Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley of the 12th Suffolk district

Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley represents the 12th Suffolk district, which includes Precincts 1 and 2 in Milton.

(Photo by Elaine Cushman Carroll)

During her swearing-in ceremony at the Massachusetts Statehouse, Brandy Fluker Oakley said she was feeling elated to become a state representative, but as she left Beacon Hill on Jan. 6, she saw a shocking trail of text messages pop up, all talking about the insurrection that was taking place in the U.S. Capitol building.

“It was a crazy juxtaposition for me. It’s a date that I don’t think any of us will forget in history,” Fluker Oakley said.

As she was processing the news, she thought, “It was honestly just a reminder of why I ran for office and why we need more diverse leadership at all levels of government.”

Fluker Oakley, who is Black, beat out several contenders to fill the 12th District seat that covers parts of Milton and Mattapan after Rep. Dan Cullinane decided not to seek reelection.

Fluker Oakley, 37, talked about the challenges of taking office during a pandemic and shared some of her legislative priorities.

“I love it when constituents from Milton email or call me. For me, it’s listening to what neighbors on both sides of the river need and determining what might be an agenda that helps get us there so everyone in our community can thrive,” she said. “That’s been the biggest focus.”

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