220728-VanDerStad Rally-1439.jpg
North Main Street

Bradly has made local issues like advocating for North Main Street his top priority.  As the VP of the Summit Neighborhood Association and community leader, Bradly believes that expanding fossil fuel infrastructure in our community is harmful short-term thinking, and that the semi-truck traffic will bring noise, congestion, and pollution to Ward 3. He stands strongly opposed to the Blackstone Distribution Center proposed for the northern end of the corridor, which will drive all of these community maladies. 

As councilor, Bradly will advocate for the vision of the North Main Street Corridor Study, released the same day as his 07/28 Rally for North Main Street. The plan highlights 5 major improvement points for North Main Street: 

  1. Improve Accessibility and Mobility for All 

  2. Create a Welcoming and Hospitable Street

  3. Build Housing That Is Attainable To People of All Income Levels

  4. Develop Complete Neighborhoods with Clear Centers

  5. Give People Reasons to Come and Stay

Bradly believes that North Main Street can and should be an economic driver of Ward 3, a place where people meet, shop, and celebrate within a short walk from their homes in Summit or Mount Hope. To read the report, click below: 


As a former 7th grade math teacher with Teach for America, Bradly understand the challenges experienced by students and teachers alike in Providence Public Schools. Bradly had students that were their family caretakers, families who could never attend parent teacher conferences due to the nature of their work, and special needs and second language learners who were completely underserved by the institution they trust. 

It is Bradly's pledge to be in a Providence Public School classroom every week once elected councilor, because effective policy is informed by experience and input of those affected. 

Bradly is not in a hurry to advocate for the return of Providence Public Schools to city control- not until the city has taken the time to implement a major systemic overhaul in education, including an elected and empowered school board. Bradly is also a believer in the Community Schools Model for our public schools, which prioritizes 6 key components: 

  1. A culturally responsive, consistent, and challenging curriculum

  2. Emphasis on teaching over testing

  3. Inclusive leadership

  4. Restorative Justice instead of harsh discipline

  5. Wrap-around medical and emotional supports from accountable, culturally-competent providers

  6. Transformative emphasis on community and parent engagement

When he launched his campaign, Bradly's first op-ed in the Boston Globe was about PPSD. Read his commentary for a more detailed picture about what needs to be done to advance our school system. 

Middle School Life.png

Bradly's experience with housing comes from his time building homes with Habitat Humanity, first in Oregon, then Wyoming, the North Carolina and finally in Rhode Island. 

Housing is a critical need in Ward 3. As a renter himself, Bradly knows what rising rents mean for families- dinner table conversations deciding what painful cuts to make to family life, and fewer opportunities to participate in PVD's vibrant local economy. 

Bradly is advocating for landmark investments in affordable and dense housing in Ward 3, particularly on North Main Street, where a great opportunity exists to be near a high-frequency RI transit corridor on the R-Line and bus service to Boston via Peter Pan.  

While Bradly supports construction of affordable housing, he also recognizes that more housing is only one half of the supply and demand problem facing Providence's housing market. This is why as councilor, Bradly will advocate to protect the residents of Providence with the following policies: 

  1. Rent stabilization, following Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's lead, setting a maximum rent increase of 4% plus inflation year-over-year to prevent rent gouging.

  2. Increase tax penalties for house flippers and corporations that artificially drive scarcity and price for profit, modeled after California's Assembly Bill 1771

  3. Coalition build with state leaders and housing advocates to end homelessness in Providence by investing in more transitional housing and case managers for people experiencing homelessness

  4. Adjust zoning to promote density, drop parking minimums, and promote accessory dwelling units (ADUs)

Rochambeau Library

Bradly understands that the Rochambeau Library is used for so much more than books. It is a place to learn and grow, for youth programming, for peace and solitude, for cooling off on a hot day or warming up on a chilly one, for meeting like-minded people, for breaking down barriers and having important conversations. It is a gathering place for our community, and deserves our full support. 

As VP of the Summit Neighborhood Association, Bradly worked to direct funding towards Rochambeau Library, and is happy to announce that as a result of neighborhood funds, the library will be developing an outdoor classroom for youth in the coming weeks. This will be an incredible, serene place for our kids to come, relax, and learn. 

Annually, the City of Providence provides Providence Community Libraries just under $4 million dollars to keep 9 libraries open and staffed. The state matches the city's contribution by 25%. Our city's contribution hasn't gone up in years, while staffing and programming has gotten more expensive. 

It is Bradly's initiative to factor in annual 3% increases to library funding- for a first-year increase of $120,000- to ensure that the programming and hard work of our library teams (especially the one at Rochambeau) can be maintained and grown. 

Tour Pic.jpg
Small Business Economy

The City of Providence needs desperate help when it comes to supporting its small business economy. As a small business owner himself, Bradly has experience navigating our city's onerous small business infrastructure: it is simply not built with the user in mind. 

Providence would not be Providence without its vibrant, tenacious small business community. Bradly particularly enjoys Ward 3's casual pizza spots- Piemonte, Hope Street Pizza, and Francesco's have all offered good eats, a cold drink and nice conversation on hot canvassing days. Bradly also gets his hair cut by Kourtney at Arrow Salon, and as far as we can tell, Lucky's Kitchen has the best crab rangoon around. But we digress. 

Bradly has several plans to support our city's small business infrastructure: 

  1. Work with developers to maintain an updated list of available commercial property

  2. Advocate to replace the tangible tax with a state revenue sharing model, incentivizing PVD to work in tandem with its small business community

  3. Use the city's online presence to promote its small businesses

  4. Create a small business portal for city engagement

  5. Further develop the IDPVD Program to promote local spending

  6. Work with GoProvidence, Providence Tourism Council, and state tourism resources to increase tourism infrastructure on Benefit Street, highlighting historical significance

  7. Better utilize the city's TSA program to require more sustainable construction, greater quantities of more affordable housing, and more minority and women-owned businesses as contractors

Environmental Justice

In 2015, the Providence Office of Sustainability conducted a greenhouse gas inventory, and found that Providence's carbon footprint was 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. Going forward, every city plan, decision, or policy must consider how it supports getting 2.5 million to zero before 2050. 

In 2019, the city's Racial and Environmental Justice Committee concluded work on the Providence Climate Justice Plan. This landmark document sets both vision and action steps for Providence to achieve goals in both sustainability and equity- two critical concepts that are deeply intertwined.  

Bradly believes that the next city councilor from Ward 3 must think globally and act locally. Here are some immediate steps Bradly would take and advocate for to continue Providence's sustainability and equity goals: 

  1. Most importantly, move from the "involve" structure to the "collaborative" structure of government , empowering citizen boards to make the changes they deem necessary in their community (See page 32 of the Climate Justice Plan)

  2. 100% of municipal buildings' heat and electricity made renewable by 2040

  3. Eliminate utility shutoffs

  4. Increase income-based energy efficiency programs    

  5. Increase public transit access and ridership through transit infrastructure investment

  6. Emphasize ways to meet climate goals in Ward 3: 

    1. Opposing more local fossil fuel infrastructure

    2. Promoting composting and community gardening

    3. Increasing investment in frontline communities 

hope street2.jpg
Safe Communities

Providence is at a crossroads when it comes to public safety. Residents of the city are both afraid of the post-COVID crime increases, in addition to not trusting that dialing the Providence Police will improve their situation. 

Bradly understands that crime is a systemic public health issue, and that deterrence using harsh penalties and shows of force have never worked. The only way to truly prevent crime in Providence is to make the necessary investments in public health, housing, and education.  

Bradly also believes in the community policing model, and that residents of our neighborhoods should know and have relationships with Providence Police that exist outside distress calls. Better policing starts with trust.

Here are tangible steps Providence can take that Bradly will advocate for to make our city safer: 

  1. Support the development of our city's Behavioral Health Crisis Response Program

  2. Advocate to increase police accountability and for the repeal of LEOBoR

  3. Empower the Providence External Review Authority (PERA)  to issue decisions, not recommendations, regarding police misconduct

  4.  Improve police transparency and trust by engaging in dialogue at community meetings and events

  5. Require police to engage more deeply with community by patrolling on foot and by bike

  6. Reinstate a residency requirement for police in Providence