The Director of Policy, Advocacy and Legislative Affairs is responsible for the planning, implementation, directing and management of all facets of Safer Foundation’s public policy and legislative efforts as well as community engagement and outreach initiatives surrounding people with arrest and conviction records. The Director will also be responsible for assisting the VP of External Affairs with drafting, negotiating and advocating for legislation that creates more opportunities for men and women with criminal records. This position uses policy advocacy to ensure that persons with criminal records are not unjustly denied employment or occupational licenses.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Policy & Advocacy
Organize and plan on a city, county, state and national basis, advocacy support of the passage of designated legislative initiatives that eliminate/reduce barriers to employment and successful re-entry for people with arrest and conviction records.
Lead, organize, convene, facilitate and provide support for the ongoing growth and maintenance of the Council for the Reduction of Recidivism through Employment as an entity and develop and implement the Council’s policy related strategies and advocacy campaigns.
Establish and sustain a broad based network and coalition of support around issues and proposed policy changes. Build a constituency that can seek innovative policy solutions to removing barriers to the employment of people with arrest and conviction records.
Develop and leverage partnerships with public sector, labor, other non-profit agencies, reentry advocacy groups, employers and community- and faith-based organizations. Actively participate on task forces, Town Hall meetings, steering committees, advisory councils and coalitions focused on and issues surrounding employment and people with arrest and conviction records.
Produce and disseminate, precise, fact-based reports, to Safer Leadership Team, the general public, policy analysts, government officials, administrators, prison and ex-offender advocacy groups, researchers, etc.
Research, Public Policy & Legislative Affairs
Draft, analyze and present legislation, amendments and testimony as necessary to promote Safer’s overall policy agenda.
Work with the Policy & Advocacy staff to develop and implement strategies to promote Safer’s legislative priorities.
Cultivate and maintain high-level relationships with a variety of policy makers and/or stakeholders.
To act as the focal point and lead coordinator for the Safer Policy Institute reporting to the Vice President of External Affairs. Assist in reviewing and drafting of opinion pieces, articles, and position statements for the Safer Policy Institute regarding legislation and regulation as well as any local, state and federal governmental developments.
Manage policy & strategy positioning database and coordinate with other departments to share and capture relevant information in databases or shared spreadsheets.
Safer Mobile Service Unit
Develop a comprehensive community engagement and outreach plan.
Lead in the development and marketing of new and existing referral sources in the surrounding communities frequented by clients including keeping open lines of communications with parole and /or probation officials, local officials, community-based organizations, employers, business associations, and other institutions as appropriate to meet agency goals and objectives.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Travel as necessary during legislative sessions to Springfield
Knowledge of the intricacies of how governmental decisions are made
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Excellent interpersonal skills
Proven ability to be self-motivated and outcome driven
Ability to work well under pressure and within a diverse constituency
Ability to work across partisan lines
Must have excellent computer and record keeping software skills
Must have valid drivers’ license and reliable transportation
Education and Experience:
Bachelors Degree in policy, business/management, social work, or urban planning or at least two years of work experience working in policy and advocacy.
Minimum two-years experience preferred in policy, advocacy and legislative affairs.
Candidates, preferred, who have worked providing reentry services and/or have advocated for progressive workforce development and reentry policy.
Candidates, preferred, who have experience working with the Chicago-area workforce, reentry, and/or grassroots community.
Safer Foundation is a drug-free workplace.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action/Minorities/Females/Veterans