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martinez-ashanti-mf-6250ASHANTI MARTINEZ

Constituent Service Specialist
Prince George’s County Council

It should be no surprise that many of Ashanti Martinez’s honors and awards are for young people. After all, the person cited as “Top 30 under 30” by WKYS radio station and a “Young Futurist” by The Root, a digital-based site based in Washington, is only 24 and still working on his bachelor’s of arts in political science at Howard University.

But Martinez, born in Washington and raised in Prince George’s County, has packed a lot into his 24 years.

He interned for the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and for Rep. Steny Hoyer, both Democrats.

He was political director for Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk’s unsuccessful 2016 campaign for Congress, an aide to the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus and campaign manager for Vivian Flowers’ successful bid for a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

In between jobs, Martinez ran unsuccessfully in the 2018 Democratic primary for House of Delegates in Prince George’s 22nd District.

Today, he works as a constituent service specialist for Prince George’s County Council member Tom Dernoga.

It was in his current job that Martinez achieved what he considered his most significant professional accomplishment.

During a heat wave in July 2019, Dernoga’s office was told of a senior who’d been evicted from her senior living facility. Ashanti checked into the situation and found out the woman was living in her car after losing her job with the school system.

He was able to arrange for her and her belongings to be moved into a new apartment and to cover her first two months of rent.

“It was because of community partnerships that this was made possible,” Ashanti said. “That will always feel like the most significant accomplishment because I was able to see the relationships I built working towards a solution for our senior in need.”

He added: “I’ve shown that even at a young age, you can make a difference. It’s always been my goal to create space for young people My achievements are just proof that with dedication, a supportive team and hard work, you can make anything happen.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2020 VIP List awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.