Paul Bennett serves as Building & Operations Coordinator with the Mertz Gilmore Foundation (MGF), a private grant-making institution that supports and promotes healthy communities, the performing arts, and a sustainable environment. Paul manages the upkeep of building systems within the foundation’s four-story brownstone. He also serves as MGF’s liaison to progressive nonprofits that use the space for meetings and events.
Prior to joining MGF, Paul, in partnership with David Crockett, launched and managed, a business service in NYC for national opinion and behavior researchers. The venture’s success afforded the duo resources to pursue other interests, which led them to co-found three NYC non-profits: Mobile Musicale; New Yorkers for Drug Policy Reform; and Partnership for Responsible Drug Information. The couple recruited the organizations’ boards of directors, on which they served as officers, secured funding, garnered media exposure and guided programs.
Though he’s never been arrested, several years ago Paul successfully negotiated a stressful police encounter in his East Harlem neighborhood. As is typical with NYPD tactics, he was detained by an officer who lacked reasonable suspicion. Paul, knowing his rights, calmly refused to consent to the officer’s search request. The officer, thinking Paul was a lawyer, immediately let him go.
Paul also serves on the Board of Directors of Marijuana Resolve, a Vermont-based nonprofit working to reform the state’s marijuana laws.