PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Pennsylvania has its first black Lt. Governor who is inspiring and empowering others every day.
“I’m probably the most unlikely person to end up here, I come from very humble beginnings, I’m the proud son of a union bus driver and hairdresser. I’m a first-generation college graduate,” said Lt. Governor Austin Davis.
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Davis grew up in McKeesport, a small steel city in southwestern Pennsylvania. His interest in public service began when he was a teenager, following a very tragic experience in his community.
“My journey in public service started when I was 16 years old, somebody was shot, there was an act of gun violence on my block, I decided to get involved in my community to do something about it,” explained Davis.
Davis started the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council in high school before he headed off to the University of Pittsburgh.
“I got a job serving as a senior advisor in Allegheny County government, which led to me running for the State House of Representatives in 2018. I served for nearly five years in the state house,” said Davis.
This led to Davis’s run for Lt. Governor, and a nod from current Governor Josh Shapiro.
“Austin will redefine the role of Lt. Governor, mark my words,” said Shapiro during a speech.
An election night win led to history-making moments at the State Capitol.
“It’s extremely humbling and it’s not lost on me that while I’m Pennsylvania’s first black Lieutenant Governor and I have this awesome opportunity and responsibility, it was paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears of the people that came before me,” explained Davis.”
“Giants like Speaker K. Leroy Irvis, who was the first African American speaker in the PA State House or any state house in the country. People like Robert Nix, the first black Chief Justice on the PA Supreme Court. I stand on their shoulders, it’s my responsibility, that while I may be the first, I’m not the last,” said Davis.
Davis is also the youngest Lt. Governor in the country, at 33-year-old. He has been married to the Pennsylvania second lady for five years.
Davis mentioned how his wife helps him to be the best he can be. “Blayre Holmes Davis, she’s a terrific life partner for me. She is a person that makes me strive to be a better person each and every day.”
Every day, Davis pledges to improve the lives of those in the Commonwealth. He is focused on helping resolve gun violence, to be a leader for childhood education, and to be a voice for marginalized communities.
“Gun violence is an issue that has brought me to public service, it’s an issue that unfortunately still plagues many of our communities here in Pennsylvania,” stated Davis.
Education, regardless of location, is very important to Davis. “I’m going to be a leader who works to make sure that every child has access to a quality education regardless of their zip code.”
“I want to be a voice for marginalized communities and marginalized communities. I’m from a town that’s often been forgotten or overlooked. Communities like Harrisburg There are a lot of places like McKeesport, across Pennsylvania, places like Harrisburg and communities across Pennsylvania who need government leaders to help deliver services for them,” said Davis.
Davis reminded all Pennsylvania youth to dream and reach for the stars. “I would say to them, dare to dream…And reach for the stars. I didn’t get into public service because I thought I was going to be an elected official, or I thought I was going to be a Lieutenant Governor. I got into it because I wanted to make a difference in my community, and I wanted to serve. It’s taken me to the highest heights, and I’m honored to be on this journey.”