In the only primary so far, – out of all 15 of Providence’s City Council Wards – Jackie Goldman is running for City Council Ward 5 in Providence. The Ward contains the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Manton and Mt. Pleasant.
“I am a queer and non-binary person running to be a City Councilor in Ward 5. By day I do overdose prevention work. And through that and just kind of living in the city, I’ve been able to see a lot of the ways in which our current government doesn’t work for everyday people,” Goldman said in a recent episode of Ray-ality TV.
“So I think that it’s time to have some leadership that’s really going to work for everyday people as opposed to really working just to help corporate lobbyists, PACs and some of the most wealthy in the neighborhood. Even though I’m relatively young, I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience that’s shown me the ways in which we can create systems that are compassionate and take care of people as opposed to relying on nonprofits and things like that.”
Goldman is primarying the incumbent, City Councilwoman Jo Ann-Ryan. One of the many issues they hope to address as a City Councilor is creating more affordable housing in Providence. Inclusionary zoning is one way Goldman says this goal could be achieved. Another idea Goldman explained is to utilize programs from the federal level that the city and state don’t take advantage of.
They said, “For example, there have been hundreds of millions of dollars that have been passed down every single year by the state and city governments that come in the form of reimbursements that come in the form after using three and nine percent tax credits. I think we should be using those tax credits for things that will then result in getting the federal reimbursements to make the affordable housing cheap. And make it something that’s buildable and getting reimbursed for.”
Education is another priority of Goldman’s if elected to the City Council. One sub-topic discussed was should Providence have an elected School Committee. Currently the members of the School Committee are appointed by the Mayor. Goldman is “very much for creating an elected School Committee in Providence.”
Other education priorities Goldman mentioned are talking to the state about getting more funding, increasing pressure to end the state takeover of the Providence Public Schools, and investing more resources into those schools.
Goldman wants to prioritize repairing the sidewalks and streets in the city. Goldman added, “I think that we need to go through the city, figure out the areas that have had the most complaints [and] help people use 311 to make sure that all those potholes are logged. And [also] start going by the streets in terms of the most disrepaired and make sure that those get attention first. I also think that there are parts of the city that need sidewalks to begin with. In Mt. Pleasant – there are so many streets and neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks or have it for a second and then lose it."
Goldman has two committees that they want to be on if elected: ordinances and planning.
Currently Goldman is undecided on who they want to see become Council President in January 2023.
“I don’t know yet. I think that there’s a lot that’s going to happen between now and then. Something I can say for certain is I’m going to be looking for someone who has the same ideas as I do. Even if we don’t agree on everything – I want to see leadership who’s going to prioritize everyday working and low-income people. And I want to see someone who’s not just been part of the status quo,” says Goldman.
In a follow up Goldman said “Absolutely” when asked if there was a person currently on the City Council that matches that description.
Goldman isn't endorsing any of the candidates for Mayor at the moment. However, they indicated early Summer is probably their timetable for that decision.