Meet Bill Ferguson
A lifelong Maryland resident, Bill made Baltimore City his home when he joined Teach for America and taught U.S. History and Government to ninth and tenth graders. The inequities of the public education system in Baltimore City led Bill to engage more deeply within the community and run for the Maryland Senate in 2010.
Bill is serving his third term as the State Senator for Maryland’s 46th Legislative District, which includes neighborhoods in South Baltimore, Downtown near and around the Inner Harbor, and Southeast Baltimore. In January of 2020, Bill was unanimously elected to serve as President of the Maryland Senate, making him the second youngest Senate President in state history.
Described as a “high-energy and collaborative presiding officer” by Maryland Matters, and an empowering and engaging leader by his colleagues in the State Senate, Bill has successfully led passage of legislation that supports educational equity, thriving neighborhoods, working families, and economic success for all Marylanders.
Bill is married to follow Teach for America alum, Lea Ferguson. They live in Patterson Park with their son, Caleb, and daughter, Cora.
Called to Service
Bill grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland in a household that came alive with spirited political discussions and disagreements. After college, where Bill studied economics, he planned on a career in finance. Instead, his trajectory changed forever when he attended an information session about Teach for America and America’s achievement gap relative to a child’s zip code. Instead of going to work on Wall Street, Bill moved to Baltimore City where he taught government and history to high school students at Southwestern High School (now Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy).
That experience highlighted the disparities in opportunity that many people take for granted in our public education system.
While many schools around the state have updated facilities and access to basic materials, Bill’s classroom lacked a doorknob. Despite repeated requests, a doorknob never appeared and he was forced to break in and out of his classroom with a pair of scissors any time a student needed to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. Bill’s time in the classroom motivated him to get involved in local government as a community liaison for the Mayor’s office and then special assistant to the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.
Moved to Action
Immediately aware that change was best made from the inside, Bill decided to run for the Maryland Senate in 2009 to represent the 46th Legislative District. Ultimately, thanks to the help of countless community members and volunteers, Bill successfully beat a 27-year incumbent in the 2010 Primary Election and went on to become Maryland’s youngest ever State Senator, joining the Maryland General Assembly in January of 2011.
Over the next nine years, Bill dedicated himself to representing the people of the 46th Legislative District and working with his colleagues around the state to institute transformative policies and programs.
One of his proudest achievements is passage of the 21st Century Schools Act in 2013 to invest $1 billion in school construction for Baltimore City Public Schools and ensure no student or teacher ever had to learn in a classroom lacking basic necessities, like a doorknob, ever again.
Chosen to Lead
In 2019, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced that he would be relinquishing the title of President of the Senate after 33 years of distinguished service in that role. After much deliberation, Bill’s colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus unanimously voted to support him in becoming the next President of the Maryland Senate. He was officially sworn in on January 8, 2020 after a another unanimous vote by the entire Senate.
Since 2020, Bill has shepherded an ambitious and robust agenda, including the transformational Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, historic police reform legislation, an unprecedented investment in Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and over $1 billion in state economic stimulus to support vulnerable Marylanders through the COVID-19 crisis.
Stay up to date with Bill’s work building a better Baltimore and Maryland!