Prop 47 Communications Strategist


On behalf of the ACLU of California, the ACLU and ACLU Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties seek a Communications Strategist to spearhead the ACLU’s contribution to statewide public education, media relations, and new media activities around Proposition 47 with the aim of increasing awareness of the measure’s impact and the benefits of permanently reducing incarceration and shifting savings to education, mental health services, and drug treatment.

The ACLU fights for individual rights and fundamental freedoms for all, through education, litigation, policy advocacy, and organizing. 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, and with a lobbying office in Sacramento. Working together as the ACLU of California, the three affiliates have more than 110,000 members and 130 staff in California.

Position Summary

Based in San Diego, the Communications Strategist leads the overall development of statewide Proposition 47-related communications strategies to achieve maximum reach and impact. The position participates in the statewide Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project, coordinates with communications staffs of the three ACLU California affiliates, and reports directly to the San Diego Communications Director. The position is for a term of 12 months, with the possibility for extension.


  • Develop and implement robust statewide campaign to promote awareness of Prop 47 among decision-makers, opinion-makers, and affected communities.
  • Conduct and apply research to develop effective messages.
  • Frame, message, and write in ways that clearly communicate the key principles at stake (racial and economic equity and justice, etc.) and that can capture the interest, attention, and support of the general public.
  • Coordinate media relations through meetings with relevant reporters, editorial boards, and opinion leaders and pitch news and feature stories about real people’s Prop 47 experiences.
  • Use new media tools to reach broader and younger audiences, and target ethnic, community, and alternative media that seek to reach distinct and diverse audiences.
  • Write, edit, copy-edit, and produce clear, engaging, compelling publications.
  • Special attention to developing messaging to communities that have not traditionally been part of the ACLU and who may particularly gain from Prop 47’s benefits, including Latinos and Spanish-speaking communities, Asian-Pacific Island communities, and persons affected by the criminal justice system.


  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including 5+ years writing experience, with at least some of that related to public policy, advocacy, and strategic messaging.
  • Experience with opinion research.
  • Experience carrying out strategic communications in the context of community organizing, political, and public education campaigns.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects effectively, including projects that require input and approval from others at several stages.
  • Experience and creativity in reaching a diversity of audiences.
  • Ability to quickly produce clear, persuasive, well-organized, and accurate materials.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information from a variety of sources, including attorneys, scholars, and policy makers, and transform it into persuasive copy that is compelling to the targeted audience.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and to reliably meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment while maintaining excellent attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Demonstrated fluency in communicating in all formats and mediums.
  • Excellent computer/internet skills; graphic design skills a plus.
  • Bilingual skills in Spanish preferred.
  • Work evenings and weekends as necessary.
  • Valid driver’s license, insurance, and working vehicle. Ability to travel regularly across the state as needed.

Salary & Benefits

Competitive salary commensurate with experience. We provide excellent benefits.

Application Procedure

For more information on ACLU-SDIC, please go to Interested individuals must send a cover letter, resume, list of references, two communications-related writing samples (e.g., press release, oped), a sample communications plan (no more than 5 pages), and salary requirements by e-mail to

Application deadline is May 29, 2015.

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.