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Here is the speech Lt. Gov Austin Davis delivered at his swearing-in ceremony

You can find the full speech Lt. Gov. Austin Davis delivered at his swearing-in below.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Lt. Gov. Austin Davis was sworn in in the Pa. Senate chamber on Tuesday morning.

Davis, 33, is a western Pennsylvania native and three-term member of the state House. Davis grew up outside Pittsburgh in McKeesport and was first elected to state office in 2018, becoming the first Black candidate elected in District 35. He has since focused on addressing industrial pollution in his home district, as well as local infrastructure and housing.

Here is the speech Davis delivered at his swearing in on Tuesday:

Good morning, 

This is a special day for me personally, and for our great Commonwealth. 

This day would not have been possible without the unwavering love and support of Pennsylvania’s now Second Lady, Blayre Holmes Davis. Every day she pushes me to be the best version of myself day in and day out, whether as an elected official, or simply as a man. 

Growing up my parents instilled in me the values of hard work, compassion, and empathy. The very values that we hope are instilled in all of our leaders. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without my parents Kathy and Ankarie Davis. Thank you for all the life lessons you’ve taught me.

I would be remiss if I did not take this moment to acknowledge the historic nature of my swearing in as Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor. 

Today, I became the 35th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and the first African American to hold this office. 

While I am blessed with this awesome opportunity and responsibility, it was paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before me, people like Speaker K. Leroy Irvis, Chief Justice Robert Nix, and countless activists and concerned citizens whose names may not show up in print, but were just as important to our Commonwealth’s trajectory. They paved the way for this moment. 

This moment is a symbol of our progress, here in the Commonwealth we love, and it is one that I hope serves as a point of pride for millions of Pennsylvanians who have never before seen themselves represented in the halls of power. 

Today, the son of a union bus driver and a hairdresser, a boy who grew up in a small steel town often overlooked by those in power, a young man driven to his first city council meeting to demand action on gun violence after it reached his neighborhood, is being inaugurated to the second highest position in our Commonwealth. 

I am humbled by the chance to carry this history and to serve. 

More importantly, today we are sending a message to the next generation of leaders – young people across our state, and especially Black and brown young people – that Pennsylvania has and will always be a place where all are welcomed and where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. 

I say to all the young people watching right now, who are worried and unsure about their future – that the American Dream is alive and well in Pennsylvania. 

That no matter how you grew up, no matter where you come from, or what you look like – this Commonwealth will always be a place where you can create your own destiny. 

But my experiences and the history we are making today are not ends of themselves. 

But rather, the value resides in the promise that every single Pennsylvanian who feels unseen, unheard or forgotten, will have a voice for their concerns and aspirations, a say in Pennsylvania's 4 future and that in a Shapiro-Davis administration, they have leaders that are fighting for them. 

Over the past year, I have traveled across this Commonwealth – and I have had the opportunity to meet Pennsylvanians from all walks of life. 

Whether it be at a fair in Huntingdon, a church in Erie, a VFW in Williamsport, or a barber shop in Philadelphia, I can tell you that the things that unite us are so much greater than the things that divide us. 

Pennsylvanians across class, color, and creed want good schools for their children, the opportunity to join the middle class and live the American dream, they want to keep their families and communities safe, and they want real freedom. 

At a time when our politics has become mean, divisive, and simply out of touch with the needs of  those it is meant to serve, I have come away with a singular message from the conversations I have had – Pennsylvanians want leaders who will put delivering real results for them and their families above all else. 

Because of this, I say to my colleagues in the Senate and the House that we must no longer measure our success through the counting of insignificant political points, or transient headlines. Our success must be measured by the results we deliver for Pennsylvanians and their families. The only victories that matter are those achieved on behalf of the people we serve.

In the weeks and months leading up to this moment, I’ve thought a lot about my grandparents. Guy and Sadie Simmons and Vernon and Josephine Davis. One grandfather was a steel worker and the other was a railroad foreman for B&O railroad. All of them came to Pennsylvania from the South to make a better life for our family. 

When they made their journey, they sought refuge from the suffocation of Jim Crow and the sting of segregation. I don't think in my grandparents’ wildest dreams they would have ever imagined that their grandson would one day be sworn into the second highest office of this Commonwealth. 

But while they may not have been able to envision this particular future, they fought to make sure that their children and their grandchildren had the opportunity to chart their own paths. That they had the right to vote and that when they walked into a room – their voices would not only be heard, but respected. 

And their sacrifice and hard work was not in vain, it is in fact embodied in this moment. It is their 7 sacrifice, and the sacrifice of countless others, that allow me to stand here today, as the first African American to ever hold this office. 

This moment is historic. 

But while what is happening today may be unique, the story of generation upon generation, working to build a brighter future for those who will succeed them, is not. 

That story is one you can find all across this Commonwealth - hard-working families across Pennsylvania fighting to give themselves and their children a brighter future. 

Their struggle, their hopes and aspirations, are what fuels me, inspires me, and drives me to do this work. 

I often say the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power.

That’s why, today, I have a message for every parent, working the night shift to give their child a fair shot, every small town kid looking for a path to make a better life for themselves, or anyone who feels unseen or forgotten, across our Commonwealth. I say to you, that you are not alone, that I hear you and understand your concerns, because I’ve lived them, and that as your next Lt. Governor – I will be your champion. 

I will work tirelessly to ensure that every child and family in this Commonwealth has ladders of opportunities to succeed – so that every generation that comes after can be better off than the one that came before them. I could not be more honored to take on this fight with anyone else, but our next Governor, Josh Shapiro. 

Josh has become more than just my running mate – but a friend and partner. I’ve seen the care in his eyes when talking to Pennsylvanians throughout this state, and I’ve bore witness to his determination and grit to take on the biggest fights. 

Josh is a fighter, someone who has never backed down in the face of adversity – and I’m proud to stand alongside him to make progress on the things that actually matter. 

Josh and I embarked on this journey, over a year ago, to make Pennsylvania a fairer, more prosperous and more just place. Today is another big step in that journey. Here is one more promise from myself and Josh to all of you here today, watching at home and to Pennsylvanians in every corner of this commonwealth: we won’t let you down. 

Let's Work.

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