Campaign for Smart Justice Senior Field Organizer (Allegheny County) - ACLU of Pennsylvania

Affiliate Offices
February 8, 2018

The ACLU of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) is seeking a Senior Field Organizer for Allegheny County to join its Campaign for Smart Justice team. The Campaign for Smart Justice is a multi-year advocacy campaign to reduce Pennsylvania’s jail and prison population by 50% while combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Candidates should excel in building high-level relationships and community power through tactics such as creating coalition partnerships, lobbying officials, recruiting and developing volunteers, and engaging voters. The ACLU-PA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing personal freedoms protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights through litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education. The ACLU-PA has ten volunteer chapters, approximately 60,000 members and donors, and 29 employees. The ACLU-PA is rapidly expanding its advocacy infrastructure to meet current challenges to civil rights and liberties. The Senior Field Organizer will report to the Deputy Director of the Campaign for Smart Justice and will be a part of an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental campaign team.This is a two-year, full-time, salaried position with a possibility of renewal depending on the organization’s need and available funding. It will be based in Pittsburgh, although travel across the state will be required at times. People with personal experience being incarcerated or otherwise impacted by the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.


Pennsylvania has the highest rate of incarceration in the Northeast, with approximately 48,500 individuals held in the state system. Allegheny County is a major contributor to the state’s machine of mass incarceration, which severely limits the ability of people, disproportionately people of color, to participate in the social, political and economic life of this country.


  • Design effective organizing plans with motivating tactics for volunteers that balance achieving immediate campaign goals with building long-term volunteer capacity.
  • Recruit and train community leaders and volunteers in support of the campaign.
  • Plan and manage events to raise visibility and support for the campaign.
  • Develop, strengthen, and nurture alliances and work in coalition with communities of color, youth groups, formerly incarcerated people, and other advocacy groups.
  • Elevate the stories and experiences of impacted communities and individuals, ensuring that the interests and vision of impacted populations and the broader community are reflected in the PA Campaign for Smart Justice.
  • Produce ongoing reports tracking data and offering critical analysis of work.
  • Work evening and weekend events as needed, ability to have a flexible schedule and work long hours when necessary.


  • Personal experience being incarcerated or in other ways entangled with the criminal justice system preferred.
  • Two to three years of grassroots organizing or similar experience.
  • Experience developing campaign strategy and tactics for volunteer engagement.
  • A history of working collaboratively and successfully with people and organizations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and a broad range of ideological positions and religious views.
  • Knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of building and working in large, diverse coalitions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on a fast-paced campaign with many moving pieces and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Knowledge of criminal justice reform advocacy and messaging, or an ability to quickly become conversant with the latest decarceration research, messaging, and tactics used to educate the public and move policymakers.
  • Knowledge of or having relationships within Allegheny County political landscape preferred.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Superb organizational skills; detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Creative, self-starting, willing to learn, and results-oriented with strong task and time management skills.
  • Passion for and commitment to ending mass incarceration and advancing racial justice.
  • Ability to have a flexible schedule and travel. Driver’s license required.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU-PA compensation scale. Benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; life insurance; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 10 paid holidays. This position is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Application Procedure

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Please include your last name and “Senior Field Organizer - Allegheny County” in the subject line of the email. In your letter, please tell us about prior experiences that would make you a good candidate for this position and indicate where you learned of the posting. No phone calls, please.


Preferred application deadline is February 25, 2018. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website,

The ACLU-PA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-PA encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, veterans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply. People with personal experience being incarcerated or otherwise impacted by the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.

The ACLU-PA comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union (the “Union”) of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation (the “Foundation”) of Pennsylvania. The Union is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, and ACLU membership dues fund its lobbying work. Donations to the Union are not tax-deductible.

The ACLU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation funds support litigation and public education efforts. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. The Senior Field Organizer is an employee of the “Union.”

Both the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania have the same overall mission and share office space, employees, and the same board of directors. The two entities are jointly known by the term “ACLU of Pennsylvania.”

ACLU-PA’s hiring process will comply with Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards (“Ban the Box”) ordinance.

Stay Informed