Full Name: Michelle Maldonado

Nick Names: 

 

Office Sought: House of Representatives, 10th Congressional District of Virginia

 

Party Affiliation: Democrat

 

 

Campaign Website: 
https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/

Campaign POC: Unavailable

Phone Number: (571) 229-7641

Campaign Email:
info@MichelleforUSCongress.com

Structured Interview Request Sent: Refused 2024.

Structured Interview Response and Date: Refused.

Vetting Panel Selected: Refused

Structured Interview Completed: Refused

Biography: ​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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

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, 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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)


Michelle also sits 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
School Health Services Committee (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

 

Why you?

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 who brings unique expertise and experience in three important areas critically needed at the federal level that other candidates do not. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

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. She 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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

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 Cacucus’ 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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

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. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

What are your priorities? 

An Economy for All
Real change happens in the details – making an economy that works for everyone means ensuring that our seniors are not scammed out of their hard earned savings; it means making sure mom and pop stores don’t get stuck with expensive bills from big corporations; it means making sure big real estate companies can’t control what you do with your homes. That’s why I passed HB 692 (the VA Senior Safe Act to keep our seniors and vulnerable adults safe), HB 744 (to protect Virginia residents and businesses against suprise contract auto renewals), and HB 1243 (to keep Virginia home owners safe from unscrupulous real esate brokerage firms taking homes away from families).

Virginians deserve an economy that works for everyone. As your representative, Michelle will focus on keeping Virginia a best place for business and farming as well as a best place to live and work.

Michelle is a small business owner. She understands how to support employees and businesses so they can provide you and your family with the important opportunities and resources you need to work well and live well.

When threatened with a shutdown of federal government, no family should be forced to work without pay or wait to be reimbursed. Michelle will fight against pay disruptions for both federal government employees and federal contractors during shut downs. She also will strive to increase opportunities for people living and working with disabilities, and to expand access to SBA loans and funding for small business owners and returning citizens so they may become fully integrated, productive members of society.

Michelle knows what creates a healthy, viable Virginia: a strong economy and jobs market; affordable living with attainable housing; tax incentives across the economic spectrum; strategic workforce development to address gaps in readiness and preparedness and to upskill employees, and prepare new and emerging leaders along with transitioning veterans; support for new and young farmers to help sustain our farming industry; and a world-class public school system. She will work hard toward each of these priorities to ensure that Virginia remains a gem of the South. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

World Class Education
Virginia is home to a diverse number of cultures, religions, and ethnicities with multiple foreign languages spoke at home, at school and in our communities. As someone who grew up speaking another language, Michelle knows how important funding is for our public schools to help bridge the language gap. That’s why Michelle brought and passed HB 1247 to secure meaningful and needed funding for English Language Learners in Virginia schools.

Virginia public schools are among the best in the nation, but there is still work to do. Michelle is the daughter and granddaughter of educators, and has been a member of the Education Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates. She will bring to Congress her experience and a collaborative approach in order to secure and expand funding for school facilities, teacher and staff recruitment, retention, pay, and development, as well as meaningful student debt reduction and forgiveness to make education more affordable.

As a parent, Michelle believes in the power of the parent-teacher-student partnership that has long been the model in Virginia to strengthen public schools for our children and their families. She will dedicate her time to make sure that students—regardless of identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, background, or means—feel safe in school, and have the support, opportunities, and resources they need. Because students deserve access to a world-class education regardless of where they live, Michelle will support learning success and outcomes by increasing access to resources in our rural, urban, and suburban communities for students who need additional in-classroom instruction, incuding resources for our English Language Learners, as well as look to boot camp and apprenticeship experiences with ongoing supports to prepare students and learners of all ages before they are placed in a job as well as while they are there to maximize their success and the success of their organizations. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Healthcare, Mental Health, Maternal Health
As Chair of the Insurance and Financial Institutions committee in the Virginia legislature, Michelle knows more than anyone what it means and takes to hold insurance companies accountable and to partner for accessible and affordable healthcare.

An economy that works for everyone is one where healthcare is affordable, accessible, and available to everyone.

Virginians need access to affordable and holistic healthcare. Michelle will fight to keep you and your family healthy across their full range of needs—from pre-natal care to elder care, from mental health to behavioral health, from maternal health to reproductive health, from care for veterans to gender affirming care.

Michelle cares about the mental health of children in our schools and in our communities. To keep Virginia families healthy and supported, she will focus on funding, programs, and wrap-around services that address depression, abuse, and addiction across our communities. She will advocate for your privacy and bodily autonomy, and work hard to keep prescription drugs, homeopathic care, and veterans coverage benefits both accessible and affordable. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Infrastructure & Technology

Transportation & Infrastructure

Congress provided unprecedented funding for our nation’s infrastructure. We must ensure that Virginians have easy and safe access to transportation from wherever they live to whever they work and more. Michelle will advocate for developing, repairing, and maintaining our bridges, roads, railroads and railroad crossings, transportation hubs, and diverse modes of travel.

Michelle worked with the Flint, Michigan, community following the water crisis. She knows what happens when communities do not have clean water, or when aging water pipes with toxic metals and chemicals impact the health—threaten the lives—of residents. Building upon the work and funding provided by the EPA’s State Revolving Fund to underserved and other impacted communities, Michelle will ensure that water infrastructure is updated; safe; clean; and free of lead, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and other contaminants. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Technology & Innovation:

Drawing on years of experience as both a technology lawyer and business leader in technology, Michelle founded the Virginia General Assembly’s Technology & Innovation Caucus. She led efforts to form the statewide AI Technology Initiative in Virginia, while also serving on a steering committee for a nationwide AI Work Group of state legislators.

Michelle understands the potential benefits of innovation, and is also keenly aware of the mental health, privacy, and national security issues presented by AI and other new and emerging technologies.

From her first day in Congress, Michelle will aid Congressional colleagues in addressing these new challenges and opportunities. As a complement to safe, trustworthy, and transparent technology, Michelle will work to secure reliable broadband access and connectivity in hard to reach rural areas across the Commonwealth. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Immigration
Michelle is proud to represent one of the most diverse districts in the nation. One of the Commonwealth’s strengths is its broad and deep diversity of perspectives, and in that we can be a model for the nation.

Growing up in an immigrant family, Michelle understands the unique experiences of first, second, and third generation Americans from other countries who contribute to the rich and vibrant fabric of our nation. Michelle believes we must work together to attract and retain teachers and English Language Learner resources in our schools, establish common sense, comprehensive immigration reform which includes establishing an Article I Immigration Court, protecting our DREAMers, strengthening deportion action for criminals who are violent, and developing pathways and wrap around services for newly arriving immigrants.

As someone who has worked with U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents, Michelle also understands the need for resources and funding to protect our nothern and southern borders and to hire and train new border agents and their leadership. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Protecting Our Planet
Virginia has been a forward-thinking Commonwealth on environmental issues. We know that by protecting our environment we invest in the future of our Commonwealth, nation, and the world. Michelle understands that everyone can help address climate change and today’s environmental crises. She will advocate for cleaning our streets and highways; converting to electric vehicles, with a clear manufacturing, reuse, repurpose, and disposal strategy for car batteries; creating more bicycle lanes; utilizing recycled materials in innovative designs; and promoting alternative energy sources.

As your congressional representative, Michelle will also focus on protecting our environment as we explore energy efficiency, grid expansion, and flexibility. She believes in a creative, comprehensive approach, and will build forward from the Virginia Clean Economy Act to explore new solutions. A collaborative approach with our farming, business, and residential communities could integrate green mobility options, impact our carbon footprint, and address smart local land development and use—all while addressing environmental justice issues. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Public & Community Safety
Nothing is truer than the maxim that the personal is political. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, nothing made it more clear how important it is to have judges that reflect our values.

As chair of the Courts of Justice’s Judicial Committee in the Virginia legislature, Michelle oversaw some of the most diverse and progressive appointments to judgeships throughout Virginia. Judge appointments aren’t a sexy topic, but it’s appointing the right judges that will protect all of our rights.

We need to root out the worst impulses of our criminal justice system wherever it is and sometimes that takes someone who knows the policy inside and out. That’s why Michelle closed the ticket quota loophole this past session to make sure we reduce the number of interactions between everyday working people and the criminal justice system.

It is important for all families in Virginia to reimagine public safety, community policing, and criminal justice. Michelle believes we can create better systems and policies for our families and communities. Whether we eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, establish co-responder and community policing programs, provide mental health and suicide prevention resources for both both residents and law enforcement professionals, or offer restorative programs for our youth, we have many opportunities to effect change.

Michelle has worked with both community members and law enforcement to ensure that our residents and law enforcement professionals are healthy, trustworthy, and safe. She will bring experience, compassion, a collaborative approach, and accountability to Congress to improve public safety for all Virginians.

Michelle also will continue to focus on firearms and community safety, gun storage laws, and gun violence prevention because she knows that no one is truly safe unless we all are. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Good Government
Michelle has dedicated much of her career to bridging across conflict, treating people in the U.S. and abroad with dignity and respect, and seeing the humanity in others. She moves people toward solutions with civility, accountability, and compassion.

Today, a small minority of extremists has prevented Congress from coming together in bipartisan fashion to seek progress for the American people. Michelle commits to bringing to Congress her deep ability to skillfully navigate conflict and polarization. She pledges to work with fellow legislators to keep our government moving forward, as we restore confidence in our representatives, transparency in the process, accountability for decision-making, and professionalism in our discourse.

As Michelle works to ensure good government, she will be steadfast in her protection of voting rights, and will also ensure that voting in the Commonwealth is made more accessible to people with different abilities and for returning citizens. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Endorsements: No endorsements listed on website.

Education: Barnard College at Columbia University and The George Washington University Law School—the first woman in her family to earn a law degree. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

Relevant Employment History: See biography above.


Military Experience / Branch / Years of Service / Rank / Type of Discharge:
No mention of military service on website. 

Past Offices Held and Tenure: 

Virginia House of Delegates 2024
Member Since: 2022
D – County of Prince William (part); Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park
20th District (Source: https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php?id=H0340)

Community Service: See biography above.

Leadership Experience: See biography above.

Personal Strengths: Embracing Honor, Integrity, and Service

What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? Refused to answer.

How would your friends and family describe you? Refused to answer.
 

What are your thoughts on the Constitution as the Law of the Land? Refused to answer. No reference to the US Constitution on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

    

What are your thoughts on religious liberty? Refused to answer. No reference to religious liberty on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

    

What are your thoughts on the preservation of our history? Refused to answer. No reference to the preservation of history on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thought on government transparency? Refused to answer. No reference to government transparency on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on national defense? Refused to answer. Professes limited support for veterans or national defense on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the free enterprise system? Refused to answer. Professes values contrary to the values of Chasing Freedom – Virginia. No reference to the free enterprise system on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the protection of the unborn? Refused to answer. No reference to protection of the unborn on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the role the family plays in America? Refused to answer. No reference to the role or importance of the family  on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes? Refused to answer. No reference to equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

   

What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment? Refused to answer. No reference the 2nd Amendment on website. (Source: https://www.michelleforuscongress.com/)

  

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