As Commerce Secretary, Gov. Gina Raimondo Has “a Vision for an Inclusive Recovery”

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With Inauguration Day fast-approaching, President-Elect Joe Biden took the stage on Friday, Jan. 8 to appoint the final members of his Cabinet. Among them was commerce secretary nominee and Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo, who delivered the following remarks:

“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. 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,” Raimondo said.

She described the plight of her Italian immigrant grandfather, as well as her Navy veteran father who worked in a watch factory to support three children. Their hard work led to Raimondo’s election as the first woman governor of Rhode Island. In this position, she expanded public Pre-K education and business loan programs. Under Raimondo’s leadership, the state became the fourth in the U.S. to guarantee free community college to its high school graduates.

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Raimondo previously founded Rhode Island’s first venture capital firm and served as state general treasurer. She expressed pride in her state’s economic success, vowing to bring a similar approach to her secretary position if confirmed.


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“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,” Raimondo said.

Biden highlighted her success with transitioning to renewable energy on the state level, as well as Raimondo’s experience handling the pandemic’s effect on local economies.

“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,” Biden said, introducing Raimondo. “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.”

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About

Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a freshman at Tufts University. She was a Ms. editorial fellow and assistant editor of social media. You can find her on Twitter at @sophie_dk_.