Women & Politics – Meet the Candidates with Makya Little and Michelle Joyce

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It’s campaign season and we are checking in with candidates all over the state:

Makya Little 

Makya Little is a mother, a former FBI and CIA officer, and an equity advocate. She is running to represent the new 19th District encompassing portions of Prince William and Fairfax Counties in Virginia’s House of Delegates. In 2019, Makya fought to reform how African American history is taught in Virginia as the Parent Advocate of Governor Northam’s Commission on African American History Education. As President of the TJ Alumni Action Group, she led the admissions reform advocacy efforts for the nation’s #1 high school—Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Most recently, as a Survivor of domestic violence, she authored House Bill 1351 (known as “Makya’s Law”) and advocated for the removal of the one-year waiting period that victims of domestic violence must wait to be granted a full divorce in Virginia. A certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner who led the development of the CIA’s first Accessibility Strategy, Makya seeks to ensure a more inclusive future where shared prosperity is achieved collectively. Makya is a 26-year resident of Woodbridge, Virginia, a small business owner, and a coalition-builder who believes that partnerships and creative problem-solving are keys to our enhanced success.

Michelle Joyce 

Michele and her husband, Pete, married in Isle of Wight County, in 1999—at Benn’s United Methodist Church—in what is now the new 84th district. Isle of Wight is also where they raised their two daughters, Hailey and Julia. Michele graduated from William & Mary with a degree in Physics and has worked in Newport News at Jefferson Lab as a computer scientist since 1998 writing software for the lab’s particle accelerator. For the last 14 years, Michele has been a volunteer community leader and advocate—helping families in HD84 find affordable access to health care. Michele’s longtime community and professional experience in Hampton Roads speak to her abilities as a problem solver. She felt compelled to take an active role in helping her community after witnessing a neighborhood family fall victim to a flawed health-care system. She became a volunteer neighborhood team leader with the Obama campaign and organized for the passage of the Affordable Care Act. When the full law was implemented in 2014, she was trained to be a volunteer Health Care Navigator, traveling throughout the district, educating the public about the new law, and helping families find quality, affordable health care. In 2012, while Michele was serving as chair of the Isle of Wight County Democratic Committee, they were awarded “Committee of the Year” from the Democratic Party of Virginia. In 2019 Michele served as the Democratic nominee for Delegate from the former 64th House District (now HD84). In that election, Michele achieved record Democratic performance funded completely by small-dollar grassroots donors.


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