City Council Inauguration and Election of Leadership

Jan 2, 2023

January 2, 2022

PRESS RELEASE

Contact:

Parker Gavigan, Director of Communications

pgavigan@providenceri.gov

Council President, Pro Tempore, and City Clerk Elected,

Chief of Staff Announced

 

Providence, RI – Today, 15 members of the 2023-2027 Providence City Council were sworn in at city hall during an official ceremony of the city’s legislative body. Eight councilors are returning to the Council and seven are new.

Ward 1 – John Goncalves (Senior Deputy Majority Leader)

Ward 2 – Helen Anthony

Ward 3 – Susan Anderbois

Ward 4 – Justin Roias

Ward 5 – Jo-Ann Ryan

Ward 6 – Miguel Sanchez (Whip)

Ward 7 – Ana Vargas

Ward 8 – James Taylor (Majority Leader)

Ward 9 – Juan Pichardo (Pro Tempore)

Ward 10 – Pedro Espinal

Ward 11 – Mary Kay Harris (Deputy Majority Leader)

Ward 12 – Althea Graves

Ward 13 – Rachel Miller (President)

Ward 14 – Shelley Peterson

Ward 15 – Oscar Vargas

 Council President

Councilor Rachel Miller (Ward 13) was unanimously elected President of the Providence City Council. President Miller has represented Federal Hill and part of the West End since 2018, and now also represents the Valley District. Miller works as a communication director for Building Futures, a community nonprofit. Council President Miller’s election is historic, as she is the first leader of the city council from the LGBTQ+ community.

 “For the first time, a majority of councilmembers are people of color, and for the second time, women make up a majority on the council,” said Council President Miller. “We are the youngest council in many years – if not ever. And for the first time, Providence has elected an open member of the LGBTQ community as President of this Council. As a queer woman, that is an honor that I do not take lightly. I want to thank each of you for your confidence in my leadership as we chart this new path for our city…

We have an opportunity to lead collaboratively with one another and with residents & businesses in our neighborhoods, to let differences in opinion strengthen our decisions and to be a beacon of integrity and transparency in our decision-making.  And we have big decisions coming our way – from stewarding the city’s next 10-year comprehensive plan for land-use and zoning to shepherding the return of our public schools to local control, to passing the city budget annually and ensuring that budget reflects our values and priorities…

Let’s engage in good faith, let’s recognize that our shared love for our city unites us, and let’s do all we can to work together to move Providence forward.”

To learn more about Council President Miller, click here.

Pro Tempore

Councilman Juan Pichardo (Ward 9) was unanimously elected Pro Tempore of the City Council. Pichardo was recently elected in November and has been a resident of Providence for 43 years. Pro Tempore Pichardo served as a Rhode Island State Senator for 14 years and is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Airforce/National Guard, retiring at the rank of Master Sergeant. Pro Tempore Pichardo and his wife Janet have three children and two granddaughters.

“I am honored to serve my constituents in the Providence City Council and grateful to my council colleagues for electing me to a leadership role,” said Pro Tempore Pichardo. “I plan to listen and work together with my colleagues. I bring my legislative and life experiences to the council and am passionate about making a difference not only in my neighborhood but across our great city.”

Earlier, the Council’s Democratic City Caucus chose Councilman James Taylor (Ward 8) as Majority Leader, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11) as Deputy Majority Leader, Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1) as Senior Deputy Majority Leader, and Councilman Miguel Sanchez (Ward 6) as Majority Whip.

 City Clerk

Councilors also unanimously elected Tina Mastroianni as City Clerk for a four-year term. Mastroianni has been a city employee for 27 years, most recently serving as Acting City Clerk since November 2021. Prior to that, Mastroianni was First Deputy Clerk, a stenographic report, and a crossing guard.

 Chief of Staff

Council President Miller announced the selection of Sean Bouchard as the Council’s Chief of Staff. Bouchard has been a licensed attorney in the State of Rhode Island since 2015, with main areas of focus on real estate, land-use, and zoning. He has served as the Director of Policy and Research for the City Council since 2019.

 

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