The RepresentWomen interns had the distinct pleasure of speaking with former state senator Mary Margaret Whipple last week, who served for many years in the Virginia Senate for the 31st district. Senator Whipple became the first woman to hold a leadership position in the Virginia General Assembly when she was elected Chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Prior to serving in the General Assembly, she was on the Arlington School Board and the Arlington County Board. During her time in office, she was instrumental in passing environmental protection measures and was also active in housing and education reform efforts.
In our interview, Senator Whipple spoke about the hope she has for the future of women in politics, noting that Democratic women were largely responsible for taking control of the Virginia House of Delegates from Republicans in 2017. Senator Whipple also shared with us her advice to young women interested in politics, as well as highlighting the unique benefits she thinks women bring to political office. Even in the current divisive political atmosphere, Senator Whipple remains hopeful that women will lead the way and bring collaboration and bi-partisanship back to politics.
Special thanks to Senator Whipple and her granddaughter Katherine Kelleher for making this interview possible.