Hon. Babette Josephs
Born in the City of New York, Babette moved to Philadelphia upon marrying the late Herbert B. Newberg, a well-known class actions attorney. She graduated from Rutgers Law School Camden in 1976, and was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania. Babette was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the 182nd District in1985 (Center City). She served in the General Assemble until 2012 becoming the Chair of the State Government Committee and a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Delegation.
Babette has been active in many social change and neighborhood organizations before, during, and after her period of public service. Babette sits on the Board of the local American Civil Liberties Union affiliate; she is member of the J4N Committee (helping a Philadelphia Gay News reporter reveal facts about the unsolved and never-investigated 2002 homicide of a transgendered woman of color). Babette is the co-host of Conversations Across Time (CAT), a program on public access TV, (conversationsacrosstime.org), which is a discussion between historical characters of significance (played by volunteers). The show helps the viewers understand how history shaped and continues to shape modern day thought, politics and expectations. CAT is broadcast on Channel 66 (Comcast) or 39 (Verizon) weekly on Tuesdays at 10pm.
Babette is also a member of Peace Islands Institute (PII), a human relations and outreach organization of Turkish-American Muslims. She is a member of the National Organization of Women, the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), and Liberty City Gay and Lesbian Democrats. As a long-time Democratic committeeperson in the 8th Ward (west Center City), Babette makes sure that local elections are run efficiently and counted accurately; she works in voter registration drives, and she actively supports progressive, left leaning political candidates by recommending them to her voters and by volunteering in their campaigns.
Babette has received many awards, among them: Center City Residents Association gave her its top yearly honor in 2016: the Lenora Berson Community Service Award. She received the PA Chapter American Civil Liberties Union Person of the Year Award in 2012. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania gave Babette its Freedom Keeper Award in 2012.
Babette is an environmentalist: she has never owned a car, she started the city's backyard compost program, she recycles everything, and she eats very low on the food chain. Babette is the proud grandmother of six grandchildren.