Policy/Political Director Job Description
BACKGROUND AND MISSION
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives build power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity.
For 30 years, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago (“Advancing Justice | Chicago”) has worked to bring together the Asian American community and create change in our communities. We are deeply committed to grassroots community organizing and we invest in the leadership of grassroots community members through training, community education, civic engagement, and collaborative issue-based campaigns. In order to strengthen our work and transform the inequities in our city, state, and Midwest region, we work with multiracial coalitions that emphasize racial equity, accountability to those most impacted, and an infrastructure of grassroots leadership. Our advocacy work focuses on promoting racial, economic, and immigrant justice, including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, and immigrant rights.
As part of the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation, Advancing Justice | Chicago is a leader in the nationwide Asian American movement. Regionally, Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives (AAMP) are prioritizing the Midwest region and collaborating with partners in Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan to tackle common struggles and build power.
AAMP was founded in 2018 to focus on electoral organizing, mobilizing Asian American voters, and holding elected officials accountable through issue-based campaigns. AAMP is a 501(c)(4) organization that shares staff and office space with Advancing Justice | Chicago, which is a 501(c)(3).
This dual role is an exciting opportunity for a strategic relationship-builder to serve as the Policy Director for Advancing Justice | Chicago and the Political Director for AAMP. The Policy/Political Director will be the primary lobbyist for both organizations and will co-create campaign strategy with the Director of Organizing. In addition, the Policy/Political Director will conduct policy research to support the organizing team, lead political education efforts with our grassroots base, and create external communications and talking points for our issue campaigns. As a member of the leadership team, the Policy/Political Director will also be responsible for guiding organization-wide decisions, maintaining healthy organizational culture, and managing personnel. This position reports to the Executive Director.
This position will fall under the staff sharing agreement between Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives (AAMP) so a portion of time may be spent on 501(c)(4) activities including partisan political work.
- Build relationships and advocate with decision-makers, elected officials, and political candidates at the city, state, and county levels to advance policy and advocacy efforts;
- Conduct policy research and analysis on priority issues, including immigration, language access, voting rights/democracy, education equity, and criminal justice;
- Draft talking points and external communications for issues campaigns, including press releases;
- Inform strategy for our issue-based campaigns and collaborate closely with the Director of Organizing;
- Educate our staff, grassroots leaders, and others on policy issues;
- Support the Pan Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition’s agenda;
- Lead Advancing Justice | Chicago’s democracy and voting rights work, including a poll monitoring program, and supervise our Voting Rights Legal Fellow;
- Represent Advancing Justice | Chicago and AAMP in external coalitions, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Just Democracy Illinois, and the Illinois Alignment Table;
- Partner with our national Advancing Justice affiliates on immigration and voting rights;
- Provide media interviews on key issues and current events, as needed;
- Support and when appropriate take lead on organization-wide events and activities including direct actions, press conferences, rallies, lobby days, and other events as needed;
- Provide regular updates to the Advancing Justice | Chicago and AAMP Boards of Directors;
- Consistently engage and collaborate with the other Advancing Justice affiliates on national campaigns or joint projects, such as the Advancing Justice Conference;
- Other duties as assigned.
As both a Senior Staff member and a public face of Advancing Justice | Chicago, the Policy/Political Director should demonstrate a unique blend of qualities and skills that reflect a passion and commitment to the organization’s mission, including the following:
- Strong belief in the mission of the organization and uncompromising commitment to advancing racial equity;
- 3-5 years of experience in policy advocacy or lobbying, including a deep knowledge of federal, state, and/or local legislative processes;
- 3-5 years of experience in policy research and analysis;
- Significant experience engaging elected officials and government policy makers;
- Significant experience with issue-based campaigns, including campaign strategy and tactics;
- Ability to communicate complex policy with multiple audiences, particularly grassroots community members;
- Highly effective interpersonal, leadership, consensus-building, and coalition-building skills, with ability to forge new relationships and foster existing ones;
- Ability to effectively multi-task, work well with others under pressure, set and meet deadlines, and creatively adapt strategies and tactics as needed;
- Excellent oral and written communications skills and ability to persuade others;
- Willingness to travel out-of-town and work evenings or weekends as needed.
- Knowledge of Asian American and immigrant/refugee issues;
- Familiarity with administrative aspects of a non-profit organization, including resource development;
- Strong understanding of the role that communications and media play in grassroots organizing and advocacy;
- Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board, volunteers, community members, and other supporters;
- Experience supervising staff;
- Familiarity with immigration policy.
Exempt, full-time position. The salary range for the Policy/Political Director position is $65,000 to $75,000 based on experience. Advancing Justice | Chicago offers a generous full benefits package.
INQUIRY AND APPLICATION PROCESS
Applications should be submitted electronically via email to email@example.com and include:
- Cover letter describing interest in the position, qualifications, and expectations,
- Writing sample of your choosing; and
- Names of three references who can speak to the range of qualifications sought.
Please include “Policy/Political Director” in the subject line of your email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Note: Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Advancing Justice | Chicago and AAMP staff are currently working in-person 3 days a week (Tue-Thu) with optional work-from-home 2 days a week (Mon/Fri). If you are invited for an interview, the interview may be held over video conference.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago and AAMP are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.