The Reminiscences of Chris Policano

The Transcript

It was like, there were drawings and there was a mock-up of a brochure about the Nancy Reagan Center. And I was like, “Nancy Reagan? I’m a Democrat, New York liberal. I work for a union.” So I was like, “Nancy Reagan?” But Mitch always—this was supposed to be the focus of her post-White House life. This also would move the needle for Phoenix House in profound ways. So Mitch was quite taken with this project.
— Chris Policano

Biography: Chris Policano served as Phoenix House’s media liaison and public relations director between 1989 and 2007. Born and raised in the outer boroughs of New York City, he joined Phoenix House after a brief stint in the public relations business.  He was closely involved with the public relations elements of Phoenix House’s expansion into southern California.  He also worked with the media throughout Phoenix House’s peak years as addiction experts, at a time when the nation was increasingly nervous about the crack epidemic in the 1980s. At the time of the interview, he was serving as Public Affairs Director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. 

Keyboard: Phoenix House; New York City; Mitchell Rosenthal; Ronald Coster; Kevin McEneaney; Gloria Cologne; Rudolph Giuliani; Michael Bloomberg; David Dinkins; Jamaica, NY; City College; John Scanlon; Nancy Reagan; therapeutic community; organizational culture; leadership; substance abuse treatment; crack epidemic; New York Daily News; Phelan Place; Lakeview, CA; mass incarceration; drug policy; Internet; Howard Meitiner; liaison; stigma