JANUARY 22,2024

L-R DEMOCRATS ALL! Councilor Christine Calarco, Councilor Rhoda Overstreet Wilson, former City Councilor Debby McCormick, former (and first woman) Mayor Melina Carnicelli, Councilor Ginny Kent, Former Councilors Dia Carabajal, and Gilda Brower.

At the January 18th Auburn City Council meeting Council unveiled a memorial honoring former City Councilor Ann Bunker, who died in November.  An attorney active in human services, Ann was a trailblazer in local government. In 1989, she became the first woman elected to the City serving two terms, from 1990 through 1997, on the council. 

"Ann's courage paved the way for others to follow in her footsteps," Auburn Mayor Jimmy Giannettino said. 

"(Bunker) didn't just open the doors to city hall ... She took her rightful place at this legislative table, which was an inspiration for me," Carnicelli said. 

Former councilors Gilda Brower, Dia Carabajal and Debby McCormick lauded Bunker for her courage to lead and, as Brower stated, "the elegance of her action." 

Nearly 35 years after Bunker's election, she was being honored by the first majority-women council in the city's history. Councilor Ginny Kent remembered Bunker's work in support of Leadership Cayuga, a program for local leaders. Councilor Christina Calarco said Bunker "paved the way" for her and other women elected to the council.

Dr. Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson, Auburn's first Black city councilor, recalled a meeting she had with Bunker while serving on the Booker T. Washington Community Center's board. She didn't know it at the time, but now realizes she was "in the presence of history." 

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January 19, 2023 

After Auburn Mayor Quill and City Council held a ceremonial swearing in at City Hall for NYS Senator Rachel May (District 48) she was joined at the Equal Rights Heritage Center for a reception.  Pictured - Local leaders and entrepreneurs Gwen Webber-McLeod, Senator May, Melody Smith Johnson, and Cayuga County Democratic Chair Dia Carbajal.