His district consisted of parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland and Armstrong counties. He did not run for reelection in 2014. Ferlo was a liberal community activist in the City of Pittsburgh before being elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 1987.
He served on council for 15 years until his election to the State Senate in 2002.
Ferlo served as president of City Council from 1994 to 1997. He currently lives in Pittsburgh"s Highland Park section.
A Democrat, Ferlo was elected to the state senate in 2002, receiving 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Republican candidate Ted Tomson. In 2003, the political website PoliticsPA named him to "The Best of the Freshman Class" list.
Ferlo was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2006 in his heavily Democratic district.
Ferlo came out as gay on September 23, 2014, thus becoming the Pennsylvania Senate"s first openly gay legislator.