Equality Ohio Welcomes New Public Policy Director, Looks Forward to Strong Future for LGBTQ+ Equality Statewide

New Public Policy Director set to continue state and local advocacy and increase capacity to improve laws for LGBTQ+ Ohioans


August 26, 2021


MD Spicer-Sitzes, md@equalityohio.org

COLUMBUS, OH – Equality Ohio, Ohio’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ organization, and Equality Ohio Education Fund announced this morning that Maria Bruno will take the lead as new Public Policy Director. Bruno comes to Equality Ohio after several years as Civic Engagement Coordinator & Policy Analyst for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO). 

Equality Ohio’s Executive Director, Alana Jochum

Equality Ohio is ready for Maria Bruno. Dominic Detwiler has laid a strong foundation to build on, and we are ready for the next level. Maria’s experience advocating for the most marginalized, including those experiencing homelessness, and those who deserve the most sacred right to vote, has prepared her well to lead our public policy work for LGBTQ+ Ohioans.

Equality Ohio’s former Public Policy Strategist, Dominic Detwiler

Serving in this role for Equality Ohio has been the honor of my life and I am beyond excited to see the work this organization can do going forward. As opposition groups continue to flood Ohio with money and out of state lobbyists, Equality Ohio’s advocacy efforts will continue to be led by Ohioans, for Ohioans. Maria is a well known and strong force in the field of advocacy, and I’m excited to see how she moves this role forward.

Ohio Conference of the NAACP’s President, Tom Roberts

Congratulations to Maria Bruno on becoming Equality Ohio’s Public Policy Director! Maria is poised to become a tenacious champion of LGBTQ+ rights statewide. I look forward to all she will do in her new role.” 

Ohio Poverty Law Center Attorney, Megan O’Dell

“Congratulations Maria! As a longtime supporter of Equality Ohio’s work, I am excited about Maria’s leadership as Public Policy Director. Equality Ohio has been a leader in our state, and across the country, in the fight to advance lived and legal equality for LGBTQ+ Ohioans. I’m confident that Maria will continue that important work, and I look forward to working closely with her.

Equality Ohio’s New Public Policy Director, Maria Bruno

I couldn’t be more honored and ready for this role. Equality Ohio has been a long-standing partner in many of Ohio’s voting rights efforts, and their work has already intersected with mine for years. As Ohio legislators continue to propose more and more extreme attacks on LGBTQ+ people, and especially on trans youth, I’m eager to hit the ground running, and to help engage people across the state in our vital work.

A leader in democracy building and voting rights in Ohio, Maria Bruno brings an extensive history of both legal and advocacy experience to this new position at Equality Ohio. The creation of this role comes amidst a rise in legislative attacks against LGBTQ+ people at the Ohio Legislature, and an increased need to protect the community from discrimination by passing the Ohio Fairness Act. Bruno will lead Equality Ohio’s policy advocacy work at the local, state, and federal level, collaborating with organizational partners towards an Ohio where all people are welcome, affirmed, and flourishing. 

Equality Ohio identifies and transforms systems and institutions so LGBTQ+ Ohioans can fully access legal and lived equality. Equality Ohio envisions an Ohio where people are welcome, affirmed and flourishing.