Meet Ron Gunzburger

If you are like many people in Ward One, you likely already know Ron Gunzburger from his popular photos of local homes and flowers he's been posting on the Facebook Friends of Annapolis page for the past five years. They give you a real feel for the love and appreciation Ron has for our very special town and way of life...

Ron's Friends of Annapolis Photos

... and, while the photos he posts and Annapolis history lessons he writes are wonderful, there is a lot more to Ron than just his pictures. Ron has worn a lot of professional hats over his 40+ year career ... experiences Ron can put to good use helping his Annapolis neighbors.

Ron and the Governor during a Covid Response Team meeting in the State House on a Sunday, in the early days of the pandemicGOVERNOR'S DIRECTOR OF COVID-19 RESPONSE STRATEGY. From the start of the pandemic, Ron worked closely with Governor Hogan to steer our state safely though the two year state of emergency. Their work helped save countless lives. Ron also conceived of the idea that became the Covid RELIEF Act of 2021... which provided over $1 billion in critically-needed financial relief and tax cuts to Marylanders and small businesses/restaurants devastated by the economic impact of the pandemic. In the end, the Washington Post ranked Maryland's Covid state response as the best in the nation. (At right: Ron and the Governor during a Covid Response Team meeting in the State House on a Sunday, in the early days of the pandemic)

LAW ENFORCEMENT SENIOR COMMANDER. Ron was general counsel and executive director for six years in Florida at one of the largest public safety agencies in the nation Ron working as a commander on scene at the Parkland school shooting... a massive police, fire rescue and corrections agency with 5,400 personnel and an annual budget exceeding $1 billion.Ron was the Sheriff's troubleshooter throughout the agency, and handled day-to-day agency management and policy decisions. Ron was the only civilian commander on the Sheriff’s Senior Command Staff (colonel-rank). During those six years, violent crime rates dropped by nearly 20% and residential burglary rates fell by over 50%. And - starting several years before the George Floyd killing and national protests - Ron successfully advocated within the agency for groundbreaking justice reform initiatives including the deployment of body-worn cameras on all uniformed officers; expansion of the juvenile civil citation program; and de-escalation and crisis intervention training for all sworn personnel. Ron also served as the Sheriff's liaison to the LGBT+ community. (At right: Ron as a commander on scene in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, 2018)

Ron GunzburgerATTORNEY. A trial attorney since 1988, Ron previously served as an assistant public defender, an assistant Florida attorney general (RICO Unit), a civil litigation partner in a top-100 national law firm, and as general counsel/chief operating officer of a dot-com. Ron has tried more than 60 case to verdict before juries. He also created and for several years directed a free legal clinic within a county governmental office, which provided real estate and probate assistance to struggling families. This empowered taxpayers to protect their family homesteads and clear title problems. Ron also has worked as a labor-employment attorney, and successfully negotiated a dozen labor collective bargaining agreements with the IAFF, FOP, IUPA, PBA, and FOPE. He is admitted to practice law in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Florida, and before federal district and appellate courts.

NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE. These days, Ron serves as the chief of staff of the beloved nonprofit StoryCorps (best known for their weekly radio segment each Friday on NPR's Morning Edition). He also helps lead their One Small Step initiative to reduce toxic polarization in America. Click here to watch a short clip of Ron speaking as a featured panelist at the National Governors Association #DisagreeBetter convening in Fall 2023.

DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN CONSULTANT AND ACTIVIST. Ron Gunzburger with Pres Obama - 2011 Specializing in strategy and communications, Ron was a professional campaign consultant in over 130 Democratic and nonpartisan campaigns. Additionally, the Stonewall National Museum recognized Ron for his gay equality activism in the 1980s and 1990s, when they recorded a video interview with him in 2016 as a "South Florida LGBT Rights Pioneer" for their permanent oral history collection. Ron volunteered on his first Democratic campaign at the age of 12, when he walked door-to-door for Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in the 1976 Florida primary ... and met Joe Biden for the first time in 1977 (and has a horribly dorky teenaged picture to prove it). He was a Broward County co-chair of the Democratic Party's Legal Protection Team for the 2004 and 2008 general elections, and served a term as platform committee chair of the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee. (At left, Ron and his mother with President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama, at the White House, 2011).

EDUCATION:
  • Attended public schools K-12.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, George Washington University.
  • Juris Doctor cum laude, Vermont Law School. Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society.
  • AWARDS:
  • Governor's Citation, State of Maryland (2022) - Awarded for leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Governor's Director of COVID-19 Response Strategy.
  • Broward County Board of County Commissioners Proclamation (2019) - Declared April 9, 2019, to be Ron Gunzburger Day in Broward County, Florida, in recognition of Ron's decades of leadership and dedication to the community.
  • LGBT Out 50, South Florida Gay News (2015).
  • "40 Under 40" Award for Career Excellence, South Florida Business Journal (1998).
  • Point of Excellence Award, The PBS Democracy Project - Awarded to Ron for creation of his Politics1.com website as "a citizen-oriented approach ... that empowers and educates the public." One of only eight awarded by PBS in 1998.
  • Ron and Dana - State House Dome - 2022PERSONAL. Ron and his husband Dana Buker - they've been together since 1987 - moved to Annapolis in 2019. They live in the historic district on Hanover Street. In their first year here, Ron and Dana turned two weed-covered parking islands on their street into flower gardens. After that, neighbors jumped in and worked with Ron and Dana to convert nearly all of the parking islands on the block into the "Hanover Street Gardens." Their own backyard garden was featured in the Hammond-Harwood House's 2024 Secret Garden Tour. To be clear: Dana plans the gardens ... and Ron digs the holes, weeds, and trims. In their free time, they also travel, play tennis (poorly), ski (decently), read, and frequently entertain friends and neighbors on their front porch. Ron and Dana are also sponsor parents to two USNA Midshipmen firsties (Class of 2025), and to an incoming plebe. And, last but not least, they have two very friendly cats: Timbo and Max.

    Working for a Better, Safer, More Affordable Annapolis.

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