Title: Policy Associate
Reports to: Policy Director

Organization and Position Summary:

The ACLU-DC is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting and expanding the civil rights and civil liberties of all those who live in, work in, or visit the District of Columbia. The ACLU-DC is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and works in the courts, legislature, and in communities to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States.

The Policy Associate will engage in local policy advocacy before the D.C. Council, the Mayor, and with administrative agencies to advance the ACLU-DC’s strategic work on issues related to First Amendment rights, criminal justice, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, privacy, religious freedom, immigrant rights, federal workers’ rights, and reproductive rights. This includes, but is not limited to, conducting policy research and analyzing legislation, engaging in lobbying with the DC Council, and representing the ACLU-DC in various coalitions and with stakeholder groups to advance shared policy goals.

Under the direction and supervision of the Policy Director, the Policy Associate will also work closely with other members of the Policy Department, including ACLU-DC organizers, as well as with members of the Communications, Development, and Legal departments, coalition partners, and the ACLU National Office.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Support the execution of the ACLU-DC’s legislative agenda by utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics, including analyzing complex policy issues to determine the ACLU-DC’s position and lobbying members in the D.C. Council, the Mayor’s office, and local agency officials.
  • Prepare and review written materials including legislative testimony, memoranda, reports, briefing papers, letters, public commentary, talking points, and website content that further the legislative priorities of the organization.
  • Testify before the D.C. Council and engage in public speaking at organizational or community events.
  • Build and maintain trusted, respectful relationships with elected and appointed local officials, agency decision-makers, the Mayor’s office, lobbyists and community stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources and identifying opportunities for collaboration on ACLU issues.
  • Maintain clear and quantifiable systems for tracking policy progress in and out of legislative session.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with ACLU-DC staff to build and implement effective multidisciplinary and integrated advocacy initiatives, involving a combination of policy, legal, communications, public education and organizing strategies.
  • Represent ACLU-DC in various community and stakeholder groups, help build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders to advance shared policy goals, and work in partnership with other organizations.
  • Monitor and respond to policy initiatives under consideration by the local District government.

We seek a professional with a proven ability to research, analyze, and explain complex policy and legislation, a demonstrated track-record of being detail-oriented and organized, and a history of successfully building relationships with a wide-range of stakeholders to achieve policy goals. Requirements include:

  • At least two years of relevant work experience at the DC, state, or national level OR relevant graduate degree such as law degree or master’s in public policy
  • Excellent writing, research, analytical, and verbal communication skills
  • Initiative, vision, and ability to assist in planning and building strategic, integrated advocacy campaigns through a broad range of short- and long-term legislative, education, and organizing tactics
  • A good understanding of the legislative process and of political strategic planning
  • An ability to build and maintain strong working relationships
  • Comfort/ease with public speaking
  • Experience and ability to work in coalitions, including navigating internal political dynamics among partner groups, and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socioeconomic circumstances
  • Strong time management skills, with an ability to work effectively under pressure and to prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated ability to manage details, work independently, and follow through with a minimum of direct supervision
  • A commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards
  • A desire to receive and incorporate feedback
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including an ability to work collaboratively, share responsibility and credit, and navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships with colleagues inside and outside the ACLU
  • Flexibility and adaptability to a fast-paced, constantly changing environment
  • A passion for civil rights and civil liberties issues
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system strongly encouraged to apply

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary based on market factors and individual experience and abilities. The current range is $50,000-$65,000. Excellent benefits include paid time off, generous paid holidays, medical and dental insurance, 401k plan, life insurance, income replacement during illness through a combination of annual family and medical leave, short term disability and long-term disability insurance.

To Apply:

Send an application packet that includes a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, resume, brief writing sample (2-3 pages) to https://smrtr.io/3FPGn. Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this job opportunity. No phone calls, please.

Application materials will be reviewed as received and will be accepted until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by January 15, 2020.

The ACLU of the District of Columbia is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of the District of Columbia encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

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