Central Falls looks to crowdfunding platform Citizinvestor to help spruce up Jenks Park

Picture Courtesy of The Providence Journal

Picture Courtesy of The Providence Journal

Less than a year after emerging from federal bankruptcy, city officials continue to find new ways to spruce up the state’s poorest and smallest municipality.

Now, Central Falls is teaming with Citizinvestor, a crowdfunding platform for community projects, to help guide the city’s 19,400 residents to invest in their community. The partnership hopes to raise money to install “one-of-a-kind,” steel trash cans and recycling bins in Jenks Park.

The park is on Broad Street right next to Central Falls City Hall.

“The future is bright for the City of Central Falls,” said Mayor James A. Diossa, who is running unopposed for a new three-year term in November. “Our citizens are eager to rebuild this great community. We are excited to partner with an innovative company like Citizinvestor to help empower residents, Rhode Islanders and even those across the nation to invest in Central Falls.”

The project is a first for Citizinvestor in Rhode Island. The organization was launched in September 2012 and it has been involved in public projects in Philadelphia, Boston, California and Oregon. It currently is working with 65 cities across the country.

In Central Falls, the trash cans and bins will be designed and made by a network of local artists at The Steel Yard in Providence, meaning that the trash receptacles will be useful and a form of public art.

“The low-quality donated trash bins we currently have in Jenks Park, our most cherished and historic public space, don’t stay upright,” said Diossa in a news release. “They fall over all the time spilling debris, they do not allow us to recycle, and they do not reflect the pride and care we have for our city. The children and families of Central Falls deserve better.”

Lawyer Tony DeSisto, of Barrington, a co-founder of Citizinvestor, said he was honored to launch the group’s first Rhode Island citizens’ platform in Central Falls.

“I, like many Rhode Islanders, take great pride in my home state and the communities like Central Falls that make it so special,” he said.

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation can turn to citizinvestor.com, but their credit cards will not be charged until the project reaches 100 percent of its $10,044 funding goal. For more information about the Central Falls project, go to http://tinyurl.com/citizinvestorjenks.

Diossa, at 28, the youngest mayor in the state, was elected last December in a special election to replace Mayor Charles D. Moreau, who resigned and pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge.

Diossa, who is of Colombian ancestry, is the first Latino mayor in the city’s history. More than 60 percent of the population of the 1.3-square-mile city is Hispanic.

Source: Bob Thayer – The Providence Journal

Link: http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130922-central-falls-looks-to-crowdfunding-platform-citizinvestor-to-help-spruce-up-jenks-park.ece

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