Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus selects new leadership

Caucus members chosen for other leadership roles

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – Calling it a great opportunity to continue to be the voice for African-Americans and minorities across the commonwealth, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., was elected Wednesday to serve as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.

“Being chosen by my colleagues to serve as the chairman of the PLBC is truly an honor. It is a tremendous responsibility that I will not take lightly,” Kinsey said. “It is the job of the PLBC to be a voice for African-Americans and people of color across Pennsylvania. As we have witnessed in recent years, minorities are facing injustice and discrimination more than ever, not only in the commonwealth but across our nation. I look forward to advancing the discussion to ensure African-Americans and people of color are equally respected and represented in Pennsylvania.”

The PLBC leadership team is further made up of Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., vice chairwoman; Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, secretary; and Rep.-elect Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, treasurer.

“I am honored to be reelected as vice chairwoman of the PLBC and will continue working to create opportunities and reduce barriers for black Pennsylvanians,” Bullock said. “I will keep having tough conversations with my colleagues in the House to make sure that our communities are heard and that legislation and policies from Harrisburg are inclusive of all communities.”

“I am extremely honored to serve as the newly elected secretary of the PLBC. As a member, I am proud of the work we have already accomplished and in my new role, I look forward to broadening awareness of individuals whose civil liberties have been violated,” Hill-Evans said. “I thank my colleagues and constituents for entrusting me to represent the interests of fairness and equality for all.”

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus was founded in 1973 by then House Majority Leader K. Leroy Irvis, who would go on to become the first African-America speaker of the House. Its purpose is to serve as an information and advocacy vehicle to advance the interests of African-American, Latino, and other minority residents of Pennsylvania. Other notable founding members included Rep. David P. Richardson Jr., Rep. Hardy Williams and Rep. Lucien Blackwell.

The PLBC also awards annual scholarships to students based on academic and leadership credentials. The scholarships are awarded to Pennsylvania African-American students who will be attending Pennsylvania institutions of higher education.

"As a newly elected representative – and the first black woman to represent western Pennsylvania in the House – I look forward to assuming my role as state representative for the 34th Legislative District in Allegheny County and representing all Pennsylvanians of color as treasurer in the PLBC," Lee said.

“The PLBC has made great strides during the last session. We have advocated to reduce gun violence and to provide a better quality of life while fighting for and making changes in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system,” said Rep. Jordan Harris, the outgoing chairman of the PLBC. “The PLBC is in great hands with Representative Kinsey. I'm grateful for his partnership in the past and look forward to all the great work the PLBC will do in the future.”

Harris added he has been chosen to serve as House Democratic Caucus Whip for the upcoming legislative session.  

Other PLBC members elected into leadership roles are Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, caucus chair; Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., caucus secretary; Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., Philadelphia Delegation chairman and Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, Southeast Delegation chairwoman.