"It is an honor to be recognized, and thrilling to have the great work that is happening here in Florida to be part of the national spotlight," said Wells. "While we are winning the battle for public opinion, my job is to make sure that translates to changes in the law. The legislature has been a hostile place for a long time, but now we see support coming from both sides of the political aisle. It is an exciting time to be doing this work."
In her role as Equality Florida's Public Policy Director, Mallory assists in drafting and tracking legislation, overseeing the organization’s voter guide process and empowering LGBT Floridians to talk to their legislators. Mallory also oversees the local public policy work at a time of unprecedented local victories. More than a dozen municipalities have either recently passed or are in the process of passing laws that ban anti-LGBT discrimination and provide family protections.
Mallory joined Equality Florida in 2005, serving as the organization's full-time lobbyist in Tallahassee, and she has maintained Equality Florida's solid record of blocking every anti-LGBT piece of legislation in its 15 year history.
In 2008 Mallory played an integral role in passing the state’s anti-bullying bill. As a result of that legislation, more than 60% of students go to school in districts that have specific LGBT anti-bullying policies. She has also successfully lobbied to block an amendment that would have thwarted gay Floridians looking to adopt overseas. In 2009 she helped to organize the Rally in Tally for LGBT Equality, the first mass LGBT rally at the Capitol in more than ten years.
“Mallory has worked tirelessly on behalf of Florida’s LGBT community in a place that often wears people down,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida. “She is respected in Tallahassee by allies and opponents alike. We are so proud that others recognize the tremendous talent, and we are proud to have her as a leader on our team.”
In addition to her work at Equality Florida, Mallory is the President of the Alachua County Young Democrats and has served on the steering committee of the national Young People 4 steering committee, where she received an award for Youth Mobilization. Mallory has been named one of the "Top 25 Leaders under 25" by Watermark.
A Florida native, Mallory graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Political Science and African American Studies. While at the university, she served as the president of the Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition and as a board member for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Student Union (GLBSU).
Mallory currently lives in Gainesville with her partner, Garrett and their adorable puppy, Maya.
Mallory Wells • 26
Public Policy Director, Equality Florida
Mallory Wells knows the people of Florida. Born in Lakeland, raised in Orlando, now living in Gainesville, the 26-year-old bisexual is the only lobbyist in Tallahassee solely devoted to LGBT issues.