American Civil Liberties Union 17 reviews - South Dakota

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American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

South Dakota Chapter of the ACLU, SD

For more than 93 years, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU has offices in all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and brings together the country's largest team of public interest lawyers, lobbyists, communication strategists, members and activists in the advancement of equality, fairness, and freedom, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.


The ACLU of South Dakota (ACLU-SD) seeks a dynamic full-time Policy Director to lead the organization's efforts to achieve policy change that protects and advances civil liberties throughout South Dakota. The ACLU-SD is a national chapter of the ACLU with offices in Sioux Falls. Working closely with the Executive Director, the Policy Director is responsible for advancing the organization's civil liberties agenda at the local and state level, including identifying policy change opportunities, analyzing, researching and drafting policy proposals, lobbying at the local and state levels, developing issue campaigns, mobilizing coalitions and working with coalition partners and decision-makers. Current priority issues include racial justice, voting rights, youth and schools, LGBT, Native American rights and reproductive freedom.

Initially, the work will focus on local policy engagement. There will also be additional responsibility for legislative advocacy for the 2015 legislative session, which will require frequent travel to the state capital. The Policy Director works under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with other staff, including the staff attorney, community organizer, office and special projects manager and the ACLU national office.

  • Coordinate and collaborate with staff to plan and implement effective multi-disciplinary public policy initiatives to advance civil liberties, involving a combination of legislative, legal, communication and organizing strategies.
  • Prepare ACLU-SD legislative agenda; identify, track and analyze all legislation before the South Dakota legislature that affects civil liberties.
  • Lobby legislators, their staff, the Governor's office and other elected officials on priority bills; prepare and deliver testimony and supporting material;
  • Work in coalition and identify opportunities for bi-partisan support on ACLU issues.
  • Analyze policy issues and ballot initiatives. Prepare advocacy materials in collaboration with Executive Director, including issue briefs, letters, testimony, talking points, reports, action alerts, website updates, opinion editorials, press statements and action alerts.
  • Cultivate relationships with organizations, allied partners, coalitions, and key elected and appointed policy-makers at the local and state levels.
  • Develop and execute targeted community engagement efforts with particular attention to building and nurturing effective coalitions and alliances with communities of color, faith and the LGBT communities.
  • Represent the ACLU at hearings and meetings, public forums, task forces, workgroups and conferences.
  • Develop opportunities to engage members and activists in strategic advocacy.
  • Work collaboratively with national ACLU and other affiliates to advance nationwide public policy goals.
  • Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
  • B.A. required; JD or other advanced degree preferred.
  • Experience in advocacy, public policy or law-related work, ideally including the development and coordination of policy or advocacy campaigns. Experience in non-profit work is valuable.
  • Exceptional strategic planning, analytical, research, writing and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to articulate complex legal concepts and issues and communicate them tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
  • Proactive and adept with key tools in advocacy and policy change, understanding of the political landscape, and the ability to work effectively on issues that require bi-partisan support.
  • Ability to take initiative, coupled with the vision and ability to develop and implement short and long-term integrated advocacy and public policy strategies.
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities and to demonstrate grace under pressure.
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively across the political spectrum and with staff and partners from diverse backgrounds, coalitions, community groups, and volunteers,
  • Ability to work within a team and independently, as needed.
  • Evening and weekend hours required.
  • Commitment to advancing the ACLU's values, mission, goals and programs, with a broad appreciation for and a sensitivity to the culture of the organization.
  • Frequent travel locally, nationally and to the state capital required.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter (with salary requirements), a resume, writing sample and contact information for three professional references to: hrjobsSD@aclu.org . Reference [SD-05/ID ] in the subject line. Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address. This email address is specific to the South Dakota posting. In order to ensure your application is received, please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Alternatively, applications can be mailed to:

Human Resources

RE: [SD-05/ ID ]

American Civil Liberties Union

125 Broad Street, 18 th Floor

New York, NY 10004

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

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, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: HRJobsINCLReq@aclu.org . Correspondence sent to this address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name "ACLU."

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