Rebecca Perkins Kwoka was born and raised in New Hampshire, growing up in Stratham as her family owned and operated the Exeter Dairy Queen. Rebecca understands the incredible challenges small businesses are facing because she depended on one for everything, literally. For a while, her home was the small space above the Dairy Queen. She knows the struggle of trying to make ends meet when margins are tight. By the age of 15 she was managing employees and working 30+ hours per week while also attending high school. While most of her peers at Exeter rowed crew or played lacrosse after school, she ran the drive-thru. And she can still make a burger and fries with the best of them.
Dartmouth and Cornell Law opened doors she never even knew existed. But going to these schools also opened her eyes to just how many people get left behind. She learned just how much change we need: better jobs so people can actually pay their bills and save for college, better schools that help our children excel, cleaner air and drinking water, and equality no matter the color of your skin, gender or who you love.
As a new mother, she has an appreciation for policies that will help lower healthcare costs AND for getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Do you know how much it costs to have a baby these days?! As a member of the LGBTQ community, she understands all too well the ways that our healthcare and employment systems still do not protect all of us equally under the law.
In order to achieve these things, we need new leaders with new ideas. You’ve heard that political talking point before, but here’s why Rebecca is different.
If we want to attract new businesses that pay higher wages with benefits, we must first keep our young people here and attract talent. That’s why she has been a workforce and affordable housing advocate for over a decade, and started the 603 Initiative – to not just talk about attracting and retaining young professionals to our state, but to actually do something to impact the issue.
What kinds of new businesses, and new jobs? Clean energy. As a green energy lawyer, she knows the impact of the right policy to bring in thousands of new jobs to New Hampshire, and as a State Senator, she would fight to ensure that policy is enacted.
Finally, she knows the difficulties of governing and the dedication it takes to get things done for her constituents. In one example of her commitment to thoughtful leadership, in her tenure on Portsmouth city council, she led a two-year community conversation in Portsmouth resulting in real change - zoning amendments that created a more inclusive community, located places in our City that the residents felt comfortable with.
Rebecca has spent her life working hard and advocating for progressive change, and in Concord she will do so every day for the residents of the 21st district.