Friday, November 22, 2013

"Open Meetings Portal"

The City of Providence today launched its Open Meetings Portal - a single, public access point for public meeting information.

The site,, fulfills a recommendation of a special commission established to find ways the City can use technology to engage residents, and is the result of several months of collaboration between the City Clerk, City Council, and the administration of Mayor Angel Taveras.


Committee :  Derry Riding, Advocacy Chair 401-209-5091
    Susan Escherich 401-433-4896
    Joanne Devoe 401-247-3004
    Rosemary Forbes-Woodside 401-423-6440
    Jane Koster, LWVRI President 401-339-2351-3004

1. monitor bills on line as they are introduced that are related to LWV positions
2. alert the advocacy committee which will  work with them to decide if/when we need to testify, write letters, etc. 
3. monitor committee hearings (wearing League Buttons) and report back to Advocacy Committee 
4. meet with their legislators to present League positions and discuss issues

We hope to have two or more people to work together on each subcommittee to share the work.  If you are interested, please contact Susan Escherich at 401-433-4896.

LWVRI Legislative Priorities for 2014

• Restoring the jurisdiction of the Ethics Committee over the legislature (partners: Common Cause, ACCESS RI)
• Improving voting procedures and policies (early voting, improved voting machines, eliminating master lever, voter id., etc. ) partner: Common Cause
• Supporting women’s health and reproductive rights.  Partner: RI Coalition for Reproductive Justice
• Promoting  gun safety
• Passing merit selection for magistrates so they are chosen like judges.  Partner: Common Cause
• Counting addresses of prisoners as where they lived when arrested to prevent skewing of populations in redistricting.  Partner: Common Cause
• Reforming redistricting commission makeup.   Partner: Common Cause
• Promoting public education funding that provides equality of opportunity through a system of taxation that is sufficient, equitable, flexible, equitable and coordinated among the different levels of government.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

School Board nominating forum postponed

Event postponed to Thursday November 21.

For more information:
Phone 272-0422

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tax Policy

Reflections, from Sam Zurier, Ward 2 Councilman, at November 13 “Providence Conversation” of Providence League of Women Voters

In the more prosperous past, Providence had one tax rate. Only when economic straits tightened and the city needed more revenue, did it split rates: first, commercial from residential; next, within residential, rental from owner-occupied units. Today Providence has one of the highest tax rates for apartments in the state, possibly the country; for a time, the motor vehicle tax in Providence was the highest in the state.     More

Monday, November 18, 2013


Public Meeting #2
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Friedman Auditorium - Brown University Metcalf Research Complex (190 Thayer Street)

Public Forum on the R. I. Constitutional Convention

R. I. Constitutional Convention
Public Forum
Presented by
Operation Clean Government

When: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Old State House, 150 Benefit Street, Providence, R.I.

For more information: Operation Clean Government (OCG)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2014 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships

The Rhode Island Foundation has announced it is accepting applications for the 2014 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships, an annual program to stimulate solutions to the state’s challenges.
The deadline to apply is Friday, December 13. Learn more and access the application.

Superintendent Forums

Learn more about “Opening Doors to our Children’s Futures,”
our exciting plan for the direction of Providence Public Schools.
Find out what it will mean for students, parents and schools.

Wednesday, November 20 | 4:30 p.m.
William D’Abate Elementary School
60 Kossuth Street, Providence

Thursday, November 21 | 6:00 p.m.
Nathan Bishop Middle School
101 Sessions Street, Providence

For information, call (401) 456-0686
or visit

Needed: Help with School Board Nominating Commission Public Hearing

By November 18, the School Board Nominating Commission will have applications in hand for school committee. On Wednesday, November 20th from 6 pm to 8 pm in the auditorium of the Providence Career & Technical Academy (PCTA), the public is invited to a forum to hear the nominees respond to questions.
The Providence League of Women Voters once again has been asked to help with this forum.
We need people to distribute index cards for questions, to time-keep, to greet the nominees, to ask questions.
Please let me know if you can help.
Phone 272-0422

Monday, November 11, 2013

Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience

Adrian Benepe at the Iconic and Historic Industrial Trust Building
November 14, 2013 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm | 111 Westminster Street, Providence RI | FREE

Adrian Benepe Kicking off the Providence Preservation Society’s yearlong series on downtown Providence and the making of great cities is Adrian Benepe, former New York City Parks Commissioner and now Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development at the Trust for Public Land. He will lead us in discussing the benefit and potential for open space and public land.

For more details:


Excerpts from City Councilman Sam Zurier's 11/10/13 Ward Letter:

On Thursday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall (third floor), the City Council's Commission on Property Tax Revaluation will meet to discuss internal procedures related to the tax revaluation process.

The City Council's Ways and Means Committee will be reviewing the status of the City's current inventory of tax stabilization agreements, consider ways to ensure better performance from pending agreements and policies to enhance future agreements.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Monday, November 11 - 11 am

Providence League of Women Voters board/conveners/members organizational meeting.
All are welcome.

For more information, contact Liz Head,

Wednesday, November 13 -  7 pm to 9 pm

“Providence Conversation”. Councilman Sam Zurier will talk about tax policy in Providence: who decides who will pay what? who gets special breaks? who doesn't?

For more information: contact 

Members to select Advocacy priorities for 2014

The League of Women Voters of RI's annual Advocacy Committee meeting to organize our efforts for 2014 will be held November 11, 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon at Susan Escherich’s house, 133 Terrace Avenue, Riverside, RI.

Subcommittees track legislation introduced in their areas of interest, and work with the Advocacy committee to determine which hearings need to be monitored and which bills need response from us. The LWVRI is partnering with organizations such as Common Cause, ACCESS RI, the Coalition for Reproductive Justice, and ACLU to act on bills of mutual interest to our organizations.

The meeting is open to members only.

To join or see League positions, go to our web site at

If interested contact Derry Riding at 209-5091 or Susan Escherich  433-4896 or

Current Advocacy Subcommittees
1. Accountable Government, open records, ethics
2. Women’s Issues/Reproductive Justice
3. School Funding Issues
4. Election Procedures – voter id, early voting, removal of master lever
5. Environmental Issues
6. Gun Control
7. Civil Liberties

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Applications Being Accepted for Providence School Board

Application deadline: November 13, 4 pm.

The Providence School Board Nominating Commission is accepting applications for three positions with terms expiring on December 31, 2013. Candidates with strong finance and/or policy experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

Members are appointed to three-year terms,  staggered to have three positions up for renewal every year. School Board members whose terms are expiring have the possibility of reappointment .

The School Board Nominating Commission will conduct an informational session on Wednesday, November 6, from 6 to 7:15 pm  at the Providence Public School Department at 797 Westminster Street, in School Board Room C.

The School Board job description and online application are available at:

LWVRI Fund-raiser at 2nd Story Theater 11/21

The fall theater party fund-raiser has become a LWVRI tradition. This year we return to:
2nd Story Theater for Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet,”
DownStage Theater, 28 Market St., Warren, on Thursday, November 21 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $35 each and reservations are due November 7. Use the form attached or order your tickets on line at This play will prove popular and only a few tickets have been reserved for the League. Reserve today!

For those of you who would like to gather for dinner together beforehand, make reservations with Joanne for Crossroads Restaurant, 133 Market St. at 6 PM., only 3 blocks walk from the theater.

For more information, contact Joanne DeVoe, 247-3004 or

RI Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Rhode Island's Health Care Exchange
About this video
"On March 27, 2013, Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor, Elizabeth Roberts, spoke at League Day at the State House about the Rhode Island Health Care Exchange."

Ken Block, The Master Lever Story
About this video
"Ken Block spoke at the League of Women Voters Rhode Island 2013 Annual Convention about his campaign to get rid of the Master Lever on the Rhode Island ballot."