Helen Anthony is the Providence City Councilor representing Ward 2 which includes the city’s Blackstone, College Hill and Wayland neighborhoods. Helen is an analytical presence on the council, often working behind the scenes to build consensus, encourage collaboration or identify strategies for reaching a solution. She is passionate about fairness.
Helen serves on the Finance Committee and the Claims and Pending Suits Committee, focusing on improving Providence’s long-term financial health. Helen is also deeply committed to environmental sustainability, and recently championed the Building Energy Reporting Ordinance (BERO), a measure she introduced to put Providence alongside leading municipalities nationally in measuring and reporting the energy use of large buildings.
Helen has advocated for greater transparency in municipal decision making and called for more rigorous, open opportunities for residents to participate in the city’s planning and development, which will impact neighborhoods for years to come.
Helen is an associate at Handy Law working primarily on land use matters. She was previously a partner at Jursek Dennis and Gagnon, LLP, in Needham, MA. She is an active member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and serves on the Board of Governors at the Miriam Hospital. Prior to her election to the Providence City Council, Helen served on the Providence Zoning Board of Appeals and volunteered at the Crossroads domestic violence shelter and the legal clinic at Mathewson Street Church. Helen has also served on the boards of Beth-Israel Deaconess Glover Hospital and Planned Parenthood of Mid-Missouri and Kansas.
Helen has always been committed to advocating for healthy communities, and served in elected office in Columbia, Missouri and Needham, Massachusetts. Helen received a BA from Colby College and earned a law degree at New England School of Law.
Helen is married to Doug Anthony, MD, PhD, Researcher and Professor of Pathology and Neurology at Brown University and Lifespan, and they have four grown children. Helen loves walking and biking Providence’s parks and trails, visiting Providence’s world-class restaurants and attending cultural events.
Fight for Fiscal Responsibility
- Serve on Finance Committee to advocate for transparency on municipal finances
- Successfully fought graduated homestead tax exemption that would have impacted property taxes (2019)
- Advocating for public input on spending $160M in federal stimulus funds (2021)
- Appointed to Pension Working Group to study reducing pension liability (2021)
Better Planning and Development
- Ensured speed humps on South Angell were quickly redesigned (2021)
- Monitor repair to water mains and repaving of streets (2021)
- Spearheaded passage of resolution against relocation of Kennedy Plaza Bus Hub (2020)
- Testified at City Plan Commission against subdivision of Beresford-Nicholson Estate (2019)
- Successfully fought closure of I-195 Gano St Exit (2019)
- Successfully fought development of Smart Hotel at Angell and Brook (2019)
Communication Is Essential
- Since August 2020 sent 30+ Ward 2 Letters with news and context on complex issues — pension system, road paving, redistricting and environmental justice, etc.
- Ensured Ward 2 had latest accurate health guidance and municipal rules (2020)
- Sent Ward letters more frequently, because information is critical in a crisis. Our information continues to be used by other elected officials (2020-21)
- Meet weekly with RI Emergency Management Authority on COVID operations
- Fought for moratorium on evictions during the pandemic (2020)
An Accountable School System
- Testified against state takeover of Providence Public Schools stating that: (1) RIDE did not demonstrate it had provided 3 years of progressive support failing to meet requirements of Crowley Act; (2) the order did not provide for student and parent involvement in hiring Superintendent or in Turnaround Plan; (3) the Order did not provide any mechanism to hold Commissioner accountable. (2019)
- Drafted and sponsored ordinance to make the Office of Sustainability a permanent part of our city government (2021)
- Introduced Building Energy Reporting Ordinance requiring energy use reporting on city’s largest buildings — currently pending in Finance Committee (2021)
Character of our Neighborhoods
- Supported purchase of new playground equipment at Gladys Potter Park (2019)
- Supported improvements to Brown Street Park and Blackstone Woods (2020)
- Supported East Side Historic District Expansion (2021)
- Partnered with Mile of History Association to rehabilitate Benefit St streetlights (2020)
- Testified at City Plan Commission on many occasions against development that would threaten quality of life
- Work with city departments to hold landlords accountable for trash, noise and behavior
- Working on rehabilitation of Hope High School Auditorium