A Baton Rouge native, Representative Patricia Haynes Smith was reelected without opposition and is serving her third term in the Louisiana House of Representatives, representing the residents of District 67 in East Baton Rouge. A tireless advocate for the under-represented citizens in our state, most of the legislation she sponsors effects positive changes to the state’s laws for these individuals.
Known for being a servant leader, espousing equality, social justice and human rights for all, Rep. Smith believes public service is a “24/7" job, second only to family. She has voiced her constituents’ concerns in the Legislature on such important issues as dismantling the state’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through school mergers, funding private school education with public monies despite its unconstitutionality, and destroying the state’s healthcare system for the poor without an approved plan for its replacement.
She serves on the following committees in the House of Representatives: Appropriations, Education, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs, and the House Executive Committee as vice chair. A respected leader, Rep. Smith was appointed to the House Select Leadership Committee. She was appointed as co-chair for the NBCSL (National Black Caucus of State Legislators) Education Policy Committee. Her elected positions include House Democratic Caucus whip, Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus treasurer, and at-large member for the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus. Rep. Smith was also elected twice as recording secretary of N.O.B.E.L.-Women.
In appreciation for her efforts at the Legislature and in the community, Rep. Smith has received numerous commendations and honors, nationally and locally. She was named by The National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (N.O.B.E.L.-Women) as the 2014 “Woman of the Year”, the organization’s highest award. Some other commendations and honors include the first Fannie Lou Hamer Political Award from Grambling University, and the NAACP’s Distinguished Political and Government Award. Some more recent achievements include receiving the 2015 Brotherhood Sisterhood Award from 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, and recognition by the Louisiana Hospital Association as a “Champion for Healthcare”.