Use federal stimulus funds to help people in Providence right now

Opinion

Brett Smiley is a candidate for mayor of Providence. He previously served as chief operating officer of the City of Providence, chief of staff to Gov. Gina Raimondo and director of administration for the State of Rhode Island.

Thanks to President Joe Biden’s leadership and the hard work of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, Providence is about to get an enormous infusion of federal dollars.

Many politicians will seize the moment to propose grand new ideas, but we cannot responsibly use this funding to create new programs that will add to our structural deficit once this money runs out. What we can — and should — do is take this opportunity to get back to the basics and make things a little easier: to finally put all city services online, make it easier to launch and grow a local business, improve our streets and sidewalks, and make progress on our long-term debts.