Los Angeles

Deadline date

January 29, 2018 or until filled

The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) seeks a Community Engagement and Policy Advocate to work on economic justice issues in its Los Angeles office.

Founded in 1923, ACLU SoCal has been at the forefront of many major efforts to protect civil liberties, civil rights, and equal justice in California.  Principled and nonpartisan, ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (Santa Ana), and the Inland Empire (San Bernardino).  ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including criminal justice, police practices, First Amendment rights, gender equity and reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, education equity, and economic justice.


ACLU SoCal seeks applicants for a full-time Community Engagement and Policy Advocate (Advocate) to be part of the ACLU SoCal’s Economic Justice Project, which aims to improve economic justice through creative campaigns that involve policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, litigation, community education, and organizing. The Advocate should have at least three years of relevant experience.  The Advocate will work in the Los Angeles office with anticipated work in the northern Los Angeles County region as well as various other Southern California counties, including Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern, and is expected to develop strong community relationships and expand the ACLU SoCal’s capacity in those regions. This position is funded for three years, with a possibility for future extension contingent upon additional funding.

The Community Engagement and Policy Advocate will be responsible for advancing the ACLU SoCal’s engagement and advocacy on its priority economic justice issues throughout Southern California, statewide and occasionally at the federal level. This exciting work will aim to advance anti-poverty advocacy, specifically countering policies and practices that criminalize poverty and that advance access and rights to basic human needs services, including but not limited to the right to healthcare and right to housing. The Advocate will be supervised by the Director of the Economic Justice Project and will work within the Economic Justice Project of the ACLU SoCal’s Advocacy Department. The Advocate will work closely with economic justice and intersectional issue-based coalitions throughout Southern California and California. The Advocate will work with ACLU SoCal staff, statewide ACLU colleagues, and other organizations serving and advocating on behalf of persons experiencing poverty to implement integrated advocacy campaigns, including policy and legislative advocacy on ordinances and laws. In doing so, the Advocate will work with the ACLU SoCal’s Community Engagement and Communications departments, as well as with other Advocacy department staff.

The position requires a willingness to work beyond a standard 7.5 hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings and events. Work weeks in excess of 40 hours are anticipated to be common. The Community Engagement and Policy Advocate is expected to model professional workplace behavior and standards, and clearly and enthusiastically demonstrate guiding principles of integrity, respect, accountability, compassion, and leadership.


Full-time, Exempt


Community Engagement, Media and Digital Advocacy:

  • Establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with community partners, coalitions, and stakeholders that can support and engage in the ACLU SoCal and ACLU of CA’s economic justice work, as well as other ACLU priority campaigns.
  • Attend and actively participate in community partner meetings and coalitions that focus on economic justice and intersectional poverty issues.
  • Provide strategic guidance, training, and support for community members and coalition partners conducting local policy advocacy.
  • Create training programs and materials on priority economic justice issues and assist with giving trainings and presentations as needed.
  • Organize, lead and participate in community education events, rallies and meetings.
  • Use new media strategies to activate ACLU members, activists and community partners in campaigns and around policy priorities.
  • Help identify and tell compelling human stories to center experiences of communities impacted by civil and human rights abuses.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU SoCal both with the press and as a public speaker on poverty/economic justice and related issues.
  • Other duties may be assigned as needed.

Policy Advocacy and Research:

  • Build effective grassroots and policy advocacy campaigns to effect change at the local and state levels through policy advocacy and policy implementation around state legislation, city/county ordinances, and ballot measures.
  • Develop and cultivate strategic partnerships with organizational allies and relationships with lawmakers to advance organizing and policy advocacy objectives.
  • Draft advocacy letters and recruit diverse and powerful allies to sign on to letters.
  • Develop fact sheets, advocacy materials, toolkits, action alerts, op-eds, blog posts, and social media content.
  • Track and analyze national, state, and local developments relevant to burgeoning economic justice policy objectives, including legislative activity.
  • Organize and attend in-district lobby visits; provide testimony to administrative agencies and governing bodies.
  • Provide trainings for community members and coalition partners on how to conduct policy advocacy with decision makers.
  • Occasionally research and write policy briefs and reports.
  • Other duties may be assigned as needed.


The ideal candidate will be a hard-working leader with a proven record of accomplishments related to civil rights and civil liberties advocacy.

Other qualifications include:


  • A deep and demonstrated commitment to the cause of civil liberties and civil rights, including economic justice/poverty issues.
  • At least 3 years of organizing, campaign, and/or advocacy experience; individuals with more than three years of experience are encouraged to apply.
  • Experience implementing a successful grassroots and/or legislative advocacy campaign at the school district, city/county, state and/or federal level.
  • Experience planning and facilitating workshops, trainings, meetings, and other community events.
  • Experience developing non-electoral campaign strategy, including the ability to understand and maneuver power structures in order to successfully change policy.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience working effectively with coalitions and building coalitions.
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills.
  • Personal organization, including time-management, communication, and tracking data skills.
  • Ability to understand and synthesize complex information for a variety of audiences.
  • Strong people skills, including experience working effectively and respectfully with individuals from diverse backgrounds, demonstrated skill in building trust with individuals and drawing out their stories, and excellent judgment to handle confidential and sensitive issues.
  • Flexible team player but also comfortable working independently and taking initiative.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Willingness to travel and work long hours, including evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Valid driver’s license and the ability to travel throughout southern California, with occasional travel to northern California or San Diego.
  • Other characteristics of a successful candidate include good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively under pressure, a diplomatic touch and a sense of humor.


  • Spanish language fluency (both speaking and writing).
  • Experience with digital organizing tools and the ability to generate compelling communications/media advocacy actions and tactics to cultivate engagement in priority campaigns.
  • Experience identifying and interviewing affected people, witnesses, and community members in connection with litigation and policy campaigns; expertise conducting factual investigations, including thorough gathering and analysis of documents; ability to support advocacy campaigns by helping tell the human story behind policy issues and craft compelling narratives.
  • Familiarity with northern region of Los Angeles County and Kern County regional issues and commitment to defending and expanding the civil liberties and civil rights of low-income individuals and people experiencing poverty.


Salary based on experience. Benefits include medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life and long term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; ample vacation and sick leave and thirteen paid holidays.


Please submit resume and cover letter to jobs@aclusocal.org (NO Phone Calls PLEASE) with the subject title “CEPA – Economic Justice Application” or mail to:

HR Department – CEPA, Economic Justice
ACLU of Southern California
1313 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Deadline: January 29, 2018 or until filled.

The ACLU SoCal is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. We consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, and encourage applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, LGBT individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions.

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