Growing up as the child of community leaders and educators, Jennifer McClellan has always felt a calling to public service to strengthen her community and ensure that every Virginian has an opportunity to succeed.
She has brought those values, passion and commitment to justice to the Virginia legislature for 15 years and through community service throughout her life.
Jennifer McClellan gets things done. She has been a driving force for progressive change in Virginia, leading the passage of landmark laws to invest in education, grow small business, expand health care access, ban discrimination, safeguard workers’ rights and voting rights, reform the criminal justice system, protect a woman’s right to choose, and tackle climate change.
Jennifer has earned a reputation as an effective, constituent services-oriented legislator, representing the greater Richmond area for 11 years in the House of Delegates and 4 years in the state Senate. Jennifer serves as Vice Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, leading legislative efforts for civil rights and equity. As the first House member to be pregnant while in office, she has been a fierce protector of women’s reproductive rights, children, and families. She was a leader in the fight to stop Republican bills to restrict abortion rights, pass voter restrictions, and cut health care access.
Jennifer has been a community leader in Richmond and across the Commonwealth. She has also served on the boards of YWCA of Richmond and the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood; and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Richmond NAACP. She has also been a leader in the Democratic Party, including serving as Vice Chair for the Democratic Party of Virginia.
Jennifer has also been a leader in addressing Virginia’s painful history and taking action towards a more just Virginia today. As Chair of the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, Jenn promotes Dr. King’s legacy and continues his work, particularly racial, economic and social justice, and community engagement. She also serves on the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Task Force on the Preservation of the History of Former Enslaved African Americans.
Jennifer’s legislative accomplishments include leading the bills to: ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; create a state-based health exchange under Obamacare; make historic investments in addressing climate change and creating thousands of clean energy jobs; expand protections and raise the minimum wage for domestic workers; protect pregnant workers from discrimination; end Virginia’s mandatory ultrasound law and TRAP restrictions on abortion access; end the school-to-prison pipeline; expand protections and incentives for public housing; assess needs for construction and repair of school buildings; establish lactation policies in public schools; end prison gerrymandering; stop LGBTQ housing discrimination; increase penalties for stalking; authorizing new business models such as benefit corporations and contract brewing; and establish protections against predatory lending.
She has been the recipient of awards including: Virginia Education Association Legislative Champion; Virginia School Boards Association Legislative Award; Virginia PTA Child Advocate of the Year Award; NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s Aggie Wolf Defender of Choice Award; Virginia League for Planned Parenthood Mary Anne Reynolds Award; Virginia League of Conservation Voters Legislative Hero; Virginia AARP Older Virginians Champion Award; EMILY’s List Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award Finalist; Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance Act.Honor.Hope Award; Swanson Courage Award for Civil Rights; and the Richmond Bar Association Oliver Hill Award.
Jenn lives in Richmond with her husband, David Mills, and their two children, Jackson and Samantha.