Ward 3

Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune

Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune became a Council member during a special election in the summer of 2017.  She represents the constituents of Ward 3, which includes the neighborhoods of Mount Hope, Hope Village, and Blackstone.



Ward 3: Mount Hope, Hope Village, Blackstone

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Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune Selected as One of Nation’s Top Pro-Growth Progressive Leaders

LaFortune joins group of the most innovative Democratic state and local officials

Today, Providence City Councilmember Nirva LaFortune was selected as one of eleven leaders from nine states across the country to join the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), a selective national network of innovative state and local leaders led by Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Mark Warner and former Governor Jack Markell. Members of the 150-plus-person network, who are working to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities, have been chosen from among more than 1000 nominations over its seven-year history.

LaFortune and her peers in the new class of leaders (listed below) were recognized for their unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity, as they work to move their communities forward in the new economy and reject the idea that policymakers can or should want to turn the clock back to a prior era. These leaders’ work will help build on policy agendas NewDEAL develops for state and local officials, including the upcoming release of recommendations from the organization’s Future of Work Policy Group, as well asThe Way Forward, an agenda that addresses the most pressing issues facing Americans in the digital age.

“While much of the political world is focused on how the balance of power in D.C. will shift in a couple of weeks, we must also remember the tremendous impact that innovative state and local officials have on enacting policies that meet the demands of a changing world and expand opportunity for all,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Honorary Co-Chairs of NewDEAL. “Supporting the rising leaders in the NewDEAL has never been more important. We look forward to promoting Nirva’s work and giving her the opportunity to learn from other leaders as she joins a network with a proven track record of winning and governing successfully in diverse communities.”

NewDEAL Leaders have found broad support for their work, with 98 percent of members winning elections in 2016 and 2017, across red, blue, and purple states, including eight elected to higher office. Four members were elevated to statewide office, including in the swing states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina. More than 25 leaders have run for higher office in 2018, including for Governor (such as Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia) and Congress (such as Paul Davis in Kansas, Ben McAdams in Utah, Greg Stanton in Arizona, Clarke Tucker in Arkansas, and Jennifer Wexton in Virginia).

“As we continue to fight for better jobs, access to quality education, and economic security for the people of Providence, I look forward to sharing the lessons we have learned and hearing from other leaders who are setting the standard for effective governance,” said LaFortune. “I am very excited to be a part of this new class and to work with my cohorts in furthering NewDEAL’s efforts to expand opportunity in communities nationwide.”

Since being elected in 2017, LaFortune has dedicated herself to expanding education and economic opportunity and creating a safer, more equitable Providence. The Councilmember is a strong advocate for common sense gun legislation, more transparency in local government, education and housing equity. LaFortune has established herself as a leader on education issues, serving as Vice Chair of the Providence City Council’s Special Committee on Education, and on a committee advising the RI Department of Education on implementing the Every Student Succeed Act, the federal law that governs our nation’s public school system. As an advocate for common sense legislation, LaFortune recently introduced a resolution urging the Rhode Island General Assembly to pass legislation requiring registration of all firearms.

About NewDEAL

The NewDEAL brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable. Most importantly, the organization facilitates the exchange of ideas among its members and connects them with other pro-growth progressive political, policy, and private sector leaders.
One of the organization’s signature events, the Annual NewDEAL Leaders Conference, will take place November 28-30 in Washington, DC, where about 70 NewDEAL Leaders will join other innovators from the public and private sectors to address lessons learned from the midterm elections and to discuss a forward-looking agenda for state and local Democrats to address the future of work and climate change, and rebuild trust in government.

Today’s announcement brings the total number of NewDEAL members – statewide officials, legislators, mayors, councilmembers, and other local leaders – to 166 leaders from 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Learn more about Councilmember LaFortune and the NewDEAL at http://www.newdealleaders.org/leaders.

The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:

Chaz Beasley, State Representative, Charlotte, NC
Wesley Bishop, State Senator, New Orleans, LA
John Cranley, Mayor, Cincinnati, OH
Justin Fairfax, Lieutenant Governor, Virginia
Amir Farokhi, City Councilmember, Atlanta, GA
Margaret Good, State Representative, Sarasota, FL
Derek S. Green, City Councilmember, Philadelphia, PA
Nirva LaFortune, City Councilmember, Providence, RI
Daniele Monroe-Moreno, State Representative, Las Vegas, NV
Laura Register, School Board Member, Cairo, GA
Kathy Tran, State Delegate, West Springfield, VA

Councilors Salvatore and LaFortune Introduce Amendment In Support of the City’s Policy to Support Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Tonight City Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune introduced an amendment in support of Providence’s policy to ensure in the fullest possible participation of firms owned and controlled by minorities (MBEs) or women (WBEs) in City-funded and -directed public construction programs, as well as in municipal purchases of goods and services.

“Providence is a rich and diverse city, and more than half of our population is made up of women, so we should not be struggling to meet the 10% standard of doing business with MBEs and WBEs,” stated Council President David A. Salvatore.  “We have committed to ensuring that we hire local, diverse, and skilled companies to serve the needs of our city and these amendments help to make it easier to do so.”

The amendment reforms the long-dormant Commission on Minority and Women Business Development, codifying its powers and duties and properly establishing staggered terms for its members.  It also strengthens the role of the MBE/WBE Outreach Director,empowering that person to set internal Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) goals, track and report on MBE/WBE purchasing, conduct trainings for City staff, conduct outreach to MBEs/WBEs, establish and finally, adopt rules and regulations ensuring compliance and enforcement of the ordinance.

Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune stated, “As an immigrant, woman of color, and a mom to a daughter, it is imperative that we as elected officials work to lift up these local businesses that are run by minorities and women. Helping them find a path to success shows our children that we are committed to making our city a place where everyone can succeed despite the color of their skin, their sex, or their nation of origin.”

The amendment also updates its “summary of factual findings” section, which listed information from 1987-1990, and now includes data from the 2012 MWBE Procurement Task Force report.  It also requires mandatory Council reviews of the MWBE ordinance and program beginning in 2020 and every 10 years thereafter.

City Council Creates Special Committee to Study Homelessness in Providence

Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris introduced a resolution to establish the Special Committee to Study Homelessness in Providence at tonight’s City Council meeting.

“As elected representatives of the people of Providence, as well as members of this community, we have a moral obligation to help the homeless,” stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. “In order for Providence to be a truly strong city, we must ensure the protections of all people. We must enact policies that will reduce the level of homelessness in our capital City, and I am confident that this committee will work to find solutions that will end homelessness in Providence one day

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), 39% of people experiencing homelessness nationwide are female, 21% are children, and another 10% are between the ages of 18 and 24. While African-Americans are just 13% of the U.S. population, more than 40% of homeless people in the U.S. are African-American. In 2017 the number of unsheltered homeless in America increased 9.4% from 2016 to 2017.

“As an African American woman it is not lost on me that people of color and women experience homelessness at far greater levels than others in our society,” stated Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Ward 11. “I’ve worked my whole career helping people rise out of homelessness, and this opportunity to lead a committee to study and to enact change makes me very proud.”

 The Special Committee to Study Homelessness will be composed of:

  • Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Chair
  • Councilman Nicholas Narducci Jr., Vice-Chair
  • Councilwoman Carmen Castillo
  • Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune
  • Councilman Samuel Zurier

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