Ward 2

Councilwoman Helen Anthony

Councilwoman Helen Anthony represents Ward 2 of Providence, which consists of the Blackstone, College Hill and Wayland neighborhoods. She serves on the Finance Committee and the Committee on Claims and Pending Suits. Councilwoman Anthony currently works as a land use attorney at Handy Law, LLC; she served on the Providence Zoning Board of Appeals and was sworn into the City Council in 2019.

 

                                  READ HER FULL BIO HERE

Ward 2: Blackstone, College Hill, Wayland

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City Council Votes to Create Community Choice Electricity Aggregation

The Providence City Council voted tonight to authorize the Mayor and the City’s Office of Sustainability to develop and implement an aggregation plan to allow the residents of Providence to have more control over their electric bills.

According to the EPA, Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), also known as municipal aggregation, are programs that allow local governments to procure power on behalf of their residents. CCAs provide communities that want more local control over their electricity sources, more green power than is offered by the default utility, and lower electricity prices.

“With National Grid slated to raise our electricity rates by 8% this fall we need to offer our residents a way to lessen the burden and I believe community aggregation is a step in the right direction,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5). “Residents across the City saw tax increases on their properties, and even on their income taxes, and an 8% increase on our electricity bills adds up. Allowing the City to buy power in bulk, and buy alternate forms of power is not only the right thing to do, it’s the green thing to do. This is one more step in making Providence a carbon-neutral city by 2050!”

Under Rhode Island state law, CCA programs provide the opportunity to bring the benefits of competitive choice of electric supplier, longer-term price stability and more renewable energy options to the residents and businesses of the City of Providence and other municipalities in Rhode Island. The City Council is in full support of this program and the potential monetary and environmental benefits to our community.

Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11) stated, “My neighbors are worried, they are worried about how are they going to pay their electric bill and keep food on the table. An increase of 8% will harm my neighbors, especially my elderly neighbors who are on a fixed income, and young families. I love the idea that residents will have a choice of a provider and not forced into using one source for their electricity.”

With tonight’s resolution the City Council authorizes the Mayor to engage a consultant with experience in developing and administering CCA programs to assist the City in the creation and operation of an aggregation plan and CCA program provided that the City shall not be required to draw upon the General Fund to compensate such consultant.

“I am very happy to be a co-sponsor of this important piece of legislation,” stated Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2). “No matter where you live you should be able to have a choice regarding your electric service provider. Many residents want an option to buy electricity that is greener – such as solar or wind generated power – and they should have that option. This is a great step forward in embracing the green economy.”

The Office of Sustainability will provide regular updates to the full City Council regarding the development and implementation of the aggregation plan and CCA program.

 

Providence City Council Calls on State to Ban Assault Weapons

City Council members passed three resolutions at tonight’s council meeting urging the General Assembly to pass legislation banning assault weapons, banning high capacity magazines, and prohibiting concealed-carry weapons on school grounds. These resolutions were introduced by Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Councilman David A. Salvatore (Ward 14), Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2), Councilwoman Rachel Miller (Ward 13), and Councilman Seth Yurdin (Ward 1).

“We are not going to wait until the next tragedy for changes that we need to see enacted now,” stated Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune. “It is time to take a stand against gun violence and the City Council supports the Senators and Representatives that have put forth this much-needed legislation. We need to keep assault weapons off the street and away from criminals in order to ensure the safety of families, students, and law enforcement officers.”

The Providence City Council respectfully requests the Rhode Island General Assembly to pass House Bills H-5741, H-5762, H-5739; and Senate Bills S-635, S-636, S-637. These legislative bills include the Rhode Island Assault Weapons Ban Act, the Large Capacity Feeding Device Ban Act and an amendment to the RI General Law chapter 11-47 entitled “weapons.” Seven States and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning Assault weapons including: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Councilman David A. Salvatore stated, “The debate is over; there is no justification for military-style assault weapons with large-capacity magazines to be in the hands of civilians. Firearms should be nowhere near our school grounds or public spaces and it is our moral obligation as public servants to protect the people through common sense gun legislation. Rhode Islanders will not let the proliferation of assault weapons go unchecked.”

“This is a clear message from Providence residents to our state leaders that it is time to put an end to mass shootings by banning assault weapons once and for all,” stated Councilwoman Helen Anthony. “Our children deserve a safer world and not one where anybody can easily acquire a weapon that shoots up to 100 rounds a minute.”

Click here to view a digital version of the resolutions.

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.

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