Gina Raimondo Commerce Secretary

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Who in the world is Gina Raimondo, and why should I care?
  • Her job is Secretary of Commerce

‘The mission of the commerce department is a very simple one: to help spur good-paying jobs, to empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, to come together with working families and American businesses to create new opportunities for all of us.’

 What Shaped Her?
  • Her hard-working Italian immigrant grandfather, who came to America when he was just 14 and spoke no English, and her Navy veteran father.
  • Raimondo’s father worked at the Bulova watch factory in Providence, Rhode Island. When he was 56, the Bulova company moved to China, closing his plant. He lost his job.
Screen-Shot-2021-01-27-at-9.44.31-AM Gina Raimondo Commerce Secretary Economy Featured Healthcare Politics Top Stories
Source: Supporting Small Business via YouTube.

Her Quotes

 ‘A vision for an inclusive recovery, It’s a simple but vital mission. It’s the same mission that’s driven my own life and the path of my family across generations.’

When she was Rhode Island governor, she said:

‘We invested in our people, in their skills, their opportunities, and their dreams. We helped new businesses launch, and we sparked others to hire and grow responsibly. That’s the same vision, the same faith in American workers and American entrepreneurs that I see in the Build Back Better agenda. It’s a vision for an inclusive recovery, that lifts up those who’ve been left behind. It’s a vision for a national effort that provides skills, training and wraparound supports to get Americans back to work.’

What You Do Not Know — Yet

  • As one of the first girls allowed to attend the Catholic school, LaSalle Academy, she graduated valedictorian
  • She was the second woman to serve as general treasurer of Rhode Island
  • And the first woman governor of Rhode Island
  • Raimondo founded Rhode Island’s first venture capital firm
  • Under her governorship, Rhode Island has one of the nation’s highest per capita levels of testing for COVID-19.

Quotes about Her

Biden:

‘She always remembers where she came from. She became a successful entrepreneur who created jobs on main street and brought businesses back from the edge. And today she’s one of the most effective forward-thinking governors in the United States of America, the first woman ever to lead the Ocean State.’

‘She created an innovative loan program that helped minority-owned and women-owned businesses access the capital they need, but wasn’t always available to them. She’s worked with employers to design skill training programs so the local workers would be equipped to take the good paying jobs in their own communities…And she knows what her fellow governors, Democrats and Republicans alike, are dealing with on the front lines of the pandemic and economic crisis they’re facing and how we can all partner together as one nation to contain COVID-19 to build back better.’

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in economics from Harvard College where she served on the staff of The Harvard Crimson.
  • Attended New College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where she received a Master of Arts (MA) degree and Doctor of Philosophy in 2002 in sociology. Her thesis was on single motherhood
  • Raimondo received her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School

Career

  • Senior vice president for fund development Village Ventures, a venture capital firm
  • Raimondo returned to Rhode Island in 2000 to co-found the state’s first venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital, where she was a general partner over health care investments
  • As Rhode Island governor, Raimondo expanded public Pre-K education and business loan programs
  • She made Rhode Island the fourth state to guarantee free community college to its high school graduates
  • Avocated for a decrease in the maximum allowable interest rate on payday loans in Rhode Island.
  • Was vice-chair of the Democratic Governors Association for the 2018 election cycle.
  • Elected chair of the Democratic Governors Association
  • She released Truth in Numbers, benefit cuts solve the state’s pension problems. Her investments in hedge funds stabilized investments during market downturns for more consistent returns over time
  • Created the Ocean State Investment Pool (OSIP), a low-cost investment vehicle for state and municipalities to better manage their liquid assets used for payroll and operating expenses
  • Also, Raimondo was vice-chair of the board of directors of Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest homeless services organization.

How She Works

  • As governor, she “cut taxes every year, and removed 8,000 pages of regulations — 30 percent of the state’s regulations. She raised the state minimum wage to $11.50, created a sick-leave entitlement, financed the largest infrastructure program in the state’s history, and made community colleges tuition-free.
  • Raimondo said:

‘Far too many families are facing financial challenges that might be mitigated or avoided through a greater understanding of personal finance, [and] payday loans exploit that lack of understanding…. With numerous economic challenges, Rhode Island should not permit the sale of a financial product that traps so many customers in a cycle of debt.’

  • She was national co-chair for the Bloomberg presidential campaign. Press secretary Jennifer Bogdan Jones of the Governor’s Office said:

‘[Raimondo] is prepared to do whatever it takes to support Mike and defeat President Trump.’

  • Bloomberg dropped out of the race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. On the same day, Raimondo also endorsed Biden, saying:

‘[Supporting Biden] is an easy decision, too. [And it was now time] to unify behind Joe Biden.’

She is the sixth in the series Meet The Women of Joe Biden’s Administration: Gina Raimondo. I hope you enjoy hearing about this remarkable woman as much as I enjoyed writing about her.

Sources

  • https://msmagazine.com/2021/01/14/2020-was-a-disaster-for-black-immigrant-and-women-led-households-fixing-this-should-be-top-priority-in-2021/
  • https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/joe-biden-introduces-economics-labor-nominees-speech-transcript
  • https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/
  • https://www.cbsnews.com/news/governor-gina-raimondo-testifies-in-senate-confirmation-hearing-to-be-commerce-secretary/
  • https://americarisingpac.org/gina-raimondo-what-you-need-to-know/

Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.

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