On the steps of Providence City Hall, supporters, staff, family and friends gathered in the frigid cold for the mayor's second swearing-in ceremony. During his address, Elorza struck an optimistic tone, despite the city’s looming challenges.
When Jorge Elorza took office four years ago, he inherited a capital city still digging out of the recession. Today, the city is in less dire financial straits, and can begin to consider issues like the unfunded pension system, new investment, and housing.
“We must take a critical look at the issues of gentrification, housing affordability and displacement from every angle and craft a comprehensive city response, so that all of our residents can continue living right here in our city,” Elorza said.
In an effort to tackle the city’s long-struggling education system, Elorza mentioned plans for expanding internet access to city residents, and free pre-k citywide.
“As your mayor, my single-minded drive is to ensure that these opportunities are accessible to all of our children regardless of which zip code they are born in,” Elorza, who recently became a new father, said.
Elorza also struck a philosophical tone towards the end of his speech, referencing “maladies” of loneliness, anger and depression across the world.
“I pledge to not only engage around budgets, infrastructure, development, education, and all those things that mayors talk about, but to also use this awesome platform that is being Providence’s mayor, to engage in the meaningful work that it takes to be a kinder, more compassionate city,” Elorza said.