Pennsylvania House of Representatives Elects First Black Woman

Story posted March 1, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Alison Patton

HARRISBURG, Pa.—Democrat Mark Rozzi stepped down as Pennsylvania Speaker of the House on Tuesday, and was replaced shortly after by Democrat Joanna McClinton, the first black woman to serve. McClinton was voted into the position with all votes from the Democratic party, according to the Associated Press.

The transfer of power happened between Black History Month and Women’s History Month, signifying a smooth transition between the two months.

McClinton is the second person of color to serve — the first being Leroy Irvis, who served in the 70s — and the first woman in the position, the AP reports. She has also been the first African American and woman to be elected as House Democratic Caucus Chair in 2018, and the first woman to be elected as Democratic floor leader in 2020, according to her campaign website.

The representative from Philadelphia has been a state lawmaker since 2015 and represents the 191st district, which includes Delaware and Philadelphia counties, as stated on her website.

According to AP, McClinton vowed to create a rules package that protects women, people of color and LGBTQIA+.
Rozzi still holds a seat in the House chamber and plans on publicly announcing his new rules proposal soon, the AP reported.

Alison Patton is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email