The ACLU of Arizona works to advance equity and dismantle systemic injustice through legal action, policy advocacy, and mobilizing our communities to protect the civil rights, liberties, and dignity of all Arizonans. This is a fantastic opportunity for a creative and strategic professional with policy advocacy experience and a demonstrated commitment to advancing civil rights and liberties.
The Policy Strategist is part of the Policy Department and works to develop and execute the organization's policy and legislative agenda in support of the ACLU of Arizona’s priorities. They will work collaboratively across departments, using an integrated advocacy approach that utilizes policy advocacy, litigation, organizing, and communications to maximize the impact of our work. The Policy Strategist also works closely with various allied organizations and community partners. They will have a deep understanding of advocacy tactics to exert influence on policymakers and other key targets, including direct lobbying of elected officials and experience analyzing and drafting legislation and policy proposals. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record working in a collaborative, fast-paced environment, problem-solving, and managing multiple projects.
The Policy Strategist will not be responsible for supervising paid staff but may supervise interns or volunteers as assigned.
Location: Arizona; Phoenix preferred. Hybrid work environment.
Starting Salary Range: $58,000- $75,000 DOE
Deadline to Apply: December 20, 2023
Supervision: This position reports to the Policy Director
Classification: Full-time, exempt
Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Advance ACLU-AZ priorities through research, analysis, and direct engagement with elected officials and government stakeholders.
- Develop and execute advocacy plans to further ACLU-AZ policy goals.
- Maintain deep knowledge of civil rights and liberties issues at the local, state, and federal levels, and the key influencers and organizations that shape those issues in Arizona.
- Monitor, research, and analyze state and local legislation and policy proposals related to the ACLU of Arizona’s advocacy campaigns and public policy goals.
- Lobby members of the Arizona Legislature and local officials to advance the ACLU of Arizona’s policy goals.
- Draft written materials including legislative testimony, memoranda, policy papers and reports, talking points and fact sheets, advocacy letters, know-your-rights guides, and public commentary.
- Coordinate and collaborate with ACLU of Arizona and National ACLU colleagues to build and implement strategies that use a combination of litigation, organizing, communications, electoral and other approaches, where appropriate.
Relationship building and community partnerships
- Build and maintain relationships with government officials, agency decision-makers, lobbyists, and community stakeholders.
- Represent the ACLU of Arizona in various community settings, working groups and stakeholder groups; help build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders to advance shared policy goals, and work in partnership with other organizations.
Communications and external relations
- Represent the ACLU of Arizona at public forums, conferences, meetings, and with other external stakeholders.
- Work with ACLU of Arizona communications staff to serve as an occasional spokesperson for the organization including through media interviews, op-eds and articles and provide support and guidance on communications strategies related to policy issues.
Reporting and administrative duties: Maintain well-organized and up-to-date files and records. Track information and provide timely, clear reports on policy advocacy or other organizational activities, and complete and execute work plans.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging: Be an active contributor to the organization and policy department’s efforts to think creatively, ambitiously, and openly about how our program can better integrate equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging into our day-to-day operations as well as our goals, plans and work with volunteers, leaders, and partners.
Skills and Experience:
- Minimum of 3- 5 years of experience working in public policy advocacy at state or local levels.
- Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU of Arizona.
- Excellent policy analysis and research skills, as well as written and oral advocacy skills including the ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them effectively to a variety of audiences.
- Experience with legislative procedures, bill drafting, policy development and analysis is a plus.
- Experience developing advocacy plans, setting goals and tactics to advance policy priorities.
- Familiarity with the Arizona political landscape, state and local government issues, and legislative process is strongly preferred.
- Ability to proactively build and cultivate effective relationships across the political spectrum.
- Experience working in coalition, including developing shared plans, coordinating communications, and managing dynamics among partner groups.
- Demonstrated commitment to centering the voices and leadership of directly impacted people and communities.
- Ability to keep organized in a fast-paced environment, to manage several projects simultaneously and adjust to frequently changing demands while maintaining strong attention to detail.
- Ability to work independently and in a team environment with support and collaboration from the supervisor.
- Willingness and ability to work irregular hours, attend evening and weekend meetings, and travel in- and out-of-state.
- J.D. or graduate degree in public policy or a related field is not required but has some preference.
Cultural Competencies: Demonstrated awareness of one’s own cultural identity, views about differences, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms. A complex understanding of racial justice and the urgency of confronting institutional racism and inequity. Commitment to equity and inclusion as organizational practice and culture. Proven track record of working across lines of race, immigration status, ethnicity, language, class, gender and other identities and experiences including record of arrest or conviction.
Working Conditions: The ACLU of Arizona office is generally open between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Inputting information into a computer for long periods of time.
- Work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Periodically work long and extended hours.
- Occasionally travel locally/regionally/internationally as needed.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. Please note that some in-person attendance at the office is required however most day-to-day work can be done remotely.
Why work for ACLU of AZ?
Time off: Staff get 15 vacation days their first three years; 20 days after four years. We offer an additional 17 days off for holidays and personal days.
Benefits package: We cover 100% of health, vision, and dental insurance for employees. We provide life and disability insurance, as well as reimbursement of some out-of-pocket healthcare related expenses. Staff are reimbursed for cell phones and home internet if working from home.
401k Plan: We want you to be prepared for retirement! We match 100% of the first 1% of your salary deferred to your 401k, plus 50% of the next 5% of your salary contribution. And then, we contribute an additional 2% of your salary contribution each pay period.
Commitment to our staff: We invest in staff growth and professional development opportunities and are committed to providing regular feedback and opportunities for advancement.
Crystal clear focus: Our team focuses on some of the most important and urgent issues of our times – from abortion rights, voting rights and democracy, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal legal reform, immigrant rights, border justice, and racial justice.
Our team is amazing: You will be working with incredibly dedicated, smart, and caring people who know how to have fun while getting a lot done in a low-ego environment. In addition to your Arizona colleagues, you will become part of a national network of ACLU staff in all 50 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico!
How to Apply
Email your resume, cover letter, and two professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include “Policy Strategist” in the subject line and how you heard about the position. In the cover letter, in addition to your qualifications, please make sure to answer the following questions:
- Why you are interested in working at ACLU-AZ; and
- How have you demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in your professional work?
No phone calls or walk-ins, please.
The ACLU-AZ undertakes inclusive strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact email@example.com
Deadline: Applicants must apply by December 20, 2023
The ACLU-AZ is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.