Born and raised in the great state of Florida.
I was born in 1980 at Walker Memorial hospital in Highlands County, Florida and raised in Hardee County in a small agricultural town called Wauchula. I grew up in a three-bedroom mobile home with six younger siblings. My parents were very hard-working, genuine people. The example they set made a huge impact on me. My mother worked with disabled individuals for over 25 years, teaching life skills and the arts. My mother’s work opened my eyes to the ableism and discrimination disabled individuals in our society face. She taught me how to draw, paint, and make ceramics. I also inherited her strong gift of compassion for others.
Exploring my creative gifts opened my eyes to seeing the world as a beautiful, ever-changing place, evolving into new iterations of itself in times of need.
My father worked as an auto mechanic and professional auto body painter. I grew up spending summers with him working on cars. My Dad worked hard and always gave 150%. A man for whom quitting was simply never an option, he taught me to be a dedicated and determined man, and that anything was possible if I kept the course and trusted the process.
When I turned 11 years of age, my dad made me a deal that changed my life and gave me a deeper appreciation for the beauty of music.
He wanted me to learn to play the piano and told me, “If you learn how to play two songs on the piano before Christmas, I will get you a go-cart”. My 11 year old self took that challenge, because who wouldn’t want to get a go-cart?
He paid for my first lessons to get me started, and I really enjoyed learning how to play. Shortly after I started piano lessons, my father founded a church. These seemingly unrelated events, led me to quickly learning to play and I’ve been playing the piano in churches ever since. I felt that playing in a place of worship my father built connected me to my community in a way that can’t be described.
Music has a way of transcending generations, races, and religions, and playing music has taught me that we as people have a lot more in common than we think.
Growing up in an agricultural community, I spent a lot of time taking care of farm animals and picking oranges with migrant farmers. I learned that agricultural work is not for the weak, mentally or physically, and I have the utmost respect for ranchers and farmers.
This career path led me to meet my strong, smart, and driven wife,
Dr. Samantha Ellison.
We met at South Florida State College while I was studying cosmetology and I knew from day one that she was the special kind of person I needed to have in my life.
She had all the mysterious components that sucked me in right away. She was very reserved, smart, driven, and determined. She had an inner glow about her that drew me in and I’ve never looked back. For over 20 years I have had the honor to learn what that glow was all about. I have been fortunate to have had a front-row seat to witness her immense compassion for other people, her desire to do good, and her unwavering love and support for me no matter what. She has been on this journey with me every step of the way.
She is a fighter, she is driven, and she is tenacious. I am forever in debt to her for her unwavering support, even when it wasn’t the most convenient.
On Christmas day in 2010, she gave birth to our beautiful daughter Allanah.
She is a blessing from God. She makes me smile on the inside and the outside every single time I look at her.
Having a daughter, I’m constantly reminded of the fact that women, especially women of color, still contend with enormous inequity in America. and I vow to continually take up the fight for women’s rights so my daughter, and every woman and girl in America, can have women’s rights so my daughter can have the same access to equity, opportunity, prosperity, and peace as their male counterparts.
Every ounce of energy that I have is channeled into making sure that my daughter understands the complexities of our nation and how to overcome them. I want her to understand that just because something looks challenging doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the tools and skills necessary to be the change she wants to see in the world.
She is a born leader and I’m excited about what she chooses to do with her life. Maybe there will be two politicians in the family in the future!
I have been working in the cosmetology field for over 20 years, and I have to say it has taught me more than just how to do someone’s hair extremely well.
I have learned how to listen to people, how to connect, be open-minded, be resourceful, and solve problems.
My work has honestly taught me what we need in our elected officials and what is sorely lacking.
It has taught me that as public servants, we have an obligation to utilize our skills and resources to help people in need in ways that benefit them – and it all starts with listening, being open-minded, being resourceful, and solving complex problems.
Elected officials need to work for people, not against them. Politicians need to understand the needs of their communities and find innovative ways to solve complex problems for their communities.
One of the most important lessons that I have learned in life is that we each have a unique gift and everyone’s gift is equally important. My gift is helping others and that’s when I am at my best. As I grew in my sense of purpose, I realized that I could maximize my gift by effecting positive outcomes through policy and in politics. So, I went back to school to study the inner workings of government and in 2007, I graduated from Florida Southern College with my degree in Political Science.
In 2014, I founded the Center for Economic & Policy Development (The Center) to facilitate economic growth throughout Central Florida and rural parts of the country.
My goal is to inspire the development of future leaders from around the country through our Emerging Leaders Initiative. This initiative facilitates my vision of pairing young bright minds with current leaders in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, law, policy, and politics.
In 2018, I incorporated the Center for Economic & Policy Development into The Ellison Foundation which is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit NGO dedicated to positively changing and strengthening the lives of families and the communities in which they live.
Also in 2018, I became the Democratic Nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Florida’s 17th Congressional District claiming a 52 percent victory over numerous contenders during the special primary election.
That moment sparked a movement within me that I’ll never forget.
In the November 6th general election, I made an extremely impressive showing against an experienced and well-known Florida Senator who served three terms in the Florida Senate. The turnout for me solidified my belief that Florida voters wanted better leadership and were going to the polls to create the change they desired.
I won nearly 40% of the final vote count, a remarkable showing, considering that my name was not even on the ballot due to the fact that I entered the race after ballots went to print.
It was no small task to overcome. I had only 28 days to build and run a professional campaign for the US. House of Representatives. In the largest congressional district in Florida, covering nine counties which included Lee, Sarasota, Polk, Highlands, Desoto, Okeechobee, Glades and Hardee. I unfortunately did not secure the win, but it lit a fire in me that continues to drive me.
I will always look back at that race as my first true understanding of what my purpose in life was destined to be.
Florida deserves better than the Senate leadership we have now.
Right now, across America, veterans are dying by suicide at an alarming rate. Citizens are on the brink of losing their disability benefits, social security, welfare, jobs, and overall faith in our Government.
When I think about the future that my daughter will inherit, I can’t help but think about what we can do to secure the future for all of our children. The tomorrow we prepare for them must be better than our yesterday.
My vision for our future is centered upon improving the quality of life for all citizens.
This means protecting the environment, securing social security, pushing for universal healthcare coverage, increasing disability benefits, continuing the fight for equal rights of women, a focus on veterans care, making impactful improvements to infrastructure and redefining our educational system.
We need good-paying jobs, sustainable agricultural development, and green solutions for a stronger, cleaner, and safer environment for everyone to enjoy.
In this campaign to become Florida’s newest voice in Washington, I want you to know that I am the strongest candidate on climate change, the only candidate with a comprehensive platform centered on improving the quality of life for all American citizens, and the only candidate who has demonstrated a strong desire to secure the future for Americans living with disabilities.
I have been working hard my whole life and I don’t plan to stop any time soon.
Growing up in Florida, I have developed a very strong sense of what’s working and what’s not. Our leadership in Congress has not worked for Floridians in a very long time. If you believe that we deserve better from our elected officials, I humbly ask you to join our movement, roll up your sleeves, and help me defeat Marco Rubio and bring meaningful and responsive representation for Floridians to the United States Senate.
In November 2022 vote for Allen Ellison like your future depends on it and let's chart a new path forward for a more united Florida.
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