Equality for all — that’s what Dr. Joanne Tosti-Vasey has been striving for throughout her entire career. She has been a community organizer for several decades both within and outside of government.
On January 4, 2016, she was sworn into public office as a member of the Bellefonte, PA Borough Council, having won the seat formerly held by a 36-year incumbent and President of borough council. She ran on a platform of transparency in government along with a sensitivity to historic preservation in a town that is advertised as “Victorian Bellefonte.”
Her community organizing has also been extensive. Following a 12-year engagement as treasurer of Pennsylvania NOW, Inc., a chapter of the National Organization for Women, Dr. Tosti-Vasey began a term as president of the organization in January 2006. At the same time, she was appointed as a commissioner to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, which she held from 2003 until mid-2011. She now serves as the immediate past president of PA NOW and as a member of the National NOW Board of Directors. She intends to continue her leadership role as an advocate for equality while working in the areas of economic justice, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and reproductive rights, promoting diversity and ending racism, stopping violence against women, and putting an end to sex discrimination.
Dr. Tosti-Vasey has successfully advocated for the creation of anti-discrimination ordinances in State College, Pa., and Allegheny County (where Pittsburgh, PA is located), lobbied for civil rights bills, and helped to change policies and procedures in a number of institutions. She makes it a point to stay up-to-date with current events in her community and beyond through memberships with The National Association of Professional Women, Concerned Voters of Centre County, the Centre County Democratic Party, and the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association. She also volunteers with the Pennsylvania Tension Task Force and the Centre County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to monitor tension, acts of bias and potential hate crimes. In addition, she serves as a member of the board of directors for Health Care for All Pennsylvania advocating for a comprehensive single-payer health care system for every citizen of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tosti-Vasey has also served on the NOW’s Destigmatizing Abortion Ad Hoc Committee that was established in May 2011, and has continued her service to the NOW Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee since 1992.
Dr. Tosti-Vasey attributes her more than two decades of success to having a genuine concern for people and a desire to see that civil rights are being upheld. She is proud of her public speaking and writing skills, as well as her devotion to lobbying and accomplishing goals as a member of numerous administrative boards. As she continues advancing in her career, Dr. Tosti-Vasey plans to maintain her efforts for equal rights, in part, through blogging on this site.
- View Joanne Tosti-Vasey’s profile
- Follow me on Twitter: tosti_vasey
- My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tostivasey
- If you are on LinkedIn, you can also join my discussion group – Leaders in Civil Rights Advocacy.