June 22, 2018
Access Strategies Fund Names Kelly Bates as Executive Director

Kelly Bates
February 28, 2008 — Access Strategies Fund, a philanthropic foundation based in Cambridge dedicated to using the democratic process to improve the lives of disenfranchised communities in Massachusetts, recently announced the hiring of its new executive director, Kelly Bates.

Bates, an attorney and well known, Boston-based management and political consultant, joins Access Strategies Fund after several years as head of a national consulting practice. She also served in various executive positions with the Women’s State-Wide Legislative Network, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, and the Healthworks Foundation.

Board Chairperson Maria Jobin-Leeds said, “Kelly Bates clearly has the passion, leadership and demonstrated success that we were looking for. Her background in law, politics, philanthropy, and organizational development is what we need to grow our organization’s work.”

Offering her vision for the future, Bates said: “As a foundation, Access Strategies Fund will double its efforts, double its dollars and multiply its impact by funding grassroots organizations that inspire people to speak, vote and improve their communities. We can overcome the hopelessness that makes so many powerless people sit on the sidelines during elections. We need these voices in our democracy.”

Bates was the chief lobbyist and organizer of a powerful lobby of women’s organizations that passed landmark anti-sexual harassment legislation in Massachusetts. She was also lead consultant for the Civic Engagement Initiative, a funding collaborative that made history in Boston and Chelsea by increasing voter participation rates in almost every election in the last six years.

A graduate of the Boston University School of Law (1994) and the State University of New York at Albany (1991), Ms. Bates is a member of the bar in Massachusetts. She and her husband Paul, an attorney specializing in labor law, have one son, and live in Roslindale, MA.

Founded in 1999, Access Strategies Fund has provided community based organizations with more than $2 million in grants to promote non-partisan voter mobilization, electoral reform, and civic participation among people of color, immigrants and low-income residents. During that time, grant recipients have made sustained increases in voter turn out in communities throughout Boston

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