Corey Jones is one of three candidates running for City Council Ward 3 in Providence. The seat is open this year as City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune is running for Mayor. Currently, the Ward contains the neighborhoods of Mount Hope, Hope Village (Summit), Collyer Park and Blackstone.
“I’m running to represent Ward 3 City Council because I want to create a city where my brother can have a good recovery. Where my cousin can have a successful reentry into society. And where I can raise a family and they have a good education and thrive,” Jones said in a recent episode of Ray-ality TV.
One of Jones’ main policy proposals is to create a green and equitable economy in Providence, similar to how the city of Boston has done.
“Right now the Climate Justice Plan is something that is non-statute – it can go away when Mayor Elorza does. So I think we need a plan that’s a little bit more aggressive. Right now the date to phase out carbon is 2050 – maybe we can do 2036 or 2040,” says Jones. “I think we need to create charger stations in rental properties and apartment complexes. I think we can phase in more electric vehicles, make a more walkable, bikeable city and lower the amount of cars we have on the street altogether while also creating a green port.”
Jones explained one of the tools that the city has in its toolbelt to tackle housing is “rezoning our city to a form first, use second zoning code.” An example Jones uses to explain what this would look like is housing in Europe. The houses look like how they did 80 to 100 years ago on the outside, but the inside is re-done.
Improving the city’s educational system is a top issue on voters’ minds in this year’s election cycle. Jones favors creating an elected School Board and increasing translation technology and resources to address the language barriers.
“I worked as a substitute teacher at Alvarez High School where over 90% of our students English is their second language. While it’s important to merge kids into the language that they're learning, we also need to increase bilingual instructors – because we need to be able to communicate with the kids on a basic level. Then that will make it easier for us to be able to teach our kids,” said Jones.
An issue that is specific to Ward 3 is revitalizing the North Main Street Corridor. Residents tell Jones when he knocks on doors that they want to see a supermarket that one can walk and bike to when they get groceries that’s cheaper than Whole Foods.
Jones added, “I think something that people aren’t talking about a lot is it needs to be more walkable and bikeable. There’s a lot of people that sit on North Main Street and they’re in danger of being hit by vehicles. I think what it’ll take to make that happen is working with our state legislators because that land is owned by the Department of Transportation.”
If elected, two committees Jones would like to be a part of are Planning and Finance. The same election cycle will see a new Mayor of the city elected.
Currently, Jones hasn’t decided who he plans to support out of the four declared mayoral candidates. But he does want to see more ambitious policy proposals from the candidates such as a city level Green New Deal that Boston Mayor Michelle Wu ran on in 2021.