Charlotte Golar Richie, a former state legislator, is an experienced leader and administrator with a background in public service and political activism, and a deeply held commitment to civil rights, fairness and equality. As a former Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), she successfully handled hundreds of discrimination complaints at that state civil rights enforcement agency. A trained mediator, Charlotte facilitated dozens of conciliations at the MCAD to help settle disputes; and she led the agency’s efforts to develop a robust language access program to better serve limited English proficient individuals.
Prior to her tenure at the MCAD, Charlotte served as a Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Advocacy & Government Relations for YouthBuild USA, and oversaw its national campaign to protect federal funding for over 250 programs that connect young people to jobs and education. As Boston’s Housing Chief & Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development from 1999 to 2007, she spearheaded a citywide campaign to create and preserve thousands of affordable homes and apartments, to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts, and strengthen and expand the award-winning Main Streets program. As a state representative, and House Chair for the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing & Urban Development, Charlotte championed and secured passage of a $296 million bond bill to aid cities and towns in the construction and preservation of affordable housing in the Commonwealth.
Charlotte made history in Boston, in 2013, as the city’s first African-American woman to run for mayor, garnering enough votes in a 12-person field to land a third-place primary election finish. She has continued to direct her community activism toward nonprofit and philanthropic board service, as a member of the Board of Directors for the national nonprofit YouthBuild USA, and for Tuft’s Health Plan Foundation, where she helps to promote age-friendly communities.
She also serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Directors for Boston’s Higher Ground, a community-based nonprofit, which connects residents in under-resourced neighborhoods to needed services and programs; as Advisory Board Member for Mothers for Justice and Equality (MJE), a grassroots organization that seeks to raise awareness about and bring an end to neighborhood violence; and as Vice Chair for the Advisory Board for the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy (CWPPP) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she works to advance opportunities for women’s leadership and involvement in government, politics and policy-making.
A graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.), Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.) and Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management (M.B.A.), Charlotte and her husband Winston Richie are longtime residents of Dorchester and former US Peace Corps Volunteers; and they are the proud parents of adult daughters Leigh and Kara, who are working to effect positive change in their own communities.