WHERE I COME FROM
Born and raised in the Homewood area of Pittsburgh, Martell Covington serves as a legislative aide to Democratic Leader, Pennsylvania State Senator Jay Costa. Martell’s family founded Community Empowerment Association (CEA), a culturally targeted social service organization with over twenty-five years of service to the east side of Pittsburgh. Martell grew up involved in CEA’s activities, leading him to develop, and later leverage, long standing grassroots relationships and community organizing skills to advocate for the people in Homewood and surrounding communities.
Martell worked 8 years for Community Empowerment Association in multiple positions. He managed special events while serving as Program Coordinator of the African American Leadership Institute. Later becoming Assistant Director of Youth & Family Services, he supervised out-of-school time & Saturday University programming as well as Kamp Kuumba summer camp. Martell coordinated Community Empowerment’s Pittsburgh Black Family Reunion & Cultural Arts Weekend for 12 years.
Martell has completed training & certifications in educational development, social justice and youth organizing. Namely, Training for Trainers with Dr. Joy DeGruy and SOUL, School of Unity & Liberation- Training for Trainers. In 2015, he attended & presented at the “Free Minds Free People” national conference in Oakland, California.
Martell is a proud graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Howard University. In 2018, he was a New Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40 honoree and member of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40 class. Martell is also a member of New Leaders Council- Pittsburgh Chapter 2019 class and a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s Leadership Development Initiative XXVII (2019-2020).
WHERE I AM
Through his work in the office of Senator Costa, Martell worked as part of the Oakland Business Improvement District Strategic Plan Leadership Team, Oakland Plan Equity Technical Advisory Group, Oakland Plan Steering Committee, Penn Hills Education Foundation, Penn Hills Library Foundation and the Black Equity Coalition’s Policy Working Group.
Martell is the founder and president of the newly formed Black Viking Alumni Society of Central Catholic, a football and softball coach with Homewood Community Sports for over 5 years & director of the “Living While Black (LWB)” YouTube series. He is a United States-based board member of Open Field International, a youth soccer leadership development organization working in Cameroon, West Africa and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Martell is currently Board Chair for Community Empowerment Association and most recently joined the Kelly Strayhorn Theater Board of Directors.
In July of 2021, Martell was elected as Vice President for the Young Democrats of Allegheny County where he currently still serves.
WHERE I AM GOING
Martell hopes to build on his love for community education, civic engagement, and developing authentic relationships through sports and other out-of-school programming. While bringing community engagement to the forefront of his community and expanding his relationships from his home base to those in the district that he may not yet know. He hopes to amplify the forgotten issues of the communities in his district.
It is through listening, learning, and doing that Martell will act as a megaphone and a confidant to community members to learn the needs of the district, and to work for and with his community to meet those needs and transition into a space of what the 24th District wants for its future, collectively.
Martell plans to follow in the footsteps of grassroots leaders and visionaries of his time and the generations before him. He plans to continue the vision of those we lost in the streets. Martell is intent on listening deeply to the assets and concerns of community members in order to design concrete next steps and knowledge of how to move forward.
He needs you for this. He needs everyone for this.
Courage | Creativity | Conviction
To engage, educate & mobilize the constituency of the 24th district while running (a campaign) with courage, creativity, and conviction.
Courage to speak about real issues alongside the community.
Creativity to connect generations that are often disconnected.
Conviction to take what is given and learned through listening and enact it into local and state government.