Senator Spruill has served his community in elected office for over thirty years. He was elected to the Chesapeake City Council in 1988. In 1994, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, and in 2016, to the Virginia Senate. Today, he chairs the critical Energy subcommittee where he is leading the effort to protect our environment to ensure clean air and safe drinking water.
The Honorable Lionell Spruill, Sr., is a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads and a member of the Virginia Senate. Born in South Norfolk in 1946, he was one of fifteen children. A graduate of Carver High School, Sen. Spruill earned his college degree from Pacific Western University. For 30 years, he worked as a technician for Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) and is a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. In 2000, Sen. Spruill was the proud recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Norfolk State University.
He’s always been devoted to community service. He was the President of the West Munden Civic League, South Norfolk Civic League, Hollywood Civic League, and Georgetown Civic League. He was appointed to the Chesapeake Planning Commission and served as its Chairman. He founded Chesapeake’s first Block Security Program. From 1994-1996, he served as Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia. A lifelong member of St. Joseph A.M.E. Zion Church in Chesapeake, Spruill is also a leader in the NAACP, the Norfolk Branch of the NAACP, and The Chesapeake Men for Progress.
During his time in the General Assembly, is most proud of his thirty years standing up for women’s rights and stronger gun control. He led the long battle to expand Medicaid to cover low-income families in Virginia and has defended President Obama’s Affordable Care Act from Republican attacks. He beats back Republicans when they threaten a woman’s right to choose. He’s helped pass a law requiring criminal and mental health background checks before all gun sales in Virginia. He’s also supported legislation to give Virginia judges greater authority to issue restraining orders and take guns away from dangerous people. A champion of voting rights, he helped pass the expansion of early voting and voting by mail. He’s known for his strong support of public education. And over the last two years, he’s helped keep Senate Democrats united in stopping destructive legislation from Governor Youngkin and Republicans in the legislature.
Senator Spruill lives in Chesapeake, the proud father of four and a grandfather to six wonderful grandchildren.