Guest Speaker Rep. Joanna McClinton
House Democratic Leader
Joanna McClinton represents the 191st legislative district, encompassing west and southwest Philadelphia as well as Yeadon and Darby in Delaware County.
In 2018, she became the first woman and first African American to be elected as House Democratic Caucus Chair, and in 2020, she was the first woman elected House Democratic Leader in the chamber’s 244-year history.
A lifelong resident of southwest Philadelphia and graduate of Grace Temple Christian Academy, she became active in the community while completing an internship with the radio station WDAS. Later, she studied Political Science and Leadership in Global Understanding at La Salle University.
Immediately after graduating from LaSalle, she enrolled at Villanova University School of Law. She was an intern at Regional Housing Legal Services, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
She was an assistant public defender for seven years and became assistant chief of the East Zone during her last year, helping attorneys with case preparation.
Rep. McClinton was elected to the Pennsylvania House in a special election in 2015.