Bakersfield, Kern County



Deadline date

Open until filled

Founded in 1923, the 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), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino), and now Kern County (Bakersfield). 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.


The Policy Advocate and Organizer will be responsible for advancing the ACLU SoCal's immigrants' rights advocacy and organizing in Kern County, and will help establish our newly opened Bakersfield office. The Advocate will work closely with the other staff at the ACLU SoCal's Kern County office and coordinate work with relevant staff at the ACLU NorCal's Fresno office and the ACLU SoCal's Orange County, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles offices. The Advocate be supervised by the Director of Immigrants' Rights and will be part of the Immigrants' Rights Project team within the ACLU SoCal Advocacy Department and the ACLU of California statewide Immigrants' Rights team. The Advocate will also support the organization's base building work and may also work on other human and civil rights issues of concern to Kern County residents, as the need arises.

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 Policy Advocate and Organizer is expected to model professional workplace behavior and standards, and clearly and enthusiastically demonstrate guiding principles of integrity, respect, accountability, compassion, and leadership.

This position is funded for two years, with a possibility for future extension contingent upon additional funding.


Full Time, Exempt, Term-Limited


Organizing, Community Engagement, Media and Digital Advocacy

  • Establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with community partners, coalitions, and stakeholders, as well as ACLU members in the region, in order to identify issues around immigrant rights arising in Kern County, and advance the ACLU SoCal and ACLU of CA's immigrants' rights work, as well as other ACLU priority campaigns;
  • Attend and actively participate in community partner meetings and coalitions that focus on immigrants' rights;
  • Provide strategic guidance, training, and support for community members and coalition partners conducting local policy advocacy;
  • Create training programs and materials on priority immigrants' rights issues, and give trainings and presentations as needed;
  • Organize, lead, and participate in community education events, rallies, and meetings;
  • Write blog posts and social media content;
  • Help identify and tell compelling human stories to center the 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 policing and immigrants' rights and related issues;
  • Support the ACLU's Activist Engagement and Leadership Development Project in base building and member/volunteer engagement efforts in Kern County; and
  • Other duties may be assigned as needed.

Policy Advocacy

  • Build effective grassroots and policy advocacy campaigns, alone and in a team, to effect change at the local and state levels through policy advocacy and policy implementation around state legislation, school board policies, city/county ordinances, and ballot measures;
  • Develop and cultivate strategic partnerships with organizational allies to advance policy objectives;
  • Draft advocacy letters and recruit diverse and powerful allies to sign on to letters;
  • Develop advocacy materials including fact sheets, toolkits, action alerts, blog posts, and social media content;
  • Track national, state, and local developments relevant to immigrants' rights policy objectives, including legislative activity;
  • Organize and attend lobbying visits with state and local officials; 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;
  • Activate and mobilize volunteers, ACLU members, and other community partners and organizations around key actions and policy priorities;
  • Occasionally research and write policy briefs; and
  • Other duties may be assigned as needed.



  • 2+ years of experience in organizing, campaigning, and/or advocacy work;
  • A deep and demonstrated commitment to the cause of civil liberties and civil rights, including economic justice, voting rights and political participation;
  • Cultural competency, including the ability to create and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for people of all races/ethnicities, genders, ages, classes, and geographies;
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; and
  • Valid driver's license and the ability to travel throughout southern California, with occasional travel to northern California or San Diego.


  • Spanish language fluency (both speaking and writing).
  • Experience implementing a successful advocacy campaign at the school district, city, and/or county level.
  • Experience implementing a successful grassroots legislative advocacy campaign at the state level.
  • Experience in creating training or informational programs and materials.
  • Experience planning and facilitating engaging and effective workshops, trainings, meetings, and other community events.
  • Experience working effectively with coalitions and building coalitions.
  • Experience developing non-electoral campaign strategy, including the ability to understand, articulate and maneuver government and power structures in order to successfully change policy.
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills.


Please submit a resume, cover letter, and published writing sample to jobs@aclusocal.org with the subject title "Policy Advocate and Organizer – Kern County" or mail to:

HR Department — Policy Advocate and Organizer — Kern County (Entry/Mid-Level)
ACLU of Southern California
1313 West 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017

(No phone calls, please.)

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, consistent with applicable law.

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