Mandi Jo Hanneke moved to Amherst in 2011. Since moving to Amherst, she has kept busy volunteering in the local community. Currently, she is a Court Appointed Special Advocate at Friends of Children. In that role, she interviews parties in abuse and neglect cases and stays informed, continually arguing for the best interests of the child, both in the courtroom and out. CASA volunteers play an important role in creating stability for children in these cases, as they are often the only adults who remain with a case from beginning to end.
Mandi Jo also plays viola in the Pioneer Valley Symphony, a community performing arts organization based in Greenfield and performing throughout the Pioneer Valley. She was a member of its Board of Directors for six years, having served as President for three (2012-2015).
She joined Town Meeting in 2012, and was re-elected twice before the change to a Council-Manager government. In that time, she served on the Electronic Voting Study Committee, the Committee that successfully proposed updating Town Meeting’s recorded votes to electronic votes, thereby saving Members’ time and permitting more frequent recording of how Members vote.
She also served on the Rental Bylaw Implementation Group, as the renter representative. This group is tasked with aiding Town Staff in implementing the Rental Registration Bylaw, as well as considering modifications to is.
In 2016, Mandi Jo was elected to the 9-member Charter Commission in Amherst, the body that ultimately proposed the Home Rule Charter that residents subsequently adopted in 2018 to move to a Council-Manager form of government in Amherst. Mandi Jo served as Vice Chair of the Charter Commission.
Since 2018, Mandi has serve as a Councilor-at-Large on the Amherst Town Council. She was Vice President for two years, was the first chair of the Governance, Organization, and Legislation Committee, and currently chairs the Community Resources Committee. In addition to chairing the Community Resources Committee, she currently serves on the Governance, Organization, and Legislation Committee, and the Joint Capital Planning Committee. In the past, she also served on the Audit Committee.
She is an inactive member of the Massachusetts bar, having previously practiced law in Cambridge, MA.