Charniele Herring can relate to the needs of many of her constituents because she’s been there.
Herring serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus and represents Virginia’s 46th district, which extends from the George Washington Masonic Memorial to the city’s westernmost point, in the Virginia state legislature.
Scientific, evidenced-based policy. When I am operating in a policy area that is not one of my primary areas of expertise, I always ask first for scientific, evidence-based research. Whether from doctors, scientists, or social scientists, this is where I start to bring together my values and reality into how I vote on an issue. Over time as new evidence is discovered or proven, it means that my positions sometimes evolve. One of the areas this has happened is in the way we treat marijuana.
Criminal Justice reform has been a hallmark issue for me in my time in the Virginia Legislature. I serve on the House of Delegates Courts of Justice Committee, the Committee on District Courts, and the Virginia Crime Commission. As a lawyer, I believe in justice, and that means we must aspire to a legal system that promotes equality under the law. It means trusting our police force — and making sure that they have the resources they need to engage our community in the respectful and professional manner we have become accustomed to in Alexandria.
With the opening of another legislative session in Richmond, we have seen some of the changes brought about by the sweeping electoral change from November. In the House of Delegates there is more diversity — a chamber that is starting to more closely represent the people who live in our Commonwealth. With the makeup of the chamber shifting significantly to 51 Republicans to 49 Democrats (from 66-34), the verdict is out on what effect the shift in numbers will have on the kinds of legislation that can pass.
In addition to jobs and the economy, Virginia’s future is predicated on how we meet our energy needs. Recently, several bills that impact the environment and the safety of Virginians have made their way through the House of Delegates.