Government | Politics 2023: CHARNIELE L. HERRING
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIR, VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES, ALEXANDRIA
When Democrats controlled the House from 2020 to 2022, Herring was the first woman and the first African American to serve as majority leader and as chair of the House Courts of Justice Committee. Herring kept her position as caucus chair after the GOP regained control of the chamber in 2022. A lawyer who is a George Mason University and Catholic University alum, she was first elected in 2009 and is running unopposed in the November election. One of her best-known legislative accomplishments was the legalization of marijuana possession.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: Follow your passion.
NEW LIFE EXPERIENCE: I lost my mother last year. It was and still is very difficult at times. We were best friends and, frankly, she was the closest person to me. She always taught me if I do something, do it well, and it must have purpose — don’t just do it because it is expected. I have tried to channel my grief into a benefit for others by establishing a scholarship fund in her name at George Mason University for music education majors, the Juliette Carolyn Brooks Herring Memorial Scholarship Endowment.