Rena’s sense of community came from her large family and a neighborhood where people truly looked out for each other. The home she grew up in was a welcoming place for all the neighborhood kids. A strong family and sense of community are at the very core of who Rena is today. Rena is the mother of seven children. The oldest, LaSheeka, is married with a son and daughter. The youngest, Silver, is a graduate of The University of Mankato in Mankato, MN. As the mother of seven, Rena knows what it is to sacrifice for the greater good of her children.
At the Capitol, Rena represents the St. Paul communities of Rondo, Frogtown, Summit-University, Thomas-Dale, Midway, a portion of the North End and Cathedral Hill. She currently chairs the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee working to expand health care coverage, reduce prescription drug prices, eliminate health disparities, and remove barriers to critical safety net programs. She is a founding member and chair of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and United Black Legislative Caucus.
On a national level, Rena serves as Executive Secretary of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), Midwest Region Coordinator for the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL), and as the Minnesota State Director for both the Women Legislators’ Lobby (WILL) and the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). She is a proud mother of seven and grandmother of eight.