From Del. Rip Sullivan’s Blue Dominion PAC:
Flip-A-District Friday: Volume XV
Welcome to the 15th issue of our 2021 Flip (and Hold) a District Series
We spend a lot of time in Virginia talking about history. The great history Virginia has made. The awful history Virginia has made.
History is on the line this November 2nd. The history the Democratic Majority in the General Assembly has made over the last two years.
And the history we made on Day One, when we elected the first woman to be Speaker, and the first Black woman to be Majority Leader.
It has been an honor to serve with these historic women.
The most important vote any member of the House of Delegates casts is on Day One: who will be Speaker?
Let’s send our Democratic majority back to Richmond to make sure that first vote next January goes the right way. Because if it doesn’t, none of the votes after that will.
In this penultimate installment of Flip (or Defend) for this cycle, enjoy learning a bit more about our two beloved, historic leaders in the House of Delegates.
Vote for them. Give to them. Work hard for them.
House District 41
Meet the candidate: Eileen Filler-Corn
Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn is the first woman in the 400-year history of Virginia’s legislature to be elected Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Representing the 41st House District, which includes portions of Fairfax County, Speaker Filler-Corn’s passion for service shines through her tireless work to make the Commonwealth of Virginia a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Her commitment to improving the lives of her neighbors is what drove her to run for the House of Delegates.
In her more than a decade of service in the House of Delegates, Speaker Filler-Corn has been a listener and problem solver, delivering results that move her community forward and advocating for everyone equally regardless of background, circumstance, or ideology. She has introduced, championed, and passed legislation that has made Virginia a safer, stronger, and more equal Commonwealth.
Under the leadership of Speaker Filler-Corn, the House of Delegates has passed a record amount of groundbreaking, progressive legislation to implement necessary gun violence prevention measures, dramatically expand voting rights, support small businesses, improve the lives of working families in the Commonwealth, combat climate change, make our criminal justice system fairer, root out discrimination, and make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The House’s bold actions to move the Commonwealth forward have led to Virginia earning record-breaking back-to-back titles as CNBC’s Top State for Business and jumping to #23 in the nation for workers – up from dead last.
Speaker Filler-Corn has also overseen the House of Delegates during the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, passing critical legislation to keep Virginians safe and putting the Commonwealth’s economy on the path to a strong recovery. Thanks to her leadership, Virginia is leading the country in vaccinations and curbing the spread of the virus, and the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate is well below the national average.
In the House of Delegates, Speaker Filler-Corn is the Chair of the House Committee on Rules as well as Chair of the Joint Rules Committee. She also serves on the Committee on District Courts, the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board, the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability, the Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation, the Public Private Partnership Advisory Commission, the Online Virginia Network Authority, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the Legislative Support Commission, the MEI Project Approval Commission, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Commemorative Commission to Honor the Contributions of the Women of Virginia, the Commission on Employee Retirement Security and Pension Reform, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees, the VMFA Board of Trustees, and the Judicial Council of Virginia.
Outside of the Virginia General Assembly, Speaker Filler-Corn serves as Chair of the Board for Jobs for Virginia Graduates. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the following organizations: American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI), the Fairfax County Arts Council, and Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH).
The Speaker’s career has been devoted to public service. She was an original organizer of the Million Mom March, acting as the Vice President and Chairman of the Northern Virginia chapter in 2001. Prior to her election to the House, she also served in the administrations of Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
The Speaker and her husband Bob live in Springfield and remain active members of the same community in which they raised their two children, Jeremy and Alana.
Contact the Campaign: here
House District 46
Meet the Candidate: Charniele Herring
Charniele Herring has spent her life standing up for people others don’t see.
Born into a military family, Charniele moved often as a child before landing permanently in Northern Virginia. When she was a teenager, Charniele’s mother lost her job and despite their best efforts, they ended up homeless. For a time, Charniele and her mother stayed in a homeless shelter at night while Charniele attended West Springfield High School during the day and her mother searched for work. The experience of being homeless shaped Charniele’s character and taught her the values of hard work, resilience, and looking out for those people society often overlooks.
Charniele got the chance to attend college as part of the STEP Program that allowed students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to prove they were capable of college-level work. She commuted to George Mason for four years and graduated with a degree in Economics, and while she was in school she gave back as a volunteer crisis intervention counselor and trainer at Alexandria Mental Health Services and worked with nonprofit advocates on issues surrounding homelessness prevention. Charniele’s first job out of college was as a VISTA volunteer providing low-income housing for at-risk families before attending law school at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. After law school, Charniele worked at the oldest African-American-owned firm in Greater Washington before opening up her firm here in Northern Virginia. She currently works as General Counsel to Admin & Logistics, Inc, a government contracting firm.
Charniele has lived in the Northern Virginia area for over 30 years, most of them in the West End of Alexandria. Charniele has a rich history of community involvement as a volunteer, a member of Rotary, and a past Chair of the West End Business Association. She has served on the Alexandria Commission for Women, including Chairing the organization. She was also appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to the state’s Council on the Status of Women. She presently serves on the Board of the Parent Teacher Leadership Institute of Alexandria and as a Trustee of Hopkins House—advocating for strong pre-k education.
As a participant with Social Action Linking Together (S.A.L.T.) she received the Monsignor Geno Baroni Award for Social Justice for her work to get full funding for the Homeless Intervention Act. She founded and co-chaired the Virginia Privileged Communication Task Force which was comprised of counselors and advocates around the state. She worked with a bi-partisan delegation to get a bill sponsored to protect communications between victims and advocates.
Charniele was elected to the General Assembly in January 2009 in a special election to fill the vacated seat for the 46th House District. Her election is historic because she is the first African American woman from Northern Virginia ever elected to the over 400-year-old Virginia legislature. Since her election, Delegate Herring has served on the Joint Subcommittee Studying Strategies and Models for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Governor McDonnell’s internal working group on voting rights restoration, the Virginia State Crime Commission, and Governor McAuliffe’s Taskforce on Heroin and Prescription Drugs. In the legislature, Herring serves on the Courts of Justice and Counties, Cities, and Towns Committees.
When Charniele got to Richmond there was no organized caucus for the issue of women’s health care. So she founded the Virginia Legislative Reproductive Health Caucus to educate legislators about women’s health care, birth control, and attacks on a woman’s right to choose. When Governor Bob McDonnell introduced his bill to require women seeking an abortion to undergo a forced ultrasound, Charniele convinced the leadership of her party to fight back and take an official stand opposing McDonnell. Herring’s fight against McDonnell’s ultrasound bill and other attacks on women’s health care was described as “heroic” by the National Organization for Women.
During her time in the House, Charniele has quickly risen in the leadership of the Democratic caucus, while becoming a national leader in the fight to protect women’s health care. She has accomplished much in her few years in the legislature, including her successful fight to restore funding for homeless services in Virginia’s 2010-2011 biennial budget, the passage of her bill to give small businesses a competitive advantage in the state’s procurement process, and her work to make the Commonwealth a safer place. Her environmental stewardship has been recognized by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters with the Legislative Hero Award. She was also recognized in 2009 by the Virginia Education Association for her commitment to a good education for all Virginia’s children with the Rookie of the Year award and in 2013 and 2015 with the “Solid as a Rock” Award.
A past chair of Virginia’s Democratic Party, helping sweep statewide offices in 2013, Herring was elected Chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2015. In 2019 she was elected as the first Black woman to be Majority Leader in the House of Delegates.
Contact the Campaign: here
That’s it for Volume XV of our Flip-a-District Friday series. Over the course of the last several months we have introduced you to the over 90 Democratic candidates–incumbents and challengers–running for the House of Delegates. You can find all of them here. There is just over a week left. Find a candidate or candidates whom you would like to support with your time or financial resources.
Project Blue Dominion is committed to supporting Democratic candidates in every corner of the Commonwealth. Join us. The fight to defend and expand our majority is on.