Jessica Taubner joins the FII team after serving on the founding advisory board since its inauguration in May 2014. Taubner brings a diverse background of community organizing, policy, and political experience. For the last six years, she served as Chief of Staff for Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley, following for two years as her Policy Director. Taubner executed the Councilor’s first-of-its-kind hearing for survivors of homicide, strategized changes to the Boston Residents Jobs Policy Ordinance, and led Councilor Pressley’s coalition on access to sexual health education and condoms in Boston Public Schools. Taubner brought community partners together to implement the Councilor’s vision of a community summit on sexual violence, called Raise Your Voice, A Day of Empowerment for Girls and Women. She also spearheaded Pressley’s efforts to ensure equity in the emerging adult use cannabis industry. Taubner started a weekly meditation group at City Hall and began introducing play into lunch breaks and meetings to encourage connection and creativity. In 2011, she was the Campaign Manager for Councilor Pressley’s first successful re-election campaign, moving her from a 4th place finish in 2009 to a 1st place finish, making Councilor Pressley the first person of color, and the first woman in 30 years, to top the ticket in Boston. Prior to working for Councilor Pressley, Taubner was Senior Researcher for the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing in the Massachusetts House of Representatives where she specialized in public health, health care workforce, and mental health and substance abuse legislation. She worked extensively on an omnibus children’s mental health bill and an omnibus cost containment bill, both signed into law in 2008. She also spent several years providing direct care to youth with behavioral health challenges and advocacy for children and their families enrolled in Head Start (Worcester, Massachusetts). Taubner has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clark University and a master’s degree in public health, with a concentration in maternal and child health, from Boston University. She practices Zen meditation and Ashtanga yoga. She enjoys hiking and making art.