State Advocacy Strategist – Voting Rights [ASD-18], ACLUF, National Political Advocacy Department, New York, NY

National Offices, New York, NY
New York
December 8, 2016

State Advocacy Strategist – Voting Rights [ASD-18]
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
National Political Advocacy Department, New York, NY

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., 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. 

The American Civil Liberties Union in New York City is seeking a full-time State Advocacy Strategist.


The State Advocacy Strategist will be part of the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department, which works with ACLU affiliates to further the ACLU’s public policy priorities to protect and advance civil liberties.  The Strategist will focus on state-based advocacy to guarantee an easy and equal vote for every American, and will also work on other priority ACLU advocacy goals.   

The ACLU is deeply committed to ensuring that all Americans can participate freely and equally in the political process.  Access to the vote has always reflected and perpetuated systems of inequality in America, and for decades the ACLU has fought to ensure and preserve every citizen’s right to cast a ballot without fear or burden. The State Advocacy Strategist will work closely with ACLU affiliates, along with other community networks, leaders, and organizations, to fight voter suppression measures and to achieve reforms such as early voting, online voter registration, same-day voter registration, and the repeal of Jim Crow-era laws that take away the rights of citizens with criminal convictions and more recent suppression measures.

ROLES and Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic advice and tools to ACLU affiliates and state partners to assist their advocacy, including strategic goal setting, coalition building, community engagement, messaging and persuasion tactics, legislative counseling, and decision-maker targeting.
  • Analyze state legislative and other policy proposals and draft policy analyses designed to influence key decision-makers.
  • Travel to targeted states to assess opportunities, develop campaign plans, build key relationships, and work with ACLU state affiliates on their advocacy.
  • Develop relationships with allies and other organizations to further advocacy goals.
  • Assist in the administration of grants awarded by the National Office to affiliates.
  • Speak publicly at national, state, and local forums, conferences, and meetings.
  • Develop expertise in voting rights and other key civil liberties issues.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred. 
  • A minimum of four (4) years of demonstrated successful experience developing, leading, and implementing legislative, issue-based, or electoral campaigns and experience working in the federal or state legislative arena. 
  • Familiarity and experience with an expansive toolbox of strategies to move decision-makers and voters, including paid and earned media, message testing, persuasion tactics, field organizing, online activism, constituent engagement, etc.
  • Experience working collaboratively and building alliances with communities whose rights and liberties are most directly impacted.
  • Experience working in coalition, including developing shared plans, coordinating external and internal communications, and understanding internal political dynamics among partner groups. 
  • Ability to work creatively and thoughtfully with people of different ethnic, racial, economic, cultural, social and educational backgrounds.
  • Strong communications skills, both verbal and writing. 
  • Ability to take initiative, think creatively, problem solve, work well under pressure, and manage multiple priorities and projects effectively under tight deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and/or as part of a team.
  • Must possess and demonstrate the drive and dedication to move work from concept to implementation and completion. 
  •  Willingness to travel frequently. 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office;  A personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  •  Commitment to civil liberties and social justice issues.


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


 Please send a cover letter, resume and a relevant writing sample to: - reference ASD-18/ACLU-W in the subject line.

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 Correspondence sent to this email 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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