Joanne Giannini Remembers Former First Lady Sue Carcieri


I have fond memories of former RI First Lady Suzanne Carcieri always being cordial and caring.

I received a call from the Governor’s office one day in May 2009. Mike Cronin called and asked me if I would call Mrs. Carcieri at her home in Saunderstown. Somewhat surprised, I said sure. But what is this all about? Mike simply said she wanted to speak with me.

I made the call and had a heartfelt interesting conversation with the First Lady for over an hour.

Her main reason for calling me was that she saw me in the news regarding the bill to ban indoor prostitution, which had been a contentious fight in the General Assembly.

Mrs. Carcieri proceeded to tell me that she saw me on the news fighting for a bill “that should pass”m and that the “indoor prostitution” was not going to be the legacy of her husband’s career. She also said she and her daughters were willing to come to the state house with me to fight for the bill. This bill was needed to stop the sex trafficking of young girls in RI.  I remember her telling me that she told the Governor “I’m not letting Rep. Giannini fight this alone!” And she didn’t.

Mrs. Carcieri was the force behind Governor Don Carcieri calling for a press conference to pass bills banning indoor prostituion and strengthen our laws against human trafficking. The Governor became very active and made the bill one of his top priorities.

The bill passed in October 2009, when the Assembly reconvened for a special session. 

Sure enough, behind the scenes, fighting and rooting for the passage of the bills was First Lady Suzanne Carcieri. At a special ceremony, the Governor signed all three of my bills–the ban on indoor prostitution, the ban on Human trafficking, and the ban on minors working in strip clubs. Mrs. Carcieri was there at the signing.

I’ll be forever thankful that Sue Carcieri helped me on this issue. She was so caring. She was the epitome of a perfect First Lady. Her class, determination, and moral compass will be missed greatly. ❤️ 

Joanne Giannini
Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative from Providence. A freelance journalist, consultant and writer, she has previously written commentary for The Providence journal, GolocalProv and WPRO radio. Contact her at