The Policy Counsel is a member of the ACLU of Connecticut’s Public Policy and Advocacy Department and is responsible for working with the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, Campaign Manager, and ACLU-CT staff to advance the ACLU-CT’s broad civil liberties agenda. The Policy Counsel is primarily responsible for state legislative and executive branch advocacy but also engages with administrative agencies and local government bodies and collaborates with other staff on integrated advocacy initiatives. The Policy Counsel works under the supervision and direction of the Public Policy and Advocacy Director (consistent with legal ethical obligations) and in close collaboration with other staff, including the Legal Director and Communications Director.
- With direction from the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, developing and executing the implementation of the ACLU-CT’s legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics; lobby members of the legislature, their staff, and the Governor’s office; analyze and track legislation, draft and analyze amendments; and prepare and deliver both written and oral testimony;
- With direction from the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, explore and develop policy positions on all of the ACLU-CT’s issue priority areas.
- Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, the Governor’s office, lobbyists, and other stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources; identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU-CT issues;
- Participate in off session legislative activity, testify at legislative hearings, and participate in policy related workgroups, taskforces, and coalitions;
- Conduct in-depth legal and policy research and analysis to inform and support the ACLU-CT’s broad agenda. Work with the Public Policy and Advocacy Director and Communications Director to prepare written materials including issue specific policy reports, fact sheets, action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, op-eds, and website updates;
- Develop model legislation and supporter toolkits for state legislation and other training materials as needed;
- Serve as media spokesperson for legislative matters as directed by Public Policy and Advocacy Director;
- Manage the ACLU-CT’s contract lobbyists during the legislative session;
- With direction from the Public Policy and Advocacy Director, provide support to efforts led by persons and communities directly impacted by injustice, including our allied organizers, community leaders, and grassroots advocacy groups whose work are focused on either police accountability or criminal justice reform;
- Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, immigration status, and record of arrest or conviction.
- Manage a policy internship program;
- Assist the Public Policy and Advocacy Director in the development of reports, materials, and presentations for the Board of Directors and the policy committee;
- Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences as appropriate;
- Attend various ACLU-CT functions or community events as needed;
- Maintain the legislative calendar for the department;
- Assist Public Policy and Advocacy Director and Finance and Operations Director to maintain ongoing compliance requirements for the organization’s 527 political action committee;
- Perform other related duties as assigned by the Public Policy and Advocacy Director.
- J.D. and 2-3 years of legislative experience at the municipal or state level preferred, but candidates with other strengths will be considered.
- Understanding the legislative process, political strategic planning, and the ability to build respectful relationships across the political spectrum.
- Substantial knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights issues and a commitment to advancing the ACLU-CT’s values, mission, and goals.
- Excellent communications skills, both written and oral, research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
- Ability to develop allies and work collaboratively in coalitions; ability to navigate internal political dynamics among partner groups.
- Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse groups, work cooperatively with communities across the political spectrum, and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
- Ability to work independently when necessary and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
- Independent judgment and decision-making in line with departmental priorities.
- Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism.
- Ability to work long hours during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the state, as needed.
- Flexibility and stamina to work evening and weekend hours as needed.
- Experience and facility with standard office software such as Word and Excel.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary is $60,000 - $65,000. Generous benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) and vacation, holiday and sick leave. This is an overtime-exempt position.
To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and three professional references (identifying their relationship to you and including their email and telephone number) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Include in the subject line of the email: your full name and Policy Counsel. In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Application review will begin May 10, 2021, and the position will be open until filled. Applicants can expect between 1-3 hiring exercises before a final offer is extended.