La’Tasha D. Mayes

Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 24

La'Tasha will continue to be an important voice for equality in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives!


La’Tasha D. Mayes is a Pennsylvania native from West Philadelphia and state representative who ran to disrupt politics as usual in Harrisburg and to unapologetically advocate for racial, gender, and economic justice that centers marginalized communities. With 25 years of national leadership in the reproductive health, rights and justice movements, she made “herstory” in 2023 when she became the first out lesbian woman to ever serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the first woman to represent House District 24 in over 50 years.

Mayes was raised by a single mother who was an Army Veteran, food service worker and UNITEHERE Local 634 union member. From a young age, she saw civic action in practice, and it set her trajectory into a devoted life of public service. Mayes moved from West Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh for her bachelor’s degree in business administration and remained there to complete her master’s degree in public policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University. She has been a community organizer and policy advocate in the Greater Pittsburgh Region since 1999.

To continue the legacy of Black women fighting for reproductive freedom and to build a social change movement in the Rust Belt of America, Mayes founded New Voices for Reproductive Justice in 2004, an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive folx that has served over 250,000 people since its founding. The theory of change was leadership development, community organizing, policy advocacy and culture change and this work continues 20 years later in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Under her leadership, New Voices evolved from a grassroots collective to a powerhouse in the reproductive justice movement building social, political and voting power for and alongside Black women, Black queer folks, and Black marginalized people and her 18 years as president & CEO of New Voices was just the beginning in her fight for reproductive justice.

Mayes is a standout among her first-term colleagues and highly respected in Harrisburg and in House District 24. In her first year in office during 2023, Mayes has taken the Capitol by storm with her intersectional organizing and legislative strategic approach, as the consummate expert on reproductive health, rights and justice in the General Assembly, as a Member of the Appropriations, Judiciary, Health, Environmental Resources & Energy and Human Services Committees, as Co-Chair of the groundbreaking Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus, as Chair of the PA Black Legislative Caucus and PA Women’s Health Caucus Joint Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color as she challenges gender norms with her presence and iconic style. To date, Mayes has secured nearly $25 million in state funds for her district, provided over 12,000 high-quality constituent services to her community members and co-sponsored 163 bills.

Mayes is leading the fight for Black maternal health and health care for all moms and birthing folx. Mayes has been a leader in local, multi-state and national work to address Black maternal mortality and morbidity. In her role as Co-Chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, she brings her years of legislative, policy and budgetary advocacy for moms to the work of the Caucus which has advance or support three bill into become enacted laws since she co-founded the Caucus in October 2023 and recently, she and her Co-Chairs introduced the Pennsylvania MOMNIBUS, a groundbreaking legislative package of eight bills to increase access to maternal healthcare including mental health care, eliminate maternal health deserts and address social determinants of health and implicit bias in healthcare. Mayes introduced House Bill 2097 to require Medicaid coverage for blood pressure monitors to counteract the devastating effects of hypertension or high blood pressure and 2137 to establish the Maternal and Newborn Supply Kit program also known as Welcome Baby Kits so new moms and parents have the supplies they need on the first day of their child’s life. This is some of the work that Mayes envisions for moms, parents and families as she continues her transformational time in the state legislature.

Mayes is also a tireless fighter for reproductive freedom and abortion access in Pennsylvania and she is an outspoken leader rooted in the reproductive justice movement fully prepared for legislative and political leadership in the post-Roe era. In her second year in office, Mayes is currently advancing legislation to codify abortion as a constitutional right, reverse over a decade of TRAP laws that closed down abortion clinics across the state and protect access to IVF for all Pennsylvania families. With her decades of reproductive justice advocacy and key role on the Appropriations Committee, Mayes was instrumental in the end of the state contract with crisis pregnancy centers in December 2023 and redirecting those state funds to contractors who can provide a continuum of comprehensive sexual & reproductive, maternal and general health care.

Mayes is the prime sponsor of the CROWN Act to end hair discrimination which passed out of the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in her first six months in office. She just launched the Pennsylvania CROWN Act Coalition with Speaker Joanna McClinton to get their bill passed out of the Senate and enacted into law.

Mayes is also the co-prime sponsor of the Fairness Act to expand civil right protections for a half million LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians that passed out of the House in 2023 after two decades. The Fairness Act is a continuation of her decades of fighting for LGBTQ+ rights with her first major victory coming in 2009, when she co-led the effort to pass the non-discrimination ordinance in Allegheny County that expanded civil rights protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. Mayes served as the inaugural vice chair of the Allegheny County Human Relations Committee, she went on to advocate nationally for the Affordable Care Act and enroll LGBTQ+ community members in health insurance plans as well as working to end regulatory discrimination toward LGBTQ+ folx in healthcare in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mayes’ bipartisan advocacy last year for increased domestic violence funding resulted in a line item in the Governor’s proposed state budget that was 120% more than requested and when this funding is approved, it will serve the needs of all those experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mayes has served as National Board chair of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, on the board of the Groundswell Fund, and on the Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Commission on African American Affairs. She also completed the Executive Program for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania, the Rockwood Leadership Institute Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Fellowship, and the Higher Heights Senior Leadership Fellowship. Mayes has received various honors, awards and recognition for her dedicated leadership, she has been published in two books on reproductive justice and featured in numerous articles including national media platforms.

Mayes is poised to create and leave her legacy as a groundbreaker, waymaker and trailblazer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania especially in her newest role as mom to Baby Charlotte with her partner Dr. Heather L. Reel. With the legacy of her mother and the inspiration of her daughter as her deepest motivation, Mayes will make her indelible mark on the nation.