Bobby grew up in the southeast community of Newport News and has devoted his life and career in service to the Hampton Roads community. He has represented Virginia’s 3rd congressional district since 1993. In Congress, he serves as the Ranking Member of the powerful Education & the Workforce Committee and is fighting for students, workers, families, seniors, and all Virginians.
Bobby is known as one of the hardest working members of Congress. He has authored legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, as well as the PRO Act to protect and strengthen the rights of workers to organize and join a union. He was one of the lead authors of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. And he’s fighting to make college more affordable for students and families through his College Affordability Act. He was the House sponsor of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill — the largest expansion of education benefits for our veterans since World War II. Bobby is also leading the fight to reform our criminal justice system by advancing evidence-based policies and solutions.
With his first election to Congress in November 1992, Bobby made history by becoming the first African-American elected to Congress from Virginia since the Reconstruction-era. Because his maternal grandfather immigrated from the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, Bobby also has the distinction of being the first voting member of Congress with Filipino ancestry.
The son of a doctor and a public school teacher, Bobby grew up in the southeast community of Newport News. He attended Harvard College and received his law degree from Boston College. During and immediately after law school, he served in the National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. After passing the Virginia bar exam, Bobby returned home to Newport News to practice law. To ensure representation of those unable to afford an attorney, Bobby founded the Peninsula Legal Aid Center. He also served as one of the youngest branch presidents of the Newport News NAACP. Bobby is an active member of many community organizations and is a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in southeast Newport News.