Valerie Ervin has spent her life in service to others. She has been a union member since she was 16, and began her career in grassroots activism as an organizer with United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), where she fought to ensure that working people knew their rights in the workplace and received appropriate benefits.
Valerie’s two sons attended Montgomery County Public Schools and she became a parent activist because of her concern for the education of all children. An active PTSA member and a founding member of both the Montgomery County Education Forum and Blacks United for Excellence in Education, Valerie was encouraged by parents across Montgomery County to run for the Board of Education and became the second African American woman to ever serve.
While Valerie was serving on the Board of Education, Tom Perez announced his intention to leave his seat on the Montgomery County Council and encouraged Valerie to run. In 2006 she became the first African American woman to serve on the Council. For seven years, Valerie represented District 5, which includes Silver Spring, Kensington, Takoma Park and Wheaton, and was elected president of the Council in 2011.