Meet Elaine - Elaine for Congress

Meet Elaine

Elaine Luria served her country in uniform for 20 years with the philosophy: Be Good.  Do Good Work.  Elaine sees this simple, but powerful, message lacking in Washington today.

When her peers were heading off to college, Elaine was compelled to be part of something bigger than herself and joined the Navy at 17—so she could give back and help build a safer, stronger, and fairer society for this generation and the next.

Elaine Luria for Congress

On her first day in uniform, she was inspired by the Naval Academy’s Mission, to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government. Elaine served for 20 years as a Surface Warfare Officer and nuclear engineer deploying six times—twice forward-deployed on ships stationed in Japan—conducting operations in the Middle East and Western Pacific on destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.

Whether it was enforcing sanctions by boarding Iraqi oil smugglers in the Arabian Gulf, launching jets off the deck of the aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean to simultaneously strike terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, operating complex nuclear reactors, as second in command of a guided missile cruiser, or in command of a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors, providing assault craft to support the U.S. Marine Corps: Elaine never let politics get in the way of doing what was right and getting the job done.

While Elaine’s service to our country was coming to an end – she officially retired from the Navy on June 1, 2017 – she was inspired to help the community that she and her family call home.

Elaine Luria for Congress

That’s why she started a family business, Mermaid Factory, that began as a block of clay on her kitchen table. From 2013-2018, Mermaid Factory created jobs in the community, donated over fifty thousand dollars to charity, and infused more than a quarter of a million tax dollars into our economy. Over 50,000 people experienced Mermaid Factory– by spending time with family or friends, expressing their creativity, and taking home a souvenir of Hampton Roads’ iconic mermaid and dolphin symbols. Mermaid Factory continues to manufacture our products locally and give back to organizations in the community that support youth and the arts.

In Congress, Elaine will use her experience in the Navy and as a small-business owner to protect our country and create an economy that works for everyone – not just those at the top. Her 20-year Navy career makes her the clear choice to represent this military-rich district with the world’s largest navy base and among the highest concentration of veterans, including the largest number of female veterans nationwide. Through her experience as an entrepreneur, she can relate to the challenges and potential of small businesses and their impact on the community. And, as a mother, she will fight to ensure a brighter future for every child.

To help the families, seniors, and businesses of Hampton Roads, we need leaders with real-world experience. We need leaders who know what it means to serve, have overcome obstacles, faced adversity and became stronger because of it

Elaine Luria for Congress family

Experience

From commanding sailors, to starting a small business, to raising a family– Elaine Luria’s journey has prepared her to stand up for Virginia’s families:

August 15, 1975

Born in Birmingham

Elaine Luria born in Birmingham, Alabama, to Michelle and Herbert Luria.
August 15, 1975

1993-1997

Naval Academy

Luria majored in Physics and History, with a minor in French, at the United States Naval Academy.
1993-1997

May 23, 1997

Graduation

Luria graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as Ensign in US Navy.
May 23, 1997

1997

Launch Officer Training

Luria completed Surface Warfare Division Officer Training and Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Launch Officer Training.
1997

1998-1999

Deployment

Luria was forward-deployed to Japan while stationed on board USS O’Brien. Additionally, deployed to Middle East for six months as part of Middle East Forces Deployment, enforcing oil sanctions against Iraq.
1998-1999

2000

US Naval Nuclear Power School

Luria became one of the first women to attend the US Naval Nuclear Power School.
2000

2000-2002

USS Harry S. Truman

Luria stationed on board USS Harry S. Truman. During this tour, Luria completed her Naval Nuclear Engineer certification. She stood watch operating nuclear reactors as Engineering Officer of the Watch.
2000-2002

2002-2004

USS Blue Ridge

Luria served as Flag Aide to the Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, once again forward-deployed to Japan and stationed on board the flagship USS Blue Ridge.
2002-2004

2004

Master’s Degree

Luria graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management.
2004

2005

Surface Warfare

Luria attended Surface Warfare Officer Department Head Training.
2005

May 7, 2005

Marriage

Luria married Robert Blondin in Norfolk, VA.
May 7, 2005

2005-2006

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Luria stationed on board USS Mason and was deployed to the Middle East and Mediterranean in support of Maritime Interdiction Operations. She was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as Operations Officer.
2005-2006

2006-2008

USS Enterprise

Luria stationed on board USS Enterprise, where she was deployed twice to the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Western Pacific where she operated nuclear reactors to conduct air operations, striking targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. She served as the Reactor Training Officer, responsible for the training of all 700 nuclear operators on board the carrier and as Engineering Officer of the Watch, overseeing the operation of 8 nuclear reactors.
2006-2008

2008-2010

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

Shore duty as Maintenance Coordinator of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
2008-2010

September 7, 2009

It’s a girl

Luria’s daughter, Violette, is born.
September 7, 2009

2010-2012

Naval War College Diploma

Completed Naval War College Diploma and worked to develop defense policy for meeting intelligence systems integration and requirements across all services for the U.S. Joint Forces Command.
2010-2012

2013-2014

Executive Officer

Luria served as Executive Officer on board USS Anzio, where she was second in command of a guided missile cruiser with crew of 300 sailors. USS Anzio participated in UNITAS with allied South and Central American navies and operated in the Atlantic in support of Carrier Strike Group deployment training.
2013-2014

October 2013

Mermaid Factory

Opened the Norfolk location of Mermaid Factory.
October 2013

2014-2017

Commanding Officer

Commanded combat-ready unit of 400 sailors as Commanding Officer of Assault Craft Unit TWO.
2014-2017

May 2015

Virginia Beach

Opened the Virginia Beach location of Mermaid Factory.
May 2015

June 1, 2017

Retirement

Retired from the U.S. Navy.
June 1, 2017

Jan 8, 2018

Campaign Launch

Launches campaign for Congress to continue serving her Commonwealth and country.
Jan 8, 2018

Nov 6, 2018

We won!

Elected to serve as Congresswoman for Virginia’s Second Congressional District
Nov 6, 2018

Jan 3, 2019

Sworn in

Sworn into the 116th Congress as Representative for Virginia’s Second Congressional District
Jan 3, 2019
135all

Recent Accomplishments

01/08/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 341, the COAST Anti-Drilling Act, to prohibit offshore drilling along the Mid-Atlantic, protecting the natural beauty of the coast.

1/17/19: Congresswoman Luria introduces the Shutdown Relief Act to allow federal employees to borrow from their Thrift Savings Plan in the event of undue financial hardship caused by government shutdowns. Over 20 of her colleagues signed on as cosponsors to this bipartisan effort to provide financial relief to public servants during reckless government shutdowns.

1/11/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, to keep our children and communities safe from preventable gun violence.

1/27/2020: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 5684, the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education, and Ecosystem Enhancement Act of 2019, to reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

1/28/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 129, the No Budget, No Pay Act, to prevent members of Congress from receiving their pay when they do not pass a budget on time.

1/30/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, to ensure equal pay for equal work and prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of sex.

2/13/19: Congresswoman Luria introduces H.R. 1199, the VA Website Accessibility Act of 2019, in order to hold the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for ensuring all VA websites are accessible to veterans with disabilities.

2/13/19: Congresswoman Luria introduces H.R. 1200, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, to provide a pay raise for disabled veterans.

2/14/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsor H.R. 1229, the Preserving Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Military Spouses Act, to ensure that an individual still remains eligible to participate in the teacher loan forgiveness program even if their consecutive years of employment as a full-time teacher are interrupted because that individual is a spouse of an Armed Forces who are relocated during the school year.

2/22/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 1317, the Coastal Communities Adaptation Act, to improve the quality of built and the natural environment against natural disasters and the effects of climate change. This bill promotes using nature-based features like beach nourishment, dune restoration, wetland, and coastal habitat restoration to reduce the risk of harmful damage.

3/7/2019: Congresswoman Luria introduces H.R. 1620, the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act, to fulfill her commitment to Coastal Virginians to protect and preserve the Chesapeake Bay for future generations.

3/13/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, to ensure that every American has equal access to the ballot box and prevent discriminatory voter suppression tactics.

3/13/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.

4/08/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 1364, the Child Care for Working Families Act, to promote affordable, inclusive, and reliable child care for all working families.

5/2/19: Congresswoman Luria introduces H.R. 2481, the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, to fix an error in the GOP tax law that unfairly increased taxes on the families of fallen soldiers. This bipartisan bill earned the support of 171 of her colleagues and became law when adopted into an appropriations package.

6/18/19: Congresswoman Luria introduces H.R. 3306, the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, alongside Virginia colleagues Reps. Denver Riggleman and Rob Wittman.

07/17/19: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 3749, the Legal Services for Homeless Veteran Act, to help ensure that all homeless veterans receive the proper legal services they need and deserve.

8/21/19: Congresswoman Luria’s bill to honor Keith Cox becomes law. The post office on 2509 George Mason Drive in Virginia Beach was officially renamed the “Ryan Keith Cox Post Office Building” on January 24, 2020.

9/17/19: Congresswoman Luria introduces H.R. 4345, the Fort Monroe National Monument Land Acquisition Act to ensure Fort Monroe is preserved by the National Park Service. Fort Monroe was proclaimed a national monument by President Barack Obama on November 1, 2011.

9/26/19: Congresswoman Luria’s H.R. 1200, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, is signed into law by President Trump, ensuring that veterans have access to the benefits they earned by their service.

10/01/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 4301, the School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act, to require the Secretary of Education to produce and publish an annual report on signs of school crime and safety that includes information on school shootings.

10/15/19: Congresswoman Luria’s VA Website Accessibility Act of 2019 passes the House of Representatives.

10/30/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 3497, the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students Act, a bipartisan bill that is designed to extend Federal Pell Grant eligibility to students who meet the higher education job training program criteria.

11/21/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 5221, the 100% Clean Economy Act, to establish requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

11/22/2019: Congresswoman Luria cosponsors H.R. 4674, the College Affordability Act, to lower the cost of college for students and families. This bill involves holding colleges accountable for their student’s success, thus giving a new generation of students the opportunity to graduate on time and transition into a successful career.

12/10/19: Congresswoman Luria’s amendment to H.R. 729 passes the House of Representatives (368-51). This amendment directs NOAA to consider the potential of a living shoreline project to support the resiliency of military communities when developing criteria for grant applications.

12/12/19: Congresswoman Luria’s amendment to H.R. 3 passes the House of Representatives (231-192), ensuring that federal employee health plans are covered by price reduction measures of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

12/20/19: Congresswoman Luria’s H.R. 4566, the Virginia Beach Strong Act, is signed into law by President Trump. This law ensures that donations benefitting the families of deceased or wounded victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach on May 31, 2019, will be treated as tax deductible contributions.

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