American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi
Legislative and Advocacy Director
American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi seeks a sophisticated, dynamic team player with lobbying, policy, and broad-based advocacy program experience to fill the position of Legislative and Advocacy Director.
The ACLU of Mississippi is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that works to promote and defend civil liberties and civil rights through legal, legislative and public education approaches including individual rights and freedoms, free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and more. The ACLU of Mississippi was founded in 1969 and is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation's Bill of Rights.
Based in Jackson with a staff of 8, the ACLU of Mississippi has not only the opportunity, but also the responsibility to protect and advocate for the civil liberties and civil rights of all Mississippians.
For more information, please visit www.aclu-ms.org.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Legislative and Advocacy Director is a member of the ACLU of Mississippi’s senior leadership team and is responsible for advancing the ACLU’s broad civil liberties agenda before the state legislature, executive branch, and local governmental bodies, to assume leadership in related policy projects, and to direct the advocacy department, including its coordinators on voting, criminal justice, equality and other campaigns.
The Legislative and Advocacy Director must have experience in criminal justice reform, as this position oversees our Campaign for Smart Justice work, a campaign designed to reduce the prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.
The Legislative and Advocacy Director will advance the policies of the ACLU through planning and implementing legislative strategies, analyzing and drafting legislation, lobbying state and local policymakers, preparing and presenting testimony and supporting advocacy material, working in and building coalitions, and increasing the effectiveness and capacity of our organizing strategies, public education and public policy campaigns, as well as engaging ACLU members and leaders to advance our advocacy priorities.
The Legislative and Advocacy Director has the responsibility to implement and oversee strategic, broad-based advocacy programs related to specific priority issues, which currently include voting rights, criminal legal reform, and equality for all Mississippians.
The ideal candidate will be an outstanding advocate who is able to convey effectively the mission, policies and advocacy efforts of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, ranging from policy makers to local community members.
• Develop strategies and oversee the implementation of the ACLU’s strategic broad-based advocacy plans focused on affiliate strategic priority initiatives;
• Work in partnership with organizations and build coalitions to further the ACLU’s public policy agenda;
• Prepare policy and advocacy materials in collaboration with the Executive Director and Director of Communications, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, letters, press statements, opinion editorials, website updates and legislative and public policy reports;
• Understand and prepare policy analyses designed to effect change by state and local policymakers;
• Speak publicly at state and local forums, conferences and meetings, as well as to print journalists and broadcast media, in collaboration with the Executive Director and Director of Communications;
• Develop staff work plans and oversee supporting staff, interns and volunteers performing policy and advocacy duties to implement affiliate strategic priority initiatives, which include voting rights, criminal legal reform, and equality for all Mississippians;
• Direct the affiliate’s Campaign for Smart Justice work;
• Develop and produce effective advocacy tools;
• Develop and utilize program monitoring and evaluation tools, baseline surveys, and project reports;
• Identify funding sources and write funding proposals in collaboration with the Executive Director;
• Represent the ACLU in community events, panels, rallies, and news conferences;
• Work with the national office of the ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance nationwide public policy campaigns;
• Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences;
• Perform other related duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
* The ACLU of MS is a statewide organization with partners both in and out of state. This position may require extensive travel, evening and weekend hours. Please do not apply if you will not be able to travel or work extended hours.
• B.A. required, graduate level degree in Public Policy, Sociology, or Advocacy is strongly preferred. Demonstrated career progression with increasing roles of responsibility;
• Demonstrated commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, and goals, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
• At least three years of substantial advocacy, community organizing or public policy experience, ideally including the development and coordination of advocacy campaigns, preferably in Mississippi;
• Background, understanding, knowledge, and/or experience in criminal justice reform;
• Maturity, professionalism, excellent interpersonal skills, and an ability to exercise diplomacy are critical;
• Ability to synthesize complex issues and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences, including: elected officials attorneys, advocates, impacted communities, supporters and the general public;
• Exceptional strategic planning, analytical, research, writing and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues and communicate them tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences;
• Exceptional initiative, vision and ability to develop and implement short and long-term integrated advocacy strategies;
• Ability to work independently and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands;
• Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff including remote colleagues, coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance;
• Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism;
• Ability to work long hours;
• Experience and relationships in the Mississippi legislative arena especially valued;
• Willingness and ability to drive within the state and attend conferences out of state.
Compensation and Terms:
The ACLU-MS offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU-MS compensation scale.
Email a letter of interest, resume, a writing sample and three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Application materials may also be mailed to P.O. Box 2242, Jackson, MS 39225 or faxed to (601) 355-6465. Please put "Legislative and Advocacy Director" in the subject line of your email or cover page in your fax.
Application materials will be reviewed as received and will be accepted until the position is filled.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.