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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
2019 is a thrilling year for Democrats in the Commonwealth—just one seat down in both the state Senate and the House of Delegates, the party is poised to take control of the General Assembly and turn Virginia into a trifecta for the Democrats. New, court-mandated district maps more fairly represent Democratic voters in Virginia, which means some Republican-held districts are now in play. And, these are all “Last Chance” races; the legislators elected in 2019 will be serving during the 2021 redistricting process.
In 2017, Virginia was one of the first states to hold a general election during the Trump presidency, and the historic “blue wave” of Democrats who won office was widely considered a bellwether of the Trump “resistance” movement. Sister District supported 14 races in Virginia in 2017, and we are thrilled to return to the Commonwealth in 2019 and finish the job.
This candidate has pledged commitment to the following statements: