Harrisburg councilwoman Eugenia Smith dies

    Harrisburg councilwoman Eugenia Smith has died.

    A statement from the city says Smith died Friday afternoon at Harrisburg Hospital, after getting ill at home.

     

    This story was first published by partner station WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    Harrisburg councilwoman Eugenia Smith has died.

    A statement from the city says Smith died Friday afternoon at Harrisburg Hospital, after getting ill at home.

    Smith lived in Harrisburg her entire life, serving on boards dedicated to improving poverty rates, homeless shelter conditions, and public safety in Harrisburg.

    In a statement, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said: “This is deeply shocking. I share the pain and loss that people throughout our city assuredly feel as we try to absorb this sudden news. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.”

    Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski tweeted: “The people of our city have lost a fighter in their corner.” And former City Councilwoman and current state Representative Patty Kim wrote on her Facebook page: “My heart is sadden over the sudden death of Councilwoman Eugenia Smith. This City has lost a true advocate for our most vulnerable children. You will be sorely missed Gina.”

    Smith served as Chair of the Public Safety Committee on the Council. Just recently, Smith had intervened to try to get answers about Harrisburg’s problem with blight, and pressed to put policies into writing.

    “When we are reactive, it harbors resentment,” she said.

    In a 2007 video, Smith said she was running for City Council to “build a bridge for our diverse community”.

    “Working as a team player, and working with the community and bringing them in as team players, we all can accomplish much more than what we have accomplished in the last year.”

    She ended that brief video with a simple statement: “I am indeed a leader.”

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