Biography of Delegate Delores McQuinn
Delegate Delores McQuinn is an active, busy woman; full of energy and enthusiasm for a life of community and public service. Delores is a life-long resident of the Richmond area. She was born in eastern Henrico County, Virginia, where she grew up and attended public schools and graduated from Highland Springs High School in 1973. Delores has lived most of her adult life in the Richmond’s Church Hill district where she currently resides. She studied at Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University.
Delores' civic interest and involvement in politics began at the tender age of 14 years old when she first campaigned for a politician’s election to Richmond City Council. Throughout her career as a public official, Delores has worked to improve public education, to care for the elderly and less fortunate, and to make our communities a better place to live and work. Elected to the Richmond School Board in 1992, she provided the leadership as Vice Chairperson, strengthening student academics and achieving improved test scores. Delores led the initiative in the renovation and re-opening of East End Middle School.
In a special election in 1999, Delores was elected to Richmond City Council for the 7th District where she served for the next ten years. She was elected Vice-Mayor in 2003 and Vice-President of Council in 2007. During her tenure on City Council, the 7th District was transformed from derelict, neglected housing in unsafe neighborhoods to bright neighborhoods with renovated houses, new developments, safer streets, and growing retail and restaurant businesses.
On January 14, 2009, Delores became one of the Commonwealth’s newest members of the General Assembly when she was elected in a special election for the 70th District Virginia House of Delegates seat. She was re-elected to a full term in November, 2009. Delores now represents the City of Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield counties.
Driven by her commitment to improve the quality of life for Richmond's citizens through her civic and political involvement, Delores was involved in the National program "Community of Caring", which was implemented in Armstrong High School. For nearly two decades she spearheaded the annual citywide Back to School Revival Rally and Parade to provide school supplies to area students so they could be properly equipped on the first day of school, and ready to learn. Additionally, Delores has served as a child adoption advocate for "One Church, One Child.” Other community enriching programs that Delores co-sponsors include the Summer Writing Institute for secondary education students and the annual Black Heritage Celebration event.
Among Delores’ personal achievements is her dedication to God, family and her heritage as an African-American woman. After committing herself to her faith, she became an Associate Minister at Newbridge Baptist Church. Delores is a loving wife to Jonathan McQuinn. She is also a devoted and proud mother of two children who equally serve their community; James Minor, a Richmond City employee and political activist, and Daytriel McQuinn, working with Richmond’s youth. Inspired to know and honor her ancestry, Delores has extensively researched her genealogy as far back as records will allow and she has traveled to Africa.
Delores McQuinn serves as Chairman of the Richmond City Slave Trail Commission and has for over ten years. The Richmond City Slave Trail Commission is dedicated to recognizing America’s role in the slave trade and to provide descendants of the African Diaspora with the opportunity to research their own history. The work under her leadership of the Slave Trail Commission includes spearheading for the excavation of the Lumpkin’s Jail site, which was an antebellum slave trading compound in Richmond. She fought for the preservation of the Old Negro Burial Grounds, which was discovered during the beginning of construction of a parking lot. Because of the work of Delores McQuinn and the Slave Trail Commission, the City of Richmond has received the Bronze Slavery Reconciliation Statue symbolizing the recognition of the triangle of the slave trade and the apologies received for slavery by officials in England, West Africa, and Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia. These sites are now part of the Richmond Slave Trail. Her goal is to develop the Richmond Slave Trail into an International historic destination,
Publicly, Delores’ work has been acknowledged and honored on multiple occasions and has received numerous awards. She was recognized in 1984 as one of the Outstanding Young Women in America; in 2006, she was named the YWCA’s Woman of the Year; and she has served as the Honorary Chair of the National Sisters Network and Patient Advocate Foundation, (national breast cancer survivor’s and advocacy organizations). Not only is Delores a breast cancer survivor, but she is a "voice" for cancer screenings and works to create legislation that supports this process for all of her constituents. During the General Assembly of 2013, Delegate McQuinn Introduced House Joint Resolution (HJR) 762 to help bring awareness to early detection of Breast Cancer, and the bill was passed. She has also served on the Executive Board for the Virginia School Boards Association. Delores was the 2013 Winner of two African Diaspora World Tourism Awards; for Outstanding African Diaspora Heritage Trail for the Richmond Slave Trail, and for Slavery Reconciliation and Healing Leader of Distinction, as well as recipient of 2013 Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Award.
Delores' life has and continues to be marked with public service that includes commitments to her community. She is the founder and organizer of the East End Teen Center and its Creative Writing Institute.
Delores’ current and past commitments have included Chairperson of the Richmond City Council Public Safety Committee, The Advisory Board of Health, The Board of Directors of the Vernon J. Harris East End Community Health Center, The Board of Directors of the East District Family Resource Center, Past Board Member of Richmond Region 2007, Chair of the Richmond Slave Trail Commission and many others. She has added her legislative commitments to that growing list. She currently serves on the Counties Cities and Towns, General Laws, and Transportation committees in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The passion of Delores McQuinn is to establish and build relationships across cultural and racial lines through communication, education, and physical history in order to work on the future of Richmond’s past.