NEW: Taveras Unveils Plan to Make RI an Environmental Leader
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The announcement took place during a green infrastructure demonstration event being held by the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island and Groundwork Providence for Earth Day.
Preserving Rhode Island
The plan, “Preserving Rhode Island,” builds on programs that Taveras has undertaken as Mayor of Providence and addresses issues such as climate change, reducing Rhode Island’s carbon footprint and waste management on a statewide level.
“I was proud to be the first Mayor in the history of our state to create a dedicated Office of Sustainability within city government,” said Taveras. “We’ve had great success transforming city-owned lots into working urban farms, making energy efficiency investments in schools and homes across our city and reducing childhood blood lead levels – but there is much more that can be done.”
Rising sea level
The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council estimates that by 2100 Rhode Island sea levels could rise between three and five feet due to the effects of climate change. Taveras discussed both the environmental and economic impact of climate change on our state and steps that could be taken to reduce Rhode Island’s carbon footprint and promote green development.
“Leadership is needed at the state level to ensure Rhode Island is able to adapt to these changes. We can take steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and slow the impact of climate change.”
The seven point plan includes:
- Achieve 40% renewables by 2030. Reduce Rhode Island’s reliance on fossil fuels by investing in renewable sources of energy.
- Ensure access to fresh, local, affordable food. Encourage development of community gardens and urban farms, and foster local agriculture development through state procurement policies.
- Expand Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. Ensure housing stock is energy efficient, safe and healthy.
- Support local sustainability efforts. Develop strategies for municipalities to save tax dollars and reduce carbon footprint through investments in energy efficiency.
- Enact a comprehensive organic waste master plan. Create Rhode Island’s first coordinated plan to divert food and organic waste to composting operations.
- Extend the life of the Central Landfill. Cultivate and recruit recycling businesses to help reduce waste and turn recyclable goods in new products.
- Reduce the state’s carbon footprint and prepare for climate change. Direct state agencies to work together to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% below 1990 levels by 2050.
“The Mayor has taken strides to preserve the environment and quality of life for Providence residents,” said Rhode Island State Representative Art Handy, Chair of the House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. “When we are able to put this plan into action, all Rhode Islanders will see the same kinds of benefits for public health and we’ll create the kind of economy we’ll need to thrive in the 21st century.”
Related Slideshow: 10 Questions Taveras Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
Can Taveras Keep Up with the Big Boys and Girls in Fundraising?
In America today, one issue that is a factor in nearly every election is fundraising. To date, Taveras has yet to demonstrate any consistent ability to keep up with the leading fundraisers in RI.
Taveras will have to compete with General Treasuer Gina Raimondo, who has $2 plus million on hand and a likely run from Clay Pell (grandson of US Senator Claiborne Pell and whose wife is Olympic skater Michelle Kwan).
Raimondo is on pace to raise $5m and Taveras presently has just $692,000 on hand and would be on pace to raise less than $2 mliion.
Pell's family has access to nearly limitless dollars - back in the 1990's Pell's grandfather was ranked as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Can Taveras Break the Providence Mayor's Curse?
For more than 60 years, no Providence Mayor has been successful running for Governor of Rhode Island. You have to go back to the 1950 election when Dennis Roberts was elected Governor.
Since Roberts, a number of Providence Mayors have taken their shot at running for Governor and each has failed mightily.
Most notably, Buddy Cianci's run against J. Joseph Garrahy - Cianci got less than 30% of the statewide vote.
Joe Paolino was expected to win the Democratic primary in 1990, but was beaten badly by Bruce Sundlun and then Warwick Mayor Frank Flaherty.
Sundlun went on to win the general election and Flaherty was later named to the state Supreme Court.
Taveras will have to break a very long curse.
#8 Hire or Fire
Can Teachers Trust Taveras - and Will Voters Trust His Relationship with the Teachers Unions?
In the midst of the city's political meltdown, Taveras just into his first few months in office fired all the teachers in Providence.
Taveras received strong public support, but within months he capitulated to pressure from the teachers' unions.
Three years later, he is emerging as the candidate of the teachers' union leadership. Will teachers trust him in a statewide race and will voters trust him if he is perceived as too close to union bosses?
Will Hispanics Vote as a Block in the Primary for Taveras? Are They Influential Enough in the General?
Conventional wisdom is that Angel Taveras will get a big boost from the Hispanic voting block in the primary, but more recently Council members Luis Aponte, Danian Sanchez and Sabina Matos have all openly battled with the mayor on his tax increases and efforts to close pools in low income wards around the city.
While Taveras can rebound and the impact may be large in the primary, the percentage of voters who are Hispanic in the general election is just 7% according to Pew Research:
- Rhode Island’s population is 12% Hispanic, the 13th largest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 54,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island—which ranks 35th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 7% of Rhode Island eligible voters are Hispanic, the 13th largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
Can Taveras Handle the Campaign Pressure and the Office Pressure of Governor?
Taveras had no experience as a chief executive in business or government before taking office in 2011 in Providence. He has increasingly gotten into some very non-productive scrapes.
In 2012, his law office delivered a document to GoLocalProv as part of a FOIA request and those documents included the social security number of every retiree of the City. Instead of taking responsibility he sent his lawyers to court to try to block GoLocal from writing about the mishandling of social security numbers. The judge ruled against Taveras.
In 2013, Taveras has tried to demolish a commuity swimming pool in South Providence because, according to Councilman Danian Sanchez, Sanchez would not vote for Taveras' tax increase.
Will Taveras be able to prove to voters he has the right stuff?
#5 Base outside Prov
Can Angel Taveras Build a Political Base Outside of Providence?
While Taveras has a strong political base in Providence, it is unclear if he can build a strong political network in critical Democratic strongholds like Woonsocket, Pawtucket, East Providence, Johnston and North Providence.
It is well known that both Democratic Mayors in North Providence and Johnston have had a strained relationship with Taveras.
This strain has played out over critical matters like mutual emergency aid and in 2012, North Providence, Johnston and East Providence all cancelled emergency aid compacts with Providence.
#4 Women Voters
Can Taveras Compete for Women Voters?
When Taveras ran for Mayor he won the critical block of East Side Democratic women. Part of his success with this critical block of voters was the support he enjoyed from Democratic power Myrth York.
The two-time Democratic nominee for Governor went all in for Taveras in 2010, but she no longer is active in the inner circle and reportedly would have supported Governor Lincoln Chafee in the primary.
Taveras will need to compete with Raimondo who has already signed former EMILY's list bigwig Kate Coyne-McCoy.
#3 Star Power
Can Taveras Keep Up with Clay Pell's Star Power?
In 2010, Taveras ran under the motto of "from Head Start to Harvard." His claim on the American dream proved a successful juxtaposition to two Democrats who had the same political base - Federal Hill (Steven Costantino and John Lombardi).
Now, Taveras may face the fresh-faced Clay Pell. His bio exceeds Taveras as he can claim the legacy of his grandfather's work and hit the circuit with his superstar wife, Olympian Michelle Kwan.
#2 Issues and Vision
Can Angel Taveras Articulate a Vision for Rhode Island?
#1 Crime and Education
Can Taveras Explain His Record on Crime and Education?
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- Russell Moore: Raimondo vs. Taveras vs. Pell?
- The Scoop: Taveras Hires New Campaign Mgr., Loses Two Top Aides
- NEW: Block Calls Out Raimondo, Taveras, Fung for Ties to Fox
- Russell Moore: Taveras’ Tumultuous Week
- UPDATED: More Staffing Fallout: Taveras’ Revolving Door
- NEW: Council Overrides Affordable Housing Veto by Taveras
- Schaper: Taveras: Pools, Pensions, and Political Posturing
- Under Taveras Prov Crime Among Worst in US - National Report
- NEW: Raimondo Says Taveras Broke Pledge on Employee, Vendor Giving
- Taveras + Fung Nearly Tied in State Employee Donations
- Unions Battle Taveras Over Development in Providence
- 10 Questions Taveras Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
- NEW: Taveras Calls on Raimondo to Have Enron Exec $100K Returned
- The Scoop: Dad of Taveras Spokesman Donated $3K to Raimondo; More