Executive dirctor, Women’s Political Caucus
With Elizabeth Warren’s victory and women voters coming out in record numbers, as well as other gains for female candidates in congressional and state legislature races, Rao said there has been a fundamental shift in the political conversation. “Our country is changing as our government becomes more reflective of the citizens in our population,” said Rao, 26, the first woman of color to head up this nonpartisan organization committed to maximizing the number of women in government leadership positions.
After the election, Rao is regrouping to expand the organization’s network into diverse communities outside Boston such as in western and central Massachusetts. She pointed with pride to the organization’s municipal endorsement program, which she credits with helping Ayanna Pressley become the first woman of color reelected to the Boston City Council and Fitchburg’s Lisa Wong win a third term as the state’s first Asian-American female mayor. The caucus also got involved in the redistricting process, preserving key portions of the Fifth Congressional district, represented by Niki Tsongas, the state’s only female congressional delegate.
—Cindy Atoji Keene, Globe Correspondent