Phil was born and raised in Hampton Roads, attended public schools, and received a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which made it possible for him to attend William & Mary, study abroad at Oxford University, and become the first in his family to graduate from college.
He was determined to put that education to good use, to solve problems and serve others. Phil signed up to serve as a Senior Policy Analyst in President Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council, where—for nearly four years—he partnered with leaders across the country to promote clean energy, fight for clean air and water, and help coordinate the response to the BP Oil Spill, the worst spill in American history.
While in law school, he spent his time representing low-income families facing eviction. During this time, he developed legislation aimed at preventing homelessness and then pushed that bill—AB 2819—through the legislature. After more than a year of advocacy, it was signed into law in 2016 and is now protecting tens of thousands of families each year.
More recently, Phil worked as an attorney with a nonprofit organization and advocated for civil rights and the rights of working people. In this role, he interacted with people from all walks of life—from grassroots organizers, to union leaders, to people who have been through the criminal justice system—all in the name of creating more and better economic opportunity for all people.
Read more on Phil's website.
Education, including problems with teacher retention in Accomack County, is one of the top issues Phil addresses: “We have teachers who live here in the county, who send their children to schools here in Accomack County, and then drive across the border to Maryland, where teacher pay is about 20 percent higher, on average. We’ve got to do more to attract and retain that teacher talent here in this community,” he said.
Climate and Energy Change
Hernandez recognizes Coastal Virginia is vulnerable to rising sea levels and stronger storms, and calling for more energy to come from renewable sources to combat climate change.
The Equal Rights Amendment
Virginia could be the 38th, and final state needed, to ratify the amendment. “We should absolutely be able to vote on equal rights for all genders in the year 2019,” sayz Hernandez.
“Phil Hernandez kicks off campaign” – DelMar VA Now
“Phil Hernandez Kicks Off Campaign for 100th District Delegate Seat” – Eastern Shore Democrats
In just four years, Democrats have seen an impressive and almost unprecedented swing to majority, with more than 20 seats gained over two election cycles. With gains so recent, Republicans are eager to take advantage of this dynamic, where characteristically moderate “bellwether” districts ebb and flow to give way to national political trends, waiting for the pendulum to swing back in their favor. The 2021 House of Delegates elections are sure to be a test of Democrats’ ability to hold Trump Era gains in a post-Trump climate.
The Commonwealth has long faced the consequences of political gerrymandering. District boundaries have been a hot topic of conversation in past years. In 2020, the Virginia legislature voted to create a bipartisan committee to handle the creation of new electoral maps; Bipartisan redistricting is now in the hands of a 16 member committee which was on a tight timeline to use 2020 census data to announce adjusted districts for the upcoming House of Delegates elections in November 2021. The original plan had the committee producing new maps by April 2020, but delayed census data from the federal government has made new maps in time to give the state board of elections, localities, and partisans time to effectively prepare for and hold elections unlikely. As of now, the most likely scenario remains that 2021 will see no new maps, instead districts will remain the same this year with new districts only taking effect in 2023.
This candidate has pledged commitment to the following statements: