|Name Phil Andrews||Role Politician|
Phil Andrews is the Director of Crime Prevention Initiatives for the State's Attorney's Office of Montgomery County, Maryland. In 2015 he was appointed by Circuit Court Administrative Judge John Debelius to chair the Montgomery County Mental Health Court Planning and Implementation Task Force. In January, 2016, the Task Force released a report unanimously recommending the establishment of Mental Health Courts in the Montgomery County Circuit Court and the Maryland District Court for Montgomery County by the Court's respective administrative judges to divert people who commit low-level crimes because of a mental illness into treatment and services and away from prosecution and jail. In December, 2016, the Montgomery County Circuit Court's Mental Health Court began operating, and the District Court's Mental Health Court began in January, 2017. Andrews also helped lead efforts that added a tutoring component to State's Attorney John McCarthy's Truancy Prevention Program through the addition of an AmeriCorps member trained by Volunteer Maryland to build volunteer capacity. In addition, he has helped expand the Office's educational programs to students and parents on internet safety and cyberbullying to prevent crime and victimization.
Prior to serving in his current position, he was elected to represent the residents of District 3 on the Montgomery County Council in November, 1998, defeating a 16-year incumbent in the Democratic Primary. He was re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In 2008-09, during the height of the Great Recession, Andrews was elected by his colleagues as Council President, where he led efforts that protected emergency and essential services and that balanced a very difficult budget without raising taxes or laying off employees. Andrews chaired the Council's Public Safety Committee for fourteen years, chaired the County's Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and chaired the region's Emergency Preparedness Council of the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments (COG). In the latter position, he also chaired the regional task force which developed recommendations, since implemented, that have improved the region's emergency preparedness and response.
As a council member, Andrews was the chief sponsor of a number of landmark County laws, including the Public Financing of Elections Law (2014), the Smoke-free Restaurants Law (2003), the Living Wage Law (2002), laws expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities (2010 and 2012), and the law reforming a broken and abused police disability retirement system (2009), saving taxpayers millions of dollars annually. He also was chief sponsor of the law that eliminated the use of "ghost COLAs" in calculating pensions, saving taxpayers $280 million over 40 years. Andrews has been one of the state's leading advocates for reforming congressional redistricting to end gerrymandering, and to advance public financing of campaigns. During his 16 years on the County Council, Andrews never missed a Council session, and never accepted campaign funds from political action committees (PACs) and county developers.
Andrews received many awards for his work on the County Council. Among the awards are the following: He was honored by The Arc Maryland and by The Arc Montgomery as "Advocate of the Year" for his work expanding County employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and by the American Lung Association of Maryland with its "Distinguished Public Service Award" for his leadership in bringing smoke-free restaurants (the regions first) to Montgomery County. He also was recognized by the Montgomery County chapter of the Sierra Club with its Green Bugle Award, by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County with its Lavinia Award, and by The Sentinel Newspapers as its "Excellence in Government Honoree of the Year." In recognition of his work that strengthened the volunteer fire and rescue service and the volunteer fire departments, he was elected to the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Hall of Fame, and received the "Hiram Musgrove Award" from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, its highest award. Time Magazine described Andrews as "the Living Wage Bill's champion on the County Council" and The Washington Post lauded him for his effectiveness and civility, and as "the conscience" of the Council. When he ran for County Executive in 2014, he was endorsed by The Gazette, Montgomery County's largest newspaper, primarily for his record and focus on fiscal responsibility.
Before his election to the County Council, Andrews served as the executive director of Common Cause of Maryland from 1988-1994, where he led the statewide campaign that resulted in General Assembly passage of the first limits on political action committee (PAC) contributions in Maryland state and county elections. After stepping down from that post, he served as the first Managing Director of Montgomery County's AmeriCorps program, Community Assisting Police, which was awarded the Governor's Award for Victim Assistance.
Andrews was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Montgomery County, MD. He graduated from Einstein High School in Kensington, and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Bucknell University and a master's degree in governmental administration from the University of Pennsylvania (Fels Institute of Government).