A progressive champion for Delaware
Lisa Blunt Rochester grew up in Wilmington, Delaware in a family with a strong tradition of public service, and she has dedicated her life to helping women and families get ahead. Lisa began her career as a caseworker for then-Congressman Tom Carper, aiding Delaware families facing challenges that included Social Security issues, IRS disputes, and housing needs. In 1998 Lisa made history as Delaware’s first African American woman secretary of labor. She focused on connecting employers to resources and jobseekers, and helped those on welfare or leaving Delaware prisons find job opportunities. After Lisa was appointed state personnel director in 2001, she was commissioned to investigate the Delaware State Police for racial and gender discrimination. She collaborated with local and national experts on public safety and civil rights to create a report that served as a roadmap to improving the relationship between the state police and the communities they serve. Lisa also served as the CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League — a community-based organization that provides direct services to people of color through programs, advocacy, and research.
A fighter for women and families
Lisa worked to provide critical services to some of the most vulnerable people in her state during her six years as Delaware’s deputy secretary of health and social services, and she will fight tirelessly for women and families whose voices aren’t heard in Washington. When Lisa served as a special policy advisor on family issues to Governor Carper, she helped create and coordinate the state Family Services Cabinet Council. She will champion policies that help women and families have a fair shot. Lisa is the proud mother of two children who both graduated from Delaware’s public schools. Like many parents, she knows from experience just how high the cost of education has risen, and she will fight to increase educational opportunities and to make college affordable and accessible for students working toward a better future.
Making history in the First State
Delaware had never elected a woman or a person of color to Congress, and Lisa became the first in 2016. This progressive champion faced a crowded primary for this open seat in Delaware’s single at-large district, and with the full support of the EMILY’s List community, she made history in the First State. WOMEN VOTE! helped Lisa clear the primary by investing over $200,000 to communicate her message to voters. Lisa brings a unique perspective to some of the most challenging issues facing Congress. Lisa’s experience rebuilding trust between the Delaware State Police and the community they serve, and working as CEO of a civil rights organization make her a powerful advocate for a more just and inclusive approach to increasing opportunity for all.