How is Jeannine Maynard helping to lead the Great Uniondale Area Action Coalition?


At nearly 68-years-old, Jeannine Maynard, a lifelong resident of West Hempstead and seasoned community advocate, works to improve her neighbors’ quality of life as the co-facilitator of the Great Uniondale Area Action Coalition.

With a background steeped in social work and civil rights, Maynard has dedicated her career to addressing pressing local issues.

Begun nearly a decade ago, the coalition known as GUAAC brings together over 26 local organizations to amplify the voice of the Uniondale area’s residents and businesses.

“There were community summits that were hosted by leaders from GUAAC civic groups, and different entities in the community around conditions that the Uniondale community was concerned with,” Maynard said.
“Some pressing issues that were happening in the community was zombie housing.”

Maynard, a licensed social worker, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work grew up in an interracial family, which heightened her awareness of civil rights from a young age.

Her activism roots trace back to her teenage years when she started as a community volunteer and later spearheaded a drug prevention program during her senior year in high school.

Throughout her career, she has leveraged her role in various community-focused positions to build a broad network of contacts, which has been instrumental in her leadership at GUAAC.

“Many of my contacts and connections developed when I was working for the Uniondale Community Council Youth Project as a program director,” she said.

Under Maynard’s co-leadership, GUAAC identifies and prioritizes local concerns at monthly meetings. The coalition has set four key priorities: enhancing communication and organizational infrastructures, increasing influence in local government decision-making, addressing housing issues, and engaging and empowering youth.

“One of our key partners is the Uniondale school district and they’ve been a part of our regular monthly meetings,” she said. “They help integrate our efforts across community lines, fostering a connected and inclusive environment for families and children.”

The challenges of community organizing are significant, and Maynard admits the role can be overwhelming.
“Some of the balance comes from teamwork and I think that there is a maturity in several of the leaders in the group that allows us to know how life flows,” Maynard said.

“We’ve had people that have had medical situations come up with parents or caregiving and other kinds of things, and we’re kind and understanding to each other.”
Looking ahead, Maynard is optimistic about GUAAC’s future initiatives.

“Covid-19 disrupted our usual community summits, which are crucial for our planning,” she said.” The organization has to return to having its summits.”

Maynard also emphasizes the importance of nurturing new leadership to ensure the coalition’s longevity and relevance.

She reflected on the skills crucial for her role, but placed the spotlight on including everyone and creating positive civic discourse.

“I think what is important is that we enjoy and value diverse voices,” she said, “so that there is respect between community members who want to be inclusive.”

Maynard and the Great Uniondale Area Action Coalition aims to remain at the forefront of community advocacy in Nassau County.

To learn more about the organization and become involved, go to