Ward 8

Councilman James Taylor

Councilman James Taylor represents Ward 8 of the City of Providence, which includes the Elmwood, South Elmwood, Reservoir Triangle and the West End neighborhoods. Councilman Taylor served the Providence Fire Department from 1989 to 2016. He is the Founder and Chair of the City Council’s Special Committee on Public Safety.





Ward 8: Elmwood, South Elmwood, Reservoir Triangle & West End

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Providence City Council Urges State to Monitor Water Pollutant PFAS

Councilwoman Rachel Miller Introduced the Resolution in Support of Rhode Island House Bill 6064,            An Act Relating to Waters and Navigation – PFAS in Drinking and Surface Waters

Providence City Council passed a resolution tonight in support of Rhode Island House Bill 6064, an act in support of safe drinking and surface waters.  The resolution was introduced by Councilwoman Rachel M. Miller (Ward 13).

House Bill 6064 will authorize the Department of Health, in consultation with the Water Resource Board, to adopt a rule for maximum contaminant levels of Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS), to protect the quality and safety of the public drinking water supply.

Known as forever chemicals because of their longevity in the environment, PFAS are associated with a wide variety of health risks including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and developmental risks. This class of chemicals have been widely used in commercial and industrial products including Teflon pans, stain resistant clothing, and firefighting foam, and are found ubiquitously in the environment. A2007 study found that 98% of the United States’ population had detectable amounts of PFAS in their bloodstream.[1]

“The same chemical properties that have ensured PFAS wide use in commercial and industrial applications make PFAS a particularly pernicious and dangerous contaminant, ” stated Councilwoman Rachel M. Miller. “Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are setting standards to protect their residents, Connecticut is considering the same. Rhode Islanders need the state to step up and safeguard our water supply. I urge the House to pass Bill 6064 without hesitation,” Miller continued.

PFAS contamination of the water supply has been detected in several New England communities, including Burrillville Rhode Island, where families served by the Oakland Association water system are still drinking bottled water. Last week New Hampshire filed a lawsuit against major manufacturers of PFAS citing widespread contamination.

“Waters across Rhode Island are being destroyed by toxic PFAS forever chemicals,” said Amy Moses, Vice President and Rhode Island Director of Conservation Law Foundation. “It’s about time our health department wake up and take this threat to public health seriously. We commend the Providence City Council for encouraging passage of legislation that will ensure Rhode Island families won’t be sickened by simply drinking out of their taps.”

The Act sets an interim drinking water standard and requires monitoring to protect public health. In the short term, it requires DOH to set a Maximum Contaminant Level for five enumerated PFAS compounds, engage in rulemaking regarding the regulation of PFAS as a class, and ultimately either regulate PFAS as a class or explain any impediments to doing so, and to investigate potential sources of PFAS contamination. The Act will also require the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to set surface water quality standards for at least five enumerated PFAS compounds and investigate the risks posed by emerging contaminants in landfill leachate.

For more information on PFAS, please visit cleanwateraction.org.

[1]  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072821/

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 Recognizes National Public Works Week

The Providence City Council passed a resolution sponsored by Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia (Ward 6), recognizing the week of May 19 through May 25, 2019 as National Public Works Week.

National Public Works Week is observed as a way to pay tribute to the public works professionals, engineers, managers and employees who make substantial contributions to protect our national health, safety, and quality of life.

“Every day as I travel my ward, and across the city, I see the men and women of the Department of Public Works laboring away,” stated City Council Pro Tempore Michael Correia, Ward 6. “As the Chairman of the Committee on Public Works, I know first-hand the professionalism, the dedication, and the motivation that every employee at the DPW has for their work. It’s because of the ingenuity of a crew member of the DPW that the fountain in DePasquale Square was fixed before the start of the summer season. It’s because of the men and women of the DPW that Councilors like myself can hold community clean-ups and mattress pick-ups. Their work matters and they don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. It’s my privilege and honor to acknowledge our Public Works employees not just this week, but every week.”

The resolution, proposed by Council President Pro Tempore Correia and co-sponsored by Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15), Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. (Ward 4), Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11), Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin (Ward 12), and Councilman James E. Taylor (Ward 8), motivates the residents of Providence to become interested and engaged in the importance of publicly funded construction in their respective communities throughout the City.

National Public Works Week will consist of a series of events and ceremonies that pay tribute to the significant work done by public works professionals, and all citizens are encouraged to participate. 2019 is the 59th year that National Public Works Week has been recognized under the sponsorship of the American Public Works Association.

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