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Representative Marcia R. Ranglin-Vassell

Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell

Member, House Education Committee

Member, House Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Member, House Small Business Committee

Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell is a progressive Democrat. She was first elected in November 2016 and represents House District 5 in Providence. She serves on the House Education Committee, the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell is a leading advocate for a $15 living wage, access to doulas, the fight to end gun violence and the dismantling of the school-to-prison pipeline. Her body of work centers on the intersectionality of race, gender, education and socio-economic status. She believes strongly that everyone should have access to the same opportunities in education and employment and an overall quality of life, regardless of ZIP code. As someone who understands deeply the impact of poverty, she is unapologetic in her fight for underserved and marginalized communities. Representative Ranglin-Vassell continues to advance and participate in uncomfortable conversations about race relations, implicit bias and microaggressions, as well as trauma for Black and Brown people as a result of institutional racism and structural poverty.

In her first year in office in 2017, she sponsored legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and cosponsored a law to expand the definition of “child” for the purpose of eligibility for DCYF services, including foster care, to any person under the age of 21.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell has sponsored legislation requiring school districts to provide for alternative programs and classroom space within schools to reduce the number of out-of-school suspensions. In addition, she has sponsored bills to criminalize the manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale or transfer of any ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 10 rounds, and to waive the fee for taking an examination required in order to be licensed and certified as a teacher when the teaching candidate possesses a bachelor’s degree.

Realizing the impact of food insecurity on so many children, she has sponsored legislation requiring free lunches to be provided for all elementary and secondary students attending public schools, and sponsored a House resolution requesting Rhode Island Department of Education to study the impact, outcome and needs of children who have one or both parents incarcerated.

Legislative accomplishments include passage of an addition to the Resilient Rhode Island Act that directed the Climate Change Coordinating Council to study a carbon pricing program to incentivize institutions and industry to reduce carbon emissions. To protect seniors, she cosponsored legislation that provides that elderly persons may, absent an emergency, cancel any agreement for contractor services within three days if the contract originated in an in-home solicitation by the contractor.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell sponsored legislation requiring the Department of Education to develop a program of age-appropriate safe-relationship behavior education and training regarding the prevention of relationship abuse, sexual violence and harassment; and cosponsored a bill to exempt natural hair braiders from the requirement to be licensed as hairdressers or cosmeticians, and define the practice of natural hair braiding.

Another bill she has introduced would provide K-12 students attending public schools with a student's bill of rights prohibiting discrimination based on race, sex, gender, economic status or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disabilities.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell has been in fighting for justice for the last 45 years. She began at the age of 15, demonstrating for running water in her poor community in Jamaica. She spent one year after high school knocking on doors in some of the most violent areas in Kingston, Jamaica, providing health education and community-development programs. She has expansive knowledge on issues or race and poverty and how they help to create trauma.

She migrated to Rhode Island in 1990 and worked as a housekeeper, a factory worker and as a community worker. She is now a special education teacher at E-Cubed Academy in Providence. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Teacher’s College, where she earned an elementary education diploma. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College and a Master of Arts from Providence College.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell is an author, a motivational speaker, a content developer and a poet. She is a born-again Christian. She is the founder of Barrels, Books and Butterflies, a mission she started over 25 years ago to bring books and school supplies to poor children in her neighborhood in Jamaica. She is grateful to have been able to secure $40,000 to support summer youth programs through legislative grants, and donated much-needed desks and chairs to the Wanskuck Public Library. She hosts an annual holiday giving drive for children in her district with emphasis on educational books and toys. Representative Ranglin-Vassell believes that like education, housing is a basic human right. Through her justice work, she ministered in a homeless shelter from 1996-2001. She continues to advocate for fair housing and provides referrals for families in need of emergency housing.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell has received numerous awards and citations for her justice work, including the Dr. Rose Butler Browne Award from Rhode Island College for working with disadvantaged populations (1994), the YWCA Women of Achievement Award (2007), YWCA Women Holding Office- Isabelle Ahearn O’Neill Award (2007) Rhode Island College Alumni Award in Community Health, Yallahs High School Alumni Excellence in Education Award (2016), Rhode Island Black Business Association Change Agent Award (2019) and the African Heritage Women in Education and Empowerment Excellent Leadership Award (2019).

Rep. Ranglin-Vassell was born in Jamaica. She is married to Van Vassell. They have four adult children, Alethe, Van Jr. Eric and Terrence. They have two grandsons, Joseph and Elias.

32 Waite Street
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 339-6598