The policy & research department at People’s Action Institute is dedicated to conducting research and creating & advancing policy that makes a real difference in the lives of everyday people, pushes the edge of what’s possible and makes structural changes that put more power in the hands of people and directly build racial, economic and gender justice.
The Director of Policy and Legislation is a leader of the policy and research team and a person with a passion for bold public policy, strategic research, and a deep understanding of the transformative power of organizing. The Director of Policy & Strategic Research must wear many hats, including: strategic campaign planner, lobbyist, coalition builder, researcher and writer, trainer and policy spokesperson. The Director of Policy & Strategic Research will have experience working in political spaces, traditional policy and academic spaces and with grassroots leaders. This position calls for experience analyzing policy and developing policy related materials, understanding how to move policy through legislative bodies, and working with people-based organizations to draft policy demands and create new policy ideas. This person must be deeply invested in building lasting community power and the success of PAI local organizations both individually and collectively. This position is based in our Washington D.C. office.
About People’s Action Institute
People’s Action Institute works is to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice by investing in powerful state and local organizations and campaigns that win real change in people’s lives. Through strategic issue campaigns grounded deeply with our member organizations, creative direct action, and grassroots action we engage the leadership of everyday people and power organizations in more than thirty states to build an economy and a democracy that puts people and planet first.
The Director of Policy & Legislation will:
- Manage the staff team of the policy & research department, and work with other department directors to best integrate policy & research with the broader work of the organization. Work with campaign teams and member organizations to research, develop and move policy strategy, policy demands and legislative strategy at the national, state and local levels.
- Research, analyze, formulate and articulate policy positions that can be distributed externally and used by our campaign staff, affiliate organizations and allies.
- Monitor federal and state policy happenings on our core issues in order to flag moments when our engagement could turn the tide on critical issues.
- Use research, writing, and policy and legislative processes to lift up the demands and stories of PAI members and win structural policy changes that build racial, economic and gender justice and bring PAI member leaders into policy making spaces as experts and leaders in their own right.
- Develop maintain, and deepen key relationships with policy experts, academics, elected officials, partner organizations and practitioners for the benefit of PAI’s policy and campaigns work.
- Develop strategies for working with other policy outlets, policy schools, and more to meet the needs of our organization and member organizations. Support and build policy capacity in our member organizations through training, consultation, research and direct policy support and work with member organizations to use policy processes to build state governing power and build relationships between member organizations and their elected representatives.
- Work with the movement politics department and candidate pipeline program to use policy strategically in elections and build policy capacity and support for PAI policy priorities among candidates and elected officials.
- Actively contribute to strategy and development to move campaigns throughout the network and strengthen PAI’s infrastructure.
- Prepare written analysis, reports, meeting summaries, and related materials as required.
- Strengthen existing organizing and work to develop new campaigns by providing direct policy and research support to
- PAI affiliate organizations.
- Serve as a representative of PAI in national spaces as needed.
A strong candidate for this job has…
- Familiarity with a variety of our core policy issue areas, including: climate justice, criminal justice reform, health care and family economic security, housing justice, workers rights, financial reform and immigration from personal and/or professional experience.
- 7 to 10 years of policy analysis and issue advocacy experience.
- Familiarity with community and/or labor organizing models and strategies.
- Ability to take in, process, and turnaround large amounts of information quickly.
- Ability to write well, clearly, quickly and accurately for an organizing or policy audience.
- Ability to effectively communicate about complex policy issues and systems with member leaders and translate grassroots demands into concrete and actionable policy demands.
- Deep commitment to racial, gender & economic justice.
- Experience working in diverse race & class settings.
- Sense of humor and ability to work with fun, committed and very busy people.
- Ability to juggle and prioritize multiple tasks & responsibilities.
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
- Willingness to put in the hours to get the job done, including some nights and weekends.
- Ability to travel a minimum of eight times per year for PAI events and to provide support to affiliate organizations as campaign work dictates.
In addition to the required qualifications, the following are highly desirable:
- Experience with power analysis/mapping, strategy, participatory action research and/or campaign development.
- Comfortable working and communicating via email, G-chat, Slack, video conferencing, etc.
- Strong track record of building community leadership and mobilizing people to action.
- Bilingual Spanish speaker.
- Humility and strong eagerness to learn and grown.
- Willingness to hit the ground running and learn from trial and error.
- Experience drafting legislation and/or legal experience.
- Electoral organizing and/or civic engagement experience.
The Director of Policy & Strategic Research is a member of both the Policy and Organizing Departments and reports to the Organizing Director.
Salary and Benefits: Our salary range for this position is within the range of $85-95,000, but is also based on experience. Please put your desired range in your cover letter. Our competitive benefits package includes a very good family medical, dental and vision insurance plan; a 401(k) plan with 3% employer contribution after six months of employment; flexible spending account; life insurance; and paid time off at the end of December, in addition to paid vacation.
Please send a cover letter, resume, writing samples and references to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Director of Policy” in the subject line. References must include at least one direct supervisor. Visit our website to learn more about us at peoplesaction.org. This position is open until filled. People’s Action Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer; women, people of color and LGBTQ people are strongly encouraged to apply.