For 35 years it has been my pleasure and my privilege to serve my constituents in West Philadelphia, as well as across the Commonwealth.
I was first elected State Representative in 1985. For 35 years it has been my pleasure and my privilege to serve my constituents in West Philadelphia, as well as across the Commonwealth.
I have served for decades on the Education Committee of the House of Representatives in Harrisburg, and I have been the majority leader of the committee. Currently, I am a board member of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
As the former Chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, I have been involved with Black Lives Matter and other efforts to help stamp out racism and bigotry. I currently am still a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. I was also chairman of the former Black History Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
I have served on the Executive Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
A Philadelphia native, I have always been loyal to my alma mater, Central High School. A history major, I received a BA with honors from Virginia Union University, and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
From 1970 to 1984, I was a member of the faculty of Drexel University, and from 1984 to 1985, I held the position of Legislative Assistant to the Mayor of Philadelphia.
For many years I have been on the Democratic ward executive committee in Philadelphia and with the Democratic State Committee. I have served on the boards of various community and civic organizations, including the Annenberg Center, Child Crisis Treatment Center, Community College of Philadelphia, International House, NAACP, Southern Home Services, Garden Court and Spruce Hill Community Associations, and the Alumni Association of Central High School, Virginia Union University, and the University of Virginia.
In addition, I am currently on the Education Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was recently elected vice chair of the board of directors of the American Swedish History Museum in Philadelphia.
In the summer of 2001, I was selected to participate in the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Seminar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Public school teachers have always known of my advocacy for them and their concerns, but I am also an advocate for students with disabilities, especially at the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. I always supported the efforts and programs of SpArc Philadelphia with their focus on autism and intellectual disability. For decades I have attended and lectured at the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation’s national teacher awards ceremony for early child care teachers.
I worked with Governor Ed Rendell and Governor Tom Wolf in advocacy for increased funding for public education and improving the quality of education across the Commonwealth.
My late wife Cheryl Arrington was a music teacher in the Philadelphia School System. To this day, I continue to tutor young students at the Lea School in my district.
I plan to continue being an active advocate for education and other important initiatives.
Representative Jim Roebuck