It has been my pleasure to work with Glenn on several public health policy projects. He brings an expansive skill set to the table and can be counted upon to guide a policy discussion that is thoughtful and creative, while remaining mindful of potential political pitfalls.
For over a decade, Glenn Backes has been leading DPA’s lobbying and policy work in the California Legislature with expertise, finesse, and a deep commitment to bringing science, compassion, health and human rights to drug policy. We wouldn’t have achieved our many victories without him.
Glenn is a unicorn. He is a combination of things that aren't supposed to go together in real life. He is brilliantly creative and indefatigably reliable. He is full of heartful compassion and a fearsome fighter. He is skilled and connected inside the capitol and out in the community. And he's fun to work with.
Glenn was the go-to man for our clean energy economy coalition work, which combined environmental, labor, and economic justice concerns in the legislature and in a ballot fight to protect community health and community wealth. We brought together unlikely allies and strange bedfellows, and Glenn was invaluable every step of the way. In 2010, we mounted a six-month, statewide ballot measure campaign that tested the limits of what we could do. Glenn made it possible for us to do it all. Public opinion polling. Campaign messaging. Fundraising. Negotiations with high-powered officials and politicos. Spanish language radio ad buys.
Glenn represented our Families for Books Not Bars campaign, first meeting with family members who’s children were warehoused in the state's juvenile prisons, and then helping us win statutory changes that guaranteed family visitation and communication. He helped us win a legal process to protect the due process rights of youth working toward parole. Glenn combines knowledge, analysis and passion, as well as fundamental respect for community and family concerns. He’s a tremendous asset for those seeking to create systemic change in California.