March 29, 2016

House Republicans Appoint First Equal Opportunity Officer

Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) Tuesday announced he has appointed the first equal opportunity officer.  The House Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee held its first meeting with the goal of developing, recommending and implementing equal opportunity employment and procurement policies in the House of Representatives.
Keisha C. Wright, House bipartisan caucus operations, accepted the position with a mission to provide guidance on laws and policies as they relate to potential employment, current employees as well as current and prospective vendors.
“I’m truly honored and look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to create a more diverse workforce,” said Wright of Harrisburg, who started working for the House in 2004. “This is a serious role which I am excited and committed to fulfill.”
The House Rule establishing the Equal Opportunity Officer and Advisory Committee was first adopted in 2007, but until Speaker Turzai no speaker had taken action to appoint this important committee and fill this critical position.
“Diversity is big part of what makes Pennsylvania great,” said Speaker Turzai. “There is no better way to strengthen equal opportunity than through the body that represents the people.”
The EOAC, a bipartisan committee comprised of five House representatives, selected its first chairperson, Rep. Harry Lewis (R-Chester). Lewis was nominated in bipartisan fashion by Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and Rep. Leslie Acosta (D-Philadelphia). The other members of the committee, Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) and Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) both voted in favor.
"I am honored to have been selected by this important bipartisan committee to ensure equal opportunity for all,” said Rep. Lewis.
The committee will now meet monthly during session and start taking active steps to foster diversity.