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Candidate Undebate a Big Success


Thanks to all who attended the Candidate Forum Un-debate last night! Steve Ahlquist caught it all on video, and took the time to sort every comment and label them for easy viewing (

Thank you, Steve! Big thanks to Mike Ritz, Executive Director of LeadershipRI, for serving as facilitator, to the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Observatory Neighborhood Association, and Providence Cultural Equity Initiative for the collaborative effort, and to Joan of MLK Elementary for her work preparing and closing after the event.

The followup to this event will be a debate night, moderated by WPRI’s Dan McGowan, on August 9th at 6pm at MLK Elementary and will again include free childcare and light refreshments! Our goal is to ensure we enable all members of the community to attend if they’d like, so SNA is proud to sponsor childcare providers from the Mount Hope Learning Center who did a great job caring for kids during the first event and will return for the debate night! This event will feature the primary candidates for Providence mayor (incumbent Mayor Jorge Elorza, Kobi Dennis, and Robert DeRobbio) and our own R.I. House District 4 (Mark Tracy and Rebecca Kislak), so don’t miss it!

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Fane Tower – City Council Public Hearing

The City Council Ordinance Committee will hold a public hearing on the Fane luxury skyscraper proposal on Wednesday, July 18th at 5:30pm in the City Council Chamber (City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street, Third Floor).

The Council has the final say in whether the special zoning change the developer is seeking will be approved or not, and thus, they control the fate of the project. They seek a change in the allowable maximum height for buildings on that particular parcel from 100 feet to 600 feet. It’s an important meeting to attend if you have an opinion on the matter.

If you would like to provide written testimony on the proposal (in addition to or instead of attending the hearing), you may send it to Emily Martineau, City Council Chief of Staff at; and directly to Chair Terrence Hassett at

For those who haven’t followed this, Dan McGowan wrote a detailed and (I think) very fair piece in East Side Monthly this month:,27839

While the above is my attempt to provide neutral information, I personally oppose the current proposal and have heard many negative concerns from folks in the neighborhood. As such, the SNA board and I summarized these concerns in our letter to the editor in the Providence Journal and urged the Council to vote against the special zoning change, which we view as a troubling example of “spot zoning” that would set aside years of thoughtful work and public engagement that was done to develop the current zoning plan:…/letter-ethan-gyles-new-skyscrap…

If you do plan to attend the hearing — whether for or against — I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Best regards,
Ethan Gyles
President, SNA

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August Outdoor Family Movie Nights!

Coming up in August! Two outdoor family movie nights at Lippitt Park! Brought to you by the Providence Children’s Film Festival and SNA.
movie nights

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Candidate Primary Forums – Mt. Hope/Summit/Observatory


The Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Summit Neighborhood Association, and Observatory Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, are pleased to present two free local candidate events for the 2018 election. Facebook event here.

All local candidates for election in these neighborhoods who **face a primary** will be invited. Based on the candidates who have declared, this means declared Democratic candidates who make the ballot for the following races are invited:
-R.I. House District 4 (state representative – open seat)
-R.I. Senate District 6 (state senate – incumbent Sen. Harold Metts)
-Providence mayor (incumbent Mayor Jorge Elorza)

This first event, 7/26 – 6-8:30pm, will be an “Un-Debate” format, wherein candidates provide brief introductions and the focus of the event is for members of the community to voice their concerns and questions while the candidates listen carefully. This is a chance for the candidates to learn more about the needs of the community they seek to represent. Candidates are encouraged to take notes and consider their stances over the following two weeks in advance of the second event. Folks may remember this format from the 2017 city council special election.

The second event, on 8/9 – 6-8:30pm, will be a traditional moderated debate. Themes raised during the Un-Debate will be used to craft debate questions for candidates.

We encourage folks to attend both events. However, if you are unable to attend the Un-debate to raise your concerns or questions, we’re happy to hear them via email, and we may use them as debate questions for the second event.

Both events will be from 6-8:30pm at MLK Elementary at 35 Camp Street. Free childcare will be provided during the event, and light refreshments will be served.

We hope to also host a separate fall general election event which will include the independents who make the ballot (no Republicans declared by the filing deadline).

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Summer 2018 Newsletter

The Summer 2018 newsletter has hit the streets!

We’re seeking volunteers to contribute content — any kind of local content, from quick writeups on events, to commentary, to poetry and photography, as long as it relates to the neighborhood — for our Summer 2018 newsletter. Please contact us at SNAProv at gmail dot com!

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Fane Luxury Tower Proposal

The SNA board urges the Providence City Council to reject the Fane luxury tower proposal because of the concerning precedent spot zoning would set. Our letter to the editor appeared in the Providence Journal today.

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Zoning Board Agenda

The upcoming zoning board hearing has an agenda item in Summit that may be of interest to neighbors.



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Silent Auction & Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s


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A nice sign of spring!


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Annual Meeting 2018


Thanks to all who participated in our Annual Meeting last night, including our elected officials including City Councilor Nirva Lafortune, Rep. Aaron Regunberg, Sen. Gayle Goldin, and Mayor Jorge Elorza!

Congratulations and thanks to Read Porter, Kathleen Rourke, and Anna Highsmith for their election to our board! And thanks to departing board members Anne Holland, Lee Clasper-Torch, and Emily Spitzman for the time and energy you’ve put into our community!

(Continuing members include Anneliese Greenier, Sandra Lee, John Pettinelli, Laura Ramsey, Sharon Lee Waldman, and Dean Weinberg, Ethan Gyles (president), Tom Schmeling (vice president), Erik Christiansen (secretary), and Britt Page (treasurer))

These folks make up our board for 2018-2019, but most importantly, we want to hear your input, and have your participation. Please come out to our next monthly meeting on May 21st at 7pm at Summit Commons at 99 Hillside Avenue! SNA exists to be your platform and your connection!

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