After serving as a senior policy adviser for President Barak Obama as the lead of AmeriCorp, D. Paul Monteiro could have easily worked in a law firm or a job in corporate America. Instead, his passion lead him back to Beltsville, Md. and his alma mater — High Point High School — where he recently announced his candidacy for Prince George’s County Executive.

Prince George’s County Native Paul Monteiro is running to become the next County Executive. (Courtesy Photo)

“The foundation I was given in Prince George’s County allowed me to go from my family and I being on welfare to working at the White House and serving at the highest levels of President Obama’s Administration,” Monteiro told the AFRO. “For me, this race is not about making a name for myself or setting myself up for a higher office. For me, this race is about the people of this County and families like mine who needed a little help to give their kids more opportunity.”

As County Executive, Monteiro said he would prepare children for jobs in the global economy and   compete with neighboring jurisdiction such as Montgomery County and Fairfax County for new businesses.

“I want to ensure that Prince George’s County is a place of opportunity for all regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or background,” he said.

Monteiro grew up in Hyattsville, Md. and his parents were among the working poor.  Monteiro said he and his four siblings “braved the insecurity of eviction and relocation to live with relatives,” but his family persevered, worked hard, and eventually moved into better job situations.

“As the only candidate to have graduated from our public schools and served President Obama for a decade, I’ve been uniquely prepared to serve a place that’s given me everything,” said Monteiro  who enters race with two political veterans, Maryland State Sen. C. Anthony Muse and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. The Democratic primary is slated for June 26, 2018.

Monteiro said he was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He said one of his mentors was  Mr. Norm Schwartz, his history teacher at High Point High School, who  inspired him to believe that the sky was the limit.

Monteiro attended the University of Maryland College Park where he worked part-time and used a combination of scholarships, loans, and savings to graduate with  a B.A. in History.

After graduating from UMD, Monteiro earned a law degree from Howard University. He served as a legal intern in the White House Counsel’s office in 2005 where he had a front row seat to the “bungled federal and state response,” to Hurricane Katrina under President George W. Bush.

In his last year of law school, Monteiro interned on Capitol Hill for Sen. Barack Obama and after graduation, he relocated to Chicago to work on the Obama for America campaign as Deputy Director of Religious Affairs.

When Obama won and entered the White House in 2008, Monteiro got a chance to work in the White House.

From 2009 to 2013, Monteiro was an advisor to the White House Office of Public Engagement and led outreach programs to faith-based organizations and antipoverty groups. He played an active role in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Affordable Care Act, and several efforts of the “Ladders of Opportunity” agenda to protect the middle class and create opportunities for those striving for a better life.

He also helped to launch the President’s Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families initiative that later became “My Brother’s Keeper” and served as coordinator for the White House Mentorship Program for young men attending local area high schools.

“Although I am not a career politician, I have gained critical insights into best practices that strengthen neighborhoods, promote economic growth and development, and provide opportunities for individuals, families, and communities,” Monteiro said. “While working for the Obama Administration, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with county executives, mayors, state legislators across Maryland and the rest of the country.”