The ACLU of Texas is seeking applications for a full-time community organizer to coordinate community engagement and outreach efforts in the Brownsville area.
The ACLU of Texas is a non-profit, public interest organization devoted to protecting and advancing civil liberties and civil rights for all Texas residents. Its staff of 14 employees and numerous volunteers works in a fast-paced, friendly office. The ACLU of Texas is the eleventh largest ACLU affiliate in the nation and is headquartered in Houston with regional offices in Austin (focused on legislative work) and Brownsville (focused on border issues). The affiliate works with its Community Empowerment Network (CEN) of volunteers, local and state-wide coalition partners, and student clubs around the state to accomplish its goals of public education and local advocacy on civil liberties issues that affect all Texans.
The ACLU of Texas is embarking on an exciting new local organizer model designed to grow membership, mobilize volunteer activists, and educate Texans on the impact of public policies in their communities.
Position Overview and Functions
The Brownsville Community Organizer will inspire, support, and strengthen our Community Empowerment Network and volunteer activists while implementing strategic education and mobilization campaigns in collaboration with all of our programmatic departments. This position will NOT have a physical office to operate from; rather, you will be working actually in the community and out of your home. However, you will be required to check in with the Advocacy Coordinator based in the Brownsville Regional Office on a weekly basis. The Brownsville Community Organizer is a member of the Statewide Advocacy Department, reporting to and working under the supervision of the Statewide Advocacy Manager and working closely with all departments (Public Policy, Advocacy, Legal, Communications and Development).
The Brownsville Community Organizer will help build a sustainable organizing program by increasing, diversifying, and activating volunteers to promote local initiatives and participation in statewide strategic campaigns. This position will educate, motivate, and develop leaders in affected communities to advocate for change, while simultaneously developing relationships with public officials, law enforcement, faith leaders, coalition partners, and community and business leaders to galvanize support for ACLU of Texas programs.
Specific responsibilities include:
• Develop strategies to grow membership and support of the ACLU of Texas and to recruit new Community Empowerment Network volunteers.
• Organize ACLU members, volunteers and community members in key communities to advance ACLU of Texas program goals and issue campaigns.
• Provide volunteers information, guidance, assistance, and training; act as primary liaison between the volunteers and staff.
• Build and strengthen relationships and communications with other groups and coalitions who share our values, including both traditional and new allies. This will include recruiting support from unusual allies who may bring special expertise or credibility to our issues.
• Plan, coordinate, and facilitate "Know Your Rights" trainings. This will include training others in the community to conduct these trainings, as well.
• Organize public education events to educate and mobilize ACLU members and the broader public about specific advocacy priorities. These may include such events as rallies, community forums, town hall meetings, panel discussions, and summits.
• Represent the ACLU of Texas at meetings, tabling events, public speaking engagements, and in local media interviews, either as a speaker or facilitator.
• Identify and recruit potential clients for impact litigation and work with ACLU of Texas attorneys to support lawsuits with the potential to effect systemic change.
• Identify and recruit potential witnesses for public hearings (both in-district and at state capitol) and speakers for press conferences to influence policymakers.
• Produce, with assistance from state affiliate staff, and maintain updated outreach materials (flyers, brochures, information packets and other publications).
• Prepare regular reports, as appropriate, on significant Community Empowerment Network and volunteer activist needs and accomplishments.
• Develop, strengthen and nurture alliances with communities of color, youth groups, and other interest groups on key ACLU of Texas issues.
• Other duties as directed by the Statewide Advocacy Manager and the Brownsville Advocacy Coordinator.
To be considered for the position, you must have:
• An understanding of and a passion for the issues and the mission of the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas. A demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights.
• Excellent leadership skills to facilitate communication and collaboration with a diverse group of Community Empowerment Network volunteers.
• At least two years experience developing and coordinating successful political, legislative, or activist campaigns and working with and motivating volunteers.
• Experience with Web-based communication and organizing.
• Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; experience as a public spokesperson and advocate.
• Ability to speak Spanish is a MUST; please do not apply if you cannot speak Spanish.
• Ability to work effectively with lawyers and other professional staff; ability to articulate complex issues and to communicate them to a variety of audiences; must be a "quick study" on a dynamic array of issues.
• Ability to manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust to frequently changing demands. Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, database management and various web platforms.
• A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
• Ability to work overtime or irregular hours, to attend evening meetings, and to travel.
Community organizer training through Midwest Academy, Wellstone or similar organization is a plus, but is not required.
B.A. degree is desirable.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience; excellent medical and dental insurance; disability insurance; 401 (k) with organizational match; reimbursements for travel & phone use; and generous time off policies.