Calvin Ball currently serves as Chair of the Howard County Council, the youngest person elected to the position. He represents District Two including the Villages of Long Reach and Oakland Mills in Columbia and portions of Elkridge, Ellicott City and Jessup. On the council since 2006, Calvin has used his position to advance education, protect the environment, improve public safety, and advocate for good government.
Calvin’s learned his values of compassion and inclusion from his parents. His father, Calvin Ball, Jr., was an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War and long-time employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC. As a boy, Calvin often traveled with his father to support Native Americans on their reservations. These experiences had a major influence in shaping Calvin's values. He witnessed firsthand the challenges Native Americans faced as a community, and what good government policy could do to give people in a tough place a path forward. Calvin’s mother, Carolyn, a retiree from the Social Security Administration, attended Catonsville Community College, giving Calvin a deep appreciation for how Community Colleges could be a resource for many who thought college was out of reach. As a result, Calvin sought out a Doctorate in education with a focus on community colleges, hoping to help others realize their full potential.
In 1998, Calvin married the love of his life, Shani, and they moved to Columbia in 1999. He and Shani are the proud parents of two children, Alexis and Alyssa, who are both students in Howard County Public Schools. Since visiting the lakefront Fourth of July fireworks as a boy, Calvin was drawn to Columbia’s sense of inclusion and diversity. He and Shani knew Howard County was the best place to raise a family. It’s this desire to provide the same level of opportunity for others that motivated Calvin’s public service, from his activism on the Oakland Mills Village Board to his service on the County Council.
Leader and a Scholar
Calvin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion from Towson State University, Master of Arts in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore, where he was nominated for the Spirit of Excellence Award, and Doctor of Education from Morgan State University.
Outside of the Council, Calvin is the Director of Complete College Baltimore, an innovative program on student completion at Baltimore City Community College. He’s also served as a supervisor in the State’s Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, a Howard County Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician, a former educator at Morgan, Towson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County and University of Phoenix; and served as the first a community organizer for Oakland Mills facilitating neighborhood revitalization. He continues to be a champion for our environment and previously served as Chair of the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities as well as former member on the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, chairing the Education Workgroup.
To recognize his contributions and advocacy within the Howard County community and beyond, Calvin has been honored with numerous awards including: the Michaeline R. Fedder Award for Public Health Legislator of 2015, the Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award, Daily Record’s 2014 Very Important Professionals Successful by 40 Award, William Donald Schaeffer Helping People Award, Louis Goldstein Award for Democratic Spirit, the Kittleman Award for Legislative Leadership, and the Community Champion of the Year Award.