David A. Salvatore | President, Providence City Council
1. What does it mean to you to be elected City Council president? I’m a lifelong Providence resident, and my family’s story is similar to that of many others. … The City Council’s work is impactful to our constituents in very basic, quality-of-life ways – ensuring that streets are clear, neighborhoods are safe and clean, kids have access to a good education and opportunities. I never lose sight of that.
2. What do you want to accomplish in this role? I want this to be the City Council that gets things done. Providence faces challenges, but we also have many opportunities. … The City Council has a real opportunity to make Providence a better place to live, to do business and to enact sensible policies, while being more transparent. Over the past several years, the City Council has been divided. I want to bridge those divides and be a more cohesive, unified council. We all have the same goal: a stronger, better Providence, a well-governed city with effective services and reduced crime.
3. What is the single greatest challenge facing Providence? Like many other cities across the country, Providence faces fiscal challenges. And addressing the pension’s unfunded liability is crucial. Another important challenge is expanding opportunity in Providence – across all neighborhoods and wards.
4. How do you plan to address it? A big component of expanding opportunity is closing the achievement gap for students, ensuring all children in Providence have a solid education. We need to address not only the quality of programs we offer our students, but also the quality of our school buildings. Expanding economic opportunity and improving education in turn reduces crime and makes Providence more attractive to companies looking to locate here.
5. Given the arrests of high-ranking councilors in recent years, what can you do to improve the council’s image? We all have a responsibility to the public to be transparent, open and above all, honest – with our finances, how we govern and how we make the decisions that impact our constituents. My colleagues and I have a duty to uphold the public’s trust, and I take that incredibly seriously.