Rep. Gabe Amo (D-R.I.-01) becomes the first Black representative of Rhode Island on Nov. 13. He succeeds former Rep. David Cicilline who resigned from Congress on May 31 to lead the Rhode Island Foundation as CEO. (AP Photo via Providence Journal/Kris Craig)

By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,

Following a special election in Rhode Island, Rep. Gabe Amo (D-R.I.-01) became the state’s first Black U.S. Representative on Nov. 13. Amo won his seat in a special election on Nov. 7. 

“I am proud to be the representative from Rhode Island’s first congressional district,” said Amo on the House floor, in a speech streamed by C-SPAN. “I will work hard for the people in Rhode Island and across this country every single day. Thank you for this privilege.”

Amo succeeded former Rep. David Cicilline, who served in Congress for over a decade.

“Why I’m here is [to] ensure our great hope for the future is met with profound action – action to protect and strengthen retirement security, support our seniors, create economic opportunity and good paying jobs, secure reproductive freedom,” said Amo. 

Amo said he will also make sure to help end gun violence, ban assault weapons and support environment conscious policies. 

There are now 434 members in the House according to the Office of the Clerk.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) swore him in on Nov. 14.

“The CBC is proud to welcome U.S. Representative Gabe Amo as the Caucus’ historic 60th member, and the first person of color to represent Rhode Island in the House of Representatives,” said Chairman Steven Horsford (D-NV-04) and members of the CBC. “Born to Ghanaian and Liberian immigrants, Rep. Amo would go on to be a trusted advisor in the Obama-Biden and Biden-Harris Administrations and will now serve Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District and our country.”

Horsford continued, saying “Rep. Amo will bring to the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Democratic Caucus a diversity of lived experience and a shared commitment to standing up to extreme Republicans, keeping our communities safe and protecting our fundamental freedoms.”

Tashi McQueen is a Report For America Corps Member.