Community Organizer

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties seeks a dynamic Community Organizer with at least three years of experience in labor, political and/or community organizing, ballot initiative campaigns or issue campaigns. The Organizer will be responsible for creating a network of civil rights and civil liberty community advocates to advance the ACLU’s vision and values in San Diego.

Located in San Diego, our affiliate encompasses California’s border with Mexico and shares the busiest border crossing in the world. It has twenty-three staff members, twenty-two board members, 9,000 members, and an annual budget of $2.3 million. San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and second largest in California. San Diego County has the third largest number of registered voters in California. Imperial County is the poorest county in California.

The ACLU fights for individual rights and fundamental freedoms for all, through education, litigation, and policy advocacy. The ACLU promotes and defends civil rights and civil liberties, including First Amendment rights, equal protection, privacy, and due process. The San Diego ACLU works collaboratively with the ACLU affiliates headquartered in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as a lobbying office in Sacramento. Together, the three affiliates have more than 110,000 members and 120 staff people in California.

Position Overview and Functions:
Under the supervision of the advocacy director, the organizer will be responsible for developing close relationships with a variety of individuals and organizations representative of local communities. The organizer will develop and execute an annual work plan designed to promote participation in local, state, and federal campaigns; build an active base of community advocates who can be mobilized to participate in meetings, rallies, hearings, and delegations; create a volunteer leadership development process that empowers the community; build relationships with community organizations, faith leaders, business leaders, donors, and new and diverse communities to advance our civil rights and civil liberties campaigns. The organizer will work in collaboration with ACLU policy, communications, and legal teams at the affiliate and statewide level.

Specifically, the Organizer will:

  • Develop organizing campaigns around key civil liberties and/or civil rights issues that are generated through community interest and vision, and aligned with affiliate’s priority issue areas
  • Represent ACLU in coalition meetings and work collaboratively on joint efforts with community organizations and coalition partners
  • Develop strategic partnerships with community-based organizations working in diverse communities of the region
  • Speak publicly on behalf of ACLU
  • Develop, conduct, and widely publicize Know Your Rights trainings that promote grassroots leadership, strategic issue campaigns, organizing, and coalition building on priority issue areas
  • Galvanize support of community organizations, public officials, law enforcement officers, faith leaders, business leaders, donors, and new and diverse communities for organizing campaigns
  • Work collaboratively with grassroots leaders, allies, and ACLU staff to execute large and effective community actions (hearings, rallies, etc.)
  • Identify, cultivate, and develop strong community leaders who will lead campaigns that pursue our civil rights priorities
  • Complete and execute work plans
  • Identify, recruit, and train ACLU members to participate in civil liberties campaigns and programs.
  • Coordinate and execute GOTV and ballot initiative campaigns in affiliate area in coordination with other ACLU affiliates and coalition partners
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Three years or more experience in base building, membership recruitment, and leadership and strategy development. Ballot initiative or electoral campaign experience highly preferred.
  • Passion for ACLU’s mission and values.
  • Strong interpersonal, facilitation, organizing, and communication skills.
  • Proficiency in language other than English strongly preferred.
  • Valid automobile driver’s license and working vehicle required. This position will involve extensive travel throughout San Diego County.
  • Must be able to accommodate a variable work schedule including nights and weekends.

Salary & Benefits: Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.

Application Procedure: Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, resume, list of three professional references, and a writing sample (no more than 5 pages) by Nov. 30, 2015. Application materials can be emailed to (please combine all materials into a single PDF file) or by mail to:

ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
ATTN: Community Organizer Position
PO Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and veterans.