I’m Jamie Bova, and I am excited to announce my candidacy for Newport City Councilor At-Large in 2016. Growing up as a young woman on Aquidneck Island, I was fortunate to be able to watch our community grow and change. This year, I’m asking Newport residents for the opportunity to do my part to insure the growth continues into the years to come.
I moved to Newport after graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and started working at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. I fell in love with Newport early, both from my time in high school working at the Army-Navy Surplus Store in the heart of Thames St and weekends spent exploring with family. However, it was only after moving into the city that I realized how unique and wonderful it is. Whether I’m walking down Broadway to eat dinner at one of our many delicious restaurants, attending a film screening in the park, or biking on Ocean Drive – this city has my heart. I want to preserve the uniqueness of Newport while still allowing us to keep thriving.
As so many of us know, despite all the amazing aspects of Newport, we also have our fair share of bumps in the road on the way to greatness. Often literally. Too many of our roads are covered in potholes, lack proper signage or have confusing signage, and don’t meet the needs of our growing city. Our infrastructure needs to be repaired and maintained, and that doesn't stop with our roads. It also includes our utility lines and water systems.
A key concern that is close to my heart is increasing Newport’s environmental friendliness. A plastic bag ban is already being considered and I would make sure it’s pushed through. Our sewers need to be upgraded to handle the increased flooding and prevent sewage from making into the ocean. Solar power is coming to our wastewater treatment facility and I want to bring it to more city buildings. With so many local STEM jobs, Newport should look to lead the state in green initiatives and incentives.
One of the biggest issues impacting our city, and our state, is brain drain. Our youth leave for higher education and don’t return; many Salve Regina graduates move on to other locales. We have to make Newport both a vacation destination and a living destination. To help do this, I want to implement student loan payback incentives for city jobs, especially for our educators. This will both help increase desire to come to Newport and desire to stay in Newport, and impacts young professionals and young families.
I believe that the matters I discussed here resonate within our community and that I can be the one to help resolve them. I will spend my campaign reaching out to the community in person and online to share my plans. I encourage you to join the campaign and share your perspectives on how to shape the future of Newport.