In what kind of city do we wish to live?

It seems like a simple enough question: In what kind of city do we wish to live? These days in East Providence, however, it’s something we all must ponder as we contend with state-appointed overseers, a recent history of mismanagement, an infrastructure that is crumbling and an economy, as in most places, that is struggling to regain its footing.
East Providence has seemingly always had a conflicting relationship with itself. The most apt word may be dichotomy.
We reside in one of the largest cities in the state, yet we more often than not refer to ourselves by the colloquial term “Townies.”
We have an ever diversifying population, though many of us still see our city through a prism of a very monochrome past.
We believe we’re still a driving force in the fortunes of Rhode Island, though more and more we’re becoming a passenger in the vehicle of its finances.
All the while, our roads are eroding. Our buildings, particularly our schools, are crumbling. And our sense of community gets a bit cloudier with each passing year.
There was a time when East Providence Schools, specifically, were held in the most high esteem. How and where we educate our children was never up to question or scrutiny. Those things now are, and rightfully so to a great extent.
If we have lost anything is recent times, it is not necessarily “pride” in ourselves or in our families. It is, though, seen in how we treat those who we employ to educate our children and in the facilities we provide to them and our kids.
People aren’t going to stay here and aren’t going to move here because we have another doughnut shop or convenience store or department store built in East Providence.
Those things help, of course, but it’s our schools that will draw new people in and keep those we already have here. The counter to “In what kind of city do we wish to live?” could quite correctly and easily be “What kind of schools do you we have?”


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