Kyra Kazantzis has been a nonprofit professional, community leader, and public servant in our Silicon Valley community for over 25 years. Her most recent role has been as a Senior Policy Advisor to San José Mayor Sam Liccardo, focused on solving San José’s housing and homelessness crisis. There, Kyra led the Mayor’s housing initiatives which, for example, marshaled a department-wide housing crisis work-plan and homelessness response plan; established a housing catalyst team; made land use changes to accommodate thousands of new homes; and launched the bridge housing program for people who are unhoused.
Her prior role as a longtime directing attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley saw her leading teams of in-house and law firm pro bono attorneys in conducting strategic impact policy advocacy and litigation in a wide variety of issue areas—fair housing, affordable housing, civil rights, inmate rights, consumer protection, disability rights, and poverty; Kyra co-founded the Law Foundation’s innovative Fair Housing Law Project. She began her legal career at the Law Foundation’s mental health advocacy program, where she was the directing attorney for 8 years, specializing in issues of involuntary mental health commitment, criminal justice interaction with individuals with disabilities, quality of care in psychiatric institutions and jails, and minors’ rights in residential care.
Kyra has a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts with distinction and honors from the University of Arizona. She has served on the governance boards of SVCN, MACLA, and the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) and is a long-time volunteer at Children’s Musical Theater, San Jose. In 2013, Kyra was named as SCCBA’s Professional Lawyer of the Year and, in 2012, was listed as a woman of influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Kyra is a proud member of ALF’s Urbanism Class XXXVI, and lives in downtown San José with her husband Eric, teen-aged daughter Kassia, and rescue dog Leila.