The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Florida seeks a Field Director. The Field Director works closely with the Executive Director to achieve the organization’s goal of protecting the liberties that define our democracy.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida is an affiliate of the national ACLU, a national public interest organization devoted to the defense of the Bill of Rights. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has served as the nation’s primary protector of the liberties that define our democracy. The organization implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLU of Florida. Operating out of four offices—Miami (main), Tampa, Pensacola, and Jacksonville—the Florida affiliate has a budget of over $8 million and 55 staff members, placing it among the larger ACLU affiliates in the nation.
The ACLU of Florida, the state’s largest civil rights and civil liberties organization, employs litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional values and individual rights, such as freedom of speech, racial justice, right to privacy, religious liberty, criminal justice reform, voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, disability rights, and immigrants’ rights. The ACLU of Florida litigates a broad range of complex constitutional cases in federal and state courts through direct representation, filing amicus briefs, and submitting administrative complaints to state and federal agencies.
The ACLU of Florida seeks a dynamic, innovative, and seasoned professional to build on the organization’s existing field organizing infrastructure and enhance the ACLU’s ability to achieve public policy objectives by mobilizing grassroots supporters. The ACLU of Florida has built a strong field organizing team within its Policy and Advocacy Department, and now seeks to further expand and strengthen that team by creating a Field Department led by a Field Director.
The Field Director will be tasked with developing a robust, impactful, non-partisan organizing infrastructure to defend and strengthen civil liberties and civil rights. The Field Director will report directly to the Executive Director and play a key leadership role within the affiliate, working in strong partnership with the policy, communications, development, and legal staff. The Field Director will supervise a staff of at least four organizers, located in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Candidates who cannot be based out of Miami must be prepared to travel to the Miami office at least 4 days a month.
This is a full-time position that is responsible for overseeing field organizing that builds the power of the ACLU and the civil liberties movement. This includes organizing that aligns with legislative strategy, organizing by and of ACLU activists and supporters, and strategic work with grassroots activists in order to achieve ACLU public policy priorities. This is an ideal opportunity for a talented, experienced organizing professional to have a significant impact on civil liberties and civil rights in Florida and nationwide. The professional who holds this position will have the opportunity to significantly influence the shape of a well-respected and effective organization’s advocacy initiatives.
The ACLU of Florida has adopted a “campaign” approach for its work. Work is focused on pursuing specific integrated advocacy campaigns to achieve measurable goals that will expand civil liberties and civil rights, while building the long-term power of the ACLU and the civil liberties movement.
For the foreseeable future, the ACLU of Florida will focus on three campaigns: voting rights, criminal justice reform, and immigrants’ rights. The Field Director will be responsible for creating and overseeing the implementation of comprehensive, multi-faceted organizing plans that are contained within these campaigns. The campaigns in which the organization engages are about integrated advocacy, and include lobbying, communications, and litigation in addition to grassroots organizing.
As a result of this campaign approach, the ACLU of Florida’s organizing model focuses on developing volunteer leaders for the civil liberties movement, mobilizing grassroots support for campaign objectives, and educating Florida residents about campaign objectives through person-to-person field contact. ACLU of Florida organizing is intended to engage both existing ACLU members/supporters/volunteers in the movement, as well as to reach new constituencies. Organizing at the ACLU of Florida centers the experiences and leadership of directly impacted people and engages directly impacted people in the work, while also ensuring that non-impacted allies engage in effective and substantive action.
The Field team works with Florida residents to influence decision-makers, via direct contact of decision-makers by residents and by holding events/actions. The Field Department focuses on identifying and supporting volunteer leaders willing to work to mobilize contacts with their own networks, in order to expand the size, reach, and power of the movement. The Field Department works with the ACLU of Florida’s chapter network, collaborating with chapter leaders and members to advance campaign objectives and build power in the 13 Florida communities that have chapters.
Organizing at the ACLU of Florida is intended to complement the approaches used by some other groups—especially those that connect individuals to resources, build community/social capital, primarily react to unanticipated or emerging community concerns, or educate the public about important issues—but not to replicate those approaches. Organizing at the ACLU of Florida is instead oriented towards systemic change and policy action—moving people to take strategic actions that lead to decision-makers making different decisions, ones that result in the advancement of specific campaign objectives. These strategic actions can take place in the electoral, legislative, legal, and community education contexts. Organizing at the ACLU of Florida is also designed to build long-term political and community power for the civil liberties movement, so that civil liberties and civil rights are better protected and strengthened.
Campaign planning and execution
- Developing and implementing strategies for grassroots supporters to engage policy-makers, stakeholders, and opinion leaders from all ends of the political and ideological spectrum, in ways that achieve the organization’s policy campaign objectives.
- Develop and implement strategies to organize Floridians across the state to work toward achieving the ACLU of Florida’s campaign objectives and building power for the civil liberties movement, including developing field plans, and turning goals and strategies into tactics, timelines and metrics.
- Working collaboratively with the Policy and Advocacy Department to engage members and volunteers on legislative and policy work, especially in critical geographies.
- Working collaboratively with the Director of Statewide Initiatives to engage the chapter network and chapter members to achieve the ACLU of Florida’s campaign objectives.
- Ensure successful implementation of advocacy technology tools, including the best use of volunteer management software, social media, text messaging, e-mail, and phone calls to increase engagement by the organizing staff and volunteers.
- Organize action-oriented events to influence decision-makers on ACLU of Florida campaign objectives.
- Consistent with ACLU of Florida policy, working with local and national ACLU staff to implement non-partisan, non-political strategies to educate the public about candidates’ positions on civil liberties and civil rights.
- In collaboration with the Communications Department, develop persuasive and informative outreach materials to be used for organizing purposes.
- Mobilize and expand support for state-based civil liberties issues among ACLU of Florida members and non-member supporters.
Building, supporting, and developing the organizing team
- Managing the ACLU of Florida’s organizing infrastructure, including directly supervising field staff.
- Recruit, hire, and onboard field organizers.
- The organizing team is comprised of both organizers and volunteers. A significant amount of the position’s time is spent shadowing, coaching, and developing organizers and volunteers.
- Develop and implement strategies to expand the ACLU of Florida’s volunteer corps though recruitment, training, recognition and thanks, and ongoing engagement.
- Develop and implement training that builds the capacity of ACLU members, supporters, and activists to be strong leaders, advocates, and messengers for the civil liberties and civil rights movement.
- Serve as the primary liaison with ACLU National’s field team and other relevant departments that enable organizing and direct contact with ACLU supporters.
- Identify and facilitate the professional development needs of Field Department staff.
- Develop, implement, and monitor the departmental budget.
Designing and implementing a metrics-based reporting system.
- Track programs’ progress to goals, produce reports and highlights, and adjust plans as necessary.
- At least four (4) years of high-level experience in organizing, political, ballot initiative, and/or legislative campaigns, with an emphasis on planning and implementing effective field organizing strategies.
- At least two (2) years of experience supervising staff and volunteers in a political or field organizing context; demonstrated and proven leadership experience working in an organization that utilizes both professional staff and volunteers.
- Bachelor’s degree. This requirement can be substituted for an additional two (2) years of experience.
- Knowledge of and familiarity with organizing and advocacy software and tools, especially Every Action and VAN.
- A sophisticated understanding of how to be effective in the policy arena, and experience in political organizing and formulating strategies that tie together research, legal analysis, and litigation, lobbying, new forms of communications, and grassroots and grass tops strategies.
- Knowledge of current political alignments and opportunities for collaboration in Florida with a broad range of groups.
- Experience working closely and effectively with media platforms and familiarity with social media as an organizing tactic.
- A history of working collaboratively and successfully with people and organizations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and a broad range of ideological positions and religious views.
- Strong written and oral communications skills.
- Exceptional organization skills: highly detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to unfailingly meet tight deadlines.
- Creative, results-oriented, self-starting, and willing to learn.
- Strong task and time management skills.
- Ability to travel across Florida, as necessary, and participate in regular evening and weekend meetings.
- A commitment to centering organizing work around the experiences of directly impacted people.
- Fluency in Spanish or Kreyol preferred, but not required.
- Unwavering commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, including a demonstrated commitment to equity and racial justice.
Salary is based on the ACLU of Florida’s comprehensive compensation scale. Compensation will be commensurate with experience, within a salary range of $93,000-$125,000. The ACLU of Florida offers excellent benefits, including medical and disability insurance (fully paid by employer), a defined contribution pension plan, and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave.
To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample via email to email@example.com including in the subject line: “Field Director.” In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of this posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or in-person applications, please.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please indicate where you learned of this job posting. No phone calls, please.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Florida reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ACLU of FL, is currently working remotely.
The ACLU of Florida is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Florida encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status. We encourage formerly incarcerated individuals to apply. If selected for an interview, please inquire if financial assistance is needed in order to attend.
The ACLU of Florida undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. Fluency in Spanish and Creole is preferred but not required.