Civil Survival Project (CSP) is looking for an energetic and outgoing community organizer to organize formerly incarcerated individuals across Washington State to fight for systemic change. The community organizer will mobilize the community to change laws that continue to harm formerly incarcerated people and others impacted by mass incarceration. The ideal candidate can create effective campaign strategies designed to build a large base, develop leaders, and center the voices and wisdom of those most impacted by the injustices of our criminal legal system. This person should be committed to Civil Survival Project’s mission and able to thrive in a fast- paced and evolving work environment.
CSP’s policy and organizing work is rooted in a belief that we must actively seek to transform the systems in which we operate. Our organizing work is focused on building power among those who have been disproportionately targeted by policing and mass incarceration to dismantle the racist systems that continue to harm our communities. We accomplish this through community organizing, leadership development, coalition work, and direct action.
The community organizer will work on a dynamic policy and communication team that uses creativity, collaboration, and a passion for our purpose to empower those directly impacted to use their stories to impact policy change. In supporting this work, the community organizer will help to educate individuals on civics, how to tell their story, and how collectively our voices have the power to change laws.
Civil Survival Project organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation. CSP provides leadership development, offers legal education and services, and leads legislative advocacy on systemic issues that prevent former justice-involved individuals from fully reintegrating into society. Civil Survival’s work includes:
- Supporting bills that expand legal rights for justice-involved individuals. CSP was closely involved in securing the passage of the New Hope Act, which made significant improvements to Washington’s criminal record vacation process.
- Organizing mass assistance days that provide legal financial obligation relief to hundreds of clients in a single day. During CSP’s mass assistance day in Pierce County, the courts waived over $2.3 million in criminal legal debt.
- Leading systemic advocacy to make reentry legal relief accessible and automatic. CSP recently led a coalition of organizations to improve Washington’s mandatory legal financial obligations motion, allowing the motion to provide relief to tens of thousands of additional Washingtonians.
- Hosting weekly GameChanger groups that provide justice-involved individuals a place to learn how to advocate for systemic change, overcome their own reentry barriers, and provide peer support.
The community organizer works under the direction of the policy manager to develop effective campaigns with directly impacted community members, CSP’s community partners, and ally organizations. The position works with CSP staff and leadership to identify the issues that matter most to directly impacted communities in Washington, develop relationships in those communities and build passionate advocates ready to fight for change and develop creative strategies to win. In supporting CSP’s policy and advocacy goals, the community organizer will be able to do the following:
Membership recruitment: Conduct base building activities and achieve targeted membership recruitment goals. Lead outreach to partner organizations, re-entry programs, alternative-to- incarceration programs, currently incarcerated individuals and groups, family members of incarcerated individuals, among others.
Advocacy development: Conduct trainings that build the knowledge and skills of people who are impacted by mass incarceration to participate in planning and policymaking that affects their lives.
Community involvement meetings: Convene regular weekly meetings that provide education and community resource information to those directly impacted by incarceration to build community, offer peer support, and stay informed on ways to get involved.
Mobilization and Calls to Action: Turn out large numbers of members to quickly respond to legislative calls to action, rallies, meetings and other events through relationship-building and community engagement.
Database: Develop a community organizing database and regularly update contact information to support legislative calls to action and other efforts to support policy change.
Coalition Work: Work with other coalitions doing similar work to uplift and support similar policy work, as well as gain support for CSP’s priority policy work. Be able to build and lead coalition work as necessary.
The community organizer may be asked to help with a variety of other projects, including, but not limited to, connecting directly impacted individuals to community resources, monitoring proposed state legislation, and intern supervision.
- The ideal candidate is passionate about community organizing, movement building, and racial and economic justice. We value previous organizing experience.
- Ability to engage community members one-on-one, run meetings and trainings, and facilitate leadership teams to build community, plan, make decisions and take collective action together.
- Committed to meeting community members where they are, whether that be in their neighborhood, at community events, on the phone, via text or online. A commitment to both in-person and digital organizing methods.
- A high level of self-motivation and a proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.
- Ability to work well with diverse groups and populations.
- Dedication and ability to work flexible hours.
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills. Committed to positive leadership toward common goals.
- Strong organization skills. The ability to manage multiple projects, ensuring that tasks are completed in a timely manner and lower-priority items do not slip through the cracks.
- Ability to take a project from conception through planning to completion. Ability to balance taking the initiative with ensuring that internal and external stakeholders are included in program discussions.
- Strong writing and proofreading skills.
- Ability to understand and communicate legislation information to diverse audiences.
- Strong skills in using, managing, and understanding various computer programs, including Google Suite, Microsoft Word, Asana, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and Microsoft Excel.
- Ability to create internal systems that allow the policy team to efficiently review organizing campaign efforts and materials, track progress, and review historical information.
- A desire to invest in the professional development of self and other team members.
- A deep commitment to growth in trauma-informed, anti-racist organization.
- Ability to effectively work collaboratively, utilizing strong conflict management skills and tactful engagement with external partners.
- Driver’s license and vehicle; must be able to travel throughout the state as needed (mileage reimbursement provided).
All CSP staff work remotely. In-person work may be required to attend community events, meetings, and organizational retreats. Travel within Washington may be required. Applicants from all parts of Washington State are encouraged to apply.
Salary range is $52,500-$72,000, depending on experience. Within the position salary range, salary increases up to four percent, annually. An additional annual cost of living increase is provided at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Benefits include:
- 401k match of up to 4% of salary, beginning after six months of employment;
- Generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members;
- 17 paid holidays, including the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day;
- 15 days vacation, accrued annually, increasing to 21 days vacation, accrued annually;
- 12 personal days, accrued annually; and
- Monthly $50 employer cell phone contribution.
Benefits are provided consistent with current organizational policies, and are subject to change. This is a Fair Labor Standards Act non-exempt, at-will position; continuation in the position depends on both performance and funding.
Equal Opportunity Employer
CSP is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. CSP actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. CSP is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual identity, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness.
People of color, those directly impacted by the criminal legal system, people who identify as queer, trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact Kelly Olson (she/her pronouns) at Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 448-6493.
Applications will be accepted until November 1, 2022. Please submit the following to Kelly Olson (she/her pronouns) at Kelly.email@example.com:
- Letter of interest.
- A writing sample you authored. If you don’t have a sample you exclusively wrote, please indicate which sections you authored.
- Names and contact information for three professional references. References will not be contacted until after the interview process concludes.