- Founding member of America Votes, America Coming Together, and the New Politics Institute
- 1960s Free Speech Movement activist
- Worked on the unsuccessful presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley, and Howard Dean
The longtime political operative Gina Glantz (who was born Gina Stritzler) was a founding member of America Votes, America Coming Together, and the New Politics Institute.
Miss Stritzler (i.e., Glantz) was raised in Westfield, New Jersey. In the 1960s she enrolled as a journalism student at the Univeristy of California - Berkeley, where she took part in the Free Speech Movement -- a 1964 eruption that culminated in the occupation of the university administration building and the subsequent arrest of 800 student trespassers. It was the first “takeover” of a campus building in the history of American higher education and set the stage for political actions on college campuses for the next generation.
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1965, Glantz went on to participate in the “Senior Executives in State and Local Government” program at Harvard University’s JFK School. She then married Ronald Glantz, a chief investment officer at the stock brokerage firm Paine Webber. The couple settled in New Jersey, where they raised two children.
For a time, Gina Glantz served as chief of staff to Essex County Executive Peter Shapiro, and then turned her attention to working on a number of local political campaigns. Building a reputation as an effective grassroots organizer, she helped family friend Andrew Maguire win two terms in Congress, and helped Brendan Byrne get re-elected as New Jersey Governor.
In 1984 the Glantzes relocated to Marin County. The following year, Gina Glantz and Angie Martin co-founded the national consulting firm Martin & Glantz, whose focus was grassroots organizing. The firm's client list included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ford Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and American Express.
In 1986 Martin & Glantz organized the “Hands Across America” campaign to call public attention to the issues of hunger and homelessness; the aim was to portray these as major national epidemics during the Reagan presidency, and as by-products of Reagan's alleged indifference to the plight of the poor.
Following Martin’s death in 1997, Glantz sold the firm and took a job with the Service Employees International Union, where she was Assistant to the President for Strategic Issues and Political Action.
Glantz's first big-time political job came in 1984, when she served as Democrat presidential candidate Walter Mondale's national campaign manager. In 2000 Glantz was the campaign manager for another failed campaign -- that of Democrat presidential hopeful Bill Bradley.
In November 2002, shortly after the McCain-Feingold soft-money ban had taken effect, Glantz called a meeting (in Washington, DC) of such political operatives as Harold Ickes, Andrew Stern, Steven Rosenthal, Ellen Malcolm, and Carl Pope. At this gathering, Glantz urged the formation of an “umbrella group,” a central command organization that would oversee the flourishing network of Democrat "527" committees to ensure that their assets were being allocated wisely. Eight months later, America Votes, a national coalition of grassroots, get-out-the-vote organizations, was formed.
In 2003 Glantz worked as an advisor for Howard Dean's failed campaign to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.
During the 2004 presidential election season, Glantz was a key player in America Coming Together’s effort to "defeat President George W. Bush and elect progressive officials at every level."
In 2005 Glantz, along with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and New Democratic Network president Simon Rosenberg, formed the New Politics Institute, a think thank devoted to helping leftist organizations achieve their objectives. Glantz also served alongside Richards as vice chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Action Fund.
Today Glantz serves, along with Van
Jones and others, as a board of
trustees member for the public-policy organization Demos.
Over the years, Glantz has made a number of political campaign contributions to Democratic candidates such as John Kerry, Howard Dean, Lynn Woolsey, Jerrold Nadler, Barbara Boxer, and Bill Clinton. She also has given money to EMILY’s List.