Statement on PERA Board Nominations

PRESS RELEASE:

Feb. 28, 2018

For questions or more information, contact: Vanessa Flores-Maldonado, (617) 817-7966

On Monday, February 26th, a Special Meeting was called by CIty Council for the nomination of eight members to the Providence External Review Authority (PERA) board. Under current PERA regulations, the nine-member board will be appointed through City Council, with one nomination reserved to the City Council President and the 9th nomination reserved to the Providence City Mayor. Under the Providence Community Police Relations Act (PCPRA, or locally known as the Community Safety Act), PERA will be tasked with overseeing misconduct investigations of city police and the ability to review and make recommendations on union contracts

As members of the STEP UP Coalition that worked to pass the PCPRA, and whose members had previously fought to establish PERA, we are disappointed with the process so far in reconstituting the PERA board. Considering the amount of community input that has been present and centered in this process so far, we expected to have our input still valued and respected in the reconstitution of the PERA board. We sought to have a board that was made up of Providence community members directly impacted by police misconduct as well as youth who are targeted by police

The nominations submitted do not reflect that. Additionally, we are perplexed by the inclusion of non-Providence residents in this list. One of the requirements on the application form for the PERA board included residency in Providence. Yet, three of the names on the list are not Providence residents.

Given the composition of the board, City Council President Salvatore is proving that he is trying to undermine PERA, and by extension the CSA. He has appointed a former head of the police union and a correctional officer and the appointment of Susan Derita raises even more concerns. Her donations to Salvatore indicate a clear conflict of interest. Derita has also established a reputation as a relentless police zealot in the Elmhurst neighborhood crimewatch, proudly broadcasting her strong relationship with the Providence Police Department while promoting racial profiling. Her pro-police and racial profiling bias makes her an unsuitable candidate for the PERA board. While there already exists a system to deal with police misconduct within the police department, made up of law enforcement officers, PERA is intended to be an alternative to having this pro-police bias.

We ask that the City Council invite us to the table in establishing the PERA board. Shutting community input out in this process will not only be a blow to community morale, but also show the City’s true alliance to the Police Department and not its residents. In creating police accountability, we cannot center the concerns of the police any longer. We must start focusing on what the community needs.

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Our New Rights

January 1st is approaching fast, signaling the legal start of Providence Community Safety Act (or the Providence Community-Police Relations Act).

So we encourage everyone to check out our Facebook page and share the Key Points we’ve been uploading with images, such as the one below.

keypoint3 sm

In Regards to the new FOP President

The STEP UP Network appreciates  Sgt. Bohm’s hard work to open up dialogue between the F.O.P. membership and the Community.  We expect that the new FOP President Michael Imondi will communicate whatever concerns he may have about the existing law of our City in a constructive manner.

The STEP UP Network also expects that the FOP will respect the years of work by all parties that has gone into the passage of the Providence Community Police Relations Act (formerly known as the Community Safety Act). We hope they will engage productively in implementation of the ordinance and not waste time trying to undo an ordinance that has had several years of vetting by all parties involved.  The ordinance is looked to as a model by other cities who are also seeking ways to increase communications and accountability between the community and the police. Now is the time for moving forward together in this important work.

The STEP UP Network is a coalition of community groups addressing police accountability in Providence.

For more information contact Justice Gaines justicegaines7@gmail.com

We Did It

On Thursday June 1st, 13 out of 14 City Councilors voted YES on passing the Community Safety Act, now know as the Providence Community Police Relations Act.

It is one step away from becoming law. So to help us turn this into actual law, please call Mayor Elorza at 401.421.2489 and tell him to actually support the CSA by signing it into law.

Another (super late) Updated

It’s been a month since we’ve formally updated our website but if you want more immediate updates, please follow our Twitter @pvdCSA.

So last time, we were urging folks to show up for the second vote for the CSA before the City Council. Unfortunately, a highly false and misinformed letter by the Fraternal Order of the Police, aka the police union, intimidated several council-members to vote to table the ordinance until June 1st. A CSA Working Group was instead created to address some of the issues that the police incorrectly felt were not addressed. Initially this Working Group did not include any community members, but our strongest ally Councilor Mary Kay Harris quickly worked on getting that changed.

We are forever grateful for the work that Justice Gaines, Martha Yager, Shannah Kurland, and Linda Heng put into this Working Group. As members of the CSA Coalition and larger Providence community, these 4 folks ensured that the power of the CSA did not wane due to police intimidation.

This Working Group has concluded and are expected to submit a report with new revisions of the CSA, including a name change. For all intents and purposes, we will still refer to the Providence Community-Police Relations Act as the Community Safety Act or CSA.

June 1st is around the corner. so once again let’s pack City Hall.
we are asking folks to please show up at 630pm for the second vote of the CSA.

Once passed, it will be brought before Mayor Elorza where we expect him to sign into law.

For the facebook event, please click here.

The Pressure is ON

Find who your city council representative is by clicking this link:
https://gis.providenceri.com/council-viewer/

We want to continue pressure all City Councilors but we especially want to target –
Seth Yurdin, Ward 1
Thank him for his vote last week and for his upcoming second YES vote.  His previous work on PERA is vital to the CSA.
401-484-7207
ward1@providenceri(dot)com
Twitter: @SethYurdin

Samuel D. Zurier, Ward 2
Thank him for his vote last week. Ask him to not hide behind what the AG says and go with the city solicitor and what the community needs.
401-861-6313
Ward2@providenceri(dot)com

Nicholas J. Narducci, Jr., Ward 4
Thank him for his yes vote – that took courage and it is appreciated. Ask him to do it again.
401-497-1430
Ward4@providenceri(dot)com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook(dot)com/Nicholas.Narducci.Jr/

Jo-Ann Ryan, Ward 5
Thank her for her support. She has been wonderful. Hope we can count on it one more time.
401-595-8604, 401-464-2046
Ward5@providenceri(dot)com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook(dot)com/Ward5Providence/
Twitter: @JoannRyanPVD5

Michael J. Correia, Ward 6
Noticed your absence last week. Hope you will be there this week in support of the Community Safety Act. Time to be on the right side of history on this one.
401-603-6723
Ward6@providenceri(dot)com

John J. Igliozzi, Ward 7
Thank you for your support last week. We hope you will stay strong on this.
401-351-9802
Ward7@providenceri(dot)com

Wilbur W. Jennings, Jr., Ward 8
Thank you for your support last week. We hope we can continue to count on you for support this week.
401-461-3617
Ward8@providenceri(dot)com

Terrence M. Hassett, Ward 12
Thank him for his vote last week and make sure he will support it on the second vote.
401-454-0644
Ward12@providenceri(dot)com

David A. Salvatore, Ward 14
Thank him for his support last week. Hope he will stay strong this week.
Ward14@providenceri(dot)com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook(dot)com/DavidASalvatore/
Twitter: @DavidASalvatore

Sabina Matos Ward 15
We saw that she was absent and hope that she will be present to vote yes on Thursday. Please don’t let the police intimidate you. Do what is right for your community.
Ward15@providenceri(dot)com
Twitter: @Sbina_Matos

If you are active on social media, please tweet at Yurdin and Zurier or post to their Facebook pages asking something like this:

@sethyurdin Thanks for supporting the CSA + previous work around PERA. We hope to see you continue that legacy this Thursday.

@SamZurier Is it true that you are wavering on your support of the CSA making it contingent on the politically motivated AG

 

A Timeline Update!

Wow things are moving so fast!

On Monday April 10th we had a second public hearing.

On Monday April 17th the Ordinance Committee voted to have the CSA brought before City Council for a FULL vote.

On Thursday April 20th at 7pm the City Council will be voting on the CSA.

On Thursday April 27th at 530pm City Council will be voting on the CSA for the second time before it is brought to Mayor Elorza for signature.

There’s a lot going on. We are so determined to get this ordinance passed by the end of the month so please follow us on twitter @pvdcsa or on Facebook – Community Safety Act as we made quicker updates.