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Effort Underway to Recall Providence Councilman

Saturday, March 10, 2012


A Providence City Councilman is being targeted for a recall by a group of residents who are upset with his decision to support the controversial redistricting proposal that would give control over downtown to Majority Leader Seth Yurdin.

The group, which includes several community activists, claims Ward 8 Councilman Wilbur Jennings was not representing the best interests of his constituents when he voted the proposal out of committee last month.

Fred Ordonez, the executive director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), said members of his organization are involved in the recall efforts, but the organization itself is not staking a stance. He said he may get involved personally.

“Residents across all the communities of color are up in arms about this and of course there are DARE members that live in those communities,” Ordonez said.

He continued: "Councilman Jennings is someone who should know better.”

Jennings: I’ll Be Fine

The proposal was expected to be voted on by the full Council last week, but Councilman Sam Zurier was unable to attend the meeting and Council leadership did not have the eight votes it needed to pass the bill. A new vote has not been scheduled.

Supporters of the map have consistently said it helps restore previously divided neighborhoods and creates more cohesive wards. The proposal also gives the city five majority-Hispanic wards (up from four) and ten majority-minority wards (up from nine). But Yurdin has been criticized because he stands to benefit from becoming the only Councilman to represent downtown, which would give him control of the developing Route 195 property.

The need to redraw the maps at all comes because, according to the latest census data, all three wards on the East Side lost population while the wards on the western side of the city grew significantly. Yurdin’s district (Ward 1) lost about 500 residents while Wards 2 and 3 combined to lose nearly 1,800 voters. Wards 6 and 7 saw the largest growth in population over the last ten years. Ward 6, which is represented by first-term Councilman Michael Correia, picked up 2,134 new residents and Ward 7, which is represented by Finance chairman John Igliozzi, grew by 1,388 residents. Only six of the city’s 15 wards increased population since the 2000 census.

Jennings said he understands that residents are angry, but said that he is not worried about a recall.

“I’m very confident in the people of my ward and I'll be fine,” Jennings said. “I have to stand up for my constituents.”

Activist: It’s a Group Effort

A recall can be a daunting task. According to the city’s Home Rule Charter, 300 qualified voters from the specific ward have to sign a petition to begin the process. Then, at least 20 percent of voters from the ward would have to sign another petition to make the recall official. The City Council would then need to set a date for a special election.

Outspoken activist Anthony Sionni said he plans to collect signatures for the recall.

“The way I feel is I clearly don’t think Councilman Jennings is representing the wishes of his community,” Sionni said. “It’s going to be a group effort.”

Sionni said the reason residents are angry with Jennings is that he hasn’t spoken up about the changes to downtown.

“It's no secret he's with the leadership,” Sionni said. “That's what everybody is pissed off about.”


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WHO should we hate this week? futile effort...the city needs to check the names,addresses & signatures submitted very closely...btw: nice closing line...who's everybody??????????

Comment #1 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 10

Jennings said he understands that residents are angry, but said that he is not worried about a recall.

“I’m very confident in the people of my ward and I'll be fine,” Jennings said.

He ran a dozen times for council, finally winning with a split Latino vote in a 4 way primary race. He won with 36 percent of the vote and he says hes not worried lmao.

Comment #2 by anthony sionni on 2012 03 10

This Anthony Sionni is going to make us forget about Chris Young real fast.

Comment #3 by Thurston Howell on 2012 03 10

lol Its not about me,its about the people. We need more people to get involved in there community and what is going on,thurston give it a shot!

Comment #4 by anthony sionni on 2012 03 10

thanks to Anthony Sionni, the dead wood and corrupt cockroaches on the City Council are going to be taken to task, as they should be.

Don't pay attention to the haters like Rizzo and Howell. Idiots abound.

Wilbur Jennings is worthless and has been worthless. A do nothing who thinks he's special. Parks hit car regularly across a handicapped spot at the Cranston YMCA. My business is in his ward. He's never. een seen in the 6 years we've been there. A scammer who's collecting a taxpayer-funded salary, free health care and a pension.

He'll be gone in Nov.

Comment #5 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 10

People this Councilman Jennings is a joker, read his statement "I have to stand up for my Constituents" Councilman your fellow Council members are trying to screw the Latino Community out of jobs out of growth in our city they are building a wall around us from the rest of the city.Please Councilman you tried hard many times to get Elected do what's right for the people not for your fellow thugs.I watched the tapes from the hearing Councilman you haD NO CLUE on what you voted for.DO WHATS RIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE ON THE SOUTH SIDE WE ELECTED YOU.

Comment #6 by david p on 2012 03 10

Exactly, David!

Comment #7 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 10

Carol speaks..all bow

Comment #8 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 10

Carol..Wilbur doesnt run in November (order of toast to go)..and he wont be recalled (2 eggs over easy)..learn your election schedule...decaf coffee....all bow to the bully

Comment #9 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 10

David..WTH are you speaking about?...building a wall? by moving a ward boundary? why is Wilbur a thug? please tell me....I understand that if someone doesnt agree w/you & others, then they are thug???

Comment #10 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 10

Rizzo - you must've been the kid in the schoolyard who got his pants pulled down and everybody laughed. You epitomize what's wrong in your pothole of a state - dumb as a stump.

Comment #11 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 10

And where do you live, Rizzo? Do ypu have first hand experience of the "hard working" Wilbuuuur? Obviously you speak from your arse.

Comment #12 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 10

Carol..you are "just ASS advertised....Providence, Ward 13, home of Councilman Principe & former Mayor Lombardi...fyi: ward 13 borders Ward 8.....I have no idea as to where you were "educated" but no pants pulling at Classical HS nor Boston Univ..no idea where such a custom is practiced..perhaps GED ??..the man's name is Wilbur...don't date yourself by referencing your childhood obsession w/a TVLand horse...2 omelets to go...bye Mr DeFeciani

Comment #13 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 10

Wilbur Jennings is an uneducated, old-school hack who spent the last two and a half decades running for office and was only capable of winning, by sheer luck, because the Latino vote was split three ways.

That said, anyone who thinks that a recall effort will succeed over this issue in the same neighborhood that has historically elected the most useless councilpeople in the City are crazier than he is.

Ronald Allen. Leon Tejada. Wilbur Jennings.

Good luck with that, Sionni.

Comment #14 by Edward Smith on 2012 03 11

Sionni. Ex union hack, collecting unemployment, no time to look for a job. Wants to cut fraud but wont look for a job. Makes us pay. Is a renter not homeowner in Prov. Thinks he controls the council but has zero influence. Little ironic that when he was in the union a year ago, he never ranted about any of this but now that he has to pay car tax and is no longer in the UNION, he's on a mission.

Defeciani : Rants and Raves like a crazy lady after the state went after her for not paying the sales tax she COLLECTED but ever turned in. In most places, that would be called theft. Has the gall to criticize most politicians, while running to get them to help her when the state went after her. Attends hearings such as historic comm arguments about her neighbors roof. Lives on the south side but complains cos she wants it to be like the east side. Chickens are what she fights about. Look it up.

And these guys want to change the city. Good luck. ( Not saying it does not need to be changed but these guys are not the ones)

Comment #15 by You can't argue with Facts ! on 2012 03 11

You certainly can't argue, son. Spot on description of both characters.

Comment #16 by Edward Smith on 2012 03 11

Ok well I really shouldn't respond,but this is to funny. Lets see,union hack,never been called that,but I guess there is always a first time lol. Yes I belong to a union and I am still in the union paying my monthly dues and yes I lost my job when the company went out of business. I do have plenty of time on my hands and I look and apply for jobs daily,as well as volunteering at the food bank.

I have been involved with local and national issues for 30 years,being involved with the community in which I live and working on political campaigns since I was a boy. To say I think I have influence and control over the council is real funny,maybe because I go to council meetings and talk to council members about issues. More people should be doing this.

I dont see what paying rent and not owning a home has to do with anything.You want to talk taxes,well when property taxes are raised,it usually gets passed down to the renter. As far as car taxes are concerned,we have had to pay that for ever. When the general assembly started to faze out the taxes ,the people with lower car values gradually stopped paying. Then in Providence last year the city council voted to lower the exemption and lower the tax rate. So if you have an expensive car,like many of the council members,you actually paid less taxes. They also voted to increase property and business taxes. We all know the car values are way out of line and I am sure the council new that as well when they were looking for more revenue.

Was I upset,I sure was as was half the city and state. I started a car tax protest at city hall,started several car tax protest groups.Made up car tax protest flyers and passed them out in every ward in the city. Drew up petitions and even requested a resolution be put in to have a public hearing on the car tax issue. What happened? Well council president Solomon refereed it to the ordinance committee. The ordinance committee chairman is councilman Seth Yurdin, he did nothing with the request,they didnt want the people to have a public hearing! So now I have been working with the Warwick car tax group led by Rob Cote and Rep. Macnamara to change the car tax laws. Its currently being held for study.

When you go to council meetings and see what really goes on,you would be surprised They are spending money and passing all sorts of ordinances, putting people on boards etc... etc.. and the average person has no idea what there doing. Now I am currently involved in the redistricting issue and after this is done it will be another issue.

You can sit here on the computer and complain about me all you want,but you don't have a clue. I will continue to do what I do for as long as I live! Come on down to city hall and see or you can also join my prov$$$watch facebook group ,yes another thing you probably wont like. After reading all the problems recently with procap,providence economic development and now the providence housing authority it outrages me and I will not just sit around and complain,I try and do my part to bring about change. Also look at the financial mess of the city.How can anyone just sit around and just complain,we have to organize and work together to make changes and hold are elected officials accountable.

Comment #17 by anthony sionni on 2012 03 11

forget sionni & Mr carol...lets talk about "councilman" Davian Sanchez aka [email protected]..I really dont need to say more...this punk is a joke w/his mouthpiece Mr lee & the Sionni/Carol back up...PUNK, LOSER, PUNK, ...totally DISRESPECTFUL..heard his 1st request was to get his parents free Blue Cross from city (DENIED), 2nd request..job for cousin (DENIED)..his true colors were in view when he screamed at Seth Yurdin..calling him a Mother..well you know the rest...THEN HELD HIS FIST UP TO YURDIN ..police saw but no action against the PUNK...YET..STAY TUNED..Sionni & carol are window dressing..the CCIT is Davian Sanchez (Council Criminal In Training)...I hope his performances continue & his back up singers chime in.... A WARRANT MAY BE OVERDUE

Comment #18 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 11

A)First of all, don't ever compare a person who owns a home to a renter. A renter can get up and leave tomm. A homeowner cannot. You don't have the same rights as homeowners who bear the brunt of everything in RI

b)Can you tell me why people who's car values over $6k in Prov paid and not everyone? Did you not use the same roads? or did you fly?

c) If the exemption was not lowered the homeowners in Providence would have had an even HIGHER tax burden while RENTERS like you were locked in your lease.

d) How pray tell does redistricting affect you? You don't even live in Mr Jenning's ward. Stop speaking for the people in his district.

e)Get a job and get off of unemployment. That would start saving the state more than anything else you could do.

Comment #19 by You can't argue with Facts ! on 2012 03 11

[email protected]! Ha!

Sancho Sanchez is in his early twenties and probably doesn't even know what AOL is. Don't date yourself, Rizzo.

Comment #20 by Edward Smith on 2012 03 11

This is insane....

Comment #21 by Keith Fernandes on 2012 03 11

While You cant argue with facts has some points, you cannot blame an individual for trying to make things better. Attend council meetings and find out what goes on for yourself. As far as renters go Sionni is dead on, they face the brunt of rent increases because Providence taxes non resident rental units Far far more than owner occupied. No other city or town does it. Commercial taxes are also way through the roof. What Sionni did was to argue that the way the car tax was handled was wrong. Who pays clean retail NADA value for used cars? Why should the state allow that?As far as redistricting goes, what does it matter if he lives in the ward? Mr Jenning's vote does affect many other wards, not just his. The problem is the pensions and education budgets. Did you know that you can't cut the education budget even a dollar? I mean how silly is that? Enrollment is down but you cannot cut? Citizens have had enough.

Comment #22 by Keith Fernandes on 2012 03 11

Oh Rizzo - that explains it! You're a product of the Providence Public School System!! BINGO!!!

And very good for you Mr. Smith -- you know how to use Google!

Your sick little state is the way it is because of dunces like you.

Obviously BU didn't do a thing for your inteeligence, Rizzo.

I happen to own a business in Willllburrrrrs ward and I am a proud resident of the South Side.

Certainly armchair quaterbacks seem to know the fix, yet I haven't seen them ever show up to make any positive change within this City.

Keep going Anthony. Haters gonna hate and you can't fix stupid = Rizzo and his a-s-kisser Smith.

Comment #23 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 12

Oh Rizzo - you work for a bank? Even more disgusting.

Smith is apparently afraid to use his real name.

Whatcha y'all hiding from, boys?

Comment #24 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 12

BTW, Rizzo - I wouldn't exactly brag about going to B.U., ya know. How much did they take you for? Anybody who can pay gets in. Daddy put you through school cause you couldn't make Brown?

Comment #25 by Carol DeFeciani on 2012 03 12

Allan P is Rizzo?

Comment #26 by Keith Fernandes on 2012 03 16

keith , some one told me that to.

Comment #27 by anthony sionni on 2012 03 16

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