NEW: Sanchez Says Taveras Threatened to Cement Pool Over Politics
Monday, October 21, 2013
"I was told by an aide of the Mayor -- who was just a messenger -- that if I didn't vote for the budget, the pool would be closed, and ultimately cemented," said Sanchez.
The pool, which was closed this past summer to strong community outcry, is currently subject to a solicitation for bids that went out today for its demolition. Providence City Council member Davian Sanchez organized Monday morning's event to bring attention to the offering from the Black Contractors Association to fix the pool for free.
Representative Joseph Almeida, who addressed the crowd along with a number of other elected officials, said of the surrounding neighborhood. "Feel the love, feel the heat," Almeida said of the strong morning sunshine. "You're about the feel the political heat."
Sanchez, Elected Officials on the Record
"I am here today defending what belongs to us," said Sanchez. "When I say defending, we have a Mayor who's against our kids. I don't know what it is, besides politics. The pool we have here behind us has been here for 60 years. It will stay standing strong as long as I'm here, and everyone who's here, who will be here for this."
"The Mayor wants to put in a spray park, which is fine for little kids. What about our older teens. I say we keep the pool open and bring a spray park...we have the money," said Sanchez. "Today, the Black Contractors Association agreed to fix pool free of labor, saving money for the city for our kids."
"Right at this corner...eight months ago we had a young man shot and murdered right at this corner," said Metts. "We don't need less recreation, we need more recreation. We need more. I appreciate the black contractors stepping up."
Metts added, "Let's stop putting more into our prisons, and more into our pools."
Representative Anastasia Williams, addressing the audience, said, "The community has been stripped of our power to make our own decisions," adding, "We must present solutions to correct this injustice."
Sanchez noted that he has $100,000 in earmarks and donations for the effort. In addition, Representative Doreen Costa, who was in attendance Monday morning in "support of recreational opportunities for all kids," pledged from the RI GOP the services of a structural engineer -- as well as $1000 a month in support for the pool should it be reopened.
Sanchez said that he plans to challenge the bid solicitation process, saying the two week open period -- as opposed to six -- should be be used for emergencies only. "I've sent a letter in," said Sanchez, regarding his complaint.
ACLU Responds to Complaint
City Council candidate Anthony Sionni, who was at Monday morning's press conference, said that he had received a letter from the ACLU regarding his complaint filed in July that the City of Providence violated its charter because "city residents have been denied the right to petition the Recreational Advisory Board as provided by the City Charter because that board is not presently in existence."
See Letter Below
Sionni told GoLocal, "I didn't expect they would take up the whole complaint, however I am pleased that the ACLU legal committee did acknowledge my point in regards to the recreational advisory board . As stated in the letter, I will request that the ACLU send a letter to the city urging reinstatement of the recreational advisory board and the hearing process. The people will have a right to petition the recreational advisory board and the board will be enacted as stated in the city charter. This is a small victory in our fight to prevent Mayor Taveras from closing any more swimming pools in the city, without first hearing from the people! The rights of the people to petition the recreational advisory board for a public hearing will not be denied!"
New England States’ Impact From The Federal Shutdown
We are well over a week into the shutdown of our Federal Government, and we are now beginning to show measurable consequences from the furlough and suspension of sevices. Here are the rankings of the impact on the New England states:
- Contractors Offer to Fix Davey Lopes While City Orders Demolition
- Providence Youth Outraged at Lack of Pools in Heat Wave
- Providence City Council Members Weigh in on Davey Lopes Pool
- Sanchez Leads Effort to Fix Davey Lopes with Federal Funds
- In Case You Missed It: Secret City Report Made Case for Pools
- In Case You Missed It: Taveras Closes Pool
- GoLocal Looks At Providence’s Public Pools
- LISTEN- Providence Pool Demolition Costs Nearly as Much as Rehab
- NEW: Letter to ACLU Claims Pool Closing Violates City Charter
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