Clinton Jenkins is the Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 76. His name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 2.
Candidate: Clinton Jenkins
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 76
Biography: Clinton was raised in the heart of the 76th District and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School. He’s a veteran of U.S. Army. Upon returning to Suffolk, he earned his bachelors of arts degree at Saint Lee University and continued graduate studies at Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary. He married Karen Hopson of Suffolk. Through their union they have three daughters. In August 2021, the couple will have been married for 34 years.
He has committed himself to serving the community and Commonwealth through civic engagement. He chaired numerous civic organizations throughout the city, served on Blue Ribbon commissions for assessing the city’s needs for school construction, and served on the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Committee.
He was employed as a subcontracts administrator for BAE Systems Shipyard and later served as the ethic officer for the shipyard. While employed in the ship repair industries, he also worked as part-time real estate agent. Later, became a real estate broker. Today, along with his daughter Ashlin, they manage their own real estate. His civic engagements lead him to serve as Suffolk’s coordinator for the 77th District Virginia House of Delegates and also chair the DPVA 3rd Congressional District.
As delegate for the 76th District, he voted in favor of minimum wage increases, increased teacher pay, and protections for voting rights. He proposed legislation to add dental and eyecare coverage to Medicaid. He has been a continued advocate for criminal justice reform and environmental justice as well. He will continue his commitment to working up close and personal with the citizens of the 76th District and the Commonwealth to address the needs and concerns.
Why should Virginians re-elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?
During my first term as delegate, I defended voters rights, women’s reproductive rights, and Medicaid. I assured all Medicaid recipients have access to dental and eye care, carried legislation to support small businesses, delivered $500 million to assist small businesses during the pandemic, and led the push to increase access to vaccinations across Suffolk and Chesapeake. I delivered on pay increases for teachers, state employees, and state troops, and increased minimum wages. I have worked to develop business partnerships with our local school system. I have done a lot of good work within my first term in the Virginia General Assembly.
As an elected representative raised in the heart of the 76th District, I have been deeply involved in the community for years. I volunteered for various local organizations and churches, play an active role in the local Democratic committee, and I chair the Democratic Party of Virginia 3rd Congressional District.
The spirit of service has always motivated me. That is why I am running for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
Next session I will work to improve health coverage for Virginians by pushing for ear coverage in Medicaid to assist with hearing aids and persons with vertigo, work to reduce prescription drug cost, continue the push to improve teachers pay, and improve infrastructure on our highways. I will continue working on partnerships with businesses to invest in our schools and youth programs.
What is the most important issue facing your district, and what is your position on it?
Healthcare is so important, especially in the times we are living in. We need to continue to make sure people have the coverage they need and to make it inexpensive. This means working to lower prescription drug prices, and continuing to lower premiums but making sure coverage is still top-notch.
The pandemic also highlighted the need to expand broadband services for businesses, tele-work, and schools. Without broadband access it is difficult for families in Suffolk to be able to perform work or get educated. We also need to work to improve our schools. Every day I watch our youth struggle with opportunities to positively better themselves. We need to continue our investment in schools and make them a better place for students to learn. We need more investments to make sure our teachers can meet the needs of their students.
Infrastructure problems of controlling the localized flooding is another huge issue in Suffolk, and we need to invest in public transportation. If our infrastructure is not where it needs to be, Suffolk cannot continue the trajectory of moving in the right direction of expanding and becoming a better place.
What is your position on Virginia’s overall response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what might you have done differently?
During the pandemic, children were learning virtually. Children in rural Virginia struggled far more due to limited resources and access to broadband. This divide, along with the impact that the pandemic had on healthcare in minority communities, was brought to light.
Virginia needs to make sure that in times of crisis all Virginians have equal access to essential services, including broadband, healthcare, housing, and healthy food. That is why I supported additional funding to my school district’s budget to improve remote learning. I have also supported improved Medicare coverage and access to vaccinations.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
- According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, education funding declined 15.5% from 2008 to 2018 in Virginia. Developing a 10-year plan that gets us back to pre-recession levels by 2030 or 2031 is a start. The cost of inflation needs to be considered when creating this plan.
- Vaccination rates in Suffolk and Chesapeake are still too low. I have led the fight to ensure equitable vaccine access for all residents of Suffolk and Chesapeake; however, we need to sustain this outreach. I will continue the effort to make sure that support is provided through pop-up vaccine clinics at no cost to residents as well as education to reduce vaccine hesitancy.
- Too many landlords and tenants are still struggling to make ends meet due to the extreme hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community, as a state, and as a nation, we need to ensure that no homeowners or renters are made homeless or insolvent due to the ongoing public health crisis.