Jheanelle Wilkins was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to the United States with her mother and brother when she was five years old. Growing up in humble circumstances, Jheanelle learned the importance of being an advocate and serving others.
Jheanelle is a progressive, community-driven legislative advocate dedicated to policy change that makes a difference in people’s lives. She has organized and fought for greater opportunity for all residents in our community, including raising the minimum wage, earned sick leave for workers, protecting our environment, and improving our schools. She believes we are strongest when all voices are heard and all communities are represented in the democratic process.
She resides in downtown Silver Spring and enjoys patronizing District 20s restaurants and businesses.
Jheanelle has leveraged her organizing and advocacy background to help pass impactful legislation in the Maryland General Assembly. In the Maryland General Assembly, she serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. Jheanelle is the chair of the Montgomery County Delegation’s Land Use, Transportation, and Public Safety Committee, and Vice Chair of the Montgomery County House Caucus. Her legislative achievements include legislation related to maternal health, justice reform and racial profiling, advancing educational equity, and the economic security of families. Jheanelle was the lead sponsor of legislation that curbs racial profiling and removes unnecessary criminal penalties for minor, nonviolent offenses. Her legislation to expand tax credit eligibility for retired veterans will help our service men and women to continue to live in Maryland. Jheanelle has a proven record of legislative achievement on District 20's most pressing issues.
Throughout her career, Jheanelle has fought for progressive values and to advocate for policy change. Professionally, she is the Director of State and Local Government Affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights coalition. She has played lead roles in advocating for federal immigration reform, promoting educational equity, advancing criminal justice reform and protecting voting rights. In her career, she has shaped federal and state policy; trained and engaged activists from Portland to Biloxi on progressive issues; created and implemented issue campaigns at the federal and state levels to pass legislation that promotes equality; and facilitated the participation of thousands of people in the political process.
Jheanelle earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Delaware and a Master of Public Administration in Social Policy from the American University.