Chief of Staff effective Monday, March 25, 2019.

“Since my election as Council President in January I have worked to build-out the Council office so that we can offer our constituents the highest level of service and Erlin is the capstone,” stated Council President Sabina Matos. “I have known Erlin for many years through his different community roles, and believe that his experience and skill set make him an excellent choice to fill this very important role. I look forward to working with him.”

Rogel was born and raised in Providence’s South Side. He is a graduate of Classical High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Roger Williams University and a Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law. During Law School, Rogel interned for the City’s Solicitor’s Office for two years where he researched and drafted the City’s Body Works Ordinance which regulated illegal brothels operating as massage parlors in the City, and which was later signed into State law by Governor Gina Raimondo. For the past four years he has worked as an English teacher in the Providence Public Schools.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a dynamic team, and to serve the members of the City Council as their Chief of Staff,” stated Erlin Rogel. “I look forward to working with old and new colleagues bringing stability and strategic leadership to help propel the City forward.”

Rogel has worked as a political campaign consultant for numerous campaigns. He is also a co-founder of Millennial RI and a founding member of the Rhode Island Hispanic Bar Association. He is also Board Chair of the Gentlemen’s Academy; a mentorship program for young men of color across Rhode Island.

Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia said, “First, on behalf of the Council President and the members of the Council, I want to thank James Lombardi III for his leadership and help during this transitional period. Jim not only continued his work as the City Treasurer and as the Special Adviser to the City Council, but he also stepped in to lead our office and made significant changes in very little time to shore-up efficiencies and to make our team work better and faster as the Interim Chief of Staff. Second, I want to welcome Erlin and I look forward to working with him.”

Rogel is a Providence native living in the Elmhurst neighborhood and has extensive experience in public policy and local politics.

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