ACLU-WA

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) seeks an emerging legislative advocate who is ready to learn through study, observation, and practice, and excited to support the advancement of ACLU-WA’s civil liberties and civil rights legislative agenda in the state capitol. The Legislative Associate is a member of the Political Strategies Department and reports to the Legislative Director.

OVERVIEW

The 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.  The ACLU-WA’s staff of 40+ employees and numerous volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional office in downtown Seattle. We are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.  

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 Keep Washington Working Act, the Washington Voting Rights Act, establishing marriage equality, Legal Financial Obligation reform to end the criminalization of poverty, voting rights restoration for people convicted of felonies, 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. 

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, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Report to ACLU-WA’s Legislative Director, the organization’s lead lobbyist in the state legislature, working full-time in Olympia during session and traveling across the state for district meetings during the interim.
  • Learn and be able to explain and advocate persuasively on a broad and constantly evolving range of civil liberties issues and ACLU-WA legislative priorities.
  • Assist with the development of the ACLU-WA’s state legislative goals and the creation of strategies and messaging to advance them in Olympia. 
  • Support the Political Strategies Department’s collaboration with ACLU-WA team members across the organization in the development and implementation of strategies for working with directly impacted stakeholders, allied organizations, and others to achieve legislative goals.
  • Review and prepare written summaries of legislative proposals and their intersections with civil liberties and ACLU-WA’s current legislative priorities; collaborate across departments to assist with the preparation of issue briefs, action alerts, and talking points.
  • Attend committee hearings, take notes, testify, and support team members’ coordination of witness testimony, activist mobilization, and communications strategies as directed by the Legislative Director.
  • Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision makers, organizational allies and their lobbyists, and staff by being responsive to their requests for ACLU-WA perspectives and coordinating with the Legislative Director to provide clear, fact-based analysis and resources in a timely manner. 
  • In coordination with other ACLU-WA team members, represent the ACLU to coalition partners and before community, government, and academic groups.  
  • Contribute to a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers. 
  • Attend various ACLU functions and handle other projects as assigned.  

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Commitment to race and other forms of equity, dismantling white supremacy, and structural power analysis, with knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, language, immigration status, national origin, and socioeconomic circumstances, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.
  • 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.
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Demonstrated interest in local, state, or federal legislative and/or policy advocacy with a focus on civil rights and/or civil liberties. 
  • Excellent relationship 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. 

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 BENEFITS

Salary is $50,688. Benefits include three weeks of vacation, eleven paid holidays, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply, email a letter of application and resume to Jobs@aclu-wa.org and include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Legislative Associate. In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Friday, October 11, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.aclu-wa.org/careers  

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”.