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What 3 R.I. mayors have learned in their first 100 days

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi, Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, and Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera share what surprised each of them the most

Warwick Mayor Frank J. Picozzi in front of his famous Christmas display.
Warwick Mayor Frank J. Picozzi in front of his famous Christmas display.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and this could be the last 4/20 before cannabis is legalized in Rhode Island. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 144,966 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, after adding 758 new cases since April 16. The most-recent overall daily test-positive rate was 3.6 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 22.6 percent. The state announced four more deaths, bringing the total to 2,651. There were 136 people in the hospital, and 330,237 residents were fully vaccinated. 


The new mayors of Warwick, Cranston and Central Falls have all made it through their first 100 days in office – and they aren’t running for the hills yet.

So what has surprised each municipal leader about their city since taking office? Here’s what Mayors Frank PicozziKen Hopkins, and Maria Rivera had to say.

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi


In my first 100 days in office, I was surprised to see how bad of shape the city of Warwick was in, all of the work that needs to be done, and how low morale was among the residents and city employees. Having worked in the private business world, it shocked me to see how slowly government works and how long it takes to get things accomplished.

Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins


The biggest surprise I’ve had in my first 100 days as mayor has been the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. On a Thursday, two weeks into office, I was notified that the city would be responsible for administering vaccines the following week. It was a tremendous effort to ensure that all vaccines received were properly allocated. Our community came together to volunteer by making calls and assisting our EMS and senior services staff. Since then, we have been pleased to administer over 4,000 vaccines to our seniors and school staff.


Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera


I’m surprised by the enormous stress of providing basic city services while, at the same time, tackling a global pandemic in a disease-ravaged city. It reminded me of the importance of physical and mental health, and I’ve taken up boxing classes and asked residents to walk with me throughout the city. I’ve also been surprised that I think I know the most important thing at any given moment, like sitting in my office with our team and planning how to hit our numbers for vaccination signups. And then, my phone rings: there’s another fire and I go to the scene and am reminded that the most important thing is helping Central Falls families get food, clothing and shelter. It grounds you. It reminds you that running a city is about helping people. That leads to my last surprise: it’s very difficult to run a city through Zoom meetings and I’m trying to limit them, to the extent that safety permits.


Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, says that states may soon drop their outdoor mask-wearing mandates — and it makes sense. Read more.

⚓The executive director of the Nonviolence Institute wishes protesters would pay similar attention to the young men dying on Providence’s streets, at one another’s hands. Read more.


⚓Rhode Island beach parking passes are going on sale today, and daily parking passes could be on the rise at Misquamicut. Read more.

⚓ Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera has taken a hands-on approach to her new job, riding with the city’s snowplow trucks or dashing to get supplies for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Read more.

⚓ When the state announced that residents age 16 and older would become eligible for the vaccine on Monday, many residents worried that everyone in the state would be competing with one another for a limited number of open slots. But there are still thousands of shots available. Read more.

⚓ Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals has named Viola Davis its 2021 woman of the year. Read more.

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Obit: Walter F. Mondale, who as the Democratic nominee for president in 1984 put the first woman on a major-party ticket, with US Representative Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, but lost to Ronald Reagan by the largest Electoral College margin in US history, died Monday. The former vice president was 93. Read more.

Politics: A messy election battle in Boston has raised questions about how long is too long to settle a political contest — in this case, one subjected to a recount nearly 400 days after the vote. Read more.

Education: Former Massachusetts education secretary Paul Reville writes that the field of education should seize on the sense of urgency that we need to do more and better for our students in this moment of crisis. Read more.


Sports: Monday was a victory in another sense, too, as Red Sox players, coaches, and staff members were among the 1.7 million Massachusetts residents who became eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccination. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the proposed American Jobs Plan. 

⚓ Activist groups are holding a 6 p.m. rally at the State House to advocate for racial and economic justice in the proposed cannabis legalization law.

⚓ Governor Dan McKee and Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos are scheduled to take questions from reporters on a wide range of issues at 2 p.m.

⚓ Author Rebecca Elliott will discuss climate change at noon in a virtual discussion hosted by Brown University.

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.