Steven "Andy" Ellis
Since 2005 Andy has been working to make Baltimore a better place to live and work. He has helped to build successful programs to train empowered community advocates, mentor powerful youth activists, speak truth to power and advanced a vision of what is possible, not just business as usual.
Andy was born and grew up in the Washington, DC area. He graduated from a Frederick high school, where he was a captain of the debate team. Attending St. Mary’s College of Maryland and then Towson University, he studied political science and continued debating. Throughout high school and college, he worked many minimum wage jobs to help pay for his education and living expenses. He also freely volunteered his time to help other students gain valuable debating skills.
Learning to ServE
From 1998 to 2005, he coached college debate at schools around the country. While a coach at California State University-Long Beach, the Long Beach California Unified School District presented him their Partner in Service Award for helping to launch the debate team at Long Beach Jordan High School and for building the foundation for the Los Angeles Urban Debate League.
Throughout this time, Andy volunteered with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, supporting their annual memorial service and honoring firefighters who had died in the line of duty. This included work on the 2002 National Memorial Service in Washington, DC, that honored the FDNY firefighters killed on September 11, 2001, along with firefighters from across the country who died in 2001. He helped to provide support programs for the families and coworkers of all these fire heroes.
Working for Baltimore
In 2005, Andy returned to Baltimore to launch the Baltimore Urban Debate League Middle School program, helping to build a teacher and student centered after-school program. This program enabled nearly 1,000 young people to learn how to be advocates for themselves and their communities. In 2008, he returned to Towson University, where he coached two former high school students from the Baltimore Urban Debate League. Working against all odds, this team won the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) national championship tournament. This championship debate team was the first comprised entirely of African American students. While this was the first championship won by former Baltimore Urban Debate League students, it was just the start of an era in which students from Baltimore would go on to win multiple national championships in debate. Andy's championship debaters credit him with believing in them, providing them the resources they needed, and fighting for their voices to be heard. This is what Andy can do for you, too!
Andy also worked as one of the adult leaders of Youth Organizing Urban Revitalization Systems (YOURS). YOURS taught young people how to start their own socially responsible businesses by connecting them to the community, capital and capacity they needed to be successful. Working with YOURS taught Andy the importance of fully supporting young people's entrepreneurial aspirations and dreams. This is a key element to his youth policy and will be a focus of his time in Annapolis.
Currently, Andy serves as a Board member for DewMore Baltimore, a grassroots organization dedicated to using art and poetry as a means for young people to overcome apathy in order to become active members of their community. DewMore, like debate, is an organization that has won multiple national and international championships and fuels Andy's belief that Baltimore is a city of champions, not just a city of challenges.
Building the Green Party
In 2015, Andy took his passion for reform and civic engagement into politics, becoming the Co-Chair of the Baltimore City Green Party (BGP) and a member of the Maryland Green Party (MGP) Coordinating Committee. Under his leadership, the BGP grew its base across our city, running a Mayoral campaign that introduced Baltimoreans to emerging leader, Joshua Harris. Andy was also a key leader in pushing the MGP to extend across the state, expanding from three county chapters in 2015 to twelve county chapters, and growing, today.
in November of 2018, Maryland will have 27 Green Party candidates on the ballot across the state. This is more than any other state and represents 10% of the total number of Green Party candidates on the ballot across the country. Many, if not most, of these candidates are challenging the established political party in places where the other established party has given up.
Andy believes that choices make democracy work better. Where the traditional parties have failed to provide choices to voters, Andy has made sure the Green Party is there organizing and building the people left out and left behind.
Throughout his career, Andy has worked across the state to make sure that everybody can be heard, that people can speak their truth and that elected officials do the right thing.
Andy will fight to make sure your voice is heard in Annapolis!