Skip to content

Congressional Spotlight: Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)

Each month The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA) introduces you to a member of Congress who is a leader on legislative matters important to our TNPA community, with representation from both parties.

Headshot of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).

Q&A with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester

TNPA has worked closely with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware and had the opportunity to ask the Congresswoman a few questions, and share them here:

What is your favorite sports team?

Being born in Philadelphia and having lived in Delaware for the majority of my life, I love Philadelphia sports. It’s a hard choice, but I have to say the Philadelphia E-A-G-L-E-S.

Which American political figure has most inspired you?

It is impossible for me to pick one, so I will give you three. First is my dad, Ted Blunt. Dad was president of the Wilmington City Council and a dedicated public servant, particularly passionate about education in Delaware. I have known the importance of service all my life because of his example. While he passed away in January from Leukemia, I will never forget the lessons he taught me, and feel his presence with me every day.

Next is someone I had the honor of serving with in Congress: the legendary Congressman John Lewis. He was an incredible advocate for justice and peace, and always led with love. He was such a presence every time he walked into a room – and you knew that some good trouble would follow soon after.

Last is Frances Perkins, the first woman to be a cabinet secretary. She may not be well-known today, but we owe her our gratitude. Her work on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program has benefitted Americans across generations. From unemployment insurance and shorter work weeks to the minimum wage and federal child labor laws – and Social Security – Frances Perkins was a woman of impact. As the former Secretary of Labor of Delaware, I am grateful for her trailblazing legacy.

What was the moment you realized you were serious about getting into public service?

As a grad student and young mother with my son on my hip and pregnant with my daughter, I attended a town hall meeting hosted by then-Congressman (and now Senator) Tom Carper. After it ended, I remember walking up and talking to him about ways to get involved. He talked about public service and told me about internships in his office – so I applied for one. I went on to serve as an intern in his office, then caseworker, then policy advisor, then cabinet secretary when he became Governor, and now, as his colleague in Congress. Mentors and role models do make a difference, and I am proud to carry on his legacy of service.

Describe your life in six words.

Guided by love, giving bright hope.

More About Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester

TNPA has worked with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.

From her earliest days the Congresswoman understands the importance of hard work and service to one’s community. She began her distinguished career in public service as an intern and later Caseworker in a congressional office where she helped Delawareans with their Social Security benefits, disability insurance claims, IRS disputes, and housing needs. Lisa would go on to serve in the cabinets of two Delaware governors and as CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League – an action-oriented, public policy research think-tank.

Lisa also served as the Senior Executive Leadership and Systems Manager for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she advocated for people with disabilities in their struggle for equal opportunity and civil rights. During this time, she helped expand the Institute’s global footprint and advised state agencies and employers. In part due to Lisa’s work, she helped build the Institute into a fully-fledged college at the university, the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development — focused on the inclusion of all people.

She was first elected to Congress in 2016 and quickly moved up the ranks and serves as an Assistant Whip in the House Leadership. Lisa sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The committee has broad jurisdiction over health care, the environment, commerce and trade, energy policy, telecommunications, manufacturing, and consumer protection.

As the Energy and Commerce Committee’s only former statewide health official, Lisa understands health care from a number of different perspectives – as an implementer at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, negotiator while serving as State Personnel Director, and advocate as CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. She is focused on reducing the cost of health care and prescription drugs for middle-class families, addressing the disparity in outcomes for communities of color, and tackling our nation’s opioid and addiction epidemic.

Lisa is a leading voice in Congress on economic and future of work-related issues. As former Secretary of Labor and State Personnel Director, Lisa leverages her professional experience to advocate for legislation that boosts start-up business growth, and removes barriers for citizens re-entering society. She is a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Future of Work Task Force. She is also the founder of the Congressional Future of Work Caucus.

We at TNPA know Lisa best for her strong support of H.R. 3435, the Charitable Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide a tax deduction for all taxpayers – regardless of their level of income – when making a charitable contribution. With only 9% of taxpayers itemizing their taxes and thus eligible to claim a deduction when supporting a charity, the other 91% of taxpayers receive no tax benefit when supporting charitable causes. Already a bipartisan group of 59 House members have signed on to this legislation. And having Congresswoman Blunt Rochester on this legislation is a real plus!

TNPA looks forward to continuing to work closely with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware.

Mark Micali
Author: Mark Micali

Mark Micali is Vice President, Government Affairs for The Nonprofit Alliance and has spent his career on Capitol Hill.  You can reach him at

Back To Top