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Advocacy Director

companyACLU of Louisiana
locationNew Orleans, LA, USA
PublishedPublished: 6/14/2022
Full Time

Job Description

Salary: 100,000 - 120,000

About the ACLU of Louisiana

At the ACLU of Louisiana, we envision an equitable Louisiana that upholds the rights, dignity, and safety of all people and courageously acknowledges and endeavors to repair historical injustice that continues to harm marginalized communities. Our team seeks to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all Louisianians by working to dismantle systems of oppression that harm the most vulnerable members of the community, specifically Black, Brown, Immigrant, and LGBTQ+ communities. 

Our work reflects the ideals of peace, justice, and love.

We fight for change through a vigorous legal, policy, and community-centered strategy dedicated to ending white supremacist policy and law. We are engineers for real social change. We steep ourselves in a thorough understanding of Louisiana and American history to free ourselves of bias and ignorance.

It has been said that the fight for civil liberties never stays won; as cynical as that may sound, the ACLU of Louisiana remains confident that we—and justice—will prevail.

Currently, our team includes 15 individuals that are deeply passionate about doing the work and embodying the values of our organization each day. We invite individuals who have experience in and share our passion for social justice to join our team. 

The opportunity                                     

The Advocacy Director provides vision and direction for its public policy advocacy. Grounded in a comprehensive view of the civil rights and civil liberties landscape in Louisiana, the Advocacy Director is responsible for developing the organization’s advocacy infrastructure and advancing the organization’s policy priorities through short- and long-term campaigns at the state, municipal, or parish level. Our Advocacy Director is a strategic and dynamic relationship builder who is comfortable in any room and understands how to pool influence from across the political spectrum and organize community members to take action. They will collaborate internally and externally to develop sustained and scalable advocacy strategies involving legislative, political, legal, communications, and organizing tactics. 

The Advocacy Director is a member of the senior leadership team and reports to the Executive Director. This position requires close collaboration with the legal department. Director will also collaborate closely with the Deputy Director, Legal Director, Communications Director, Development Director, or others, and will participate in organizational planning, setting priorities, and managing the Advocacy Team’s budget. 

Responsibilities

Policy Advocacy and Strategy Development

  • Manage and provide vision for the ACLU of Louisiana’s year-round legislative and policy advocacy, including by identifying policy options to advance organizational priorities and designing campaigns to achieve those goals.
  • Shape and manage the direction of the policy team, ensuring a purposeful and collaborative approach to using an integrated set of legislative, legal, electoral, communications, and grassroots mobilization tactics that will build political power, elevate community demands, bring together partners, and make continuous progress toward organizational goals.
  • Implement systems that support the policy team’s collaboration with other functional-area teams, promote accountability to short- and long-term goals, and define clear benchmarks and measures of success.
  • Incorporate legal analysis into advocacy strategies to ensure alignment with constitutional principles and protection of civil rights.

Legal Collaboration and Analysis

  • Collaborate closely with the Legal Director to ensure alignment of advocacy efforts (including priority bills) with litigation efforts and capacity, including ensuring that advocacy and legal strategies are aligned as it relate to potential future challenges to unconstitutional legislation, including fact development that is likely necessary during the course of the legislative session..
  • Utilize legal expertise to analyze proposed legislation for constitutionality and potential impact on civil rights and civil liberties, including input from active and invested coalition members operating in the same space who may have an interested in defeating or amending said legislation prior to passage.
  • Draft comprehensive legal memos to support advocacy efforts, providing detailed analysis of relevant laws, regulations, and legal precedents, including relevant facts that may (or did) develop on or off the House and Senate floor that call into question the legality of certain laws and/or legislative actions that may call for litigation.
  • Work closely with the Legal Director to craft memos that effectively communicate the legal implications of policy proposals to internal stakeholders, external partners, and decision-makers and the prospect (or lack thereof) for litigation by the affiliate or other coalition partners.

Team Management and Development

  • Manage and develop the skills of ACLU of Louisiana policy staff
  • Develop work plans that support the organization’s policy goals and coaching staff on designing, executing, and evaluating policy campaigns.

Community Engagement and Coalition Building

  • Represent the ACLU of Louisiana in various community and stakeholder settings
  • Build and lead coalitions with diverse participants to identify and advance shared policy goals
  • Work in partnership with other organizations to achieve advocacy objectives
  • Serve as the Advocacy Team’s representative to the Board of Directors.

Communications and Administration

  • Work closely with Communications staff to plan communications strategies that support policy campaigns and elevate directly impacted people, including sustained messaging to educate and influence targets and rapid-response communications.
  • With the Executive Director and Operations Team, develop and manage the policy team’s budget.
  • Assist Development staff, as needed, with fundraising activities.

To be successful in this role:

  • JD required. 
  • At least five to seven years of experience in state or national-level legislative work, community organizing, or issue advocacy campaigns.
  • At least five years of experience supervising staff.
  • Broad knowledge of state and local-level legislative and administrative processes, including a specific knowledge of Louisiana processes or an articulable approach to learning Louisiana processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to build respectful and constructive relationships across the political spectrum and with diverse coalitions, including navigating internal political dynamics among external partners.
  • Exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to manage a year-round policy program that creates scalable progress toward priority reforms while opposing threats to civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply an expansive toolbox of strategies to move decision-makers and voters and to work within an integrated advocacy framework with legal, communications, organizing, and mobilization tactics.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of the ACLU of Louisiana, including an understanding that the protection and advancement of racial and gender justice is central to the overall protection of civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Strong self-starter with a keen attention to detail, an ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects at various stages of completion, and demonstrated ability to independently set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate with others as part of a team, and to supervise staff who may work both independently and as members of a team.
  • Demonstrated ability to give clear direction and hold staff accountable to benchmarks and deadlines on concurrent projects in a fast-paced, occasionally stressful environment.
  • Ambitious, creative, and results-oriented initiative and a desire to learn, pitch-in, and anticipate new projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate, including working closely with the Executive Director and colleagues at the ACLU of Louisiana and the National ACLU.
  • Willingness and availability to work beyond the normal workday, on weekends, and/or more than 40 hours per week as necessary to support the Policy Team’s goals.
  • Willingness and availability to travel throughout Louisiana, including the ability to be present in Baton Rouge during the entirety of legislative session, and occasionally to travel to other states for conferences, trainings, and ACLU events as needed.
  • An absolute commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstances. 
  • Exceptional analytical, research, writing and oral advocacy skills, including the ability to articulate complex issues and to communicate them tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
  • Proficiency with office technology and information systems, including state legislative information systems and bill trackers, online communications, and word processing.
  • Proficiency with programmatic budgeting or willingness to learn
  • Must reside within driving distance of the ACLU of Louisiana offices in New Orleans. This is a hybrid position with some required in-office days.
  • Access to reliable transportation.

To stand out from the others:

  • Passion and experience building diverse, inclusive, and positive team cultures.
  • Experience in public policy advocacy, policy research and analysis, civil liberties law, government relations, or related fields.
  • Significant management experience planning and leading policy or issue advocacy campaigns related to criminal legal reform, voting rights, immigrant rights, or police accountability.
  • In addition to proficiency in English, the ability to speak and/or write in Spanish or Vietnamese.

What else you should know:

You are welcome here! The ACLU of Louisiana is proud to provide a workplace environment that is representative of the communities we serve. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage and eagerly anticipate applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, previous criminal conviction and/or veteran status.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $100,000 -120,000

To apply:

Applications may be submitted via this link https://laaclu.bamboohr.com/careers/28 and must include a cover letter explaining your specific interest in working for the ACLU of Louisiana and a resume. Please note that we will only be able to follow up with those candidates under consideration. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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