Policy and Legal Advocacy Manager (Flexible Work Location)
Washington, DC or Remote
To apply: Submit cover letter, resume, and three references. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled.
This job description is intended to convey information essential to understand the scope of the position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, or responsibilities associated with the position.
BISC’s Policy and Legal Advocacy Manager will be an integral part of the growing policy and legal advocacy work and program team at the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC). Under the direction and supervision of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Director, the Manager will play a key role in policy analysis and issue tracking to advance BISC’s state policy and legal advocacy programs while also building the legal and legislative advocacy capacity of our state partners. This position is an excellent opportunity for an individual committed to advocating for equitable policy for Black Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC), queer, low-income, immigrant, and other marginalized communities.
BISC is a mission and values-driven organization that recruits and seeks to retain a staff committed to excellence by fostering a work environment that is flexible, fairly-compensated, respectful, and fun.
BISC HQ is located in Washington, DC, but the location for this position is flexible. This position may require some extended travel when it is safe, post-COVID. This position is part of the Program Team at BISC and reports to the Policy and Legal Advocacy Director.
BISC’s Policy and Legal Advocacy Program tracks efforts to undermine the ballot initiative process, provides strategic assistance and develops strategies with as well as resources for our state and national partners to protect access to the initiative process. The Policy and Legal Advocacy program also convenes partners and stakeholders to support the development of policy and to address the growing number of legal and legislative challenges that threaten direct democracy and progressive wins in the ballot measure space. The Policy and Legal Advocacy Manager will work with the Policy and Legal Advocacy Director as well as BISC’s Capacity Building Director and Strategic Partnerships Director to monitor attempts and trends to undermine the initiative process, and support BISC’s partners in policy analysis, development, and defense of direct democracy.
The Manager will support the Policy and Legal Advocacy Director in all aspects of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Program. Duties may include overseeing the planning and development of specific projects, tracking, research, and analysis around bills moving through the legislatures, communicating with the public via a wide variety of tools in partnership with the BISC Communications team, communicating with and convening state and national partners and identifying, strategizing, and mobilizing against legislation, ballot measures or policies that restrict the ballot measure process and make direct democracy less accessible. The Manager will also support the tracking, research, analysis, and communication of judicial actions that impact ballot measures.
Job responsibilities may include:
- Maintaining an up-to-date list of all ballot measure reform legislation, analyzing the policies, and analyzing the state of play within the state and comparing legislation against other states
- Maintaining an up-to-date list of legal challenges related to ballot measures, analyzing the basis for litigation, and analyzing the state of play within the state and comparing legal challenges against other states
- Analysis and tracking of the ballot measure landscape
- Support in building the advocacy capacity of BISC state partners to assess strategic opportunities and challenges for ballot measure reforms and legal challenges
- Preparing memos, research briefing papers, and development proposals on ballot integrity, legal and policy advocacy, including rapid response
- Support relationships with state partners, stakeholders, and policymakers
- Work with program directors and communications staff to develop policy and legal advocacy training curricula and resource materials for select audiences
- Report related key performance indicators and success metrics
- Work with the Capacity Building Director on BISC’s training program and assist in the updating, development, and delivery of customized training programs and resources as needed
- Work with the executive team and program directors to deepen BISC’s racial equity work, both internally and in the field
- Assist the communications team in responding to media requests for information and background when appropriate
- Support other BISC and BISC Foundation projects and activities as needed; and
- Assist with the planning and execution of BISC’s annual conference
- Represent BISC at convenings and events as needed
- Other duties as assigned.
Education, Knowledge and Experience Requirements
Position requires familiarity with advocating for an issues-based agenda, and three to five years of related professional experience. Top candidates will have experience with at least 2 cycles of state-based ballot measure campaign work in a state with citizen initiative process; familiar with citizen initiative process (coordinated campaign or statewide preferred), and state-level policy. The Manager must be a team player who can work independently and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Strong writing skills with an understanding of writing for an organizational voice is highly preferred. Grassroots advocacy experience and legal advocacy experience is a plus.
Ideal candidate will have the following:
- Strong analytical skills, detail-oriented, and able to adapt quickly with an understanding of and experience with the ballot measure process preferred
- Familiarity with and understanding of initiative signature drives
- Experience working with state legislative bodies
- Experience working with progressive policy issues, coalitions, organizations, tables or issue campaigns
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, with demonstrated ability to produce a variety of types of written communications including memos, briefings, presentations, and reports
- Superior organizational skills and interest and ability to process and synthesize complicated information
- Commitment to progressive change and movement building required
- An understanding of and/or proficiency in racial equity and inclusion work
- Willingness to travel, sometimes on short notice
- Good-humored, team player a must
Job requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Collaborative: You know that building a coalition and building true partnerships takes time, trust, and transparency. You understand the complexities of coalition work, including the inherent race, power and privilege dynamics often present, and are able to address them. You also are collaborative with your co-workers: willingly sharing information and tasks to get a job done.
- Results and evaluation driven: You show relentless commitment to meeting a high bar and a history of getting things done even in the face of obstacles. You are receptive to feedback and know that evaluating and re-adjusting is critical to long term learning.
- Organized and flexible: You have a plan, but you can quickly adapt when needed. And you understand the plan is better when you collaborate with those around you.
- Effective interpersonal skills: You have a proven ability to communicate effectively with different personalities to move projects forward.
- Strong time management skills: You can balance many projects at once and prioritize accordingly.
- Movement Focused: You have a demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
Salary & Benefits
- Salary range $60,000 to $70,000, commensurate with experience
- 100% Medical insurance for family paid for by employer
- Dental and vision insurance paid for by employer
- Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage
- Generous Vacation leave
- Sick leave
- Generous 401(k) plan with employer contribution
Ballot-measure campaigns affect everything progressives fight for. Yet, for forty years, well-funded regressive and corporate interests have dominated ballot measures to the detriment of working families, public education, women, the LGBTQ community, communities of color, immigrants, and those experiencing poverty.
The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center is changing that. BISC strengthens democracy by building a national progressive strategy for ballot measures. In ten years, BISC envisions a future where progressives change the game and use ballot measures as a political and civic engagement tool for victory.
BISC recognizes that ballot measures are a permanent part of the process in the 24 initiative states and that well-crafted measures can be a force for good public policy, civic engagement, and infrastructure building.
We strengthen the progressive movement by conducting innovative research, providing technical assistance, hosting convenings, facilitating collaboration, offering strategic advice, conducting campaign assessments and helping funders make the best decisions about allocation of scarce resources.
BISC helps progressives take back direct democracy.
BISC’s Stance on Racial Equity
At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, we work to transform our country into one that is equitable and just. In our work, we strive to challenge structural racism, and center the people most impacted. BISC works with commitment to racial equity inside our organization in our operations and management processes, and externally through our research, training and organizing work with ballot-measure campaigns, partners and funders.
BISC follows an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and employs personnel without regard to race, ethnic or religious background, descent or nationality, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy), gender identification, disability, marital status, age, height, weight, or military service. This policy applies to employment, internships, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, relationships with vendors, use of contractors and consultants and in dealing with the general public.