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Davis becomes 1st African-American to be named vice chair of Allegheny County Democratic Committee

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Austin Davis becomes vice chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Austin Davis got his first taste of government in high school, when he sat in during a meeting of the McKeesport City Council.

“I noticed there weren’t a lot of young people,” he said, “and there weren’t a lot of people that looked like me.”

A decade worth of public service and politicking later, Davis, 25, became the youngest and the first black vice chair at the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Davis, who still resides in McKeesport, is executive assistant to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

In his new political role, he’s looking forward to reaching out to new demographics for party organization and candidacy.

“It’s great that I’m the first, but it doesn’t mean anything unless there’s a second,” Davis said. “I think Democrats need to continue to broaden our base so we can continue to recruit and elect women, minorities and a broad tent of individuals that truly represent Allegheny County in our community.”

Davis, whose appointment was announced Wednesday, says he plans to focus on social media outreach to recruit and retain younger generations of Democrats. The vice chair seat is the second-highest role in the organization.

A University of Pittsburgh graduate, Davis began his career in the party as a committeeman at 18 at the appointment of state Sen. Jim Brewster. He has held numerous public service roles, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Adonai Center for Black Males, Small Seeds Development, and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School.

As the committee’s vice chair, David succeeds Patrick Sweeney, who resigned in anticipation of running for a Common Pleas Court seat in May 2015, the committee said.

Committee Chair Nancy Mills made the appointment, citing his “devotion to empowering Allegheny County communities, diverse background, and fresh, young voice.”

Melissa Daniels is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8511 or [email protected].

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