See below for video from yesterday’s Virginia State Senate session, during which one of the budget items was to provide $50,000 “from the general fund for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission to complete a pre-planning study to locate a memorial tribute to the late Senator Yvonne Miller on Virginia’s Capitol Square or another location.” For those not familiar with Sen. Miller and why she should be memorialized, here are a few highlights:
- “Yvonne Bond Miller (July 4, 1934 – July 3, 2012) was a Virginia educator and American politician who became the first African-American woman to serve in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly. A Democrat, in 1983 Miller became the first African-American woman elected to the state house, where she served for four years before winning election to the state Senate, where she consistently won re-election until her death in office. Miller taught in the Norfolk Public schools, and later taught early and childhood education at one of her alma maters, which had become Norfolk State University during her lifetime…At the time of her death, Miller was the longest-serving woman in the Virginia Senate, ranking 4th in overall seniority. She gained a seat on the budget-writing Finance Committee. Due to repeated re-election, she gained seniority and in 1996, she became the first woman to chair a Senate committee, gaining the chair of the Transportation Committee.”
In short, Yvonne Miller lived an amazing, inspirational life and is most certainly a historic figure worth memorializing. Which is what basically all of today’s Virginia State Senators – several of whom, Republican and Democratic – spoke glowingly of how kind, talented, etc. she was – think as well. Except for one…as you can see in the following video. Just astounding.