The ACLU of Montana Foundation (“ACLU of Montana”) seeks a person adept at policy analysis, with strong communication and negotiation skills, to join the Advocacy and Policy Department as a temporary Legislative Session Lobbyist for the 2023 Legislative Session. The Legislative Session Lobbyist lobbies Montana legislators on one or more of the bolded ACLU of Montana’s issue areas below.
The ACLU of Montana leads legislative advocacy on the following issues:
- Indigenous Justice
- Criminal Legal Reform
The ACLU of Montana also responds to other issue areas in service of Montanans:
- Voting Rights
- Reproductive Rights
- LGBTQ Rights
- Death Penalty
- Free Speech
- Environmental Justice
- Jail & Prison conditions
- Religious Freedom & Establishment Clause
- Aid in Dying
The Legislative Session Lobbyist is a member of the Advocacy & Policy Department (APD) and reports to the Policy Director. This is a temporary position, that will start by late September, 2022, and end in mid-May, 2023.
ABOUT THE ACLU OF MONTANA
The ACLU of Montana (founded in 1972) is an affiliate of the national ACLU (founded in 1920) and operates as a private, independent, non-profit organization. We are the state’s largest and most influential civil rights organization. Our current top priorities are Indigenous Justice, criminal legal reform, LGBTQ rights, and voting rights. We work on a range of additional issues including reproductive justice, immigrants’ rights, freedom of speech and religion, and informational and digital privacy. The ACLU of Montana envisions a fair, equitable, and free Montana that welcomes and celebrates diversity of all kinds. In our Montana, everybody is treated with dignity and respect, and has equal access to rights and freedoms.
The ACLU of Montana has a current staff of 13 and an office located in Missoula. We aspire to a friendly work environment, with flexibility and consideration of personal needs and circumstances. To learn more about the work of the ACLU of Montana, please visit http://aclumontana.org.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
ACLU of Montana is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive.
The ACLU of Montana does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, faith, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, tribal affiliation, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment and one that honors and promotes a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. We are engaging in ongoing internal racial equity work, with an emphasis in anti-racism and anti-colonialism.
We strongly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, bi- or multi-lingual (including Indigenous languages) speakers, bicultural individuals, members of the LGBTQ and two-spirit community, those who have been formerly incarcerated or are currently under supervision, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We seek to build a team that reflects that diversity. All qualified applicants who share this vision and who have a desire to contribute to our mission are encouraged to apply.
We commit to developing and collaborating on thoughtful training programs and onboarding processes with the Legislative Session Lobbyist that identify an individual’s growth areas, in relation to the job description, and empowers their existing knowledge and skills.
The Legislative Session Lobbyist will:
- Work collaboratively with APD staff to advise on and recommend improvements on the ACLU of Montana’s 2023 Legislative Session plan including proactive bills, defensive strategy, research on legislation from previous sessions and other states, and other advocacy strategies related to the ACLU of Montana’s issue areas including, but not limited to: Indigenous Justice, criminal legal reform, voting rights, reproductive rights, immigration policies, LGBTQ rights, etc.;
- Assist APD with pre-session outreach, communication, and meetings to develop relationships with key legislators assigned to their “portfolio” of issue areas based on experience and expertise;
- Implement lobbying efforts on portfolio of issue areas within the ACLU of Montana’s strategic advocacy efforts;
- Contribute to our bill tracker, under the direction of the Policy Associate, with updates on whether to take action in support, opposition, or track, recommend priorities among tracked bills;
- Represent ACLU of Montana in coalition meetings, based on portfolio, to develop lobbying strategy;
- Analyze bills within portfolio to collaborate on and implement advocacy strategy in partnership with coalition members and if necessary, with assistance from ACLU of Montana staff and National ACLU experts;
- Research, draft, and deliver legislative testimony on portfolio issues as well as strategize, organize, and support community members in delivering legislative testimony;
- Participate in a post-session debriefing on ACLU of Montana’s lobbying strategies to assist with APD’s post-session informational materials including ACLU of Montana newsletter and legislator scorecards;
- Collaborate with other departments of the ACLU of Montana, as necessary, to support lobbying efforts, including, but not limited to consulting and collaborating with the Legal Department, the Communications Department, and the Finance, HR, and Operations Department;
- Ensure all administrative tasks are completed in a timely and accurate manner, including, but not limited to travel and other expense reimbursements, timesheets, and other related financial and personnel documents;
- Register as a lobbyist with the Commissioner of Political Practices and work with the Finance, HR, and Operations Department for reporting to COPP and financial reporting needs;
- Incorporate and demonstrate a commitment to APD’s collective values: “Uplift Indigenous and Black ways of being and knowing,” “Build authentic, purposeful connections and relationships,” “Be a good relative,” and “Commit to personal and collective healing.”;
- Actively engage with the ACLU of Montana team through regular staff meetings, continuing internal racial equity and anti-colonialism work, racial caucusing; professional opportunities, occasional retreats, and periodic committees;
- Complete other duties that may be assigned within the scope of the above responsibilities;
- Professional attire and in-person attendance is required at the Capitol.
COMMITMENT TO RACIAL EQUITY
The ACLU of Montana is committed to and engaging in ongoing racial equity work with an emphasis on anti-racism and anti-colonialism. As a staff member, you will be asked to commit, contribute and engage in the following ways:
- Demonstrate commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging with anti-racist and anti-colonialist understandings of and respect for differences of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientations, gender identity or expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance and class;
- Demonstrate commitment to building or deepening understanding of equity, in which racial equity and anti-racism and anti-colonialism are centered;
- Engage with the issues of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities;
- Within the scope of the position, understand, explore, and utilize concepts such as structural racism, settler colonialism, anti-Blackness, Indigeneity, restorative justice, whiteness, and other related topics;
- To assess how Montana and the legislature were founded on racism and colonialism that enacted a genocide against the Indigenous communities of these lands and established a society and governance harmful to Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color;
- To confront the role of Montana and the legislature in maintaining and implementing public policy that enacts state violence including policing, institutional barriers to services and programs, and societal violence (poverty, racism, etc.) experienced by community members;
- To challenge historical and contemporary forms of racism and colonialism embedded in societal structures and disproportionately impact individuals by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and spirituality, class, incarceration, & other identity markers;
- To confront how race impacts supervisory relationships, team dynamics, organizational culture and how biases impact our individual and/or team work;
- To engage in honest, thoughtful conversations about racial equity through a restorative justice approach that accepts feedback openly, non-defensively, emphasizing learning and healing, while balancing accountability.
The following experiences are integral to meeting the job responsibilities. Please be sure to identify these in your application and throughout the hiring process. Relevant experience may be through lived, and/or professional or volunteer experiences, or coursework.
- Experience with lobbying, advocacy and policy campaigns during at least one state legislative session including, but not limited to, lobbying legislators, providing public testimony, reading and researching bills, preferably in Montana, or in any Rocky Mountain state (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, or New Mexico) or the Dakotas;
- Knowledge about the entire Montana state legislative process including how bills are drafted, introduced, assigned to committees, voted on, approved, signed/vetoed, and other aspects of the policymaking process;
- Expertise or lived experience in ACLU-MT’s issue areas (specifically LGBTQ rights, death penalty, policing, free speech, environmental justice, jail & prison conditions, religious freedom & establishment clause, criminal legal reform or voting rights);
- Experience with bill research, analysis, legislative writing, and verbal communication skills;
- Effective interpersonal and relationship-building skills, including demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and negotiate effectively with elected officials, and legislative or other governmental staff and as part of a team including staff and coalition partners;
- Compelling speaking and writing skills in order to draft and deliver legislative testimony;
- Ability to work independently and keep organized, manage several projects simultaneously, be in regular contact with coworkers while working outside of the office, and adjust plans when needed;
- Experience with and demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging with anti-racist and anti-colonialist understandings of and respect for differences of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance and class;
- Demonstrated commitment to building or deepening understanding of equity, in which racial equity and anti-racism and anti-colonialism are centered;
- Understanding and willingness to engage with the issues of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities.
The following experiences are particularly valuable to the position. Please share in your application materials any of these skills, experiences, or knowledge. We encourage you to apply even if you do not have these qualifications:
- Lived experience or knowledge of Montana’s tribal communities, nations, and policy;
- Lived experience or knowledge of Montana’s criminal legal system;
- Demonstrated experience and success communicating complex legal concepts in a simplified, understandable manner for general audiences.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
This position is full-time, exempt, and will pay an annual salary of $50,000 - $54,999, pro-rated for actual time worked, depending on experience. We offer a monthly stipend of $580 to help offset costs of health care or other costs, eligibility to participate in a retirement 401(K) plan, and nine paid days off. This temporary position is not eligible for other benefits.
The Legislative Session Lobbyist will be based in in Helena during Montana’s biennial legislative session (January to May). Pre-session (September – December), the position may be based anywhere in Montana. The position will require occasional travel to the Missoula office for approximately five days between September and May (travel expenses paid for by ACLU-MT). Our staff currently works remotely with occasional in-office work during the COVID-19 pandemic, including safety precautions in place for optional and required in-office work.
A $100 monthly reimbursement to offset personal mobile phone and utility (including internet) expenses is offered to all ACLU of Montana employees working remotely during the pandemic.
All applications are treated confidentially. Please submit (in pdf format if possible):
- A letter (of no more than one page) describing your interest in the position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above. Please indicate in your letter where you learned of this position.
- One professional writing sample on either legislative testimony or bill analysis, of no more than two (2) pages in total.
Email your application to jobs[at]aclumontana.org or mail it to:
ACLU of Montana, Attn: Hiring
P.O. Box 1968, Missoula, MT 59806
Please put “Legislative Session Lobbyist” in the subject line of your email/envelope.
Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing to jobs[at]aclumontana.org to request reasonable accommodation at the time of application.
Application review will start August 15, 2022. Applications after that date are encouraged and will be accepted on a rolling basis until the posting is removed from the ACLU of Montana Job Openings page. We are aiming for a start date in late September.
Our hiring process is managed by a dedicated hiring committee of two staffers and our HR & People team. The committee will begin careful review of all applications on August 15, 2022. The steps for finalist selection include a screening call by HR, an in-person interview (via videoconferencing) with the hiring committee, an assessment/work sample exercise, and reference calls for the selected finalist. We plan to extend a job offer to the finalist candidate by the middle of September. We commit to regular communication with all applicants throughout the process, will apprise candidates of next steps as appropriate, and will promptly communicate any change in timeline above.
To learn more about the work of the ACLU of Montana, please visit www.aclumontana.org.