Rep. Joe Hohenstein's Biography
State Rep. Joe Hohenstein was elected to the Pennsylvania House on Nov. 6, 2018, representing the 177th Legislative District in Philadelphia.
Prior to being elected state representative, Hohenstein was an attorney and small business owner. In his professional career, he’s been dedicated to helping the community and fighting for justice as a nationally renowned lawyer on immigration rights and keeping families united. He has served for years on the National Amicus Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). When President Donald Trump signed the Travel Ban in early 2017, Hohenstein was part of the legal team that successfully sued the President to reunite a Syrian Christian family who was legally immigrating to our country, but was ruled ineligible mid-flight.
Hohenstein’s leadership spans into the non-profit sector and education as a faculty member at Temple University Beasley School of Law. He worked to develop the school’s first immigration law clinic, and continues to receive awards and recognition for his guidance of students and colleagues in this particular area of U.S. law.
For over 15 years, Hohenstein previously served on the board of Frankford Friends School. As the Chair of that Board, he helped lead a three-phase expansion project that included constructing a new building and outdoor learning area, and repurposing an abandoned neighboring church for the school’s gym and music programs.
He is currently on the board of directors for Philadelphia's Animal Care and Control Team. ACCT Philly is the region’s largest animal care and control service provider, serving the City of Philadelphia by contract. ACCT Philly offers adoption, foster and volunteer programs as well as owner surrender prevention resources. Located in North Philadelphia, it takes in nearly 18,000 animals annually.
Hohenstein’s top priorities include full fair funding for Philadelphia schools, solutions to the drug crisis that make everyone in the community safer, and tax structures that are fair to working families and make corporations pay their fair share. He supports women’s rights and pay equality, a clean environment, sensible laws to curb gun violence, protecting workers and raising the minimum wage, and fair districts to provide everyone an equal voice in government. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Pa. House Philadelphia Delegation.
Hohenstein grew up in a union household, and lives just blocks away from his childhood home with his wife Brandi. They have two children, Emma and Mars. His mother was a shop steward with AFSCME DC 47 and his father was a member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Hohenstein graduated from Earlham College with a degree in International Studies in 1989, and then attended law school at the University of Minnesota, where he received his J.D. in 1993 and passed the bar the same year.