Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist
ACLU - United States

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Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist
    The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) seeks a dynamic team-player to be its Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist. The Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist is a member of the ACLU of Tennessee’s leadership team and is responsible for guiding and managing the organization’s legislative/public policy program, ensuring that it advances the ACLU’s strategic priorities.

    ACLU-TN, headquartered in Nashville, is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s largest civil liberties and civil rights organization. ACLU-TN, founded in 1968, is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to promote and defend civil rights and civil liberties through advocacy, legal, legislative and public education initiatives

    ACLU has been a leader in moving freedom forward in Tennessee for over nine decades. In 1925, when John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in a Dayton, TN public school classroom, ACLU cooperating attorney Clarence Darrow defended him. In the era of segregation, ACLU spoke out for racial equality and the right to assemble, including representing Dr. Martin Luther King. Today we are focused on a range of issues including religious freedom, LGBT equality, freedom of speech, racial justice, school to prison pipeline/over-incarceration issues, and reproductive freedom.

    ACLU-TN works collaboratively with ACLU affiliates across the country and the National ACLU.

    Position Overview:

    The Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist leads the organization’s efforts to achieve policy change that protects and advances civil liberties. The Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist, working with the Executive Director, is responsible for advancing the organization’s civil liberties agenda before the state legislature, executive branch, and local jurisdictions, including city councils, school boards and county commissions. This includes identifying policy change opportunities, policy research and writing, developing issue campaigns and messaging, mobilizing coalitions, and working with coalition partners and decision-makers to pursue ACLU-TN’s pro-civil liberties agenda. The Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist works in collaboration with the ACLU-TN Communications, Legal, and Development staff and reports to the Executive Director.

    Specific Responsibilities:
    • Analyze the civil liberties implications of legislation before the Tennessee General Assembly and implement strategies to support pro-civil liberties legislation and oppose anti-civil liberties legislation, including lobbying legislators, tracking legislation, monitoring committee proceedings, and drafting legislative memoranda;
    • Draft legislation to promote ACLU-TN’s affirmative civil liberties agenda, including securing strong bipartisan sponsors of ACLU initiatives and drafting issue briefings;
    • Prepare and arrange for or present testimony on behalf of ACLU-TN to legislative committees and administrative bodies;
    • Develop and implement a strategic policy agenda for each of our priority issues;
    • Research and write policy and advocacy materials, including policy reports and talking points related to policy and legislative work;
    • Develop and implement strategies for involving members and local leaders in order to advance the legislative/policy work of ACLU-TN;
    • Develop strategic campaigns related to national policy objectives working collaboratively with National ACLU and other ACLU affiliates;
    • Build and nurture effective multi-organizational coalitions and alliances on priority issues and campaigns and represent ACLU-TN at coalition meetings;
    • Collaborate with the Communications, Legal, and Development departments to advance the ACLU’s priority campaigns; and
    • Other tasks as assigned by the Executive Director.

    Qualifications:
    • Three to five years professional experience in policy advocacy, policy research and analysis, law-related work, coalition building, or a related field. Experience preferred in coordinating successful political, legislative, or activist campaigns;
    • Excellent writing, speaking and analytic skills, including the ability to explain complex civil liberties issues to the public;
    • Experience in managing complicated projects, including organizing allies and activists.
    • Ability to work with diverse communities, bridging partisan politics and developing what at times seem to be unusual allies.
    • Demonstrated analytical skills, initiative, creativity, follow-through, and results.
    • Ability to analyze and articulate complex concepts and to communicate them to large and small groups and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously;
    • Personal commitment to advancing ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
    • High self-motivation, organization, and adaptability;
    • Ability to work beyond 9 – 5 workday when necessary, including occasional evening and weekend travel; and
    • Valid driver’s license and insurance

    Compensation:

    Salary is based on experience and competitive with other non-profit organizations. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, defined contribution plan (401k) and life and disability insurance.

    To Apply:

    Applicants should email a cover letter, resume, relevant writing sample, and at least three references to applications@aclu-tn.org . Please write “Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist Search” in the Subject Line. Please indicate in your cover letter where you found this job announcement.

    You will receive an email confirming that your application was received. We will contact you as soon as possible regarding the status of your application. Please do not contact the ACLU-TN office regarding the status of your application as unfortunately we cannot return these calls and emails.

    We will begin reviewing applications on D ecember 10th, 2012.

    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

    The ACLU of Tennessee comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Tennessee (ACLUF-TN). Both ACLU-TN and ACLUF-TN have 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.

    The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified persons including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to apply.

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    The philosopher Socrates once said, "I am that gadfly which God has given the state." While the American Civil Liberties Union...