- 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
Gina Glantz was born as Gina Stritzler in about 1943 and was raised in Westfield, New Jersey. In the early ’60s she enrolled as a journalism student at UC Berkeley, where she participated in the Free Speech Movement—a 1964 eruption that culminated in the occupation of the university administration building and the subsequent arrest of some 800 student trespassers. As the first “takeover” of a campus building in the history of American higher education, this event set the stage for political actions on college campuses for the next generation.
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1965, Glantz (Stritzler) went on to participate in the “Senior Executives in State and Local Government” program at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. She then married Ronald Glantz, a chief investment officer at the stock brokerage firm Paine Webber.
From 1974-84, Gina Glantz worked as a campaign manager, field director, and consultant for various New Jersey Democrats at the county, state, and federal levels. She served, for instance, as chief of staff to Essex County Executive Peter Shapiro; she helped family friend Andrew Maguire win two terms in Congress during the 1970s; and she helped Brendan Byrne get re-elected as New Jersey Governor in 1977.
Glantz’s first big-time political job came in 1984, when she was the national campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale.
In 1985, Glantz and political organizer Angie Martin co-founded Martin & Glantz, a national consulting firm specializing in grassroots organizing and communications strategies. Among the firm’s clients were the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ford Foundation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood.
In 1986, Martin & Glantz organized the famous “Hands Across America” campaign to call public attention to the issues of hunger and homelessness. The political objective of this initiative was to misrepresent these two issues as major national epidemics to which then-President Ronald Reagan was callously indifferent.
From 1998-2000, Glantz was the campaign manager of Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Bradley’s unsuccessful presidential bid.
In November 2002, shortly after the passage of that year’s Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act—better known as the McCain-Feingold Act (which banned “soft-money” donations in politics)—Glantz called a meeting (in Washington, DC) of key Democrat political operatives including Harold Ickes, Ellen Malcolm, Carl Pope, Steven Rosenthal, and Andrew Stern. At this gathering, Glantz urged the formation of an “umbrella group,” a central command organization that would oversee the flourishing network of pro-Democrat nonprofit groups—known as “Section 527 Committees” to ensure that their assets were being allocated to maximum political effect. Eight months later, this Glantz initiative resulted in the formation of America Votes, a national coalition of grassroots, get-out-the-vote organizations.
In 2003 Glantz was a strategist and adviser for Howard Dean‘s failed 2004 presidential campaign. Also during the 2004 election season, Glantz was a key player in America Coming Together’s effort to defeat incumbent President George W. Bush and elect progressive officials at every level of government.
In 2005, Glantz, along with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and New Democratic Network president Simon Rosenberg, established the New Politics Institute, a think tank devoted to helping left-wing organizations achieve their political objectives.
Glantz was a member of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund from 2006-13; during the last three of those years, she served as the Fund’s chair.
In 2009 Glantz was the treasurer of Qvisory, Inc, a newly formed online organization geared toward addressing the needs of young workers. She also served on the boards of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and the Bay Area Economic Forum. In 2009 as well, Glantz was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics.
In 2009-10, Glantz served as a consultant with the McKinsey Global Institute. In 2011-12, she was a visiting professor at Harvard‘s Kennedy School of Government. And in August 2013, she founded GenderAvenger.com, an organization dedicated to “making sure women are represented in all facets of public discourse.”
Glantz formerly served on the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, including a stint on its National Leadership Advisory Council.
Over the years, Glantz has made numerous political campaign contributions to Democratic candidates such as Richard Blumenthal, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Joe Kennedy III, John Kerry, Barbara Mikulski, Jerrold Nadler, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Lynn Woolsey. She also has given money to EMILY’s List and Planned Parenthood.