Ward 5

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan represents the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant, and the western edge of Manton. She has been a Council member since 2015 and currently serves as the City Council Majority Leader. Additionally, Councilwoman Ryan is Chair of the Committee on Municipal Operations and Oversight and serves on several committees including Finance and Ordinance.

 

READ HER FULL BIO HERE >

Ward 5: Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant, Manton

Ward 5 stretches across the Northwestern part of the city, encompassing portions of the Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant, and Manton neighborhoods.

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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.

City Council Approves Text Changes to the Zoning Ordinance Including Language to Limit Short-Term Rentals in Some Residential Neighborhoods

Tonight, the City Council passed for the final time the Committee on Ordinances’ recommendation for text changes to the zoning ordinance that will work to limit short-term rental units in the City of Providence.

“This text change preserves the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) and Chairwoman of the Committee on Ordinances. “It will help protect the much needed housing stock in the city of Providence, and this minor change to the zoning ordinance will put limitations on short-term housing rentals in only residentially zoned neighborhoods. With a decrease in housing stock due to short-term rentals, our residents are finding it harder and harder to find an affordable home. These short-term rental units being off the residential rental market are increasing the cost of other rental units, and we need to consider the needs of all our residents.”

With the growth of company’s like Airbnb city’s like Providence have found themselves at a crossroads. How do we protect our neighborhoods, our shortage of housing stock, and also embrace investment opportunities for our residents? The Council believes that by making these slight text changes to the zoning ordinance in residential neighborhoods we will achieve that end.

The text changes will require all short-term rental units to be in owner-occupied dwellings in residentially zoned neighborhoods, and owners will need to get a FREE permit from the City’s Department of Inspection and Standards yearly.

This decision came after much discussion and deliberation with community members and city planning officials.  The City Planning Department held a public hearing in 2018, and just this past May the Council’s Committee on Ordinances held a well attended public hearing on the matter.

This modest text change to the zoning ordinance will preserve housing stock, quality of life for our neighbors, and will continue to allow investment opportunities for residents.

Statement from Chairwoman Jo-Ann Ryan

Tonight, the Committee on Ordinances recommended for first passage a change to the zoning ordinance that will work to preserve the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods and will help protect the much-needed housing stock in the city of Providence. The minor change to the zoning ordinance will put limitations on short-term housing rentals in residential zoned neighborhoods.

With the growth of company’s like Airbnb, we have found ourselves, as many other cities have, at a crossroads. How do we protect our neighborhoods, our shortage of housing stock, and also embrace investment opportunities for our residents?

We believe that by making these slight changes to the zoning codes in residential neighborhoods we will achieve that end. After the second and final passage of this ordinance in June, short-term rental properties in residentially zoned neighborhoods will need to be permitted and will also need to be owner-occupied.

This decision came after much discussion and deliberation with community members and city planning officials. We believe that this change will preserve housing stock, quality of life for our neighbors, and will continue to allow investment opportunities for residents.

–Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan, Chairwoman, Committee on Ordinances

 

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