Elliott Lee Masouredis was born and raised in Oakland, CA, and transferred to UC Berkeley having completed associates degrees in the Administration of Justice at Merritt College and Political Science at Berkeley City College. Raised by a single mother, Elliott learned at an early age how to build and rely on support from his broader community. Through this support, Elliott developed a deep commitment to his community in Oakland which has guided his scholarship and public service during his time at UC Berkeley.
Having been illegally detained following a violent encounter with police at age 14, Elliott has focused his studies at Cal on how a history of racialized social policy leaves certain communities more vulnerable to community violence which in turn influences a state response that is simultaneously neglectful and overly punitive toward disadvantaged communities of color. As an adult, Elliott has volunteered with the Oakland Department of Violence Prevention, an organization that employs a public health approach to violence prevention which seeks to address past trauma suffered by victims and offenders. Elliott has also interned with the Oakland Mayor’s Office and presented on violence as a social inequality to the mayor’s staff and interns. In his senior year, Elliott wrote his honor’s thesis on the influence of community violence on public opinions about police defunding in Oakland, CA.
Elliott is a former Service Employees International Union 1021 employee and delegated for the Peralta Community College District on the Alameda County SEIU Committee on Political Education. As a union member, Elliott helped to organize support in the East Bay for a range of issues affecting poor and working-class people, including Measure S1, which improved the capacity and autonomy of the civilian oversight mechanism in Oakland. For his leadership and devoted service as a classified staff person, Elliott received the 2017 Leadership award from Merritt College.
As a student at Merritt College, Elliott was the president of the Merritt Criminal Justice Club and was awarded a special commendation from the Oakland City Council for a year-long campaign to provide food and clothes to Oakland’s unhoused community. At UC Berkeley, Elliott took time to mentor other local transfer students through the Starting Point Mentorship program, believing strongly that local transfer students should have pathways to benefit from the best educational resources in the Bay Area. He has also served as External Affairs Representative for Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science department’s affiliated honors society, and President of the Berkeley Legal Studies Association. In both student organizations, Elliott has organized speaking events to raise awareness among students and faculty at UC Berkeley on issues relating to community violence and police accountability in Oakland, an effort that received a special commendation in 2021 from the Oakland Police Activities League. Elliott also served as an Undergraduate Research Apprentice for Professor Gabriel Lenz where he helped to investigate patterns of violence in the Jim Crow South.
Elliott is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a finalist for the Departmental Citation awarded by the Political Science Department at Berkeley. Through the John Gardner Fellowship, Elliott hopes to find a placement in an organization that seeks to improve our understanding of community violence in order to provide more efficacious solutions for impacted communities rather than the state’s carceral response.
Major(s): Political Science