Harrisburg, January 10, 2011 – State Sen. Jim Brewster today was appointed Democratic chairman of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee.

“I hope to use my clout on this committee to focus on issues and challenges facing struggling cities and towns in the Mon Valley and throughout our state,” Brewster said. “As more residents and businesses depart from our former industrial centers, these towns are struggling to provide crucial local services such as police and fire protection.

“I am determined to steer more of the state’s focus to the plight of struggling urban and suburban communities, and on ways state government can partner in local economic revitalization efforts.”

The former McKeesport mayor said the committee has in the past legislative session addressed issues ranging from encouraging affordable housing to curbing urban blight.

Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) also appointed Brewster to serve on the Senate committees on Banking and Insurance; Community, Economic and Recreational Development; Game and Fisheries; Intergovernmental Operations; Democratic Policy; and Transportation.

Brewster said he is pleased with his committee assignments because there are numerous pressing local issues and problems that will likely be discussed in all of those committees. He said he will be receptive to constituents’ ideas and suggestions on any legislative program, initiative or issue. Constituents can call or visit the senator at his district offices in Monroeville (412) 380-2242, McKeesport (412) 664-5200 or New Kensington (724) 334-1143.

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