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matt

Making our voices heard

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We talked last night about ways to be heard and voice opinions.

Perhaps we should have a thread that focuses on ways to do this. Such things as:

  • listing info on upcoming city/neighborhood meetings

  • addresses/links to important people/decision makers

  • addresses/links to publications appropriate for editorials/letters

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Perhaps we should have a thread that focuses on ways to do this.

Yes, we should have a thread, and now we do! :)

I'll add obvious ones later like city hall, and ProJo, but people can start helping by adding neighbourhood groups and more obscure agencies that they know of that everyone elese may not be familiar with. I'll format everything into one list later.

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One thing people could do...

Providence Monthly/East Side Monthly are quite open to considering story submissions from non-staffers. If you're a writer, or think you could be one, you could try pitching a story to them.

Alternately, I'm sort of eFriends with one of their regular writers, we could pitch a story to her. I think the idea of taking pride in the city, the things being discussed in the broken window thread, is a good story idea. Sort of almost (or actually) shaming people into taking care of the city. Coming right out and saying, "wake up people, Providence is beautiful, it's got problems, but sh!tting on it all the time isn't helping things, a little civic pride and civility goes a long ways, and your taxes don't have to be raised to make it happen."

I also happen to know an excellent photographer who contributes regularly to Providence Monthly, if anyone does try to get a story published, I can hook ya up.

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I just went to a meeting of the Yale Association of RI where Jack Gold, Executive Director of the Providence Preservation Society, was the featured speaker, talking about the potential of the Providence waterfront with the movement of 195. It was an interesting talk. He certainly seems more in the UP-Prov mold than I might have expected coming from the PPS. He was very pro greenspace but also pro-density where needed to build a vibrant, active waterfront. He seemed like the anti-David Brussat, deeply reverant of history and preservation while recognizing the need for architectural evolution in the service of building the community and growing the economy.

I asked him a similar question to the one I asked Thom at the meeting on Monday, that being where do pro-urbanists like ourselves sell our vision of Providence? He mentioned several organizations to direct opinions to that we might want to add to our eventual contact list:

- The Providence Foundation

- The AIA of Rhode Island

- Smart Growth RI (which I need to read more about, as I seem to recall some dodgy ideas attributed to them in the past)

I forwarded him the UP Providence site address, and hopefully he'll join the growing community monitoring the site.

- Garris

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It seems the PPS is well aware of the need to grow the city, less it become simply a collection of dusty historic buildings with no one living or working or playing in any of them.

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It seems the PPS is well aware of the need to grow the city, less it become simply a collection of dusty historic buildings with no one living or working or playing in any of them.

????????? :ph34r:

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My sense is that we should organize into an "official-ish" new citizens group with the mission of supporting smart, urban growth in metropolitan Providence.

I believe we need to take that step in order to most effectively further our causes.

There, I said it... :whistling:

Jack

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My sense is that we should organize into an "official-ish" new citizens group with the mission of supporting smart, urban growth in metropolitan Providence.

I believe we need to take that step in order to most effectively further our causes.

There, I said it... :whistling:

I agree, and as much as it is my "job" to promote UrbanPlanet, I think it is obvious that it should not be called UrbanPlanet something-something... Of course UrbanPlanet can be used as the online gathering point.

I know there are people on here who have far more experience organizing neighbourhood/citizens groups than, I (or even simply attending them). So how do we go about it people?

Also, I'm interested to see what can come together with the effort to take some control over Burnside that Ari has proposed.

Whatever we do, I think another face-to-face-to-face meeting is in order.

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Whatever we do, I think another face-to-face-to-face meeting is in order.

I agree, and suggest that we keep our momentuum by planning something relatively soon after Thanksgiving so as to avoid the inevitable end-of-year-holiday conflicts.

Jack

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We talked last night about ways to be heard and voice opinions.

Perhaps we should have a thread that focuses on ways to do this. Such things as:

  • listing info on upcoming city/neighborhood meetings

  • addresses/links to important people/decision makers

  • addresses/links to publications appropriate for editorials/letters

I've commented on this before, although I don't think anyone has answered. But if you all want to be heard, the first place is to show our local elected officials that you know about and are evaluating the decisions they make. I GO to city council hearings, and I can safely say that none of you are there, since I may be the only citizen/resident sitting there! As I said before, one council member actually believes Providence is already too crowded and has too many people! The lack of interest by citizens in decisions leaves elected officials to their own devices. I don't think they're bad or even misguided -- they just don't know the alternatives out there. What we have now is a situation where the council refuses even to listen to the planning department -- they have no idea what the rezoning entails, and that's partly the planning department's fault for the abysmal and arrogant way they conducted the so-called public meetings, and partly the council's part for being clueless and disengaged from decisions that are likely to change the city's landscape for decades to come.

If you want to have any credibility, you have to start paying attention to the boring bureaucrats and nuts and bolts of local decisions.

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If you want to have any credibility, you have to start paying attention to the boring bureaucrats and nuts and bolts of local decisions.

I think you make some very important points, if perhaps a bit sanctimoniously framed :whistling: . Certainly, being familiar with the process and attending meetings is a good place to start.

Let me ask you one question from my experience, though, and feel free to tell me I'm wrong... In the small town where I grew up, I often attended town meetings as a teenager (for government class projects, community service projects, etc) and there were always a handful of people who were there for every meeting, and spoke every time on the same subjects. It seemed to me that the officials dismissed these folks as "the nuts who are here every week" and they didn't seem to influence anything at all... Do you think that happens here as well?

That said, I think the idea of at least attending meetings to know what is going on is a great idea.

Here is the website for the Providence City Council:

http://www.providenceri.com/CityCouncil/index.html

Here is the master website for the listing of all upcoming RI governmental meetings:

http://www.sec.state.ri.us/pubinfo/openmee...g_meetings.html

These are some that might be of particular interest to UP-Prov readers:

East Providence Planning Board -November 21, 2005 07:30 PM

145 Taunton Avenue, , East Providence, RI 02914

Warwick Station Redevelopment Agency -November 22, 2005 06:00 PM

3275 Post Road, City Hall Lower Level Conference Room, Warwick, RI 02886

Enterprise Zone Council, Rhode Island -November 30, 2005 10:00 AM

Rhode Island Enterprise Zone Council Meeting, One West Exchange Street, Providence, RI 02903

The Warwick Station meeting sounds interesting, and I might try to make that, but I didn't see any mention Providence City Council Meetings. When is the next one?

- Garris

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I didn't see any mention Providence City Council Meetings. When is the next one?

Providence City Council meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm. There are special committee meetings at other regular times, but it's hard to figure out when. Anyone know the meeting schedule for the Committee on Urban Renwal, Redevelopment and Planning, for example?

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