East Providence Rep. Kazarian voted House majority whip

Democrats round out leadership team under new Speaker Shekarchi

Posted 1/12/21

The Rhode Island House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, at a virtual meeting Monday, Jan. 11, elected its leadership team, including Rep. Katherine Kazarian (District 63, East Providence) as the …

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East Providence Rep. Kazarian voted House majority whip

Democrats round out leadership team under new Speaker Shekarchi

Posted

The Rhode Island House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, at a virtual meeting Monday, Jan. 11, elected its leadership team, including Rep. Katherine Kazarian (District 63, East Providence) as the majority whip.

Previously Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi was nominated as the House Speaker, which was officially voted upon by the entire body on January 5, and Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski was elected as the Majority Leader.

“I am very excited about our Leadership Team, which brings a combination of new energy and vast experience on all matters pertaining to the House,” said Speaker Shekarchi. “We will work with our Democratic colleagues to embrace their ideas and talent and reform the way business is done at the State House. Collectively, we will help our economy recover in a manner that works for all Rhode Islanders and protects our most vulnerable populations.”

Rep. Kazarian has sponsored numerous bills to expand the scope of health insurance coverage for Rhode Islanders, including a law that requires health insurance plans to provide for a 12-month supply of birth control to all those who are insured. She has also sponsored legislation to reduce the burden of student loans and successfully created a process for the Department of Education to collect and organize information concerning the duties and responsibilities performed by school social workers.

She has a strong background in the tech field, having previously worked at both Upserve and Virgin Pulse, and was previously a Senior Planner for the City of Pawtucket. Engaged to Sam Daniel, she will be attending law school in the fall. Whip Kazarian received a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and economics from Columbia University’s Barnard College and was inspired to run for office by President Barack Obama’s commencement address to her graduating class in 2012.

With eight great-grandparents who survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915, she and her family have been very active in Rhode Island’s Armenian community. She was the sponsor of legislation which made Holocaust and Genocide education mandatory in all of the state’s middle schools and high schools. Deputy Whip Ackerman was a co-sponsor of the law.

The rest of the leadership team includes: Deputy Whip: Rep. Mia Ackerman, District 45, Cumberland, Lincoln; Caucus Chair: Rep. Grace Diaz, District 11, Providence; Deputy Speaker: Rep. Charlene Lima, District 14, Cranston, Providence; and Speaker Pro Tempore: Rep. Brian P. Kennedy, District 38, Hopkinton, Westerly.

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