Our Board of Directors
Patti grew up in Orlando and earned a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. After several years at We Care, Inc., a suicide prevention and crisis intervention center, Patti forged a career in radio as a reporter, writer, and producer. She received a number of awards from media organizations, including American Women in Radio and Television and the Associated Press.
Patricia served as President of the League of Women Voters of Florida from from 2018-2021. She formed and chaired the League’s statewide Gun Safety Action Team and co-founded the former Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
Angie Gallo was elected to the Orange County School Board in 2018 for District 1. Angie has been volunteering in Orange County for over 16 years and has served as PTA President at the elementary, middle, and high school level and also served on the Orange County Council of PTA, PTSA’s board of directors. She is the immediate past Vice President of Educational Development and served for 4 years as the Legislation chair with the Florida PTA. During her time as the Legislation Chair, she worked with the Recess Moms and advocated for 100 minutes of consecutive recess each week for K-5 students. Angie currently holds the position of Educational Pathways Chair for the Florida PTA. She served as Co-Chair of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, sits on the League of Women Voters Education Committee and is a member of the Florida Afterschool Network.
Executive Director, Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus
Andy Pelosi is co-founder and Executive Director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus. He previously served as the first executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and its Educational Fund. During his tenure at NYAGV, Andy developed winning legislative strategies, launched a high school youth program and led successful campaigns to pass comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation at the local and state levels.
Gail Schwartz was compelled into the national gun debate after her nephew, Alex Schachter, was killed by an AR-15 while sitting at his desk in language arts class in Parkland, FL on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
She founded the political committee, Ban Assault Weapons Now, with the intent of placing a constitutional amendment banning assault weapons on the Florida ballot. The effort was ultimately thwarted when the state’s NRA-beholden Supreme Court justices rejected the amendment thus denying Floridians a say in whether military-grade assault weapons are too dangerous for civilian use.
Today, BAWN’s efforts are focused on promoting the assault weapons ban in the Florida legislature, as well as helping finance races in swing districts. Last election cycle they donated over $100,000 and secured 90% support of the AWB bills within the Florida Democratic legislative caucus.
Lisa Hall draws from nearly four decades of media experience – on both the receiving and sending ends. She spent nearly 17 years as a broadcast news producer before launching a career in public relations more than 20 years ago in 2000. She led the public affairs practice as Senior Vice President of SalterMitchell PR before launching Hall+Media Strategies in August of 2013. Since that time, she has focused on clients in need of her most valuable skills: strategic planning, issues management, message development, coalition building and media relations. In addition to her extensive experience working directly with state agencies on communications campaigns, Hall has helped clients engage state agencies as partners in communications initiatives around shared objectives.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Hall moved to Florida in 1987 to accept a position as news producer for WSVN in Miami. In 1990 she migrated north to Tallahassee, where she continued her journalism career as capital bureau chief and regional manager for a television news cooperative serving 10 stations across Florida. She went on to serve as News Director for WTWC and then as Managing Editor for Florida’s News Channel before making the move to public relations. Hall is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and is also credentialed as a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) by the Florida Public Relations Association.
Alyssa is a gun violence prevention advocate that has been working in the movement since 2018 with March for Our Lives and Team Enough. Based in Tallahassee, FL, Alyssa just graduated from FSU and is continuing her work as a National Organizer with March For Our Lives, helping the organization to expand its base and develop projects. As a queer woman of color, Alyssa has rooted her work in identifying the multi-faceted ways that gun violence occurs in our communities.
Cristina has been an advocate of gun violence prevention since the massacre at Columbine High School in her home state of Colorado. She serves as a member of the Brady Florida State Executive Council and volunteers for Newtown Action Alliance in lobbying and research. She has previously worked with Sandy Hook Promise, incorporating “Start With Hello” at local schools. Cristina has been a volunteer in her children’s Orange County Public Schools since her family moved to Florida and prior to that in the family’s previous school. She started a social group called Blue Ladies of Windermere/Winter Garden that serves as a clearinghouse of information and opportunities for local women to get involved with civic issues, as well as monthly gatherings for discussion and fellowship.
Cristina holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Former state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, served three two-year terms in the Florida House.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, Smith, 42, became a national leader for gun safety reforms and introduced state legislation to ban military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines. He was a key ally and mentor to Parkland students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting and to youth organizers around the state working to prevent gun violence. His legislative efforts in Tallahassee helped secure millions of dollars in state funding for Orlando’s Pulse nightclub memorial, as well as for PTSD programs supporting survivors of gun violence.
Po Murray is a co-founder and chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance (NAA) and the Newtown Action Alliance Foundation (NAAF). The Newtown Action Alliance is an all-volunteer grassroots organization formed after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School to work to bring about legislative and cultural changes that will reduce gun violence, which is a public health crisis in our country. The Newtown Action Alliance Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that has been working tirelessly since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy to help the community heal and be remembered as the place where positive cultural changes began.
Po is also one of the organizers for the Connecticut Chapter of the Women’s March and she is a board member of GVPedia, Guns Down for America, and Survivors Empowered. She served on Governor Ned Lamont’s public safety transition committee in Connecticut. She was a recent board member of States United to Prevent Gun Violence and co-chaired the Swing States & Messaging Subcommittee for the Biden/Harris Gun Violence Prevention Policy Subcommittee.
Po and her family have lived in Sandy Hook for over 22 years and her four children are graduates of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Po joined the gun violence prevention movement after her neighbor killed his own mother then gunned down 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Many of her neighbors lost their children on that tragic day.
Po has a deep connection with the Newtown community as she is the cofounder of the Independent Party of Newtown and has served on the Legislative Council, an elected board that oversees town finances and town matters.
Dr. Danielle Thomas is a passionate former educator and with 21 years of experience as an elementary special education teacher, instructional coach, and curriculum specialist as well as a child advocate. She brings energy and humor to capture audiences while diving into a variety of educational topics. She has created and presented trainings in her previous roles with Volusia County Schools, Footsteps to Brilliance & McGraw Hill Inc and through her own business Consulting with Doc LLC. In the last 12 years, Dr. Thomas has also served in a variety of capacities for Florida PTA including Legislation Chair and currently as Vice President for Education. She currently serves as the Director of Advocacy & Legislative Services for FSBA.
Her educational background includes a B.A. in Elementary/Special Education from Providence College, a M.S. in Reading and Literacy Education from Walden University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
Dr. Thomas is dedicated to advocating for all children especially our children who are most vulnerable and are in need of a voice. She has built relationships in both chambers of the Florida Legislature through her work in the last 10 years and has been able to bring about changes in instructional practices, school safety, Baker Act.
Jon Harris Maurer keeps an eye on the Florida Capitol as Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director. A Fort Lauderdale native, Jon Harris moved to Texas to attend Rice University and later served as a legislative aide in the Texas House of Representatives. While in law school at Florida State University, he worked in the Florida House of Representatives and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. He then spent more than five years in private law practice, honing his skills in legislative analysis, compliance counseling, and advocacy. He continues to live in Tallahassee with his spouse Nate and their dog Pascal.
Why we’ll succeed
We have smart, passionate volunteers and community members working together toward tangible goals with an important purpose. We are leading the charge for changes the vast majority of Americans want. We are on the right side of history. We will not stop.
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