Liberians are jumping for joy at the fact that two of their countrymen have clinched victories in the elections in the United States. Naquetta Ricks and Nathan Biah have won seats in the House of Representatives in Colorado and Rhode Island, respectively.
Ricks, who fled Liberia during a civil war and gained refuge in the United States of America as an immigrant, was elected Representative of District 40 Colorado.
Ricks, following her election, posted on her Facebook page, saying “I want to thank you for your continued support. I wouldn’t be here without you and it has been such an honour to run for your State Representative. Thank you for standing with me until the end.”
“We would like to thank the entire team and community that support us through the campaign and of course COVID-19. Most importantly thank God for this wonderful opportunity!”
Ricks, a Democrat, had said she was contesting the seat to ensure that every Coloradan, whether a new immigrant or a fifth-generation Coloradan, gets an equal opportunity to succeed.
“This means fighting at the State House for policies that expand quality of life for our residents,” she stated on her website. “We must expand apprenticeships, vocational training and continued access to education.
“One of my primary focuses must be affordable and attainable housing. Transparency and accountability in legislation and politics is critical to restoring faith in our government, and those elected to serve the people,” she said.
“As an accountant, cutting inefficiency and abuses will be at the forefront of my work,” said Ricks, who holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Metro and CU respectively. Ricks, who is also a mother of a 24-year-old daughter, runs a small mortgage brokerage business.
Biah, a Liberian Civil War refugee who resettled in Rhode Island in the U.S., is now a representative-elect for Rhode Island District 3. Biah walked 90 miles from Monrovia to Bong Mines to escape the violence in his country which erupted the same year he graduated high school. He first landed in a refugee camp in Ivory Coast before later reuniting with his family in Rhode Island.
Biah, who would work as a math teacher and earn his Master’s Degree from URI, has said that he is ready to serve the people of Providence’s District 3 and will not fail them.
“Oftentimes, we forget we are serving, as politicians, as educators,” he said. “I’m an educator. I’m a servant. I serve my community. I serve my students. I serve my students’ families, parents.
“My main concern is the people of District 3,” said the educator.