community activist, equal wages, government transparency, historic preservation, justice for women, lesbian rights, local government, policy analysis, public official, racism, reproductive justice
Company: Bellefonte, PA
Title: Council Member
Location: Bellefonte, PA United States
Dr. Joanne Tosti-Vasey is an advocate of women’s civil rights and open, transparent governance in the United States. Having experienced firsthand discrimination and unfair pay in comparison to male counterparts, she is an active participant in the fight to secure equal wages and overall economic justice for women in the workforce. Her areas of interest also include reproductive justice, lesbian rights, ending racism and violence against women, historic preservation, and ensuring open, transparent governance. Utilizing her experience in policy analysis, she has lobbied in Harrisburg and created one of the most inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances in Pennsylvania. In January 2016, she will be sworn in to a four-year term as one of nine members of the Bellefonte, PA Borough Council. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors of Healthcare for All Pennsylvania, Dr. Tosti-Vasey is chair of the Center County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relation Commission and treasurer of the Women’s Caucus of the State of Pennsylvania. She is also a former commissioner of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women and former president of Pennsylvania NOW, Inc. (the state chapter of the National Organization for Women), and is the mid-Atlantic regional director of the National Organization for Women through June 2016. She remains a grassroots organizer to this day. Dr. Tosti-Vasey holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in family counseling from Virginia Tech, as well as a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University. In the future, she plans to continue working in women’s advocacy and affecting legislative change.