by Betsy Alper and Linda Pederson for the RIDPWC
Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, a Progressive Democrat from House District 5 in Providence, is currently in her second term as a state representative. Born and raised in Jamaica, Representative Ranglin-Vassell is the first Jamaican-American to serve in the Rhode Island State legislature. She is also the first Jamaican to serve in elected office in Rhode Island. In addition to her work as a legislator, she is also a special education teacher in Providence, a wife, and a mom of four adult children. Rep. Ranglin-Vassell was motivated to run for office in June of 2016, after a 21-year-old young father, who had been on her son’s basketball team, was shot and killed. This tragedy caused Rep. Ranglin-Vassell to reflect on the number of students of hers who had died from gun violence during her 16 years of teaching. The young man’s death was the catalyst that convinced Rep Ranglin-Vassell to declare her candidacy for House District 5.