I sent these questions to Ward 3 front-running candidates Nirva LaFortune and Mark Santow earlier in the campaign, and recently updated candidates Daniel Chaika and David Lallier as well. Both LaFortune and Santow have written me emails and expressed in person that they intend to give full responses to these questions. I haven't heard back from Chaika or Lallier yet, but I think they deserve a grace period since I gave the other two candidates a head start.
All candidates are welcome to cheat by reading the blog. A lot of our recent posts have been Ward 3 related.
Questions for Ward 3
1. Where do you see the ward, and the city more broadly, adding protected bike lanes in the coming years? If you had 25 miles of protected bike lanes to distribute throughout the city, where would they go?
2. Are there places where you would put neighborhood greenways to improve walkability and bikeability for children, the disabled, and the elderly? Where would they go, in your opinion?
3. What will your candidacy do to move the city closer to repealing exclusionary zoning like parking minimums, R1 and R1A zones, and anti-student housing provisions?
4. The city charges a much higher tax rate on apartment dwellers than homeowners. Will you challenge that to promote affordable housing?
5. What are the top three things you'd like to see improved about RIPTA service in the city? Are there particular routes you use or have used, and what is most frustrating or exciting about the way RIPTA runs?
6. Our blog has proposed a parking lot tax for a number of years, which would help raise funds to lower property taxes, and could help promote better land use and address climate change. The econ. on this supports the idea that wealthy parking landlords like Joe Paolino would have to eat the tax, rather than commuters.
7. I presume you both support immigrant licenses and will push the state to address that (Yay!).
8. Our blog has stood out for pushing against the notion of lowering the car tax, especially in upper brackets-- what we have called "the Jaguar Tax Cut". This is a state issue, but one which city officials have commented on. Where would you stand? (Here's an Economic Progress RI report supporting our position).
9. What can we do to make it easier to allow people to put affordable housing in their unused driveways?
10. How can we address the fissure that I-95 poses to connectivity between neighborhoods in the short- and long-term?