Politics & Elections

Providence City Council candidate Sue AnderBois on the issues that matter

“I think it’s a huge opportunity to get some things done,” said Sue AnderBois in an exclusive interview. “I believe in radical collaboration. I think there’s an opportunity to work together and shake off some of this old school politics.”
Photo for Providence City Council candidate Sue AnderBois on the issues that matter

Published on February 24, 2022
By Steve Ahlquist

Sue AnderBois is a candidate for Providence City Council, Ward 3. She served as Rhode Island’s first Director of Food Strategy. She works as an advocate for climate, food systems, and systemic social issues at The Nature Conservancy. She lives off Hope Street with her husband Scott.

Uprise RI spoke with Anderbois about her campaign in front of the Rochambeau Public Library, on an unusually warm day in February. The videos are broken up by subject matter, based on answers to the questions asked.

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Climate Change

Given the weather and Anderbois’ career as a climate activist, we started the interview with a question about climate change, and the Providence City Council’s role in addressing it.

“Climate and the environment are one of the big reasons I’m running for City Council… A big priority for me will be passing and implementing policies and prioritizing things in the budget that can implement [the Climate justice Plan].”

Gentrification and affordable housing

“We need to build more housing. We need to build more affordable Housing. Putting my climate hat on, we need to build more housing that’s not connected to dirty, polluting industries.”

Education and the State takeover of Providence Schools

“It seems like there’s a lack of stability and a lack of leadership and I’m anxious for the schools to be returned back to Providence. It seems that this takeover is not succeeding…”

City contracts and engaging with the public around wonky policy issues

“There’s a lot of ways to make things really boring, as a way to get people to not engage. And then there are way you can explain things and bring people in… I mean, you should not need a PHD in house government works to apply or a grant.”

Policing

Police have been given a role that’s broader than what the police should do… I was chatting with someone recently whose son is on the police force and most of his calls are domestic violence. That’s the job or a counselor… Because there’s a lot of poverty, because there’s a lot of inequality… there’s more systemic issues at play than ‘Do we have enough police?'”

Homelessness

“I think we have a really good opportunity, with all this federal money that’s coming down and my fear is that… we spend all this money and we’re in the exact same place we’ve been because we don’t make the investments wisely or fast enough.”

Complete Streets: Bike Lanes and Buses

“Any one bike path isn’t going to solve climate change. Any one bike path isn’t going to be the thing that makes Providence more livable. But it’s all the little things coming together that’s going to create that network that will really help and really make this a more walkable and more mobile city.”

When you go door to door for your campaign, what are you hearing from people?

“I’m hearing a lot on climate change, a lot about the schools, and I’m hearing a lot about basic city functions, to be honest… I feel we’re in a moment… where people are distrustful of the government and if government can’t get some of those basics right, why do you think they can do the big things right?”

A brand new city government

No matter who wins the race for Ward 3 Providence City Council, the governance of the city will look very different. A new Mayor, new City Council President and perhaps as many as five new city councilmembers will be sworn in next January.

“I’m excited about that. I think it’s a huge opportunity to get some things done… I believe in radical collaboration. I think there’s an opportunity to work together and shake off some of this old school politics.”

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