Valerie Ervin recently ran for governor of Maryland in the hopes of becoming the state’s first female African American governor. Ervin was the first African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Council. She served a term as the Council’s President, and was also the Chair of the Council’s Education Committee, which has oversight of Montgomery County Public Schools’ $2.3 billion budget. Prior to serving on the Council, Valerie was an active PTSA member and a founding member of both the Montgomery County Education Forum and Blacks United for Excellence in Education. A longtime parent activist, Valerie was encouraged by parents across Montgomery County to run for the Board of Education and became the second African American woman to ever serve.
After nearly a decade of service as an elected official in Montgomery County on both the Board and the Council, Valerie was named executive director of the Center for Working Families, and most recently served as senior adviser for the Working Families Party, where she helped direct the progressive coalition’s efforts to expand economic and educational opportunities for families across the country. Ervin has received many awards for her public service including: Washingtonian Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Award in 2011; Maryland’s Top 100 Women from the Daily Record in 2008 and 2012; Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement in 2008 and 2013; and the Phenomenal Woman of the Year Award from Community Bridges in 2007.