POSITION OVERVIEW
The ACLU of Montana seeks an experienced policy advocate with strong communication and negotiation skills to join the Advocacy, Policy, and Organizing Department (APOD) as the organization’s lead Lobbyist in the Montana state legislature and beyond. This person will craft and lead the organization’s policy work at all levels of government, ensuring effective engagement and accountability from elected officials. Our legislative agenda includes an ambitious set of proactive and defensive priorities around Indigenous Justice and criminal legal reform, as well as fighting to stop abortion restrictions, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, voting rights, restrictions on First Amendment right to protest, and proposals targeting immigrant communities.

The Lobbyist reports to the APOD Director. This is a full-time, permanent position based in Helena during the legislative session with the possibility of working remotely when not in session.

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, 2S-LGBTQIA 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 nine 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 https://www.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, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, bi- or multi-lingual (including Indigenous languages) speakers, bicultural individuals, 2S-LGBTQIA individuals, those who have been formerly incarcerated or are currently under supervision, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. We seek to build a team reflective of our diverse communities. 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 Lobbyist that identify an individual’s growth areas, in relation to the job description, and empowers their existing knowledge and skills.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

Position Specific

  • Develop and lead the ACLU of Montana’s Legislative Session plan including advocating for proactive bills, creating a defensive strategy, researching legislation from previous sessions and other states, and implementing 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, and 2S-LGBTQIA rights.
  • Lead outreach and build relationships with legislators, partners, and coalitions related to the legislative session.
  • Analyze and track bills through the legislative process and provide a system to communicate internally with staff to stay up to date on related bills and legislation, with updates on whether to take action in support, opposition, or monitor.
  • Represent ACLU of Montana in coalition meetings to develop lobbying strategy.
  • Research, draft, and deliver legislative testimony on portfolio issues as well as strategize, organize, and support community members in delivering legislative testimony.
  • Lead a post-session debrief on ACLU of Montana’s lobbying strategies and assist with developing APOD’s post-session informational materials including ACLU of Montana newsletter and legislator scorecards.
  • Register as a lobbyist with the Commissioner of Political Practices and work with the Finance & People Operations staff for COPP and financial reporting needs.
  • Monitor and engage with interim legislative committees.
  • Engage with our electoral team during election (even) years as needed.
  • In-person attendance is required at the Capitol during legislative session and relevant meetings.

Staff Teamwork and Collaboration 

  • Collaborate with other departments of the ACLU of Montana, as necessary, to support legal, policy and organizing work, communications and storytelling, grant proposals and funding opportunities, administrative tasks, and other related work.
  • 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.
  • Actively engage with the ACLU of Montana team through regular staff meetings, continuing racial equity and inclusion work, professional development opportunities, occasional retreats, and periodic committees.
  • Attend certain ACLU functions.
  • Assist in other duties as assigned within the scope of these responsibilities.


Competency and 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 building or deepening understanding of equity, in which raciale quity 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.
  • Embrace self-learning and reflection through racial caucus group conversations, activities, and support.
  • 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 teamwork.
    • 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.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS
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.
  • Knowledge about the Montana state legislative process including how bills are drafted, introduced, assigned to committees, voted on, approved, signed/vetoed, and other aspects of the legislative process.
  • Expertise or lived experience in ACLU-MT’s issue areas.
  • 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 (irrespective of party affiliation/or with an eye towards issue alignment), legislators or other governmental staff and as part of a team.
  • 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.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
The following experiences are particularly valuable - please be sure to address these in your resume or cover letter. 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 between $57,500 and $68,499, depending on experience. Excellent benefits offered, including health, vision and dental insurance, short and long-term disability and life insurance, 401(k) retirement plan and employer matching, and generous vacation, holiday, sabbatical, and family and medical leave policies. Relocation reimbursements for actual moving expenses are available up to $4,000, contingent on two years’ employment. A monthly reimbursement for personal mobile phone and utilities (including internet) is offered to all ACLU employees working remotely during the pandemic. The ACLU of Montana also invests in each staff member’s professional development.

The Lobbyist will be based in Montana. If the finalist is not a Montana resident yet, we will discuss with the finalist a timeline for moving to MT within the first month of the start date. The candidate will be required to be based in Helena during the Montana legislative session. Outside of the legislative session, the position is remote with optional access to the Missoula office. Many of our staff currently work remotely with occasional in-office work. The position will require occasional travel including quarterly two-day all staff meetings (travel expenses paid for by the ACLU of Montana).

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
All applications are treated confidentially. Please submit (preferably in PDF format):

  1. 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.
  2. Resume.

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 “Lobbyist” in the subject line of your email or on your 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. 

PROCESS
Application review will start March 21, 2024. Applications after that date are encouraged and will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is removed from the ACLU-MT Job Openings page. We are aiming for a start date in April 2024.

Our hiring process is managed by a dedicated hiring committee of there and HR. The steps for finalist selection include a screening call by HR staff, interview (via videoconferencing) with the hiring committee, a compensated assessment/work sample exercise, a final interview (via videoconferencing), reference calls for the selected finalist, decision and making a job offer to the finalist candidate. We commit to regular communication with all applicants throughout the process, will apprise candidates of the next steps as appropriate, and will promptly communicate any change in the timeline above.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU-MT, please visit www.aclumontana.org