Joanna Bryn Smith
Pennsylvania State House District 120
2020 Race Update: Joanna lost 36.90% to 63.10%
Joanna Bryn Smith was born in the 120th District at the Nesbitt Hospital in Kingston. She was raised in Jackson Township, where her public school teacher parents instilled her with a deep understanding of the importance of giving back to one’s community and engaging in public service.
Joanna is a graduate of the former Bishop O’Reilly High School in Kingston where she developed a passion for the arts that has endured throughout her life. She earned multiple scholarships to St. Joseph’s University and graduated with a double major in Philosophy and Fine and Performing Arts, then entered law school at the CUNY School of Law in Queens. At law school, Joanna began her life of service by volunteering for a variety of organizations dedicated to providing legal services to the less fortunate.
After completing her law degree, Joanna chose to return to Northeastern Pennsylvania to work for the marginalized and under-represented in the community in which she was raised. She was hired by Luzerne County and the Office of Conflict Counsel, where she has worked for the last five years representing those in the community who would otherwise not be able to afford an attorney. Always placing a priority on fairness and justice, Joanna works diligently to ensure everyone has a voice.
Joanna is at heart a public servant and is passionate about working with individuals to improve their community. Outside of her job as an attorney, Joanna volunteers with many community organizations, including teaching underprivileged students, serving as a speech and debate coach in local high schools, singing with the Choral Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and volunteering with the annual Valley Santa program. Not content to solely participate, Joanna has been a community leader, serving on the boards of the Fine Arts Fiesta, the Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre, and the KISS Children’s Theater.
Now wanting to continue to better her community with a new focus, Joanna made the decision to put her passion and experience to work for the 120th District by running for State Representative. From her wide-ranging community service, her teaching experience, and her work with marginalized communities, Joanna has gained a deep understanding of this district, along with the promises of its future, and the struggles it can overcome given the right representation and investment. Once in Harrisburg, Joanna will always fight for the community she loves, and all the West Side and Back Mountain have to offer to the Commonwealth.