The city council passed two resolutions, one declaring February as Turner syndrome month and the other requesting the celebration of black history month in Cranston, at their meeting Monday …
The city council passed two resolutions, one declaring February as Turner syndrome month and the other requesting the celebration of black history month in Cranston, at their meeting Monday night.
Sponsored by Council Vice-President Lammis Vargas and co-sponsored by City Council President Jessica Marino, the bill recognizing February as Turner syndrome month says that with increased awareness, the livelihoods of those affected by the condition can be greatly improved.
The National Library of Medicine says that Turner syndrome, also known as congenital ovarian hypoplasia syndrome, occurs when “the X chromosome is completely or partially missing in females.” Complications of the syndrome can include growth disorders, reproductive system abnormalities, cardiovascular abnormalities, and autoimmune diseases.
“I myself have and continue to deal with many health issues associated with my Turner syndrome,” said Cranston resident Nicole Topp. “As not many doctors were familiar enough with my condition to be comfortable treating me, it delayed me getting the medical care that I needed… Greater awareness in the medical community will allow more research to be done on the condition so that we can better treat the health issues of women with Turner Syndrome.”
Topp said the lack of awareness about the condition can cause it to be diagnosed later in life than needed, which stops young women suffering from Turner syndrome from getting treatment at a young age. The current average age for diagnosis is between 7 and 17 according to the National Institute of Health.
“I have to say I was not aware of Turner syndrome until Nicole reached out to me,” said Vargas. “I decided to absolutely encourage awareness and educate not just Cranston but hopefully throughout the state through your voice and those that have been affected in some way, shape or form. Here as a council I hope and encourage passage on this resolution.”
Vargas got her wish, as the resolution passed with no opposition and Councilmembers Richard Campopiano, Nicole Renzulli, Aniece Germain, Robert Ferri and John Donegan all asked to be added as co-sponsors of the bill before its unanimous acceptance.
The second resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Germain and co-sponsored by Council Vice-President Vargas and Council President Marino, requested that the city of Cranston and the council celebrate black history month throughout the month of February.
“Black history is American history,” said Germain. “We have to have one month really dedicated to the achievement, the struggle, the beauty of our ancestors as black people. I wish that one day that we do not have to have the struggle to continue to say we have to have a space, but we get up to celebrate everyday, 365 days of the year.”
This resolution passed with no opposition and once again council members asked to be added as co-sponsors, including Donegan, Ferri and Renzulli.
“One of the reasons that I had myself added as a co-sponsor here was to continue to celebrate the achievements of the African American community and to celebrate their accomplishments, whether it’s through literature, the arts or through education,” said Vargas.
In other business the council heard a presentation from the housing commission regarding their focuses and work since the commission was established. After reviewing their mission, councilwoman Vargas asked Commission Chair Annette Bourne if she could point to one big recommendation for the city of Cranston in order to further the mission of creating residential growth.
“If I had one thing to say, I would say make as much of our commercial corridors as we possibly can and envision them in a future role,” Bourne said. “I think that we get stuck in our present and whatever our history is. Now we have much more opportunity to mix commercial use with residential. To really envision those kinds of buildings that really bring vibrancy and walkability to a community.”
Bourne said that development can be challenging due to fear of change. It is a human instinct, she explained and it is important to realize that 60 years ago people couldn’t possibly know what technologies and needs people would have in the future. There was a period of time, Bourne said, that there was a time everyone agreed that they didn’t want to walk everywhere, but that isn’t how young people feel today.
The housing commission told the council that it intends to continue their work in creating a better growth in housing, especially affordable housing in Cranston before the council thanked them for their report.
The next meeting of the Cranston City Council will be on March 27 at 7 p.m. at Cranston City Hall.
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