Product of the Community
Maryland Delegate, Alonzo Washington is a Democratic politician who represents District 22, in Prince Georges County, Maryland. He was initially appointed to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2012, and was re-elected to his current coveted position. Washington’s unique election runs much deeper than him being the youngest African-American male in the Maryland General Assembly, and sporting well-kept dreadlocks. He is a true leader of the people in his community, and strives to always bridge the gap of political and social awareness so that the next generation of leaders can presently prepare for their futures.
Young Alonzo was raised by a single mother and is the oldest of six children. He grew up in Northeast Washington D.C. in a low-income, urban neighborhood. His large family experienced much financial strife and were periodically evicted from their apartments and forced to live in homeless shelters. He discusses how he doesn’t recollect dreaming too much about what kind of job he wanted when he got older because times were much too difficult—his main focus was survival. One thing he did know was that he would always work his hardest to get and remain out of poverty. During his college years at the University of Maryland, Alonzo transitioned his leadership skills as the eldest of his family into becoming the Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. His introduction and passion for politics and legislative policy did not occur until he landed his first job after college as a Community Liaison for Prince George’s County Councilman, Will Campos. In this position, Mr. Washington was taught the meaning of how to be a public servant and how to create policies based on real social issues. The real issues that hit home for him were specifically geared towards community economic development that sought to provide affordable housing to all citizens, regardless of their financial status. This frame of mind inspired him to run for public office so he could create policies for families in low-income areas and provide them with greater social and economic opportunities.
As a Delegate, Alonzo currently manages a staff of about four people, consisting of community outreach coordinators and interns. He is proud of his tight-knit team and remains very hands on in all of their initiatives. The oldest person on his staff is twenty-three years old, and he prefers this young demographic because he loves maintaining the passion of politics amongst the youth to ensure they are consistently aware of their worth and rights in society. Alonzo views his staff and himself as hard workers and strategic thinkers that listen and are proactive to the issues in their district. He holds their reputation at the highest regard and doesn’t accept anything less than 100% effort. Apart from being a project manager for his team, Alonzo conducts public housing projects through most of his day—a normal work day as a Delegate consist of actively engaging in various community initiatives and events such as, mentoring young professionals and inspiring leaders, attending PTA and local school staff meetings, and more.
Alonzo’s hope for the youth is one of his many leading priorities. He advises aspiring leaders to seek ways to get involved with the laws and policies that affect their communities—to then base their policies and strategies on these core matters to successfully lead their own communities.