Two years earlier, McClinton was elected to the Democratic minority leader role, and made history as the highest-ranking woman to serve in the General Assembly’s 244 years. She is not, however, the first Black representative to serve as Pennsylvania’s House Speaker. (That honorific goes to K. Leroy Irvis of Allegheny County, who became the 130th speaker of the House in 1977.)
McClinton has represented the 191st District in Harrisburg since 2015. The 191st District comprises communities in West Philadelphia and Southwest Philadelphia, Yeadon and Darby (Delaware County). Age 40, McClinton is a minister, former public defender, and parent of two. The lifelong Southwest Philadelphia resident and native has an undergraduate degree from La Salle University and a law degree from Villanova University.
Before serving as a representative in the state capitol, McClinton was chief counsel to state Senator Anthony Hardy Williams. She also spent seven years as an assistant public defender.
Here’s what else we know about Joanna McClinton
Speaking to a Philadelphia Citizen audience, Joanna McClinton said about working with other representatives that, “I start out by listening to others’ concerns. It’s really reminiscent for me of my work as a public defender and as a youth leader at youth ministry at church. I listen to issues, I make connections with people, and I make every effort to see how we can get closest to the solution.”
- CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND WOMEN’S HEALTH REFORM are among her top priorities. She is a member of the Women’s Health Caucus.
- SHE SUPPORTS GUN VIOLENCE RESEARCH and has co-created a bill to establish a Pennsylvania selection committee to accept proposals to fuel a nonpartisan research center.
- SERVES ON PA SAFE CAUCUS, a group of 81 representatives working to reduce the causes and impacts of violence.
- CO-SPONSORED A STATEWIDE RAPE KIT TRACKING BILL with Sen. Katie Muth to allow victims to login anytime to access the status of their evidence.
- IS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND PROPOSING A PA CROWN ACT, to end hair-based discrimination, especially when the discrimination concerns natural Black hair.
- WORKS ALONGSIDE REP. BRIAN SIMS on the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, whose signature bill, HB 300, would prohibit discrimination against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in Pennsylvania.
Citizen coverage of Joanna McClinton
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Visit Joanna McClinton’s campaign website.
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