When Ashanti Martinez was sworn in as a Maryland State Delegate, it made him the first Afro-Latino to represent his district and the first openly LGBTQIA+ person to represent Prince George’s County in the Maryland House of Delegates. The Washington Informer aptly named him a “barrier-breaker leader” with his historic win. The Howard University grad is a longtime resident of the DMV and while in school, he was active in student organizations, including the Student Government Association. Martinez has said that he has always had a passion for helping others and that’s what compelled him to get into politics. —K.M.