By Tara Vocino
A historic moment was celebrated Monday night during the last City Council meeting of the calendar year when the first-ever female City Council President and City Council Vice President, who served the city together in 2018, were recognized inside the City Council Chambers – and adorned with beautiful flowers.
City Council President Jessica Giannino and City Council Vice President Joanne McKenna were voted by their male colleagues to hold the positions of Council President and Council Vice President throughout 2018. According to Giannino, the council elects its own president and vice president yearly. City Clerk Ashley Melnik said on Tuesday that there is no ordinance regarding length of term, and that Giannino and McKenna can be reelected to serve the same role in 2019.
“It was a wonderful tribute for the only women on the Council to be voted by our male colleagues to hold the positions of President and Vice President of the Revere City Council,” McKenna said on Tuesday. “Since last January, Jessica and I wrote three major ordinances: Commercial Vehicles, Snow/Ice Removal and the City-Wide Permit Parking.”
Giannino said on Tuesday that she and McKenna have worked on many other motions, ranging from making parks safer to working to ban plastic bags. Called “the dynamic duo” by many, they put forth countless other motions that were passed and developed, some of which The Revere Advocate has covered.
According to Melnik, past female council presidents were as follows:
1976: Elvira Curcio, Rita Singer
1977: Elvira Curcio, Rita Singer
1978: Elvira Curcio, Rita Singer
1979: Elvira Curcio, Rita Singer
1980: Elvira Curcio, Catherine Penn, Rita Singer
1981: Elvira Curcio, Catherine Penn, Rita Singer
1982: Catherine Penn, Rita Singer
1983: Catherine Penn (President), Rita Singer
1984: Catherine Penn, Rita Singer
1985: Catherine Penn, Rita Singer
1986: Catherine Penn, Rita Singer
1987: Rita Singer
1988: Linda Rosa, Rita Singer
1989: Linda Rosa, Rita Singer
1990: Linda Rosa, Rita Singer
1991: Linda Rosa, Rita Singer
1992: Linda Rosa, Rita Singer
1993: Linda Rosa, Rita Singer
1996: Denise Salemi
1997: Denise Salemi
1998: Denise Salemi
1999: Denise Salemi
2012: Jessica Giannino
2013: Jessica Giannino
2014: Jessica Giannino
2015: Jessica Giannino
2016: Jessica Giannino (President), Joanne McKenna
2017: Jessica Giannino, Joanne McKenna
Past female council vice presidents were:
Rita Singer, 1980
Linda Rosa, 1990 and 1993
Jessica Giannino, 2013, according to Melnik.
Giannino and McKenna said that they have enjoyed working together to move this city forward and to make a difference.