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09/26/2022 06:44 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

James Ferlo



Session Office Position District Party
2003 38 Democrat
2004 38 Democrat
2005 38 Democrat
2006 38 Democrat
2007 38 Democrat
2008 38 Democrat
2009 38 Democrat
2010 38 Democrat
2011 38 Democrat
2012 38 Democrat
2013 38 Democrat
2014 38 Democrat
 Counties   Allegheny, Armstrong, Westmoreland


06/19/1951 - 05/15/2022

James “Jim” Ferlo (D38) Allegheny (part), Armstrong (part), and Westmoreland (part) Counties 2003-2015

Early Life: 

James “Jim” Ferlo, born June 19, 1951, Rome, Oneida County, New York; son of Thomas Henry and Isabella Ferlo; member, 7th District, Pittsburgh City Council, 1988-2003; president, Pittsburgh City Council, 1994-1998; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 2003-2015; Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania, 2015-2021; died, May, 15, 2022   

Early Career:  

Member, 7th District, Pittsburgh City Council, 1988-2003; president, Pittsburgh City Council, 1994-1998.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships.

American Public Gardens Association, Allegheny Cemetery & Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society, Allegheny-Kiski Coalition, Strongland/Allegheny Valley Chamber of Commerce, American Public  Health Association, Casino Theatre Renovation Foundation, Coalition to Counter Hate Crimes, Firearms Owners Against Crime, Highland Park Community Club, Hyde Park Museum Historical Rm., Lawrenceville United, Lawrenceville Moose #581, Preserve Pittsburgh, Roaring Run Watershed, Sierra Club, Sons of Italy, Victorian Vandergrift Museum & Historical Society; life member: NAACP; cochair: Pittsburgh Green Government Task Force; board member: Port of Pittsburgh Committee, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Committee; vice-president: Pittsburgh Green Innovators; treasurer: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh; awards: Coalition of Veterans Advocates, Preserve. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Safe Kids Coalition, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Pittsburgh Community Service, Pennsylvania Legal Service; Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania, 2015-2021.

Pennsylvania Politics:  

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate 2003-2015; committee assignments, Law & Justice, Minority Chair, Appropriations, Minority Vice Chair, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Environmental Resources and Energy.


At a press conference in 2014, Senator announced he was gay, in conjunction with legislative sponsorship of increasing protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, under anti-hate laws in Pennsylvania. (i) Becoming the first openly gay member of the State Senate (ii)


Bogden, S. (Ed.). (2013-2014). The Pennsylvania Manual, 121. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, page 3-40, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 3-17.

  1. https://whyy.org/articles/pa-senator-jim-ferlo-comes-out-during-press-conference-on-lgbt-hate-crimes/
  2. https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/05/15/former-state-sen-jim-ferlo-death-jay-costa-lgbtq-pittsburgh-city-council/stories/202205150197