Mayor Taveras Inauguration

Inaugural Day in Kennedy Plaza
City Year Volunteers

I am typing this with frozen fingers, because for inexplicable reasons we do these things in January. But it was a beautiful sunny day and hundreds were there for the civic occasion. Some local color– there was a man with a beautiful white bulldog wearing a tuxedo (the dog, not the man). The two ministers who spoke invoked Roger Williams– very appropriate. A woman on the edge of the crowd shouted ‘Jesus’ at random moments– not so inspiring, but it’s a free country.

The ceremony started with a bagpiper, included the Pledge of Allegiance by schoolchildren, and a poem read by a student. The whole drift of the ceremony and much of Mayor Taveras’ speech was focused on the importance of education.

See coverage of Angel Taveras’ inaugural speech, and a transcript. Good ideas, we the people will have to make it happen.

Better Late Than Never

It took me forever to decide who to vote for, but I finally settled on Angel Taveras. He had endorsements from people I like — Myrth York, Rhoda Perry, SEIU, Clean Water Action. He grew up, lives and works in Providence, I think he’ll make a good mayor.

So today, around suppertime, I drove on over to Taveras HQ. There were doorbells to ring and people to canvass. I met a guy named Francisco and we teamed up to visit some streets off Chalkstone.

I’m always impressed with how nice people are, when, after all, I’m ringing their doorbell uninvited. Maybe they are just as nice to the Avon Lady and the Fuller Brush Man, but I like to think it’s the American love of democracy. Quite a few of the people we talked to had already voted.

I agreed to go to the polling place at Nathaniel Greene to record the early returns, and though it looks like the turnout was light, Angel Taveras was doing well.

Now I’m home waiting for the numbers to come in. And I got a cool t-shirt.

THE DAY AFTER: Angel won! I like to think the mighty Kmareka political machine had a part in this. Congratulations to Angel Tavares and all the good people who worked for him. Now on to November.

Oh, Brother!

Channel 6 is putting a big buildup on this ‘excluuusive’ story that the family of Mayoral candidate, Angel Taveras, is not paying taxes. And this– when the cash-strapped city is taxing everything that moves or stays still.

What family? It’s his brother. What taxes? Car taxes, way behind with interest. What does Angel Taveras say? “He should pay his taxes.”

This is not the kind of thing you want in the news three days before the primary, but it’s a lot less relevant than if there were financial problems from the candidate himself, which no one is alleging. Angel Taveras’ brother is an adult, married, his tax bills are his own responsibility. Channel 6 is asking if there was preferential treatment, but unless they can come up with some proof then they don’t have news, just insinuation. Taveras says it’s all public record, which seems to be the source for the story.

I was put off by the newscasters, who took a smug tone as if they had uncovered a flaming scandal.

Do my brothers pay their taxes? I think they do, but if they didn’t I’d be the last to know.

Save the ‘P’

Extraordinary Rendition at India Point Park

Sorry I missed the mayoral debate last night, but I was down in India Point Park watching Extraordinary Rendition marching band and the sunset.

However, reading the ProJo report today, I see that Angel Taveras is the only candidate who would not toss out the ‘P’ that stands for Providence, the Creative Capital.

All the candidates, with the exception of Taveras, said they would get rid of the city slogan (“the Creative Capital”) and symbol (an orange capital ‘P’) that Cicilline spent more than $100,000 to develop.

“People think it’s a parking sign,” said Costantino.

Folks, in these difficult times I would not throw out anything that costs $100,000. I’m unhappy that Mayor Cicilline didn’t hire local talent to create it (maybe we’re the creative capital that can’t create a logo), but I actually think it’s pretty good and I like seeing it around town. If the other candidates are promising to fork out more money for a new logo, and tear down all those signs and make new ones then that’s the stand they are taking.  Myself,  I would rather have my property taxes used for the schools or outdoor concerts like last night. And with all respect to Mr. Costantino, we Providence residents know there is no parking anywhere, we simply choose the space that is least illegal.  It’s called creative parking.

I agree with Angel Taveras– branding takes time and starting from scratch is a waste of money and time needed elsewhere. And I like the ‘P’. That is my stand and I’m sticking to it.