Kenneth Cooper Alexander
|Kenneth Cooper Alexander|
Kenny Alexander at the 2008 Democratic National Convention
|Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 5th district
September 17, 2012
|Preceded by||Yvonne B. Miller|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 89th district
August 2002 – September 17, 2012
|Preceded by||Jerrauld Jones|
|Succeeded by||Daun Sessoms Hester|
October 17, 1966 |
|Children||Kenneth Jr., David|
|Alma mater||John Tyler Community College, Old Dominion University, Norwich University|
|Profession||funeral director, educator|
Kenneth Cooper "Kenny" Alexander (born October 17, 1966, in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American politician of the Democratic Party. From 2002 - 2012, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 89th District in Norfolk. He was elected in 2012 to the Senate of Virginia, representing the 5th District in Norfolk and Chesapeake.
Born in 1966, Alexander grew up in the neighborhoods of Berkley and South Norfolk, at the crossroads of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake. Supported by an extensive network of extended family, he excelled as a student at Lake Taylor High School where he was drum major of the marching band and elected as president of the student body.
He studied mortuary science at John Tyler Community College in Chester, Virginia and married his classmate Donna Burnley. After graduation, they returned to Berkley to continue the work of Metropolitan Funeral Service. Over the next 20 years, Metropolitan expanded to two additional locations: in Wards Corner in Norfolk's mid town and Portsmouth. Their staff has grown to over 20 individuals and they continue to support a series of community-based initiatives.
As an area business leader, Alexander has served the neighborhood and city in various public service roles: as President of the Beacon Light Civic League, vice-chair of Norfolk's Planning Commission, and member of Norfolk's Human Service Commission and Economic Development Authority. He helped found the Norfolk Chesapeake Portsmouth Community Development Federal Credit Union, a financial institution that provides access to low-cost financial services. Alexander was instrumental in developing new single-family homes in Berkley and a shopping center that attracted a major supermarket chain.
|Virginia House of Delegates, 89th district|
|Aug 6, 2002||Special||K C Alexander||Democratic||3,927||72.57|
|S W Battle||348||6.43|
|Jerrauld Jones resigned; seat remained Democratic|
|Nov 4, 2003||General||K C Alexander||Democratic||5,436||97.75|
|Nov 8, 2005||General||K C Alexander||Democratic||11.069||76.67|
|J G Behr||Republican||3,350||23.20|
|Nov 6, 2007||General||Kenneth Cooper Alexander||Democratic||5,265||96.62|
|Nov 3, 2009||General||Kenneth Cooper Alexander||Democratic||10,659||81.02|
|Anthony J. "Trip" Triplin||2,448||18.60|
|Nov 8, 2011||General||Kenneth Cooper Alexander||Democratic||5,821||96.82|
|Senate of Virginia, 5th district|
|Sep 4, 2012||Special||Kenneth Cooper Alexander||Democratic||3,643||98.51|
|Yvonne B. Miller died; seat remained Democratic|
General Assembly career
In May 2002, Governor Mark Warner appointed the 89th District incumbent, Delegate Jerrauld Jones, to be Director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. Alexander won the Democratic nomination, and won the special election on August 6 with 72% of the vote in a three-way race.
Alexander was unopposed in two of his three succeeding elections.
Alexander's decade of service in the General Assembly has been distinguished by legislative accomplishments and constituent service. As a freshman legislator, Alexander gained passage of half of the bills that he introduced in his first session of the General Assembly by finding common ground among his colleagues. He gained health care legislation to address postpartum depression and the provision of official IDs for recently released individuals of Virginia's behavioral health facilities.
During the 2004 Session, Alexander passed legislation extending ballot access to young voters who at 17 were not eligible to vote in primaries, though they would have reached 18 by election day in November. Until Alexander's efforts, this class of young voters were denied the ability to participate in primary elections and other nominating contests. Alexander's profile grew during the 2005 Session. In addition, to ushering important changes to Norfolk's charter, he passed a series of bills concerning the well-being of youth. This included legislation that allowed those grandparents who serve as sole guardians to have access to their grandchildren's birth certificates, and required daycare centers to notify parents in the event of a child's injury.
Before 2005, the state did not require plans outlining the duties, duration of stay, and terms of foster care from foster care providers. In addition, interviews with prospective foster parents and inspection of their homes was optional. Alexander introduced legislation to require surveys of the child's pending foster environment, as well as a plan for the temporary care to be created by both the prospective foster parent and foster child (with assistance by the child's state social service representative).
In the 2006 and 2007 sessions, Alexander introduced a series of success bills insuring truth in labeling for Kosher and Halal foods, mitigating the impact of lead poisoning, and providing citizens with the right of public hearings as a part of the approval process for pending actions by housing authorities. He also championed legislation that provided extended medical coverage to injured or ill young adult students who were forced to take a leave of absence from their studies. Recognizing the high incidence of hypertension among public safety workers, Alexander authored legislation that allowed heart disease to be covered under worker's compensation for workers at Norfolk Airport.
The growing number of Virginia's senior citizens and their rapidly increasing need for services prompted Alexander to author legislation in 2008 that required the Department of Aging to develop and submit four-year plans. In 2009, he ushered a proposed constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to former non-violent felons who have served their sentences, through the full House Committee on Privileges and Elections. That same year, he also gained relief for Arthur Lee Whitfield, a Norfolk resident who was wrongly convicted of a violent crime. Alexander followed his successes in restorative justice by serving as patron for legislation that required the automatic issue of a writ of innocence in 2010 for individuals found to have been wrongly convicted.
Alexander has fought for additional government disclosure and transparency in recent sessions. He gained legislation that forced candidates and campaign committees to provide full disclosure for campaign-related phone calls. In 2011, Alexander also passed consumer rights legislation that prohibited phone service providers from adding services without the consent of customers; another required school systems to be more accountable in addressing student absenteeism and truancy. In 2012, Alexander forced the disclosure of the Department of Transportation's plans for proposed tolls on Norfolk's Downtown Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel, and Martin Luther King Freeway (MLK) Extension.
- "Special Election- August 6, 2002". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- "General Election- November 4, 2003". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "General Election- November 8, 2005". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "November 6, 2007 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "November 2009 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "November 2011 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "September 2012 State Senate Special Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- Walker, Julian (2008-12-16). "Local delegate picked as chair of Legislative Black Caucus". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
- "VA: Alexander ready to step into Yvonne Miller’s place". Virghinia Watchdog. org. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- Official website
- Virginia Public Access Project: Kenneth Alexander
- Virginia State Board of Elections results for 89th House District
- Project Vote Smart - Representative Kenneth Cooper 'Kenny' Alexander (VA) profile
- Follow the Money - Kenneth Cooper Alexander