Don Grebien (Mayor, Pawtucket, RI)
Feb 08 2019
The City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island sits in the northern portion of the state on the Massachusetts border, ostensibly serving as transition point between the urban Providence-metro area and rural Northwest, Rhode Island. The city has a storied history, often connected to the Blackstone River, which flows mightily through Pawtucket, once powering Samuel Slater and other’s Industrial Revolution. But in recent months, Pawtucket has seemingly been dealt a series of unfortunate industrial and economic development blows, none more prominent than the Boston Red Sox AAA affiliate, currently and historically known as the PawSox, announcing their departure from the city to Worcester, Massachusetts, after a years-long battle between local, state and team leaders over a new stadium agreement finally came to a head. In the teeth of the PawSox fiasco was Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien, who proved himself to be a champion for his City in his attempts to collectively organize a solution to keep the team in Pawtucket. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful in constructing such a deal, and Pawtucket still faces other concerning economic development issues, during our conversation that you will hear in a matter of moments, Mayor Grebien presented an optimistic, if not excited perspective, sharing ideas that hinted that Pawtucket may well be positioning itself to be once again be a city of innovation, in areas ranging from housing, healthcare infrastructure, business relations and community development approaches. It was always clear to me that Don Grebien loved his City, and hearing his backstory only further cemented that notion to me.