Representative Rebecca Kislak (D) was first elected to represent District 4 in Providence in November 2018. She is the second vice chair of the House Education Committee and is a member of the House Evironment and Natural Resources Committee, the House Health and Human Services Committee, and the House Innovation, Internet and Technology Committee.
Representative Kislak has been an outspoken supporter of Providence’s public schools, health equity, and economic justice. In 2021, Representative Kislak sponsored a law creating a permanent commission to promote and continually improve genocide and Holocaust education in schools. She successfully advocated for the Rhode Island Parentage Act, legislation enacted in 2020 to replace the state’s outdated laws with more inclusive laws that recognize the many ways people become families, as well as a bill to ensure that single-stall restrooms are gender-inclusive so that anyone may use them. She has introduced bills to provide greater tax equity by restoring additional income tax brackets on high income, to enact ranked-choice voting and to create voter-directed public funding through “democracy dollars” that would overhaul Rhode Island’s public campaign financing system to shift power toward the general electorate and better enable ordinary citizens to run for office. In 2022, she led a successful effort to restrict the use of neonicotinoids in pesticides, and she continues to work on an effort to join the majority of states in adopting national standards for
e-bikes and legislation to improve the legal infrastructure for bicycle transportation.
Representative Kislak is an attorney with years of experience in social services and health care policy. Her career is rooted in collaborative law and policy. She is a Law and Policy Consultant with MLPB, was a founding attorney of the Medical-Legal Partnership at Community Legal Aid in Worcester, and director of the Rhode Island Medical-Legal Partnership at Rhode Island Legal Services. She also served as Policy Director and Counsel at the Rhode Island Health Center Association, and has worked as a consultant for health care and non-profit organizations. She teaches health policy courses as an adjunct professor at Rhode Island College and Brown University. Representative Kislak is an active community member. She is past president of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women (RI-NOW) and a member of Temple Emanu-El in Providence.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1995 and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000. She and her spouse, Dr. Joanna Brown, are the parents of two children.