Community Engagement Policy Advocate ( Temporary ) - ACLU of Southern California in

Community Engagement Policy Advocate ( Temporary ) - ACLU of Southern California
American Civil Liberties Union

Job Details

Updated on 2019-05-23


The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) seeks a Community Engagement and Policy Advocate to work on immigrants’ rights and policing issues in Kern County. The position will be based out of the ACLU SoCal’s soon-to-be-opened office in Bakersfield, California. This position is funded for three years, with a possibility for future extension contingent upon additional funding.

Founded in 1923, the ACLU SoCal has been at the forefront of many major efforts to protect civil liberties, civil rights and equal justice in California. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (Santa Ana), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino), and soon Kern County (Bakersfield). The ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including criminal justice, police practices, First Amendment rights, gender equity and reproductive justice, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, education equity, and economic justice.


The Community Engagement and Policy Advocate (Advocate) will be responsible for advancing the ACLU SoCal’s engagement and advocacy on its priority immigrants’ rights and policing issues in the Kern County region, but may also work on other human and civil rights issues of concern to Kern County residents, as the need arises. The Advocate will work closely with the other staff at the ACLU SoCal’s Kern County office and coordinate work with relevant staff at the ACLU NorCal’s Fresno office and the ACLU SoCal’s Orange County, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles offices.

The Advocate will be supervised by the Director of Police Practices and the Director of Immigrants’ Rights and will be part of both the Immigrants’ Rights Project and Police Practices Project teams within the ACLU SoCal Advocacy Department.

The position requires a willingness to work beyond a standard 7.5 hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings and events. Work weeks in excess of 40 hours are anticipated to be common. The Community Engagement and Policy Advocate is expected to model professional workplace behavior and standards, and clearly and enthusiastically demonstrate guiding principles of integrity, respect, accountability, compassion, and leadership.

Job Responsibilities 

Depending on the candidate hired, job responsibilities may include many or all of the following:

Community Engagement, Media and Digital Advocacy

  • Establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with community partners, coalitions, and stakeholders, as well as ACLU members in the region, in order to identify issues around policing and immigrant rights arising in Kern County, and advance the ACLU SoCal and ACLU of CA’s immigrants’ rights and policing work, as well as other ACLU priority campaigns;
  • Attend and actively participate in community partner meetings and coalitions that focus on immigrants’ rights and policing issues;
  •  Working with ACLU SoCal Immigrant Rights and Policing teams, provide strategic guidance, training, and support for community members and coalition partners conducting local policy advocacy;
  •  Working with ACLU SoCal Immigrant Rights and Policing teams, create training programs and materials on priority immigrants’ rights and policing issues, and give trainings and presentations as needed;
  •  Organize, lead, and participate in community education events, rallies, and meetings.
  • Write blog posts and social media content;
  •  Help identify and tell compelling human stories to center the experiences of communities impacted by civil and human rights abuses;
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU SoCal both with the press and as a public speaker on policing and immigrants’ rights and related issues; 
  • Other duties may be assigned as needed.

Policy Advocacy

  • Build effective grassroots and policy advocacy campaigns, alone and in a team, to effect change at the local and state levels through policy advocacy and policy implementation around state legislation, school board policies, city/county ordinances, and ballot measures;
  • Develop and cultivate strategic partnerships with organizational allies to advance policy objectives;
  •  Draft advocacy letters and recruit diverse and powerful allies to sign on to letters;
  •  Develop advocacy materials including fact sheets, toolkits, action alerts, blog posts, and social media content;
  • Track national, state, and local developments relevant to policing and immigrants’ rights policy objectives, including legislative activity;
  • Organize and attend lobbying visits with state and local officials; provide testimony to administrative agencies and governing bodies;
  • Provide trainings for community members and coalition partners on how to conduct policy advocacy with decision makers;
  • Activate and mobilize volunteers, ACLU members, and other community partners and organizations around key actions and policy priorities;
  • Occasionally research and write policy briefs;
  •  Other duties may be assigned as needed.



  • A deep and demonstrated commitment to the cause of civil liberties and civil rights, including economic justice, voting rights and political participation.
  •  Two or more years of organizing, campaign, and/or advocacy experience.
  •  Cultural competency, including the ability to create and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for people of all races/ethnicities, genders, ages, classes, and geographies.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  •  Available for occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Valid driver's license and the ability to travel throughout southern California, with occasional travel to northern California or San Diego.


  • Spanish language fluency (both speaking and writing).
  • Experience implementing a successful advocacy campaign at the school district, city, and/or county level.
  • Experience implementing a successful grassroots legislative advocacy campaign at the state level.
  •  Experience in creating training or informational programs and materials.
  •  Experience planning and facilitating engaging and effective workshops, trainings, meetings, and other community events.
  • Experience working effectively with coalitions and building coalitions.
  • Experience developing non-electoral campaign strategy, including the ability to understand, articulate and maneuver government and power structures in order to successfully change policy.
  •  Excellent writing and public speaking skills


Benefits include medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life and long-term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; vacation and sick leave and thirteen paid holidays.

To Apply

Please submit resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three references (NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE) to or mail to:

HR Department-Community Engagement and Policy Advocate, Kern County Office;
ACLU of Southern California
1313 W. 8th Street; Los Angeles, CA 90017

Deadline: November 16, 2017 or until filled.

The ACLU SoCal is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. We consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable law.

Community Engagement Policy Advocate ( Temporary ) - ACLU of Southern California
American Civil Liberties Union