Kinsey, PLBC, Philadelphia members honor first African-American woman House Democratic Caucus secretary

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – In celebration of Black History Month, Pennsylvania trailblazer state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., was recognized today for her 26 years of service to the commonwealth at Philadelphia City Hall.


“I am truly humbled by this honor, and I am so grateful for the constant support of my colleagues,” Youngblood said.” And to my constituents in the 198th – I am grateful to have been afforded the privilege of being your state representative for the past 26 years.”


The recognition efforts were spearheaded by members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, led by Chairman Rep. Stephen Kinsey, along with the Philadelphia House Delegation led by Chairman Rep. Jason Dawkins, and Rep. Angel Cruz, all D-Phila.


“Representative Youngblood dedicated her life to being a fighter and champion for her community and residents across the commonwealth,” Kinsey said. “A living legend, she has made fierce strides toward creating an equitable commonwealth and has paved the way for women and African-Americans by being the first African-American woman to hold a leadership position in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s history.”


Dawkins also thanked Youngblood for her years of public service and expressed how she was a pioneer in ensuring the possibility for others to also serve in a leadership capacity in state government.


“I’m proud to be part of honoring Representative Youngblood, one of Pennsylvania’s very own living historical figures, and elevating her among the ranks of our national African-American trailblazers during Black History Month,” Dawkins said. “Representative Youngblood has been a fierce advocate for her district for decades and has been a constant example of what it means to be a good leader who holds herself and others to her very own high standards. She has paved the way for so many and I am proud to have learned a lot from her.”


House Democratic Whip Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., said Youngblood set the standard as the example all state legislators should be striving toward.


“Representative Rosita Youngblood embodies what legislators should strive to be,” said Harris. “Not only is she an innovator who broke the mold and made history as the first female African-American member of leadership in the General Assembly, but she also worked tirelessly to improve the lives of her constituents and all Pennsylvanians. Philadelphia will miss her presence and dedication and we stand on her shoulders as we move forward.”


Cruz concurred with his House colleagues, adding: “Representative Youngblood broke barriers and amplified the voices of those who would have otherwise been shut out and silenced. For that, we are forever grateful.”


A longtime advocate for her Northwest Philadelphia community, Youngblood was elected to represent the 198th Legislative District on April 19, 1994 and introduced several pieces of legislation aimed to improve the lives of her constituents in her district and across the state. Her legislative tenure also includes sponsoring a variety of community outreach programs and activities.


In 2011, Youngblood was appointed Democratic chairwoman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee. Youngblood left this position in 2015 when she was selected by her peers to be part of the House leadership team as the House Democratic Caucus secretary, ultimately becoming the first African-American woman to hold a leadership position in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s history.


Youngblood recently announced her retirement, effective when her term ends later this year.