Jenn’s Perspective

For 16 legislative sessions, Jenn has walked past the statue of former senator and segregationist Harry Byrd in Richmond’s Capitol Square knowing that she is his worst nightmare: A Black woman, a descendent of enslaved people, and the daughter of parents who endured Jim Crow, working to eradicate the very inequity and oppression that Harry Byrd worked to create and maintain. Jenn has spent her career dismantling the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow that still impacts communities today.

Jenn’s career is one of many “firsts.” In 2010, Jenn became the first member of the House of Delegates to serve the Commonwealth while pregnant. She was asked: “Are you retiring?” while an expecting father also serving office with her was not. This moment served as a reminder of the gender-based bias and inequities that continue to exist in our workplaces and lives. As the Vice Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and Chair of Virginia’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, Jenn has led efforts to tell the complete and accurate story of Virginia’s past while working to achieve Dr. King’s vision of the “Beloved Community” through her community conversations, legislative, and policy efforts.

As Governor of Virginia, Jenn will shatter more than one glass ceiling as the first woman, first Black woman, and first Generation X candidate elected to the office. Jenn understands that inequity based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability is baked into all systems touched by state government and views public policy through the same lens. Jenn’s presence and policies will make sure that today’s “firsts” become tomorrow’s norms in Virginia.

Jenn’s Record

As a legislator, Jenn: