The Battle for Ward 9, Providence City Council Forum, UpRise RI

Los Elmwood Neighborhood Association hosted a Providence City Council Ward 9 Candidate Forum at Club Juan Pablo Duarte on Thursday featuring the three candidates for seat on the ballot this November. Watch the full forum here.

First Source mandates the hiring of PVD residents but the city refuses to enforce it, Uprise RI

Uprise RI recently reported on resident concerns that the “First Source Ordinance” has not been properly enforced. First Source was originally conceived to ensure Providence’s low-income and working class residents receive jobs from businesses awarded tax abatements or tax stabilization agreements (TSAs) from City Council.  

I combed through reams of data about this program. Here’s what I found: The numbers show that for TSA projects, only about 20% of those jobs go to Providence residents. And it’s been about 20% since 2014. The vast majority of people and jobs from companies that benefit from TSAs are non-Providence residents. Further, 30-40% of all of the jobs filled by Providence residents do not disclose the race and ethnicity of the person hired.

You can read more about this important issue here.

Getting Out the Teen Vote!

On Sunday, August 14 we organized a voter registration drive. Recent high school graduates – former students of mine – walked every street in Ward 9 and registered other recent high school grads. The “Congratulations Class of 2022” yard signs around the neighborhood let us know which doors to knock.

We met dozens of young voters and their families. And we registered lots of new voters!

Afterwards, we celebrated with prizes like top-quality smart apparel by local Elmwood designer Awoken Apparel, zero-waste self-care products from The Heal Room, and dorm-room supplies from A Little Bit of Everything.

Where Providence’s Mayoral and City Council Candidates Stand on Safer Streets, Transportation Choices, and Mobility Justice, Providence Streets Coalition

The Providence Streets Coalition recently published a substantial guide to where city council and mayoral candidate stand on issues that relate to our streets and our ways of getting around. You can read Diego’s full answers here.

Thank you to Liza Burkin – Lead Organizer at the Providence Streets Coalition – for asking the hard questions!

Who’s running for Providence City Council? A mega guide on everything you need to know, The Providence Journal

Hear from Diego on the issues: rising housing costs, community-police relations, and underperforming public schools. The Providence Journal published only a summary of Diego’s responses to their questions.

Click this link to read his response in full.

Ray-ality TV Interview

In Rhode Island, a record number of drug overdose deaths, The Boston Globe

As the former Program Manager at Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES), Diego Arene-Morley has seen the toll taken by accidental overdose deaths up close.

“Almost everyone that I talk to, almost everyone in Rhode Island — whether they are a Brown University grad student or whether they are part of this (McAuley House) ministry — they know someone who has been lost,” he said. “And at RICARES we have plenty of close friends who we don’t have anymore.”

Photo by Pat Greenhouse

Carry Naloxone, Save a Life, The Providence Journal

“Just as we wear a mask to reduce COVID-19, we can each do our part to prevent overdose deaths by carrying the lifesaving medicine naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan.

Overdose is the leading cause of preventable death in Rhode Island: greater than car crashes, suicides, homicides and fires combined … I have seen firsthand that overdoses can affect anyone, from graduate students to members of the military. The only difference between living and dying was access to naloxone.”

Photo by Pat Greenhouse

The Future of Kennedy Plaza, Providence Monthly

“Diego Arene-Morley, program manager at RICARES, explains that the converging of folks from all walks of life and all over Rhode Island in Kennedy Plaza also allows for more efficient distribution of the lifesaving overdose treatment, Naloxone, which took place all summer, along with easy access for their clients in addiction recovery to get to their Mathewson Street center.”

Photo by Kia Davis

Treat with Respect, College Hill Independent

“Another aim of the [Overdose Prevention and Intervention Action Plan] initiative was to increase the prescription and use of Naloxone, an opioid antagonist that, if administered quickly, can reverse an overdose. 

An overdose, explained Arene-Morley to the Independent, is a respiratory phenomenon that often results from mixing substances. Naloxone reverses the depressant effects on the user’s respiratory system by crowding out opioids and binding to the receptors in their place.” 

Illustration by Shirley Lau

Energy Democracy, Edited by Denise Fairchild and Al Weinrub

“In 2007, two twelve-year-olds, Walter Lynn and Diego Arene-Morley asked their parents to put solar on their homes in Washington, DC’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. They boys were inspired to go solar by the movie An Inconvenient Truth as a way to combat climate change. Walter’s mother, Anya Schoolman, made several phone calls to local installers and discovered that going solar was an expensive and complicated process. Like all hardheaded preteens, Walter and Diego would not be talked out of the idea. So, Schoolman wondered if some sort of bulk purchase might make solar affordable. Within two weeks, Walter and Diego had engaged fifty other neighbors who wanted solar on their roofs.”

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