Madeline Janis is currently the National Policy Director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), which she co-founded. LAANE believes that businesses benefiting from government tax breaks or contracts should repay the city by improving the lives, wages and benefits of workers they employ, as well as reinvesting in communities where they operate.
As Executive Director from 1993 to 2012, Janis lead Los Angeles’ living wage campaign, transformed the city’s sanitation system, and helped pass one of the country’s most sweeping anti-pollution and anti-poverty measures at the Port of Los Angeles, instituting a “clean trucks” program that has improved air quality and raised the standard of living for nearly 16,000 truck drivers. Janis’ groundbreaking approaches to economic development and community empowerment also helped defeat Wal-Mart’s efforts to construct — exempt from all state and local regulation — a 60-acre shopping complex in Inglewood, CA.
On the national level, LAANE is proposing a new policy to the Federal Department of Transportation ensuring that all new U.S. investment in public transportation, such as trains and buses, also create U.S jobs, particularly for veterans and the disabled. Janis served as an appointed commissioner on the board of L.A.’s Community Redevelopment Agency from 2002 until 2012.
Before founding LAANE, Janis was the executive director of the Central American Refugee Center. Under her leadership, the organization fought civil rights abuses by the L.A. Police Department against Central American immigrants, and helped tens of thousands of people achieve legal immigrant status. Janis is a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts and UCLA Law School.