The ACLU of Vermont seeks a highly motivated, organized, and skilled professional with previous policy advocacy experience to direct our broad-based legislative program, with a focus on advancing strategic campaigns, including our Smart Justice Vermont campaign, in the Vermont State House.
As we face unprecedented challenges to civil liberties, the ACLU of Vermont is taking our statewide advocacy to the next level by strengthening our litigation and legislative capacity, expanding communications and public engagement strategies, and creating a new infrastructure for advancing issue campaigns and electoral engagement. That includes sophisticated policy analysis, data-driven campaign strategies, and amplified communications and organizing tactics to fight for civil rights and civil liberties—and win.
This is a full-time position, based in Montpelier and requiring some travel around the state. During the legislative session, the Policy Director will be expected to be in the State House on a regular basis.
ABOUT ACLU OF VERMONT
The ACLU of Vermont integrates impact litigation, policy advocacy, organizing, public education, and strategic communications to defend and advance civil liberties for all people across a broad range of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. Founded in 1967 and based in Montpelier, the ACLU of Vermont is the statewide affiliate of the national ACLU, a nationwide organization with a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. The ACLU fights tirelessly for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or national origin.
We are a passionate, highly-motivated group of community leaders and organizers, coalition-builders, lawyers, and public policy and legislative advocacy experts, and we are looking for exceptional talent to join our team and lead our legislative program. To learn more about the ACLU of Vermont, visit our website.
Reporting to the Executive Director, working closely with the Campaign Director, Communications Director, Smart Justice Organizer, and other staff, the Policy Director will guide and implement our legislative strategy, with an emphasis on strategic campaigns.
Key responsibilities include:
- In coordination with Executive Director and other staff, oversee the ACLU of Vermont’s policy program and develop priority issue campaigns consistent with organizational priorities—currently the ACLU’s Smart Justice Vermont campaign.
- Build extensive, trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, the Governor’s office, lobbyists, local elected officials, coalition partners, directly impacted community members, and other stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources and identifying opportunities for bipartisan, cross-ideological collaboration on ACLU issues.
- Develop and implement the ACLU of Vermont’s legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics; advocate with members of the legislature, their staff and the Governor’s office; analyze and track legislation; draft bills and amendments, memoranda and fact sheets; and prepare and deliver both written and oral testimony.
- In coordination with Executive Director and other staff, review and analyze legislative proposals, assess their political viability and evaluate whether and how the ACLU of Vermont should respond.
- In coordination with Campaign Director and other staff, develop and execute a strategic workplan for legislative agenda and priority campaigns, with an emphasis on advancing criminal justice reform and racial justice in Vermont.
- In coordination with Smart Justice Organizer and other staff, develop strategies and work in close partnership with allied organizations, individuals and diverse coalitions.
- In coordination with Communications Director and other staff, prepare written materials, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, reports, op-eds and website updates, in collaboration with other staff members.
- Respond to media requests on policy issues and represent the ACLU of Vermont at events, forums and meetings.
- Participate in legislative interim activity, attend legislative hearings and participate in legislative workgroups and related meetings.
- Supervise interns and volunteers, in coordination with other staff.
- Work collaboratively with the national ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance nationwide policy campaigns. Attend ACLU conferences and other functions.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
- At least three years of legislative or policy advocacy experience. Familiarity with Vermont legislature and politics strongly preferred. Law degree preferred.
- Understanding of the legislative process, political strategic planning, and the ability to build extensive, trusting, and respectful relationships across the political spectrum and in diverse communities. Ability to develop allies and work collaboratively in coalitions, and to navigate internal political dynamics among partner groups.
- Substantial knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights issues and a commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission and goals. Knowledge of criminal law reform a major plus.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, strong research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex policy issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse groups, work cooperatively with communities across the political spectrum and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances. Demonstrated commitment to racial justice and proven ability to work with emotional intelligence, receive feedback, work through conflict with integrity and operate within principles of solidarity when working in partnership with groups representing constituencies impacted by oppression.
- Team player with demonstrated understanding of how to work collaboratively with colleagues across departments and functions.
- Initiative, vision, and ability to develop and implement short and long-term policy strategies utilizing a broad range of advocacy, education, and organizing tactics.
- Demonstrated ability to manage details and follow-through with a minimum of direct supervision. Strong time management skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment with frequently changing demands. Experience supervising staff and volunteers and monitoring progress towards goals.
- Commitment to the highest ethical standards of advocacy and professionalism.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, databases, and various web platforms.
- Ability to work long and irregular hours, particularly during the legislative session, including evening and weekend events as necessary. Valid driver’s license or driver’s privilege card, reliable vehicle, and willingness to travel.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The ACLU of Vermont is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive office culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive.
The ACLU of Vermont strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or prior involvement in the criminal justice system. The ACLU of Vermont undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; individual/family employer-provided health and dental insurance; life insurance and disability; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 14 paid holidays. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and a traditional writing sample to email@example.com. Include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Policy Director. In your letter please indicate where you learned of the posting.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.acluvt.org.