Commissioner Arthenia Joyner
Appointed by Chief Justice
No proposals introduced.
SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, Disqualifications
Last Action: 10/16/2017 Referred to Ethics and Elections; Declaration of Rights
|City:||Tampa (Hillsborough County)|
Commissioner Arthenia Joyner is a native Floridian and public servant committed to the fight for equal justice. Commissioner Joyner served the people of Florida for more than a decade in the Legislature, both as a state representative and state senator. She currently is Of Counsel at the Vanguard Attorneys law firm in Tampa and is the longest practicing black woman lawyer in the history of Florida.
Born in Lakeland, Florida, Commissioner Joyner earned her B.S. from Florida A&M University in 1964 and her J.D. in 1968 from its College of Law. Her pioneering credentials were established early on as the first black female attorney in Hillsborough County and the first black attorney in Polk County. She has been in private practice for 48 years and was the first black Governor’s appointee to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. She was also the first black female on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and served as the first chair of the minority economic development committee. Commissioner Joyner was a founding member of the Tampa Bay Regional Economic Development Council now known as the Tampa Bay Partnership.
Always part of the long struggle for civil rights, Commissioner Joyner participated in Tampa demonstrations during the 1960’s and was arrested twice while attending FAMU for her efforts to desegregate movie theaters. As President of the National Bar Association (1984-1985), she was arrested in an anti-apartheid protest outside the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Delegation for the Population Conference, 1994 and the U.S. Delegation to the United Nation’s 4th World Conference on Women, 1995.
From 2001 – 2006, Commissioner Joyner served as a Representative in the Florida House and was selected as Whip and Policy Chair. Elected to the Florida Senate in 2006, she was selected to serve as a Whip and Minority Leader Pro Tempore in the Senate Democratic Caucus. She served as leader of the Caucus for the 2014-2016 term, only the second woman and the first black woman ever to hold the position.
Commissioner Joyner is a member of numerous boards, councils and organizations including Florida Hospital, George E. Edgecomb Bar Association, NAACP and the Hillsborough County Bar Association where she was the first black female lawyer to hold office and serve on the Board of Directors.
In 2016 the Tampa Bay Lightning honored Commissioner Joyner as the 44th Lightning Community Hero of the year. She was inducted to the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame and was also honored by the Junior League of Tampa with one of its 2016 LUMINARIES awards. Most recently, she received the Martin Luther King Foundation Drum Major for Justice Award, and at the Bethune-Cookman University Fourth Annual Legacy Awards Gala, she received the prestigious Mary McLeod Bethune Lifetime Achievement Award.