Gina Palencar

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Gina joined LAANE’s communications team in 2009, bringing over 16 years of experience in communications, legislative and public opinion research, development, and management for political campaigns, nonprofits, and labor organizations. Gina spent six years as the communications director and spokesperson for several groundbreaking state ballot initiatives across the country, including medical marijuana and California’s Proposition 36. She has appeared on radio and television news programs, including MSNBC and NPR. In 2001, she was research director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), and she consulted for several organizations working to change drug policy and criminal justice sentencing. In 2003-2005, she served as deputy director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights where she helped to lead staff development, organizational capacity building, and pioneering work for green-collar jobs. Gina began her non-profit political career working to end U.S. policy in El Salvador. From 1990-1996, she helped to build economic development projects in El Salvador for the Salvadoran Aid Research and Education Foundation (SHARE) where she served as Development Director.  Before coming to LAANE, she was political coordinator of SEIU’s Long Term Care work in California. Gina currently serves on the board of the National Museum of Animals & Society, the first museum of its kind dedicated to exploring the human-animal bond and the plight of animals in human society. She is a vegan and animal rights advocate and a vowed practitioner in the Kwan Um School of Zen. She lives with her husband in University Hills where they plant trees, garden, and do feral cat spay-neutering and rescue.