Current Position: Real Estate
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate
Source: Campaign page
Sheila is a proud lifelong resident of Chesterfield County. She is a #MomOnAMission to bring true representation to the people of District 66.
Sheila Bynum-Coleman is a native of Chesterfield County where she attended Monacan High School. Sheila received her B.A. from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Sheila is a mother of five children, all of whom have attended Chesterfield Public Schools. A successful small business owner and community advocate, Sheila first got involved in politics once her delegate decided it wasn’t worth his time to discuss her child with special needs. Since then, she has made it her mission to advocate for improved school services for children with learning disabilities.
Sheila has also dealt with one of a parent’s worst nightmares: her daughter was shot in 2016. While she thankfully survived, Sheila is determined to ensure that as few families as possible in our community experience the trauma and grief of having a loved one affected by senseless gun violence.
But in many ways, Sheila is a Chesterfield success story. She has a background in real estate and construction, maintaining several successful small businesses. She was also appointed by former Governor Terry McAuliffe as the first African American woman to the Board of Contractors.
Sheila spends much of her free time teaching classes for first time home buyers, leading entrepreneurial development workshops, and coaching businesses on fiscal management. Sheila helps numerous organizations such as Veterans Helping Veterans, which supports our veterans in the Richmond Area.
Women’s rights are under attack in this country, and Virginia is no exception. It is crucial to win more seats in our state legislature. Bills affecting a woman’s right to choose will be on the ballot next year, and we must protect a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions.
Additionally, the Equal Rights Amendment needs only one more state to ratify it — another reason why we need to flip VA blue this November.
Sheila is strong support of LGBTQ rights here in Virginia. Equality is equality. Period. She believes that no one should be discriminated against because of their identity—especially in the workplace or at home. While the Republican leadership killed off a bill that enjoyed bipartisan support to ban discrimination, flipping VA blue will help move this issue forward.
Virginia’s minimum wage has remained at $7.25 for years, despite the escalating cost of living — it’s literally a poverty wage for working single mothers. Juggling several jobs is not uncommon, in an effort to make ends meet. Sheila believes that if someone works 40 hours a week, they should be able to provide for their families, and she will work towards that goal
Teachers in Virginia face significant challenges. They are underpaid, as salaries have remained stagnant while living costs continue to soar. The current legislature has not adequately funded our schools, and the result is crumbling buildings and overcrowded classrooms. Excellent public education is crucial to ensure our graduates can meet the needs of Virginia’s businesses and to enhance property values in our state.
Offshore drilling must be off limits in the commonwealth; I will co-sponsor legislation on day one of the next session to ensure that our coastline remains beautiful and oil spill free.
With reports that at least seventeen public schools in Chesterfield County have dangerous levels of lead in the drinking water, it is outrageous that Chesterfield County residents do not even have access to safe drinking water—Sheila will make clean water and air one of her top priorities for her legislative agenda.
Unlike Virginia Republicans, Sheila also strongly believes climate change represents an existential threat to Virginia and the country at-large, especially to communities of color. Sheila’s priority is to ensure that the commonwealth joins neighboring states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); Sheila not only wants to be a part of this regional agreement but also wants to accelerate Virginia’s timeline to become a carbon-neutral economy and a regional hub for green jobs.
We need common sense gun laws, including universal background checks, and surveys confirm that most voters support such legislation. Sheila’s daughter was shot while attending a house party. Fortunately, her daughter survived, but this experience has made Sheila a vocal champion for gun safety laws in the commonwealth
Criminal Justice Reform
The criminal justice system is inherently unjust and is not doing the job for which it was intended. The system leads to the incarceration of far too many, particularly for drug crimes. People of every race use illegal drugs at similar rates, yet African-Americans are far more likely to be imprisoned than whites. African-Americans are 3-4 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes and six to ten times more likely to be imprisoned. Additionally, our legislature has shown no interest in helping inmates successfully reintegrate into our communities and productively contribute to society. Nor are they interested in restoring the constitutional right to vote to felons who have done their time.