State Representative Raumesh Akbari has represented House District 91 (Memphis) since the fall of 2013. Since that time she has been an effective and vocal member of the House Criminal Justice Committee and Subcommittee, the House Education Administration and Planning Committee, and the House Ethics Committee and Subcommittee. Since the beginning of the current 110th General Assembly, she has served as the House Democratic Floor Leader.
A graduate of Washington University and the Saint Louis University School of Law, Representative Akbari is currently Chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators; Treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL); a State Director within Women in Government; and Financial Secretary of N.O.B.E.L., the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, a member of the Leadership Council and Co-Chair of the Interbranch Affairs Committee for The Council of State Governments.
Rep. Akbari is the recipient of several honors and awards from the Council of State Governments and its affiliated Southern Leadership Conference; the National Conference of State Legislatures; the State Legislative Leaders Foundation; NBCSL; N.O.B.E.L.; the National Juvenile Justice Network; and Governing Magazine’s Governing Institute for outstanding appointed or elected women officials. Akbari is a 2017 East-West Center New Generation Seminar Leader graduate. In her home city, she has received honors from The Memphis Flyer and The New Tri-State Defender, two area news publications; the Memphis Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.; and advocacy groups as SisterReach, Inc.; and Mothers of the NILE, Inc.
She has represented Tennessee by participating in programs in Canada, Australia and China. In July of last year, she received a special honor as she was invited by the Democratic National Committee to speak before the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Her rousing speech generated enthusiasm and interest from those attending the convention, as well as those viewing the proceedings in homes all across America.
Rep. Akbari continues to introduce legislation affecting education and educational policy, criminal justice reform, job growth incentives, and other areas that affect her constituents as well as Tennesseans from all walks of life. One of her bills, passed this year, has now become law, reducing the amount needed for expungement of certain offenses from criminal records. For persons looking to turn their lives around, this will have a significant impact on their ability to seek gainful employment.
She is now working on issues that will be addressed in the second half of this General Assembly. Among those issues will be education, a continued look at criminal justice reform, including juvenile justice reform, job disparities and economic growth.
On a personal level, Representative Akbari and her family have a mission of public service, and are active in the greater Memphis community. She is proud to be from Shelby County and hopes to continue representing its people with dignity and purpose