Trustee Vincent J. Hughes
Vincent J. Hughes won a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives at the age of 30 by defeating a veteran incumbent. He quickly established a reputation for dynamic action and a track record of solid achievement and effective constituent service. By the beginning of his third House term, he was elected to serve as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus (PLCB), a post he held from January 1991 to December 1994. In that position, he convened the first meeting and conference of Pennsylvania’s Black Elected Officials, lead the PLBC’s redistricting efforts that succeeded in creating a second Congressional District in Pennsylvania with a majority of minority residents, and secured $36 million in capital improvement funding for Cheyney University.
In 1994, State Representative Hughes became State Senator Hughes when he won the 7th District seat in a special election and immediately set to work continuing the same record for action and innovation in the Senate that he accomplished in the House. He introduced Senate Bill 895 to establish a jobs program to create 10,000 jobs for welfare recipients. He followed it with Senate Bill 1400 to create the Pennsylvania Health Care Trust (PACT), a program designed to expand the existing Children’s Health Insurance Program and form an adult version that would provide affordable health insurance to Pennsylvania residents who are not covered by their employer or by existing government programs. Senator Hughes also introduced PennSTAR, the Pennsylvania State of the Arts Schools Program, to fund the renovation of deteriorated schools, as well as new school construction throughout the Commonwealth.
Senator Hughes’ activities, however, extend far beyond the legislative arena. Six years ago he founded the James Hughes Memorial Scholarship Fund and Golf Classic to honor his father’s legacy as an advocate for education in a way that is beneficial to young people seeking higher education opportunities. To date, the fund has raised more than $200,000 and provided scholarships to 91 students. Additionally, he has sponsored an annual adult Job Fair that has attracted more than 150 employers, two mental health conferences, attended by more than 1200 people and the Pledge to Excellence Youth Conference which provides workshops and resources on health, education, cultural and athletic programs.
Senator Hughes serves as the Democratic Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations, Education and Policy.