A few minutes ago, former VA State Senator Jennifer McClellan became *Congresswoman* Jennifer McClellan, the first African-American woman ever to serve in Congress from Virginia. Rep. McClellan will represent Virginia’s fourth Congressional district, which was previously represented by A. Donald McEachin, and will do a superb job. See below for video of her swearing-in, remarks by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA03), and Rep. McClellan’s inaugural speech to the U.S. House of Representatives. As Rep. McClellan said emotionally:
“I rise as the newest member of Virginia’s fourth congressional district and the first African-American elected to this body from the Commonwealth of Virginia…Today, I succeed but can never replace A. Donald McEachin, who was a friend, a mentor and a colleague whom I served with in the Virginia House of Delegates and succeeded in the Senate of Virginia. I stand on his shoulders. I stand on the shoulders of John Mercer Langston, the first African-American to represent Virginia, also from the fourth district…[My parents’] stories and the love of history that they sparked in me taught me at a young age that at its best, government is a force for helping people and solving problems; at its worst, government is a force that oppresses some for the benefits of the few. Their stories sparked a desire to dedicated myself to making government by, of and for the people actually work for the people – solving problems and making their lives and communities better. That desire led me to serve in the Virginia General Assembly for 18 sessions, where as the daughter and granddaughter of men who played poll taxes, and the great-granddaughter of a man who took a literacy test and had to find three White men to vouch for him to be able to vote. And yet I was able to pass over 370 pieces of legislation, including the Voting Rights Act of Virginia…”
Great stuff, best of luck to Rep. Jennifer McClellan, who is going to be a superb Congresswoman!