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Representative Marcia R. Ranglin-Vassell
​​​
D - District 5
Providence
(401) 339-6598
rep-ranglin-vassell@rilegislature.gov
32 Waite Street
Providence, RI 02908

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 living wage, access to doulas, the fight to end gun violence, dismantling of the school-to-prison pipeline and access to free high speed internet.

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, gun violence and structural poverty.

A fierce champion and fighter for the $15 living wage, she sponsored legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Rhode Island is currently on the path to a $15 living wage by 2024. She 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 cosponsored a law that now prohibits firearms from school grounds, with certain exceptions. She sponsored legislation which would require a waiver of all fees for taking an examination required in order to be licensed and certified as a teacher when the teaching candidate possesses at least a bachelor’s degree.

Realizing the impact of food insecurity and hunger on so many children, she has sponsored legislation requiring free lunches to be provided for all elementary and secondary students attending public schools. She also 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 legislation that will make doula services eligible for reimbursement through private insurance plans as of July 1, 2022; 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 a law that allows elderly people to, 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 has 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 cosponsored 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 fighting for justice for the last 47 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 extensive knowledge on issues of race, gun violence 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 outreach worker. She is now a special education teacher at E-Cubed Academy in Providence. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College, where she earned an elementary education diploma. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College in Community Health Education and a Master of Arts in Special Education 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 27 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 $50,000 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.

A tireless and compassionate advocate, Representative Ranglin-Vassell has been accepted as a Fellow by the National Conferences of State Legislatures Child and Maternal Health program beginning January 2022. Her personal story as it relates to Black maternal health was featured in the Boston Globe: How Birth Doulas are helping to tackle a crisis in Black Maternal Mortality- Daisa Moore (Oct. 17, 2021).

Representative Ranglin-Vassell has received numerous awards and citations for her work in advancing justice. These include: 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 (2017) Rhode Island College Alumni Award in Community Health (2011), Yallahs High School Alumni Excellence in Education Award (2016), Rhode Island Black Business Association Change Agent Award (2019), the African Heritage Women in Education and Empowerment Excellent Leadership Award (2019) and the  Bread of Life  Government Mountain of Influence award (2021).

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.​ ​​