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Rachel Talbot Ross Just Became Maine’s First Black House Speaker

 

Rachel Talbot Ross Just Became Maine's First Black House Speaker
Rachel Talbot Ross Just Became Maines First Black House Speaker

 

Rachel Talbot Ross, 62, was elected as the first Black person to lead the Maine House of Representatives.

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According to News Center Maine (NCM), when Ross was revealed as the chamber’s new leader, House members and observers rejoiced. Ross comes from a family of Black politicians in the Pine Tree State, as her father, Gerald Talbot, was the state’s first Black legislator.

Ross, the former president of the Portland NAACP, was initially elected to the House in 2016 and has since climbed in state politics, with state Democrats electing her to be the House’s Assistant Majority Leader, making her the first Black person to serve in a legislative leadership role.

“I want any child in our state to know today that this is possible,” she told her fellow legislators according to NCM.

“I’M SO VERY GLAD FOR THIS BLESSING, AND YES, THERE CAN BE VERY LITTLE DOUBT I AM MY FATHER’S PROUD DAUGHTER.”

While Maine is one of the whitest states in the US, its politics have become increasingly diverse in recent years, with two Somali-American women elected to the Maine House, Deqa Dhalac and Mana Abdi, and Sen. Jill Duson of Portland becoming the state’s first Black senator.

Ross, who ran on a platform of combating growing living costs, climate change, and the critical need for affordable healthcare and housing, thanked tribal leaders in attendance and said that the state was long overdue for a “state of the tribes” address, which was last given in 2002.

Talbot Ross, who was elected in 1972, was the founding president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP, which was reactivated this year, and the state’s first Black legislator. He was also a member of the state Board of Education.

The emergence of Black female legislators in Maine adds to the expanding number of Black women in American politics. There are presently nine Black female mayors in office or about to take office. Furthermore, four of the largest cities in the United States are led by Black mayors, and the number of Black governors has increased, with Wes Moore being elected Maryland Governor in a landslide.

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Written by How Africa News

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