Meet the Team

John Payne | Campaign Manager


John Payne graduated with a degree in history from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2005. While in college, John also served as the treasurer and vice president of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, demonstrating his longstanding interest in ending destructive prohibitionist policies. In 2018, he managed the successful campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri with the passage of what is now Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution. After the campaign, John formed Amendment 2 Consultants, where he works with numerous licensed marijuana businesses, both in Missouri and across the country, as well as advising further efforts to reform marijuana laws nationwide.

Alan Zagier | Communications Manager

Alan Zagier is an award-winning journalist, storyteller, and communications strategist based in St. Louis. He joined Tightline Public Affairs as a consultant in May 2019 after spending more than 20 years in daily journalism, including a decade-plus with The Associated Press and for news organizations in Florida, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.


His AP investigations of systemic prosecutorial misconduct in Missouri led to the release of several state prisoners wrongfully convicted of murder. Other reporting laid the groundwork for multi-million-dollar settlements for victims of priest sex abuse and families stricken by toxic waste, as well as changes in how college football monitors vulnerable athletes with sickle cell traits. At Tightline, his roles have included communications manager in 2020 for the winning campaign to expand Medicaid in Missouri.


Zagier is a 17-year Missouri resident and former visiting professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he helped train a cohort of students who are now industry leaders. He was named a Tightline principal in December 2019 after earning his MBA from Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he also worked as a senior communications manager.