I am honored to represent the citizens of the 71st House of Delegates District. I am eager to hear from you and learn where you stand on important issues. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you..
Jennifer was born in Petersburg and attended public school in Chesterfield County. Jennifer is married to David Mills, and lives in the Fan District of Richmond with their son Jackson.
Jennifer is an Assistant General Counsel at Verizon Communications, focusing on state regulatory matters for the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West regions.
Jennifer's community service extends to a wide variety of state and local organizations. She serves as Vice President of the State Board of the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership, and is a graduate of the Institute's 2001 Political Leaders Program and 2005 Candidate Training Program. Jennifer is a member of several non-profit boards, including the Richmond SPCA, Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, the Virginia Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, and Boaz & Ruth. Jennifer is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Junior League of Richmond, the Fan District Association, the Fan Women's Club, the League of Women Voters, and the Richmond Crusade for Voters. She is a member of the 2004 Class of Leadership Metro Richmond.
Jennifer McClellan was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from the 71st District in 2005. She serves on the House Commerce & Labor, Courts of Justice, and Education Committees. She is Vice Chair of Outreach for the House Democratic Caucus.
She also serves on the Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education, the Commission on Youth Advisory Committee, the Civil Rights Memorial Commission, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living History and Public Policy Center. In 2007 she served as a member of Governor Kaine's Commission on Sexual Violence.
Prior to elected office, Jennifer served Governor Mark Warner on the Virginia College Building Authority (2002-2005), serving two years as Vice Chair. She also served on the Board of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority from 2004-2008.
The Virginia Education Association Legislative Champion and Solid as a Rock Awards (2013)
Virginia League for Planned Parenthood Mary Anne Reynolds Award (2012)
Virginia Commonwealth University Student National Medical Association Health Policy Award (2012)
Resolve Infertility Hero Award (2012)
Virginia League of Conservation Voters Legislative Hero (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006)
Better Housing Coalition Golden Hammer Special Recognition for Neighborhood Design & Planning (2011)
Virginia PTA Child Advocate of the Year Award (2011)
Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia Leadership Award (2011)
Virginia AARP Older Virginians Champion Award (2011)
Chesterfield Public Education Foundation School Bravo Award (2010)
Upsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi
Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond in 1994. In 1997, she received her law degree from the University of Virginia.
My top priorities as your Delegate are supporting our public schools through better pay for our teachers, smaller class sizes for our children, and increased school construction and renovation funding, helping small businesses thrive in the Virginia economy, and ensuring our public safety officials have the tools and training they need to keep Virginians safe.
The Constitution of Virginia guarantees a high quality, free public school system for all children in the Commonwealth. However, Virginia has not always lived up to that promise. As the daughter of a third generation educator, Jennifer understands that a quality education is not just a lofty goal, but the key to success and financial independence. For that reason, Jennifer is committed to ensuring that Virginia provides its children with a high quality, free public education, and that Virginia builds a world-class system from pre-k to higher education.
Competitive Teacher Salaries
Expanding Early Education Opportunities
Affordable Higher Education
Expanding Career and Technical Education Opportunities
Virginia's teachers are paid below the national average, despite the fact that the per capita personal income of Virginians exceeds the national average. Teacher salaries should be competitive to attract and retain the best and the brightest people to teach our children. As a member of the House Education Committee, Jennifer has supported initiatives to raise teacher salaries to at least the national average. She also helped pass Governor Kaine's budget amendments to fund a three percent pay raise for Virginia's school teachers and a four percent raise for higher education faculty.
Establishing the Community College Transfer Grant Program to help community college students transition to four-year colleges and universities
There is a growing shortage of students and employees with the skills and training needed to perform many of the technical and mechanical jobs in the market today. Jennifer has supported efforts to promote and expand career and technical education opportunities in Virginia schools by supporting legislation creating standard and advanced technical education diplomas.
Studies show that ninety percent of a child's brain development occurs before the age of five. Early education programs can have a dramatic effect on all children's success in school and can reduce expensive remedial education and social costs later in life. Jennifer has worked to improve Virginia's early education initiatives by:
Sponsoring legislation to permit localities to expand eligibility for kindergarten;
Supporting expansion of early reading intervention programs to ensure that all eligible first- and second-graders get the extra reading help they need; and
Supporting increased availability of pre-K programs to more children.
Affordable Higher Education:
Our economy is evolving to a point where a high school diploma is no longer enough to land a job with a decent wage. Yet many high school graduates cannot afford to go to college or technical school. Jennifer has worked to ensure that all Virginia high school graduates can afford college by supporting legislation:
Establishing the Community College Transfer Grant Program to help community college students transition to four-year colleges and universities;
Establishing a tuition moderation incentive fund to keep tuition and fee increases for in-state undergraduate students capped at six percent; and
Increasing funding of financial aid for undergraduates at public and private institutions.
Expanding Career and
It is estimated that one in every seven families has a domestic violence incident, and one in 14 has a physical abuse incident. Women are more often murdered by someone they know and love than a stranger. Many women need help breaking the cycle of violence, and children need even more help to escape abusers. As a Delegate, Jennifer has worked to combat domestic and sexual violence by:
Serving as a member of the Governor's Commission on Sexual Violence;
Co-sponsoring legislation increasing penalties for a subsequent stalking offense;
Co-sponsoring legislation incorporating instruction on dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships into school curriculum guidelines for family life education; and
Supporting omnibus legislation amending the Sex offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry provisions to protect our children from convicted sex offenders.
September 11th opened our eyes to the fact that we face threats not only abroad, but here at home. When the National Guard is deployed abroad, it falls even more to our first responders and local law enforcement to keep us safe from not only the traditional threats of crime, fire, and health emergencies, but bombs, biological, and chemical weapons. Jennifer supports efforts to ensure that our first responders have the tools they need to keep Virginians safe.
While the cost of living has increased 27 percent over the past 10 years, many wages have not kept pace. As a result, too many working Virginians are living below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Jennifer has supported efforts to increase wages by co-sponsoring legislation increasing the minimum wage and supporting efforts to increase state employee, teacher, and higher education faculty salaries.
Jennifer has worked to ensure working Virginians can keep their wages without falling victim to predatory lending practices by seeking meaningful reform of the payday lending industry.
All Virginians deserve access to quality healthcare. However, too many are paying more for it, and far too many working Virginians do not have access. Obesity rates are climbing at an alarming rate. Virginia's infant mortality rate is 32nd in the nation. Jennifer is committed to common solutions to these problems, such as focusing on prenatal care, long-term care for our seniors and making the health care system more affordable and easier for citizens to navigate and understand.
Helping Family Caregivers Provide Long Term Care
As the Virginia population ages, long-term care is becoming more of a challenge for Virginia families. Jennifer has supported efforts to develop and fund a more integrated system of acute and long-term care for the elderly. Jennifer is also committed to sustaining and strengthening family care-giving as a complementary component of the service delivery system, and will work to increase grants available to caregivers of mentally or physically impaired relatives.
The rising cost of health care and health insurance has become a major burden for working families, seniors, and businesses across the Commonwealth. Jennifer worked to help ease this burden by co-sponsoring legislation allowing small businesses to pool together so that they may offer health care services to their employees. Forming these cooperatives will allow employers to offer health insurance to their employees at competitive rates.
Virginia's gun rate death is higher than the national average. Virginia also has become one of the leading suppliers of guns used in crimes: In 2000, 1129 crime guns used in the various states and Washington, DC were traced back to Virginia, and 91% of crime guns recovered in Richmond were originally purchased within Virginia. In the House, Jennifer has supported measures to curb gun violence such as:
Closing the gun show loophole by requiring criminal background checks at gunshows; and
Prohibiting individuals who have had their parental rights terminated as a result of abuse from purchasing or possessing handguns.