Updated Application Deadline: August 23, 2022
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking an experienced lobbyist to advance its civil liberties and civil rights legislative agenda in the state capitol and to ensure effective engagement with executive branch agencies, local governmental bodies, and our Congressional delegation. The Legislative Director is a member of the Political Strategies Department and reports to the Director of Political Strategies.
OVERVIEWThe ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness, and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan. We have a staff of 45+ and are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.
The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. This includes how we work with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. We are committed to bringing anti-racism to all aspects of ACLU-WA's internal and external functions, including but not limited to recruitment; hiring and human resources; strategic planning; ally, donor, and volunteer relations; Board and committee processes; and deciding what cases to litigate and what legislation to support and oppose. We are looking for candidates who share this commitment to advancing racial justice, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.
The ACLU-WA maximizes its impact through an integrated advocacy approach that aligns and coordinates legislation, litigation, and public education work across the organization with team members from all departments. We seek team members with a strong understanding of racial justice issues and commitment to centering the voices and lived experiences of directly impacted communities in the development and implementation of advocacy strategies.
In close collaboration with allies and directly impacted stakeholders, the ACLU-WA has enjoyed groundbreaking legislative victories across a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights. Some highlights include the Washington Voting Rights Act and voting rights restoration for people convicted of felonies, the Protecting Pregnant Patients Act, a slate of transformative policing bills, repeated defeat of industry-backed bills that gave corporations too much power over individuals’ personal data and introduction of the People’s Privacy Act and legislation regulating automated decision making systems, legislation to keep Washington’s sheriffs and police out of federal immigration enforcement and keep federal immigration agents out of state and local courts, Legal Financial Obligation reform to end the criminalization of poverty, ending solitary confinement of youth, establishing marriage equality, and defeating legislation that undermines civil liberties and civil rights like DNA collection on arrest and a gang bill that would lead to racial profiling.
*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Currently, we have begun transitioning back to the office and hope to open fully under our new Hybrid Work Policy later this year. We will continue to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations.
To aid remote work, we provide laptops, home office supplies, certain equipment, and technology support. You will need an effective WiFi connection and a way to reach you by phone. This position is eligible for either a work phone or phone stipend, as well as an additional $100 stipend each month to help cover any additional costs while working from home.
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, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.
- Participation in ACLU-WA’s race equity work. This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc.
- Serve as ACLU-WA’s lead lobbyist in the state legislature, working full-time in Olympia during session (unless the legislature returns to fully remote operations) and traveling across the state for district meetings during the interim.
- Lead the development of the ACLU-WA’s state legislative goals and the creation of strategies and messaging to advance them.
- Build trusted relationships with state and local legislators, executive branch decision makers, and key legislative, executive, and agency staff by providing clear, nonpartisan, fact-based analysis and resources.
- Persuasively communicate and advance the ACLU-WA’s legislative priorities and positions on other legislative proposals touching on civil liberties and civil rights to lawmakers, executive agencies, and stakeholders.
- Coordinate tracking and analysis of legislation relating to priority issues with ACLU-WA team members and cooperating attorneys.
- Develop and support drafting new legislation and policies, and amendments to existing laws and policies, in partnership with ACLU-WA Policy Advocacy Group and other Integrated Advocacy Department staff, coalition partners, lawmakers, and legislative staff.
- Review external legislative proposals, assess their political viability, and evaluate whether and how the ACLU-WA should engage.
- In coordination with other ACLU-WA team members, represent the ACLU-WA to coalition partners and before community, government, and academic groups.
- Collaborate across departments to prepare issue briefs, action alerts, and talking points, and represent ACLU-WA legislative positions to local media.
- Consult and coordinate with affiliate staff in other states on multistate approaches to key ACLU legislative priorities.
- Collaborate with national ACLU staff regarding issues and legislative strategies for advancing the ACLU’s agenda at the federal level.
- Supervise ACLU-WA legislative staff, session support staff, and contract lobbyist(s), if any.
- Contribute to a culture that: centers race and other forms of equity; encourages respect, compassion, and courageous engagement; and acknowledges and values the humanity of all.
- Support development of a plan to grow ACLU-WA’s lobbying capacity.
- Attend various ACLU-WA functions and handle other projects as assigned.
- Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
- Substantial knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties. A law degree is preferred but candidates with other forms of expertise in the law and civil rights will be considered.
- An understanding of racial justice issues and experience with the development and implementation of advocacy strategies that center the voices and lived experiences of directly affected communities.
- Successful experience working in collaboration and coalition with community partners and allies from diverse backgrounds; a depth of understanding and experience with the nuances and potential conflicts inherent in collaborating across communities, especially when those communities have experienced marginalization, and are directly impacted by constantly shifting potential outcomes.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, race equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences; contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
- Minimum of four (4) years of local, state, or federal legislative and/or policy advocacy (lobbying) with a focus on issues of civil rights, civil liberties, and/or criminal legal system reform.
- Minimum of one (1) year of experience supervising direct reports.
- Excellent leadership skills to develop allies and to facilitate communication and collaboration among them. Demonstrated ability to work with groups and individuals across the political spectrum.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills; a "quick study" on an array of dynamic issues. Ability to stay organized in a fast-paced environment both in the office and on the road, to manage several projects simultaneously, and to adjust to frequently changing demands.
- Ability to work beyond the traditional workweek schedule, including but not limited to irregular hours, and to attend evening meetings. Ability to be in Olympia (65 miles from Seattle) on a daily basis during the two- to four-month state legislative session. Ability to periodically travel throughout the state during the year is required as well.
- A track record of good judgment.
WORK ENVIRONMENTThe ACLU-WA office is generally open between the hours of 9a.m. and 5p.m. and is located in downtown Seattle. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Able to input information into a computer for long periods of time.
- Able to remain stationary for extended periods.
- Able to assess information communicated through a computer.
- Able to work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Able to periodically work long and extended hours.
- Able to travel locally/regionally/across the state as needed.
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. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITSThe ACLU of WA is dedicated to centering equity in all aspects of the organization and, as such, has adopted a salary scale for measuring how to best compensate its employees. The salary for this position is $108,000 - $132,000. A range indicates the intention to accommodate those with varying years of relevant experience, as determined by the salary scale.
Benefits include three weeks of vacation, thirteen sick days, fifteen holidays, fully paid employee medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, a generous retirement plan, student loan reimbursement, family care and adoption assistance, life insurance, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.
APPLICATION PROCEDURETo apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé on our online job portal. In your cover letter, please explain the ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experience could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work.
Applications will be accepted until August 16, 2022, at which time the job announcement will be marked as “closed” on our website at www.aclu-wa.org/careers.
HIRING TIMELINEWe will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the application deadline and hope to have the selected candidate start in September.
The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington”.