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Pennsylvania Policy Center Staff

Marc Stier | Executive Director

stier@pennpolicy.org | 215-880-6142

Marc Stier is a long-time activist, teacher, and writer. Before becoming the executive director of the Pennsylvania Policy Center, he was director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center from 2015 to 2023 and chair of the We The People–PA campaign from 2018 to 2023; executive director of Penn Action; the Pennsylvania director of health care for America Now, which led the grassroots effort in support of what became the Affordable Care Act in the state; and the Health Care campaign manager for SEIU Pennsylvania State Council.

Stier was an academic for 25 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Harvard University, both in political science. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; City College of New York; the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Temple University, where he was the associate director and internet coordinator of the Intellectual Heritage Program.

Stier is the author of numerous papers on political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American politics. He is the author of the book Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform, published in 2013. His two latest books, Liberalism and Communitarianism Revisited  and  Civilization and Its Contents: Reflections on Sex and the Culture Wars will be published in 2025. He is also co-editor of  Ambiguity in the Western Tradition.

He blogs at Marc Stier at Large.

Levana Layendecker | Deputy Director

layendecker@pennpolicy.org | 267-240-4338

Levana Layendecker is the chief operating officer of the Pennsylvania Policy Center. Ms. Layendecker brings more than 15 years of experience in legislative advocacy and organizing to PPC.

Levana Layendecker started out working as a campus organizer and canvass director for the state PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) after finishing her undergrad degree. She then went on to become the web communications director for the American Friends Service Committee while obtaining a master’s degree in governmental administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Ms. Layendecker took on an opportunity to work on the health care reform campaign in Washington, D.C., as the director of online campaigns for Health Care for America Now, a grassroots coalition mobilizing millions to win a guarantee of quality, affordable health care. After the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, she worked on progressive electoral and legislative campaigns around the country. She most recently worked with the Keystone Research Center as the associate director and as a deputy director for the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Kirstin Snow | Communications Director

snow@pennpolicy.org | 215-510-9336

Before joining the Pennsylvania Policy Center as director of communications, Kirstin served as the communications director for both the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and the Keystone Research Center. She comes with over 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising, public relations, and crisis communications in the public, private, corporate, political, and nonprofit sectors. Some of her former roles are managing accounts for advertisers, including the Got Milk? campaign, FORD, Arby’s, the Beef Council, FILA, and McCormick. She was director of marketing and communications for Highmark Blue Shield; director of communications for Governor Ed Rendell’s administration; and a weekly columnist with a progressive perspective for the Patriot-News. She’s worked with progressive and high-level leaders, including President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, and President Bill Clinton.

Kirstin has been named one of Pennsylvania’s 40 Under 40; one of PA’s 50 Best Women in Business; and is a former member of the Governor’s Commission for Women. She’s also received EMMY and New York Film awards for broadcast nonprofit advertising.

A resident of Harrisburg, Snow earned her bachelor’s degree in history, sociology, and anthropology from Ursinus College; a master of arts degree in political philosophy from McDaniel University; and a doctorate in business administration from Southwest University.

Jeff Garis | Outreach and Partnerships Director

garis@pennpolicy.org | 215-694-4783

Jeff Garis is the outreach and partnerships director at the Pennsylvania Policy Center, drawing on his quarter-century of experience working with advocacy organizations in Pennsylvania. For the decade prior to joining the Pennsylvania Policy Center, Jeff worked for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and Keystone Research Center, coordinating advocacy campaigns focused on state and federal policy priorities. Previously, he worked with diverse coalitions for several years as the field director of Pennsylvania Voice, the state political director of America Votes, and the executive director of Penn Action. Jeff began his advocacy career in 1998, serving as the executive director of a statewide death penalty reform organization. He lives in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, where he enjoys live music, standup comedy, cooking, and bicycling.

Erica Freeman | Deputy Director of Communications

freeman@pennpolicy.org | 267-496-5253

Before joining the Pennsylvania Policy Center, Erica was deputy director of communications at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and Keystone Research Center. Previously, she’d spent years as a fundraising researcher in various Philadelphia nonprofits such as the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Curtis Institute of Music. She was a copy editor at The Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest, continuously Black-owned newspaper in the U.S., and then ran her own copy editing business, specializing in academic writing and writing translated from other languages.

Erica is a Philly native with a BA in English and concentration in creative writing from Haverford College and a master’s in liberal arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s interdisciplinary graduate program with concentrations in African-American studies and women’s studies.

Having grown up in an advocacy- and service-oriented home, Erica has organized college students to participate in an anti-Klan rally in Philadelphia, conducted research on hate crimes for the American Friends Service Committee, and volunteered at the Pennsylvania Prison Society, of which she’s a member.

Adrienne Standley | Deputy Design and Digital Director

standley@pennpolicy.org | 413-768-8408

Adrienne Standley is the deputy design and digital director for the Pennsylvania Policy Center and a passionate harm reductionist and LGBTQ+ rights activist living in Philadelphia. They’re a policy nerd and community organizer with a fine art degree from Arcadia University and additional experience in small business operations, management, and e-commerce.

In addition to their work with PPC, Adrienne organizes with ACT UP Philadelphia and helped to co-found Philadelphia SOL Collective, a well-recognized community organization for harm reduction education and supply distribution. Her first entry into professional advocacy was working with the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center as an organizer with the PA’s Choice Campaign in 2017, and she’s thrilled to be continuing the important work of fighting for a more equitable, just, and compassionate commonwealth.

Castin Stone | Policy Analyst

stone@pennpolicy.org

Castin Stone is a policy analyst with the Pennsylvania Policy Center. Before joining the Center, he worked in Addison County, Vermont, in order to assess housing needs and water quality while working on his degree in environmental studies and geology at Middlebury College. Castin is passionate about geographic data analysis, best practices in data governance, and making opaque statistics into accurate and compelling stories.

Susan Gobreski | Senior Advisor

gobreski@pennpolicy.org | 215-567-5791

Recent Penn Policy Blogs

July 21, 2024 in Blog Post, Press Statement

Penn Policy Statement on President Biden’s Withdrawal

Joe Biden’s truly selfless act today exemplifies the authentic leadership that has made him the most effective Democratic President since Franklin Roosevelt. Under very difficult political circumstances, with a bare…
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July 11, 2024 in Blog Post, Policy Briefs, Press Statements

Response to the 2024–25 PA State Budget — Education Funding

Governor Shapiro and the members of the General Assembly have had about 18 months to respond to the Commonwealth Court ruling that Pennsylvania’s system of funding K-12 education is unconstitutional.…
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July 9, 2024 in Policy Briefs, Press Statements

Op-Ed: A State Earned Income Tax Credit Should Be Part of a Budget Deal in 2024

A State Earned Income Tax Credit Should Be Part of a Budget Deal in 2024 by Marc Stier, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Policy Center The Pennsylvania state budget for fiscal year…
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Creating the tools political officials, opinion leaders, grassroots organizations, and the people of Pennsylvania need to expand our vibrant democracy, secure our freedom, and seek economic justice in Pennsylvania.