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At-A-Glance
Three Things That Set Michelle Apart

With a crowded Congressional Primary, it can be hard to know what's different about the candidates when they share such similar platform values and voting records. It's important to know not who only has the temperament, growth mindset, strength, and ability to serve, but also who is best positioned to fill critical gap needs at the federal level on day one.

Michelle said "yes" to the invitation to run because, in addition to her strong legislative and policy work in Virginia, she is a long-time resident of CD10 with experience representing portions of the district who brings unique expertise and experience in three important areas critically needed at the federal level that other candidates do not.

1

International Relations

As someone who works with humanitarian aid workers and conflict resolution specialists across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, Michelle understands geopolitical contexts, national security implications, historical factors, and related complex issues taking place at the international level. Michelle supports a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for places experiencing war, famine, and humanitarian crises such as Palestine and The Republic of Sudan..

Michelle brings a clear, strong, accountable, and  compassionate, approach to problem solving to help maintain our nation's standing as a world leader while also ensuring that we model good global citizenship and take care of our people at home.

2

AI/Technology

Michelle is ready on day one to help our federal government address the opportunities and challenges presented by AI and related new and emerging technologies. She has two plus decades in technology and the online world - both as in-house counsel and as a business leader in tech -- as well as serving as a Virginia Delegate who founded the General Assembly's Technology & Innovation Caucus. Michelle  established the Caucus' statewide AI Work Group and is a member of a national steering committee for an AI Work Group comprised of state legislators bringing forward policy and legislation around the nation to keep agencies and businesses competitive and innovative while keeping our people safe. She also is a member of the Joint Commission on Technology & Science and the Southern Regional Education Board Commission, AI in Education.

 

3

Conflict Resolution

Michelle is skilled at navigating polarized, crisis, and dynamic environments to help people recover from difficult events, find common ground, and bring holistic solutions forward. Whether through her work on officer leadership and resilience at the border, the recovery of Congressional staffers following the attack on the Capitol, supporting Minneapolis community leaders after the murder of George Floyd or helping Flint, MI residents recover after the water crisis, Michelle is experienced and skilled in finding common ground and a path forward with accountability and results.

About Michelle

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Embracing Honor, Integrity, and Service

Michelle is a long-time resident of CD10 and has represented portions of CD10 as a state legislator across two districts (HD20 and HD50). Her first role models were her educator parents and her trailblazing grandparents. The latter included the first Black teacher and principal on Cape Cod, MA, an instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen, and “Rosie the Riveters.” Growing up in small towns across Massachusetts, Virginia, and Texas, Michelle lived in rural, farming, and suburban communities and experienced food and housing insecurity during parts of her childhood. As an American of Cape Verdean descent (Cabo Verde is a country at the intersection of West African and Portuguese cultures), Portuguese language and traditions were dominant at home. Michelle learned from her great-grandparents and grandparents what it is like to come to a new country, work hard, and create a better life.

 

Michelle worked her way through Barnard College at Columbia University and The George Washington University Law School—the first woman in her family to earn a law degree. Her husband of over 30 years, Roberto, is a middle school teacher whose parents and extended family hail from Puerto Rico, and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He joins other members of Michelle's family who proudly represent five of the six branches of our U.S. military. Michelle is a long-time resident of the Manassas area, and she values family, service, honor, and integrity. She was the first woman and first person of color to represent Virginia's 50th House District and now proudly represents District 20, one of the Commonwealth's most diverse districts and the district in Virginia with the highest Latino population.

Building Bridges, Finding Solutions

 

Michelle knows what it takes to make things right, and does the work to get there. She also knows how to work through conflict in polarized environments. Michelle applies a strong code of ethics, tenacity, and compassion to complex problems, with experience supporting a broad range of people and partners—from youth groups, to businesses and schools, to communities experiencing violence, to Palestinian and Israeli mothers impacted by war, to veterans and first responders, to international peace keepers and humanitarian aid workers.

 

No stranger to conflict and crisis situations, Michelle has worked with federal law enforcement at the southern border, Minnesotans processing the murder of George Floyd, Michiganders experiencing the Flint water crisis, and Congressional staffers recovering from the events of January 6th. Michelle is both a bridge-builder and a fighter, able to envision and develop functional solutions under significant pressure.

Focusing on People

Michelle listens, works across the aisle, and gets things done. She has an inclusive approach and fights for the rights and resources for women, workers, students, our LGBTQ+ community, the environment, immigrant families, veterans, people living with different abilities, and family-owned and small businesses. Drawing on decades of related law, technology, and business experience, Michelle is Founding Chair of the General Assembly's bipartisan and bicameral Technology & Innovation Caucus, Steering Committee Chair of its statewide AI Work Group, and sits on a bipartisan national steering committee for an AI Work Group of state legislators from around the country.

 

Strong Leadership

Michelle is an effective and respected leader. While in the Virginia House of Delegates, she has been named “Rookie Legislator of the Year" and “Education Champion,” and most recently, a 2024 "Impact Maker" by Virginia Business Magazine and a 2024 "Legislative Champion" by the Virginia Education Association. Michelle serves on the Committees for Labor and Commerce, Courts of Justice, Communications, Technology & Innovation, and Privileges and Elections. She also is Chair of the Courts of Justice Judicial Subcommittee, the Labor and Commerce Insurance & Financial Institutions Subcommittee, and the House Democratic Caucus' Affordable Housing Policy Committee.

During the 2024 legislative session, Michelle passed the highest number of bills in the House Democratic Caucus and the highest number of bills unanimously in the entire House of Delegates reflecting her strong ability to bring people together across party lines and a wide array of issues.

To see Michelle's most recent legislation, click here.

Michelle also serves on the following Virginia Boards and Commissions:

  • Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS)

  • Virginia Growth & Opportunity Board (GO Virginia)

  • Health Insurance Reform Commission (HIRC)

  • Virginia Commission on Coal and Energy

  • Southern Regional Education Board Commission (SREB) on Artificial Intelligence in Education

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