On November 6th, 2012 Representative Joe Saunders was elected to serve Florida House District 49 in East Orange County. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, he began his advocacy work as a community organizer on campus. Before being elected to office, Joe spent a decade as an effective leader in the non-profit sector working to make people’s lives better. As the Field Director for Equality Florida, a statewide civil rights group dedicated to educating and advocating for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities he spearheaded a successful coalition effort to pass statewide anti-bullying laws in Florida’s public schools. As a result, the Jeffrey Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act was passed in 2008 and required every school district in the state to create an anti- bullying policy.
During the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Saunders filed the 'Arts for All Students Act', successfully fought and helped defeat 'Parent Trigger', and passed accountability measures to end the abuse of taxpayer dollars at for-profit charter schools. Rep. Saunders also passed uniform standards for infant and toddler brain development activities raising the bar for family childcare providers in Florida and passed legislation giving parents more control over their child's participation in fine arts courses.