ACLU Washington

The ACLU of Washington seeks 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 Political 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 80,000 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 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

  • Serve as ACLU-WA’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.
  • Lead the development of the ACLU-WA’s state legislative goals and the creation of strategies and messaging to advance them in Olympia.
  • In collaboration with ACLU-WA team members across the organization, develop and implement strategies for working with directly impacted stakeholders, allied organizations, and others to achieve legislative goals.
  • Review legislative proposals, assess their political viability, and evaluate whether and how the ACLU should engage. Coordinate legal analysis, research, and drafting of legislative proposals with ACLU-WA team members and cooperating attorneys. 
  • Persuasively represent the ACLU-WA’s interests in the state legislative process, and at local levels as appropriate, to lawmakers, executive agencies, and stakeholders.
  • Support development of a plan to grow ACLU-WA’s lobbying capacity.
  • Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision makers, and staff by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources.
  • In coordination with other ACLU-WA team members, represent the ACLU to coalition partners and before community, government, and academic groups. 
  • Collaborate across departments to prepare issue briefs, action alerts, and talking points, and explain ACLU legislative positions to local media.
  • Collaborate with national ACLU staff regarding issues and legislative strategies for advancing the ACLU’s agenda at the federal level.
  • Supervise ACLU-WA legislative session support staff and contract lobbyist(s), if any.  Report regularly to the Political Director.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • At least three years of local, state, or federal legislative and/or policy advocacy with a focus on issues of civil rights, civil liberties, or criminal justice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Experience working in collaboration and coalition with diverse community partners and allies, and an appreciation of the nuances and potential conflicts in the ways in which diverse communities may be affected by our work.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences.
  • Understanding of different communication styles in a work environment and ability to adjust to different work styles in order to collaborate internally and outside of the office.
  • Ability to work overtime and irregular hours, and to attend evening meetings. Must have a current Washington State driver’s license and access to a vehicle; willingness to either make a daily commute to Olympia (65 miles from Seattle) during the two to four month state legislative session or to live in Olympia part-time during session. Periodic travel throughout the state during the year.
  • A positive, confident, and professional presentation.

This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 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.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Salary is based on experience and qualifications. Benefits include ten paid holidays, three weeks of vacation to start, 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 Director. In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.acluwa.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.”