MARCIA Ranglin-Vassell, the Jamaican-born schoolteacher whose recent win against deep-seated Republican incumbent John DeSimone, raised several eyebrows in her community, is now a Democratic member-elect of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, following the results of the November 8 elections.
She represents District 5 Providence (Charles,Wanskuck, Elmhurst).
In a response to The Weekly Gleaner queries, Vassell pointed to the huge support of her community and family as key to her victory in what could have been a difficult race.
“I am incredibly grateful to all the voters in District 5 who voted for me. It was certainly a Herculean task unseating a 24-year incumbent and the House Majority Leader, but I did, and with 60% of the vote to John DeSimone’s 23%. The truth is, people want change, and they want to be hopeful about the future for themselves and their families,” she said.
Vassel, who campaigned to appeal to voters who wanted to change the social set up and allow for more opportunities especially for youth, says she anticipates getting to work on those matters.
“Although the new Legislative Session begins January 3,2016, I cast my first vote for the Leadership team last night This vote was as a result of my win on Tuesday, so that was a great feeling. I am looking forward to working on the issues that matter to my constituents and I – raising the minimum wage to a living wage of $15, passing good common-sense gun safety laws and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline,” she says.
The St Thomas native says there will also be time for a quick visit back home before her work schedule starts.
“I am also looking forward to getting home to Jamaica and getting some time in the sun to relax before the work of
being a State Representative begins.”