Kate Robinson is an active lobbyist who believes that her clients are the experts in their field. She works to forge ongoing communication and strong relationships between clients and policy makers so that they can make well informed decisions, and better serve the state.
After serving as the Clerk of the Planning and Development Committee and running two state-house campaigns, Kate went to work for Betty Gallo & Company in 2000. Since then, she has worked on dozens of pro-active proposals relating to public health, education, energy security and affordable housing including, but not limited to, CPR in schools, increasing access to Narcan, monitoring access to mental health treatment for people with private insurance, establishing funding for year-round energy assistance, increasing and preserving funds for affordable housing options and housing stability for people facing homelessness, restoration of voting rights for people who have served their sentences in the criminal justice system, and assuring that tenants in public housing can elect the Tenant Commissioner on the Housing Authority if they choose to. She has also worked as part of the lobbying team that passed Marriage for Same-Sex Couples, and abolished the Death Penalty in Connecticut. She has been actively organizing and presenting at the Connecticut Lobbying Conference since 2007.
Kate holds a B.F.A. from University of Connecticut and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Trinity College in Hartford. Kate is proud to have been honored for an Outstanding Contribution in Arts Advocacy in 2010 by the Connecticut Arts Administrators Association, and received the Outstanding Partner Award from the Connecticut Public Housing Network in 2012 and Lifetime Membership in 2013. In 2017, she received a Legislative Champion Award from the Keep the Promise Coalition.
Kate became a named partner of Gallo & Robinson in 2014. She lives in West Hartford with her husband and two sons.
Joe Grabarz served as a State Representative from Bridgeport from 1988-1992. He lobbied the US Congress and the Federal Executive branch for the Human Rights Campaign Fund; the CT General Assembly as the Executive Director of Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and the New York legislature as the Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda. He joined Gallo & Robinson, LLC (formerly Betty Gallo & Co.) as a lobbyist for the 2007 Legislative Session. In addition to advocating before numerous state legislatures for a variety of civil rights and health issues, Joe was the Field Director of the national Health Care Reform Project in Washington DC during the push for health care reform in the Clinton Administration.
Brian Coughlin joined Gallo & Robinson in January of 2015. He has worked on a variety of issues in areas including civil rights, economic justice, healthcare, privacy, and gun safety. Prior, he worked on many municipal, state, and federal political campaigns, including most recently for Congressman Joe Courtney. Previously, Brian managed communications for a few nonprofits aiming to help small businesses grow locally. A UConn graduate, Brian earned a BA in History and Literature. He currently lives in Hartford, and has always called Connecticut home.
Bill Welz joined Gallo & Robinson after six years serving the office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. During that time, he served in a variety of positions, starting as the Executive Aide to the General Counsel, moving up to Senior Associate for Policy and Government Affairs and finally to Director of Policy. With his significant experience navigating the legislative process, he became a problem solver for the administration. He guided gubernatorial appointees through the confirmation process, moved the governor's priorities through the legislature and advised state agencies on policy positions and relations with the legislature and advocacy organizations.
Bill has been involved with legislation including (but not limited to) pay equity, ban the box, fairness to sexual assault victims, and the legislative approval for the Personal Care Attendants (PCA) contract.
His dedication to the political process is deeply rooted in the Quiet Corner where he proudly served on both of Governor Malloy's campaigns and as Field Director for Congressman Joe Courtney's re-election in 2012. He also played an instrumental role in the successful unionization of Personal Care Attendants.
Bill is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University and currently resides in Willington with his wife, Allison, his daughter, Eliza and his four-legged friend, Jax.
Don Branson joined Gallo & Robinson, LLC (formerly Betty Gallo & Co.) in 2003 and is the Director of IT Services. Don holds a Masters degree in Sociology from Minnesota State University-Mankato and has more than 20-years of experience working in a wide variety of roles in Information Technology. He works with client organizations to help them effectively utilize information technology to meet their goals. This includes managing the grassroots contacts databases and on-line legislative action centers as well as being the systems administrator for a variety of offices, consulting on website design and development, and technology planning for organizations.
Don's other experiences include serving in the United States Marine Corps, teaching Sociology courses on Social Problems, Deviant Behavior, and Political Sociology as a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, and working as a skydiving coach and certified parachute rigger. He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.
Greater Mutsikwi’ Houle started working as the Office Manager for Gallo & Robinson, LLC (formerly Betty Gallo & Co.) in June 2004. Prior to that she worked as the building receptionist for the Lyceum. She also worked as a Legislative Assistant for the House Democrats in early 2004. Greater was born and raised in Zimbabwe and she holds a degree from the University of Hartford in Communications and English.
Together, we bring more then 60 years of experience to our work. We have all built good working relationships with legislators in positions of influence from both parties. We believe strongly that it is important for us to be at the Capitol full-time. When the legislators are there, we are there.
The offices of Gallo & Robinson, LLC are at The Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06106. PDF with directions and map is available here.
Betty Gallo, Founder of Gallo & Robinson, LLC
Betty Gallo started her own government relations and lobbying firm Betty Gallo & Co. in 1981. The name was changed June 1, 2014 to Gallo & Robinson, LLC. when Kate Robinson was named a Partner. The firm represented 42 clients during the 2018 General Assembly session including Connecticut Against Gun Violence, the American School for the Deaf, the American Association of University Professors – Connecticut State University Chapter, Legal Services, the Partnership for Strong Communities and the Connecticut chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Ms. Gallo lobbied the Connecticut General Assembly for 41 years.
From 1976 to 1980, Ms. Gallo was Executive Director and chief lobbyist for Common Cause/Connecticut. In 1980, she ran for the General Assembly as the Democratic candidate in the 19th district, West Hartford. She also created the Connecticut Lobbying Conference, a full day training session to teach people how to lobby the Connecticut General Assembly. For more than 30 years the Connecticut Lobbying Conference has provided training for over 3,000 lobbyists.
On October 31st, 2018 Betty retired from full-time work at Gallo & Robinson and now acts as a Senior Advisor, Consultant, and Mentor, to the staff of Gallo & Robinson. She will also continue to be an all-around inspiration for the staff and clients of Gallo & Robinson.