Explorers in the House

La ­Salle alumni are carving a spot for themselves as elected officials, with eight getting newly elected or re-elected to Pennsylvania Districts during the November 2018 Election. The start of 2019 brought two names to the forefront, gaining positions of leadership to the legislature. 

Representative Joanna McClinton, ’03, was appointed as the first woman and African American to be elected as chairman for the House Democratic Caucus, serving a term for the 2019-2020 legislative session. 

At La ­Salle, McClinton, a lifelong resident of Southwest Philadelphia, studied political science and minored in leadership and global understanding. She was first sworn in to serve the people of the 191st Legislative District in August of 2015 after winning a special election two weeks prior. This past November, McClinton was re-elected to her third term as State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 191st District, covering parts of Delaware County and Philadelphia County.

In her new role, McClinton will rely on her unique experience as a public defender for nearly a decade, although for her, this appointment comes with the responsibility to finally reflect the state’s rich and diverse population. “My colleagues put their faith in me to continue to work hard, to speak out, but also change the face of what leadership looks like in the House and Pennsylvania,” said McClinton.  She further emphasized that November’s results show how La ­Salle alums are not only utilizing their education for public good, they’re using Lasallian values to serve. “It showed what we learned at La ­Salle was about serving others, taking responsibility seriously, and responding to needs,” said McClinton. “It is our debt to others, that is what was reinforced in me at La ­Salle. It’s not about you, it’s more about using the gifts God gave you to help other people.”

Joining McClinton is Kevin Boyle, ’02. Boyle was appointed as the Democratic chairman of the State Government Committee. He began representing Pennsylvania’s 172nd district in Harrisburg in 2011, encompassing the diversity of Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.

Boyle was raised in rowhome in Olney, just blocks away from College Hall with his older brother, Brendan, who is a United States Congressman for Pennsylvania’s newly redrawn 2nd District. Their father immigrated to the United States from Ireland when he was 19 years old. Boyle recalls his father working many jobs in construction and as a custodian for SEPTA to help raise him and his brother. A testament to his hard work, he was able to see both of his sons sworn into their respective offices, attending both ceremonies in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. early this year. 

Prepared to provide leadership and service, the new Congress in Harrisburg started on New Year’s Day. With new responsibilities for two La ­Salle Explorers, their work continues.

-Gavin Lichtenstein, ’17

Read more about our elected officials in the next magazine.

Elected Explorers

Dwight Evans, ’75
3rd Congressional District 

Madeleine Dean, ’81
4th Congressional District 

Brian Fitzpatrick, ’96
8th Congressional District

Tina Davis, ’83
141st State Legislative District 

Thomas Murt, ’89
152nd State Legislative District 

Kevin Boyle, ’02
172nd State Legislative District  

Mike Driscoll, ’82
173rd State Legislative District 

Joanna McClinton, ’03
191st State Legislative District