People’s Action Institute (501c3), and sister organization People’s Action (501c4), are national progressive organizations supporting the mobilization and leadership of the grassroots in support of an agenda that reflects people over profits. People’s Action/Institute builds the power of poor and working people, in rural, suburban, and urban areas to win change through issue campaigns and elections.
With offices in Washington, DC and Chicago, IL and staff scattered around the country, we support and advance state-based and national movements for progressive policies on the environment, decarceration, health care, economic security, housing, education, and more. Our member organizations across the country, nearly 50 organizations across 30 states, run local- and state-level issue and electoral campaigns, often lead statewide coordinating advocacy tables, and collectively come together to influence national policy and politics.
People’s Action/ Institute has a track record of leadership in coordinating field mobilization and advocacy in advancing an array of issues at the local, state, and federal levels. The groups that comprise our organization have won a number of important victories over the decades that our organizations have been around. We’ve won health insurance for millions and reversed health care laws that discriminate based on a person’s citizenship. We’ve stopped Wall Street banks from selling predatory payday loans to their customers. We pushed historic legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act to victory and helped win creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
People’s Action/ Institute is seeking a motivated leader who can both represent and drive forward our federally-oriented work in Washington, DC. This work includes national fights for Improved Medicare for All, for a 100% Just & Clean Energy for All, a Homes Guarantee, Free College for All, Ending the Overdose Crisis, Decarceration, and The Future of Workers.
We are looking for someone to lead our DC operation, represent us and our member groups in critical national ally meetings and circles, develop relationships with key policy players and Hill staffers, and work to bring the energy and spirit of our field groups into the capitol. We seek a seasoned political operative with a strong track record and a rootedness in and respect for community organizing. The Director of DC Strategy must wear many hats, including strategic campaign planner, lobbyist, coalition builder, and policy spokesperson.
This position reports to the Campaigns Director and must be based in Washington, DC.
- Support the creation of razor-sharp national campaigns. Use deep campaign, power analysis, issue-cutting skills – in line with the values and strategies of the organization – to help campaign staff and issue cohorts execute razor sharp campaign strategies for national policy victories. There should be clarity in the organization and across the network about who our targets are, who are partners are and how we’re going to win. We should have clarity about our niche as People’s Action in order to show up with power.
- Drive our federal legislative strategy. Develop strategy for People’s Action’s national legislative policy campaigns. Seek out and identify policy opportunities related to our issue portfolio and make recommendations regarding policy positions and messaging. Assess federal targets as they overlay with member groups across the country and determine ways to engage member groups in putting pressure on the right people at the right moment to help move the agenda.
- Identify rapid response moments and needs. Monitor federal policy happenings on our core issues in order to flag moments when we should consider throwing down and when our engagement could turn the tide on critical issues.
- Represent People’s Action in critical national coalitions. Serve as the point person in Washington, DC representing the network with other organizing networks, advocacy groups, think tanks, and labor unions.
- Develop, maintain and deepen key relationships with national partners. Build long-term relationships with key players in the DC infrastructure. Create strong national partnerships that build our power to advance our shared goals and strategy as well as provide support for member groups. This includes policy experts, academics, legislators and congressional staff, partner organizations, practitioners, and other stakeholders.
- Interface with key policy partners to get our policy needs met. Maintain relationships with key policy partners such that our research and policy needs are fulfilled. While we may not produce the policy information ourselves, our needs and approach should help guide production of others and ensure its usefulness to campaigns and the field.
- Coordinate the work internally. Work with the Campaigns Director and individual issue-based Campaign Directors to ensure smooth and seamless implementation of national campaign work within the states, clear representation of what our groups are doing in the field, and the maximization of our capacities towards winning.
- Amplify our work in DC and communicate back to the states. Represent the work of our member groups across the country in key DC policy, political and organizing settings. Stay abreast of what is happening in the field in a way that allows the powerful stories of organizing in the field to show up in and drive the work in DC circles. Connect the DC work with the field operation – for mutual input and perspectives and reflecting the real work being in the states to DC and the DC priorities to the field.
Other job responsibilities include:
- Manage DC Policy & Communications staff
- Fundraising and financial management for building the field for national campaigns
- Attend and support organizational conferences, events, and meetings as needed and requested
This job description is intended to convey information essential to understand the scope of the position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties or responsibilities associated with the position.
The ideal candidate should have the following experience and qualifications:
- Strong commitment to racial, gender, and economic justice and their intersections, both inside and outside the organization.
- A minimum of ten years experience working with community, labor and/ or electoral organizations.
- Creative, effective at solving complex problems, and a strategic thinker.
- Familiarity with major players in the DC policy landscape; existent relationships a bonus.
- Familiarity with some 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.
- Similar level of experience in coalition building and facilitating diverse groups, with a strong track record of building and managing teams/ collaborations.
- Experience running statewide or national level campaigns with multiple partners.
- Understanding, experience, and familiarity with state and national political landscapes and legislative processes.
- Experience balancing long-term power building with rapid response action needs.
- Experience writing and managing grants and other donor relationships.
- Strong interpersonal, writing, and organizational skills.
- Ability to juggle and prioritize multiple tasks & responsibilities.
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
- Ability and willingness to travel 1-2 times per month.
- Willingness to put in the hours to get the job done, including some nights and weekends.
Salary & Benefits
The salary range for this position is $85-100k. The People’s Action/ Institute benefits package includes a very good family medical, dental & vision insurance plan, a 403b plan with 3% employer contribution after a month, and paid time off in December in addition to paid vacation.
Please send a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and references to [email protected] with “Director of DC Strategy” in the subject line. People’s Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer; women, people of color, persons with disabilities and LGBTQI people are strongly encouraged to apply.
Posted May 2, 2019. Open until filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the first batch reviewed in May. Ideally we would start someone in the position in June or July.