Rita M. Paniagua

Common Councilor At-Large

Term: January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2027


Committee Assignments

Education and Human Development

Charter, Rules, Procedure & RFP
Economic Development, Downtown & Metropolitan Planning
Finance, Taxation & Assessment
Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs (Veteran's Affairs)


Rita Paniagua was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has been a resident in Syracuse since June of 2003. Her 35 years experience in Business Administration, Fundraising and Public Relations has been instrumental to her success in Syracuse. Paniagua also brings with her experience in performing arts, radio, and special events production.

Since her arrival, Rita has been committed to serve the Syracuse community at all levels. She was appointed the Executive Director at the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County, which opened the doors to subsequent work with the New York State Puerto Rico/Hispanic Taskforce. In 2016, Paniagua was elected as a Commissioner of Education for the Syracuse City School District, and in 2019 was elected to the Syracuse Common Council as a Councilor-at-Large. She currently holds a position with Molina Healthcare as Community Relations Lead for New York State.

Among her many responsibilities, Rita currently serves on the Board of Directors for: the New York State Council of the Arts; CNY Arts; Interfaith Works; and Cancer Connects. She is also a Council Member for the Alliance of Economic Inclusion, and the CNY Regional Economic Development Council. Additionally, Rita is the Co-Chair of the Greater Syracuse HOPE Anti-Poverty Initiative.