Meet Ryan Bizzarro: Legislator, Advocate, and Fighter for the People

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2013, to represent the 3rd Legislative District in Erie County. 

A lifelong Erie County resident, Bizzarro developed a strong work ethic at a young age while serving at his grandfather’s restaurant, The Ringside. He also learned early on how to be a fighter, surviving childhood leukemia.

After graduating from college and receiving his master’s degree, Bizzarro embarked on a career of public service, working for the county as a victim/witness coordinator and advocate for the Office of the Erie County District Attorney and the Crime Victim Center. His decision to run for the legislature – and his efforts since being elected – are natural outgrowths of his determination to serve the people of Erie.

Bizzarro is passionate about animal rights and authored Libre’s Law – the state’s landmark animal cruelty legislation that ensures that animal abusers face tougher punishments. In 2017 – the year Libre’s Law was signed into effect – Bizzarro was named National Legislator of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States.

He is a staunch advocate for veterans’ rights and recently introduced legislation that would expand veterans and service member courts in underserved or neglected areas statewide.

He has also introduced legislation that would:

  • enhance penalties for the theft of seniors’ medication;

  • expand community paramedicine to relieve burdened emergency rooms;

  • make voting easier and more inclusive through same-day registration; and

  • allow first-time home buyers to claim a tax deduction for certain savings.

Bizzarro was recently appointed chief deputy House whip, and he serves as vice chairman of the Northwest Delegation. He also serves as vice chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee; Democratic secretary of the House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee; and as a member of the House Judiciary, Consumer Affairs and Insurance committees.

As a legislator, Bizzarro has earned respect from Democrats and Republicans alike for his ability to come to the table and work across party lines to get the job done. He is known for his strong leadership, forward-thinking strategies, detailed execution and practice of putting people first, before politics.

Bizzarro graduated from Edinboro University with degrees in political science and criminal justice, and from Gannon University with a master’s degree in public administration. In addition to his work in criminal justice, he has served as a behavioral health specialist at McKinley Elementary School and has worked in business development for the Erie County Convention Center Authority.