Door to door with Sheila Bynum-Coleman – Future Now

Knocking doors… to knock the Speaker out of office!

At Future Now Fund, we’re obsessively focused on winning state legislative majorities. And what’s the best way to win? Knocking doors.

That’s why we invited our nine endorsed challengers running for the Virginia House of Delegates to participate in the Door Knocking Challenge, a first-of-its-kind initiative to get candidates off the phone with donors and in front of voters. Over the coming months, you’ll hear from these FNF endorsees — hopefully as they are lacing up a new pair of sneakers!

Next up: Sheila Bynum-Coleman! She’s a community activist, small business owner, and the first African-American woman appointed to the Virginia Board of Contractors. She was inspired to run by her five children, one of whom has special needs and another who survived a 2016 shooting.

What should people know about your district?
Vanity Fair called our race a “microcosm of the political trends” of the Trump era. I’d argue that the district is just a microcosm of Virginia in general — folks from different backgrounds and socioeconomic status.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned knocking doors?
The majority of the voters of the 66th have never had a competitive state house race before. The fact they’re so engaged and interested in this race, even before I start giving my stump speech at the doors, demonstrates that they’re extremely excited to vote this November. It is notable that people are focused on the election this far out without any statewide races going on.

What one essential thing do you always bring with you when you canvass?
Beyond my iPad, tons of water. It’s hot here in Richmond!

What is the top issue voters talk to you about when you canvass?
Health care, education, gun safety, criminal justice reform, and the ERA. I also hear a lot about Trump’s unconscionable child-separation policies — I want to be a strong local voice in our community against them.

What’s your favorite part of knocking doors? Your least favorite?
Interacting with voters inspires me. Campaigning while running a five-child household and a small business is running three full-time jobs. When I speak to folks at the doors, it gives me a ton of inspiration, because hearing their issues and concerns, it confirms why I got into the race to begin with: We need fresh leadership for our community and a delegate who actually listens to them instead of corporate donors.

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