During the inauguration today, I felt so proud to have this opportunity to serve Newport and work with my fellow councilors and the School Committee for the betterment of our City. To see so many people come out in support was a true sign of how deeply Newporters care about Newport. We all want to work together and I look forward to that work.
Since the election, I’ve been adjusting to my new role as City Councilor and getting a handle of the nitty gritty of how to move our city forward. It’s been a great experience so far and I’ve taken the opportunity to meet with various groups and discuss the future of Newport. One of the most important things that I learned while campaigning was how many formal and informal organizations there are within Newport that care deeply for our city and want to see us prosper. It’s imperative that the City Council works with these organizations and consistently seeks input from the residents of Newport.
Over the last few weeks, a group of residents have been meeting at Gather on Broadway to discuss their fears for our city and where they believe we have fallen short on addressing those fears. So far, there have been two meetings, and the group intends to continue to meet biweekly. I’ve only been able to attend one of the meetings, but it was great to see a group of people who don’t regularly participate in city government coming together with an intent to act. I felt this group shared many of the same intentions the various neighborhood associations that I have spent time with and had the the same pull to action.
I want to make sure that my time on the Council is spent thoughtfully and intentionally, and that my term ends with goals accomplished. To that end, I have put together a list of goals for my first term. These goals began to take shape during my campaign and evolved during discussions with residents, members of our boards and commissions, and my fellow City Councilors. I believe that these goals align with the City’s larger goals and complement them.
One personal goal that I’m setting for myself, separate from the Council goals, is to make myself as accessible as possible. I campaigned one a promise of transparency and open communication. To that end, I’m working to develop my own set of guidelines for communication and working to model what I would like to see for Newport. Our city is attempting to redirect itself and expand our economy; to be successful in this, we will need consistently open communication. I believe that can start with one Councilor setting an example
- Redesigned city website
- Fold all city business into one website
- Establish database for residents and businesses to easily access documentation
- Increase engagement from underserved communities
- What do we currently offer these communities? How can we better serve them?
- Data sharing in Newport between the City, non-profits, and businesses
- Establish guidelines/processes for city communication
- How can we better reach our citizens?
- Passage of Ban the Bag ordinance
- Increase Newport’s use of alternative energy
- Investigate where solar panels can be installed and effective within Newport
- Investigate zoning possibilities for wind energy
- Work to bring new businesses into Newport with year-round job opportunities for all our population
- Develop a plan to combat Newport’s shrinking population and retain our young people
- Investigate the feasibility of job training opportunities for Newporters