PA Press Club Luncheon – Monday, July 22

Senator Jay Costa

Democratic Leader

State Senator Jay Costa represents portions of the City of Pittsburgh, East Hills communities, areas of the Mon Valley and South Hills (43rd District).

As a lifelong resident of Allegheny County, Sen. Costa was born and raised in Pittsburgh and now lives with his wife Roxanne in Forest Hills. He has three children – two sons and one daughter. He is the son of the late Allegheny County Treasurer Jay Costa Sr. A graduate of Taylor Allderdice Hi​gh School, Community College of Allegheny County, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University.

Before his election to the Senate, Sen. Costa was a deputy sheriff in Allegheny County and Allegheny County Register of Wills. He is currently a Principal in the downtown Pittsburgh law firm Dickie McCamey & Chilcote P.C.

Sen. Costa was elected Senate Democratic leader in 2010. Previously, he served as Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations and Judiciary Committees and was Caucus chair. He now chairs the Rules & Executive Nominations Committee and co-chairs the General Assembly’s Arts and Culture Caucus.

Sen. Costa’s legislative record of accomplishment is long and features signature laws in the areas of education, family law, judicial reform, public safety, job creation and health care. Early in his career, Sen. Costa prime sponsored the plan (FAIRx) to leverage rebates to lower drug costs for seniors – a concept later signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell. He was a strong supporter of expanding the nationally-recognized CHIP program and Medicaid. He also authored legislation to direct cooperative agreements between insurers and providers as a means to resolve the Highmark/UPMC coverage dispute.

Over the course of his legislative career, Sen. Costa has been a strong, effective promoter of education. From seeking additional funding for K-12 education, higher education and pre-school he is recognized as one of the General Assembly’s leaders for education. In addition to accessing more funding for schools, he sought new state-of-the-art technologies for the classroom, in addition to sponsoring far-reaching property tax relief proposals.

Beyond his legislative work, Sen. Costa serves on board of trustees of both the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University and is treasurer of the Community College of Allegheny County board. He also is on the boards of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Sen. John Heinz History Center, 3 Rivers Wet Weather, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, Forest Hills Community Association, SEA Sports Commission, and a life trustee of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

PA Press Club Luncheon – Monday, June 24, 2024

The Honorable Cherelle Parker

Mayor, City of Philadelphia

Cherelle L. Parker was born to a single teenage mom and raised by her grandparents James and Dorothy Parker. It was the power of a village – her family and her community – and their belief in the power of education that gave her the opportunity to succeed. A graduate of Philadelphia public schools, she was the first person in her family to go to college; earning her bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University where she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., then earning her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught public school as a high school English teacher and ESL teacher working with immigrant children and adults.

Inspired to public service by Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who she had interned for, Cherelle worked in Tasco’s office and rose to serve as a senior staffer where she oversaw – among many other things – the implementation of all economic and community development initiatives that helped neighborhoods and business corridors thrive. By the time she left, she became one of Councilwoman Tasco’s most trusted advisors.

While serving at the State Capitol, Cherelle was elected to the State House and went on to serve for 10 years representing Northwest Philadelphia. On winning her election, she made history as the youngest African-American woman elected to the State Legislature. In Harrisburg, she was elected by her colleagues to chair the Philadelphia Delegation, and it was her leadership in this role that she earned her reputation as one of the most effective legislators in Harrisburg.

Cherelle returned to City Council, as an elected Member, in 2015, representing 9th District in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia. In 2020, she was elected by her colleagues as Council’s Majority Leader.

A single mom, Cherelle lives in Northwest Philadelphia with her son, Langston and their dog, Max.

PA Press Club – Monday, May 13, 2024

Senator Scott Martin

Chair, Appropriation Committee

Scott Martin is a lifelong Lancaster County resident with deep roots in the community.  He was elected to his first term representing the 13th Senatorial District in November 2016 and re-elected in 2020.

While in the Senate, dozens of Scott’s bills have become law as well as a Constitutional Amendment which was approved by Pennsylvania voters in May 2021 that limited the power of a governor to issue open-ended emergency declarations that last longer than necessary.

Scott currently serves as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which plays a crucial role in negotiating and developing the state budget and is responsible for reviewing all legislation for its fiscal impact. He previously served as Chair of the Senate Education Committee and Senate Local Government Committee.

Outside of his regular Senate responsibilities, Scott also serves as Chairman of the PA Athletic Oversight Committee and was elected to serve as Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) for 2023. 

Prior to his election to the state Senate, Scott served as a Lancaster County Commissioner and helped to clean up what had become a dysfunctional and ineffective government.  As Commissioner, Scott never voted for a tax increase, downsized government by cutting duplicative agencies and departments, reduced debt by $40 million, and lowered costs for taxpayers through privatization and public employee benefit reform.

He led many statewide reform efforts through the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and was elected Chair of the Republican Caucus of County Commissioners for 8 years.  Before entering public service, Scott was successful in the private sector as a licensed Realtor and local landlord.  In addition, for 13 years, he worked in the Juvenile Justice system, including serving as Director of the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center.

Running the county’s juvenile detention and emergency shelter-care facilities, he oversaw the effective operation of a $5.5 million budget and 150 employee organization.  Scott was also the elected Vice President of the Juvenile Detention Centers Association of Pennsylvania and served on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency’s Detention Steering Committee.

Scott served on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Gene A. Carpenter Football Foundation, volunteers as a youth sports coach in wrestling and football, and gave his time and effort to groups like the United Way of Lancaster County and the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Scott is a graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School where he was a PIAA & National Heavyweight wrestling champion, and Millersville University, where he graduated with a degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice and became a three-time 1st Team PSAC Defensive Tackle and two-time All-American.  After his college career, Scott was a free agent camp invitee of the New York Giants in the NFL and had three different stints in the Arena Football league. 

Scott has been inducted into the Lancaster Catholic Athletic Hall of Honor, the Millersville University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Lancaster-Lebanon League Wrestling Hall of Fame, the District III Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Susquehanna Valley Chapter.   Recently, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, Scott was named one of the 150 greatest players/contributors in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference history, one of ten Millersville Marauders to earn that honor.

Scott and his wife Amber are the proud parents of four children: Alexia, Hayden, Alivia and Gavin.

PA Press Club – April 29, 2024

The Honorable Khalid Mumin

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education

For over 25 years, Dr. Khalid N. Mumin has served in various capacities as a teacher, dean of students, principal and central administrator. Most recently, Dr. Mumin served as the Superintendent of Schools at Lower Merion School District. Prior to Lower Merion, Dr. Mumin was the Superintendent of Reading School District for seven years. Beginning as a Secondary English teacher in Scotland, Pennsylvania in 1997, Dr. Mumin rose through the leadership ranks of the education system in Pennsylvania. Dr. Mumin is committed to promoting and sustaining student achievement, equity and access to educational programming for all students, as well as creating plans that are fiscally responsible. He has been recognized nationally as a “School Board Savvy Superintendent,” and is the author of the book entitled Problem Child: Leading Students Living in Poverty Towards Infinite Possibilities of Success.

Dr. Mumin earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Education in Teaching & Curriculum from Pennsylvania State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from Shippensburg University, and an Associate of Arts in English from Northeastern Christian Junior College.

Follow Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin on twitter: @PDESecretary