Kathie Mainzer has over 25 years’ experience in public policy development, communications, and legislative advocacy. An innovative coalition builder and entrepreneur, she has led successful campaigns to reduce violence, prevent homelessness and increase state funding for job training and workforce development. Today Kathie leads our non profit practice and works with clients to achieve their strategic planning, communications, and public policy goals.
As Founder of Citizens for Safety, Kathie brought urban teens, police officers, community and media leaders together to create the landmark Boston Gun Buyback program which took over 3,000 guns off the streets and led to collaboration between police and residents. She also built a neighborhood coalition for community policing and funding for youth prevention programs including the Streetworkers Program, the Peace League gang mediation program and United Youth of Boston, a teen newspaper. As Executive Director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Kathie expanded a statewide advocacy group of homeless families and concerned advocates to educate city and state policy makers about how homelessness could be prevented and remediated. Strategies including grassroots organizing, media campaigns and litigation were used to improve policies and increase resources.
In 1993, Kathie and colleagues opened a small restaurant in Hyde Square, Jamaica Plain as a neighborhood economic development project. Through community building and marketing, the project helped lead the revitalization of a distressed neighborhood. Now going on 21 years strong, Bella Luna Restaurant and the Milky Way Lounge have created forty five permanent jobs and pump over 2 million dollars a year into the local economy.
Kathie has served on numerous boards including the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, the National Coalition for the Homeless, Mass Law Reform Institute, and the Massachusetts Welfare Advisory Board. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.