Ask me what sets me apart…

Ask me what sets me apart…

… I’m going to respond. FAST.

Jim Hand from The Sun Chronicle called and left me a message asking for a response to a conversation he had with my opponent. He asked about my plans for downtown revitalization and generally what sets me apart from the current administration. The article states that I was unavailable for comment. Mr. Hand left a message at 12:59 pm. I hit send on my email response at 2:01 pm. The following was my timely and thorough response.


Greetings Jim,

I felt it would be helpful for me to respond in writing, but will happily take your call if you need to ask any follow up questions.

Downtown revitalization needs to be broad and sweeping. We also need to be cognizant of the positive effects of having a TOD Zone (transit oriented development). 

There is substantial talk about high speed rail from Providence to Boston. If we are not part of the conversation we will merely be a whistle stop along the way. Attleboro has a 4 rail system, this will allow additional commuter service from Attleboro to Providence and from Attleboro to Boston. The Mayor is aware of the potential impact, but has yet to initiate and conversation with Pawtucket and Providence to get us a seat at the table.

Downtown economic development is more than painting the trim at the Bronson Building or putting up plywood facade at the recently relocated gym. It goes beyond replacing one restaurant with another. My plan is to redevelop downtown with multi use buildings that will be built from the ground up, and fill from the top down. We need to create an  inviting environment for people to move to. We desperately need a mix of market value and affordable housing. With that Retail and Commercial will follow.

The Mayor talks about the Union Street Block, which plans for that originated with the previous administration. The Mayor was only able to close that deal buy giving the developer $295K of CDBG tax payer money. The new owners are dependant on additional funding from the State to fund the project. Per the new developer (as stated on the council floor) If everything goes exactly and perfectly to plan, it will be spring of 2023 before the first shovel goes in the ground. There were promises that the buildings would be leveled by now, and they havent been, so that would be an indicator that things are not developing as hoped.

In early 2018 the Mayor missed the opportunity to designate the downtown eligible for “The Opportunity Zone” grant, managed by the state and funded by federal government. This would have given private developers tax credits to be incentivised to build in Attleboro. North Attleboro had the vision and received 2 grants.

The difference is I have a plan. I have the vision. I have the relationships to get this done starting day one.  I want to see the promises that have been made actually be kept. I want to see our residents flourish.I want to see our city departments work together and feel safe and respected. I want our schools be funded appropriately for future success. Decisions that impact our city will never be made on a whim. Thoughtful consideration will be given to every decision and how each decision impacts others. It starts with generating growth in the downtown, this will benefit every resident and stakeholder an will end the 6 years of stagnant fiscal growth, so we have the ability to properly fund our city departments and build a better future for Attleboro.

I don’t strive to be anything else but Mayor for the City of Attleboro. My focus has always been and will continue to be here in Attleboro.

If you have further questions feel free to call. I will be at highland at 5:30 for opening ceremonies, and will be volunteering all night.

I hope the girls are doing well!

Thoughts from my kitchen table #3

Thoughts from my kitchen table #3

  

I VOTE.. DO YOU??

I am frequently asked what is the most challenging part of running a campaign. Is it the pressure? The time commitment? Fundraising? Balancing family and work responsibilities? (I’ll just say it… laundry is rather neglected these days and the Porreca family has been having more take out than usual….)

Honestly, what is most challenging is the unknown variable, the one thing I don’t have control of:

GETTING PEOPLE OUT TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 5th.

Today is National Voter Registration Day. 

Every year millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. National Voter Registration Day wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote. Click here for more information. https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/about/

The last day to register for the upcoming local elections (Porreca for Mayor!) is October 16. Click here to register:https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/

If you have family away in the service, in college or if you will be traveling for work or work long hours you can apply for an absentee ballot. Every Vote Counts!!! Click here: https://www.cityofattleboro.us/DocumentCenter/View/663/Absentee-Ballot-Application-PDF

November 5th is fast approaching. I am committed to Attleboro, to you the residents and to this race. I am giving it EVERYTHING I’VE GOT!

And now I need something from you: I need you to be registered and I need you to VOTE!

Vote because its family tradition. Vote because its your voice. Vote because it is your right. Vote because it matters. Vote because it’s the right thing to do. 

Let’s do this.

Putting the “T” back into the City’s TOD is critical to downtown success

Putting the “T” back into the City’s TOD is critical to downtown success

September 2019

Attleboro is fortunate to have a designated area in the downtown that is zoned for Transit Oriented Development (TOD). I was proud to be part of the Council in November, 2015, when we amended the City Ordinance creating the TOD

(https://www.cityofattleboro.us/DocumentCenter/View/1044/Transit-Oriented-Development-Zoning-District-Ordinance-PDF) .

Some of the advantages of a TOD include urban revitalization, local economic stimulus, carbon footprint reduction and improvements to quality of life by allowing residents to live, work and play in the same area. These have all been a cornerstone of my campaign for Mayor and will continue to be a priority of my administration. I have attached a link to provide more information on how a TOD is beneficial. http://www.tod.org/ .

The two main elements to a TOD are obviously Transit and Development. Paramount to both of these and the driving force behind them, is the COMMUTER. To have a successful TOD, it needs to be a desirable place for commuters to live. By simply focusing solely on the existing transit and  development options without considering a comprehensive strategy to improve all modes of transit in this area throughout our region, we run the risk of neglecting the people who rely on these services and ultimately make family and lifestyle choices based transportation.  I have spoken frequently about the relationships I have established with several developers that are ready to work with my administration and transform our downtown into a vibrant and bustling center of commerce that attracts commuters from both Boston and Providence.


The state line that separates our neighboring community of Pawtucket must become blended. We need to bring a new meaning to our status as a gateway city in such that we open the gates to Rhode Island and facilitate ease of access through public transportation between our great City and our neighboring  cities. 

We need to start this conversation now. The Governor of Rhode Island has announced plans for implementation of high-speed train service to Boston (https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/08/28/boston-providence-mbta-commuter-rail-plan/ ). Unless Attleboro is included in these discussions, it will absolutely have a negative impact on our Attleboro Commuters, as if things were not challenging enough. 

Some in Rhode Island have even discussed proposals for expanded rail service in their state (https://www.abc6.com/story/40449182/new-private-commuter-train-service-would-link-providence-woonsocket-worcester-and-more ).  We need to inspire and work with our local leaders in Massachusetts, as well as the Mayors of Pawtucket and Providence to develop an effective plan that includes Attleboro and benefits our mutual commuters. Collectively, we will be able to advocate for our Plan with the Governor’s office in Massachusetts and the Governor’s Office in Rhode Island. Attleboro should be actively engaged in these efforts to ensure that we are a priority of each state’s transit plans. We need to highlight the fact that Attleboro is quickly becoming a destination for people to work, live and play.

We are fortunate that the City has the existing infrastructure with a four- rail section at the Attleboro MBTA Station stop.  This can be an important logistical component in having trains stop at the station without tying up other train traffic on the main rail corridor.  Utilizing our existing infrastructure, Attleboro should be included in any transit improvements to this corridor, including Rhode Island’s proposal for high-speed service to Boston and any rail transit expansion in Rhode Island.   Capitalizing on increased transit opportunities provides more choices for people, making the Attleboro TOD a more attractive option.  


The MBTA, GATRA and RIPTA are all critical and key components to ensuring success of an economic revival here in Attleboro.   Expanding transit service to neighboring communities will be a priority of my administration.   I have spoken many times about how Attleboro is in a prime location to be a perfect blending of cultures from Boston and Providence. However, if we do not foster the proper relationships with public transportation providers, we will not achieve our goals. 

It all starts with being the bridge between Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Blending the two states here in Attleboro, becoming the destination. Fostering a relationship with our Governor and state delegation will make sure that we are not just a whistle stop on the way to Boston and Providence, rather we are the point of the spear, the hub, the shining jewel of Southeastern Massachusetts once again.

Thoughts from my kitchen table #2

Thoughts from my kitchen table #2

Ahhh.. a moment to sit and reflect. Priceless.

Labor Day has come and gone, and similar to many families in our city the Porrecas are in full swing with back to school, work, farmers market, council and yes, the Campaign. 

Team Porreca has been out and about visiting with residents and dropping signs. I’ve been door knocking everyday and am pleased to report that not one resident has turned their sprinklers on or slammed a door in my face. See… nice really does matter. (I knew you had it in ya Attleboro, contrary to what social media would have you believe)

Knocking on doors can be intimidating. I was raised to respect boundaries and personal space. This deeply ingrained policy proves to be a challenge while out on the campaign trail.

Do you go to the front door? The side door? Will you be disrupting nap time for the baby and maybe mom as well? Is the family having a late lunch/early dinner that you will be interrupting? Is it cleaning day, and the homeowner is in scrubs covered in bleach and vinegar trying to get their bathroom to shine? Will the dog bark and get all excited disrupting the whole house? Does the gentleman mowing his lawn really want to stop what he’s doing to have a chat about the future of Attleboro? In a similar circumstance out on Slater Street it was a mom of 3,and she had a really nice lines on her lawn. Props to you!!! 

This past Saturday, my daughter Maggie was my canvassing sidekick. This girl is something else! She constantly and consistently keeps me motivated and positive. When I was expressing my discomfort of encroaching on people’s personal space, she said, “Ma, just think of it as Trick or Treating.”

She stopped me cold. She was right.

Now it’s been roughly 40 years since I’ve been trick or treating for myself and about 7 since my kids were active trick or treaters. This is my take on what Maggie describes as “campaign trick or treating”

The treat is that I get to introduce myself to people and share why I am running for Mayor. The trick, that turns into a treat, is to make that personal connection and secure their vote. I strive to have meaningful conversations so that both parties feel that they have learned something, I don’t go out there simply to gain sign placement.  Signs don”t vote. People do.

If I haven’t made it to you house yet I am doing my very best to get there. I am enormously grateful to my family for their continued support and for picking up the slack at home so I can be out there spreading our family motto:  #nicematters.