Alderwoman Rita Worthington will become the new majority leader for the Common Council of Kingston. Current majority leader Rennie Scott-Childress of Ward 3 nominated Worthington on Monday evening to replace himself as majority leader for 2022. The nomination was seconded by Ward 6 alderman Tony Davis, and carried unanimously.
Representing Ward 4 since 2017, Worthington has served on various boards of directors, including the Kingston Library and the Ulster County Board of Mental Health.
A former member of the Kingston City Police Commission, she has not always seen eye to eye with law enforcement. In November 2019, the alderwoman, who is black, submitted a memorable op ed examining “the ongoing turbulence between police and people of color.”, and taking issue with statements made by then-D. A. Holley Carnright praising proactive policing and arguing that the cops were handcuffed in trying to make Midtown Kingston safer without it. “The ambivalence and mistrust that many blacks feel toward the justice system,” wrote Worthington, “is a social reality that District Attorney Carnright must not ignore.”
In July 2020 she was again in the news when she along with three other alderpersons put out a press release alleging potentially inappropriate and possibly illegal behavior by Kingston mayor Steve Noble and his wife Julie. At that time no charges were brought.
Worthington was again re-elected unopposed last November, this time with 97 percent of the vote.
On Tuesday in the Council Chambers Kendra Van Houten of the Fair Street Reformed Church will give the invocation. Mayor Noble will administer the oath to the members of the Common Council. Bob Shaut will perform “What the World Needs Now is Love” on saxophone. And Rita Worthington will be majority leader.