Rebecca is the first out LGBTQ woman elected to the New Hampshire State Senate!
In 2020, Rebecca Perkins Kwoka became the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to the New Hampshire State Senate. Rebecca was born and raised in NH, growing up helping her family own and operate the Exeter Dairy Queen. She brought her working class background with her to the Senate where she has fought to help working families thrive. Rebecca led legislation that became law to expand renters assistance, a critical guardrail to support landlords and struggling tenants. She’s also worked with her colleagues to pass workplace lactation requirements, funding for live venues, and COVID relief for new businesses—all of which passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support but were ultimately blocked from becoming law by the GOP Majority.
Having grown up in New Hampshire, Rebecca has also fought to preserve her state’s cherished democracy. Despite partisan gridlock, she was able to pass an electronic poll book bill, which became law this summer and will allow working families to more easily participate in our democracy by shortening wait time at the polls. Rebecca also introduced legislation to make redistricting more fair and transparent and served on the Senate Redistricting Committee, traveling across the state to hear from folks on the importance of a fair process. Spurred by these conversations, she will be leading legislation this session to outlaw partisan gerrymandering.
Outside of the Senator, Rebecca has a long legacy of public service, stretching back from her time in the Peace Corps in Senegal to her two terms on the Portsmouth City Council, where as Chair of the Housing Committee she oversaw a successful zoning change process. She has been a workforce and affordable housing advocate for over a decade, and started the 603 Initiative to help keep thriving young people in New Hampshire.
By day, Rebecca is Vice President and General Counsel at SunRaise Investments, a green energy firm dedicated to transitioning properties to renewable solar energy. She lives in Portsmouth with her wife and their two baby daughters, Logan and Colby. Having been pregnant with Colby throughout her first term, Rebecca has been a fierce advocate for reproductive rights and is leading the Access to Abortion- care Act with Senator Becky Whitley to protect folks’ right to reproductive healthcare.