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First woman to chair Albany County Legislature

Jan 08, 2024 12:43 pm

Steve Hughes reports in the Times Union that Bethlehem Democrat Joanne Cunningham is the first woman to chair the Albany County Legislature. Since its founding in 1898 as the Albany County Board of Supervisors, no woman has bee the leader. Now Cunningham is chair and Albany Democrat Wanda Willingham is deputy chair. Last year, Cunningham tried to depose former chair Andrew Joyce. That failed, but this year Willingham had the votes to win the seat. Cunningham said, “What I envisioned in the past did not work.... The respect was not there. I felt like not only was I being overshadowed but minimized and stonewalled.” Joyce said, “I think I was more focused on the work and the job than I was managing all these multiple personalities.... And that was my big mistake.” Cunningham said it is important for women to be in charge sometimes, saying, “I do think it’s really, really important to celebrate that, because women do bring a different leadership style and different leadership skills.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.