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Staff Spotlight: GNOFHAC’s Policy Team Doubles as Maxwell Ciardullo Climbs Aboard!

Posted on 09. Jul, 2014 by

Bio_Photo (1)GNOFHAC’s new Policy Analyst, Maxwell Ciardullo climbed on board less than a month ago to join Monika Gerhart and double GNOFHAC’s policy team! Maxwell was born in the suburbs of Chicago, but jumped all over the country–from DC to NYC to Massachusetts–before landing here in New Orleans two years ago through a fellowship. Although he could have been placed in 1 of 7 cities in the country, Maxwell got lucky, he says, as he and his partner already had friends here and he loves the friendly demeanor of New Orleans residents.

Maxwell sought work at GNOFHAC this Spring because he understands that preserving affordable and fair housing is crucial to people’s health and well being, and he wanted to be part of this important work. In Max’s previous public health work, he saw how heavily issues of housing affected his colleagues and clients. Through advocacy and direct service work with LGBTQ youth, drug users, and people with mental health issues, it became clear that safe and affordable housing was often the most stabilizing force in a person’s life.

Maxwell has been interested in issues of social justice since he was a wee chap. At the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Maxwell began to shape his social justice framework in both his academic studies in sociology and his extra-curricular activities, particularly his work with the university’s Feminist Majority group. Max then went on to receive a Masters in Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

As a new staff member, Maxwell is excited to learn more about the legal side of fair housing. He has a lot to offer us too, though. With his expertise in Regional Planning, he is excited to work with our Senior Policy analyst in our efforts to add an inclusionary zoning policy to the comprehensive zoning ordinance. This means “providing incentives for developers to include affordable units within their market rate developments,” which would be included in zoning codes. His background in planning, data analysis, and mapping skills will also add a new point of view to our policy work in general.

We are thrilled to have Maxwell join our team and are excited about the plethora of skills he’s bringing to the Fair Housing Movement!

Quirk:

As a part of an old job for an organization that advocated for comprehensive sex education, Maxwell used to go undercover as a youth group counselor at “abstinence-only-until-marriage conferences” to research the opposition. He is truly a chameleon and will surely be a valuable asset to our team!

 

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