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Providence City Council Newsletter, January 2023

Inauguration Day

On January 2, the 2023-2027 Providence City Council was sworn in at City Hall during an official ceremony. There were 8 returning Councilors and 7 new members, representing the most diverse body in city history.

Councilor Rachel Miller (Ward 13) was unanimously elected President. 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.

Councilman Juan Pichardo (Ward 9) was unanimously elected Pro Tempore with 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.

The Inauguration of Mayor Brett Smiley

Following the Council ceremony at City Hall, Councilors headed to the Providence Public Library for the swearing-in of the city's 39th mayor, Brett Smiley. The mayor led a procession down Washington Street immediately following the ceremony.

Changes at the Municipal Court

After 38 years on the bench, Chief Judge Frank Caprio announced his retirement from the Providence Municipal Court. The Council approved his role as a volunteer judge emeritus. The Honorable John Lombardi was elected as the new Chief Judge.

Council Approves Additional Terms for City Officials

Committee Heads Named

During the first weeks of the legislative term, the Council announced the members and leaders of its standing committees. The newly-elected Chairs include:

  • Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2), Committee on Finance.

  • Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11), Committee on Urban Redevelopment Renewal and Planning.

  • Majority Leader James Taylor (Ward 8), Rules Committee.

  • Councilman Oscar Vargas (Ward 15), Committee on Public Works.

  • Councilman Pedro Espinal (Ward 10), Committee on Ordinances.

  • Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1), Committee on Claims & Pending Suits, Committee on City Property, and Committee on State Legislative Affairs.

In the Community

Farewell to Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements

This month, after 38 years with the Police Department, and nearly 12 at the helm, Chief Clements stepped down to pursue another opportunity.

In the News

  • Council President Rachel Miller Sits Down with 10 News Conference (WJAR)

  • Until we’re ready to reckon with terrible truths about millions of Black lives lost, let’s not talk about ‘reparations’, By: Mary Kay Harris (Boston Globe)

Events Calendar

The Providence City Council is the legislative body that serves the many diverse communities of the City of Providence. Each council member serves as an advocate for their neighborhood and as a liaison between residents and the various departments and services our city has to offer.

To find your Councilor, click here. Already know your Councilor? Learn more about their work here.

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