Ward 5

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan represents the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant, and the western edge of Manton. She has been a Council member since 2015 and currently serves as the City Council Majority Leader. Additionally, Councilwoman Ryan is Chair of the Committee on Municipal Operations and Oversight and serves on several committees including Finance and Ordinance.



Ward 5: Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant, Manton

Ward 5 stretches across the Northwestern part of the city, encompassing portions of the Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant, and Manton neighborhoods.

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16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris reminds us all to be the best street sweepers we can be at Providence’s 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards & Hall of Fame Ceremony hosted by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza.

In 1967, Dr. King in a speech to a group of middle school students in Philadelphia stated: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

Congratulations to Shawndell Burney-Speaks, Detective Anthony Roberson, and to the family of the late Laura Rodriguez who live, and lived, in service to others. They each were the best street sweepers Providence has to offer.

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan Has Been Named Majority Leader of the Providence City Council

Providence City Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, Ward Five, was elected by her peers as Majority Leader for the 2019-2023 term. This is the first time that a woman has been elected to this role for a full Council term.

Majority Leader Ryan was first elected to represent the fifth ward in 2014. During her time on the Council, she has served as the Council’s first Majority Whip and served on the Committee on Finance; Committee on Ordinances; Committee on Public Works; Committee on Public Property; Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal, and Planning; the Special Committee on Women and Healthy Communities; Special Committee on State Legislative Affairs; and is the Chairwoman of the Special Committee on Municipal Operations and Oversight.

“I am humbled to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve in this important role,” stated City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “I plan to work earnestly with every Council member so that we can serve every neighborhood of Providence. There is much to be done to get our economy on track and to move Providence forward, and I have every confidence in my colleagues that we will meet this endeavor head on.”

Ryan continued, “As a senior manager in the financial industry for over 30-years, I have a unique appreciation and understanding of the financial challenges facing the City. During my tenure on the Council, I have taken on many difficult issues: I have worked to reform the Board of Licenses, I have crafted legislation that addressed student housing, illegal ATVs, and worked tirelessly to encourage new business development.”

As a member of the Committee on Finance Ryan worked to hold the line on borrowing, streamlined operations and delivered a balanced budget which resulted in the City re-establishing its rainy-day fund for the first time in almost a decade.  During her tenure on the Council, she has also secured more than $6 million in investments to improve Ward Five neighborhood schools, parks, library and opened the Armand E. Batastini Jr. Recreation Center, the first in Ward Five.

Council Majority Leader Ryan grew up the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence where she still lives today with her husband, Attorney Thomas Ryan. They have two adult children, Attorney Brendan Ryan, and Megan R. Lynch, MBA, TCRG, both of Providence.

Ryan represents the Elmhurst, Mt. Pleasant, and Manton neighborhoods of Providence.

New Leadership Team of Providence City Council Calls for Cancellation of January 3, 2019 Meeting

Sabina Matos, Ward 15, the putative incoming City Council President has requested that the January 3, 2019 meeting, which would be the last meeting for the current term be canceled.  The new council will be sworn-in on Monday, January 7, 2019 at noon.

It is somewhat unprecedented to hold a January meeting on the eve of ushering in a new class of City Councilors.  Matos stated, “Out of deference to the four new members being sworn-in on January 7, 2019, precedent compels the Council to defer taking up new business just days before they are to be sworn-in.  The January 3, 2019 agenda includes ratification of long-term multi-year contracts affecting thousands of city employees, and appointments that should be fully vetted. To convene beforehand, would be uncharacteristic, given past practice, to have an outgoing Council deliberate on such important matters.”

The full Providence City Council regularly meets the first and third Thursdays of the month.

Jo-Ann Ryan, Majority Whip, Ward 5 said, “With the swearing-in of the new Council scheduled for Monday, January 7, 2019, a majority of the Council thought it best to wait these few short days, to allow the new members to be seated, before voting on these important matters.”

Ryan continued, “Since the current charter was adopted in 1980, early January meetings being held within a week of a new Council being sworn-in are a rarity.  The last time a first Thursday arrived before the first Monday swearing-in was 16 years ago in 2003 and the Council did not meet.  Prior to that, it was 1991 and the Council did meet, but it was for a special occasion. Former Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, Jr., who had also served as Council President lost in the Democratic primary for governor the previous September and delivered a farewell address to the body.”


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