NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott issued the following statement upon learning of the passing of Virginia Senator Yvonne Bond Miller:
"It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my friend and colleague Senator Yvonne Bond Miller. Yvonne was a stalwart champion of civil rights and paved the way for others to follow not only with her words but with her actions. This is evidenced by the number of 'firsts' that can be attributed to her. Yvonne was the first African American woman to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates and the first African American woman to serve in the Virginia Senate. She was the longest serving woman in the Virginia Senate, where she ranked 3rd in overall seniority, and she was the first woman to ever chair a Senate Committee.
"Yvonne spent her life devoted to Virginia's children and youth. She began a longtime career in education teaching in the then-segregated Norfolk Public Schools. Later she joined the education faculty at Norfolk State, becoming a professor and head of the Department of Early Childhood/Elementary Education. Her legislative priorities similarly focused on our youngest citizens – ensuring that state education dollars were spent effectively and providing adequate social services, such as childhood obesity prevention, to students across Virginia.
"Yvonne was also a tireless advocate for reforming the way Virginia handles crime, introducing legislation on after school programs for at-risk youth and gang prevention, child-friendly visiting rooms in correctional facilities, and restoration of voter rights for non-violent felons.
"The citizens of the Fifth District and the entire Commonwealth have lost a dedicated public servant. My thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Miller's family and her staff."