“Why a Quaker Immigration Attorney is in the State House of Representatives.”
Pennsylvania State Representative Joe Hohenstein will speak about his experiences as a Quaker in the State Legislature to the adult class at the Newtown Quaker Meetinghouse, 219 Court Street, on Sunday, October 13 at 9:45 a.m. Meeting for Worship in the manner of Friends will begin at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend both events.
Joe Hohenstein spent 25 years as an immigration attorney before deciding to run for political office and has a national reputation for representing some of the most difficult cases before the courts. He has more than 15 precedent decisions as lead counsel in federal Circuit and District Courts on issues protecting the rights to asylum and Due Process in the complex U.S. immigration system.
In 2016, with support from members of the Quaker and Immigration Law communities, Hohenstein challenged a 32 year incumbent for the 177th District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. That first campaign fell short but it provided the foundation for a 2018 victory when Hohenstein defeated a field of 3 challengers in the Democratic primary and won convincingly in the general election.
Hohenstein said, “For me the fulfillment of civic and societal duties isa divine leading. For me, Quiet is what I feel in times of directed worship – when we Quakers come together as a community specifically for that purpose. However, outside the walls of the Meetinghouse the Spirit moves me in different ways. I cannot remain quiet in the face of the injustices and the outright trampling of the Truth that I have discerned during Meeting for Worship. I am called to speak that truth to power.”
Joe serves the 177th District in Philadelphia and is one of only two Quakers in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. He says he is seeking to find the place where Quakers can re-engage with a government from which they withdrew more than 250 years ago.
Joe is a member of Frankford Quaker Monthly Meeting and has served as Clerk (Head) of both the Meeting and Frankford Friends School, of which he is a graduate. He is also a graduate of Earlham College (’89) and the University of Minnesota Law School