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Legislative Organizer

Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

–  Dolores Huerta, community organizer

Northern Plains is a grassroots organization of people from the plains and mountains, cities and towns. We are everyday Montanans who love where we live. We stand up, shoulder-to-shoulder, to protect this place we all call home.

We believe that true prosperity begins with healthy land, water, and air. We believe that our families, farms, ranches, schools, businesses, governments, and communities thrive when we are good stewards of these resources. We believe that if we look beyond our fences, listen to one another, and keep our minds open, we will find creative solutions to secure a clean, healthful environment for all.

We are working toward a future where we live in harmony with nature, where our economy serves the people rather than the people serving the economy, where neighbors work side-by-side to build a world that lives up to our ideals of fairness, inclusion, and justice.

For 47 years, Northern Plains Resource Council has helped Montanans organize to protect water quality, family farms and ranches, and our unique quality of life.

LOCATION: Helena, Montana.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

The position of Legislative Organizer is a mix of community organizing and lobbying. This person is responsible for helping ready our organization for the biennial Montana legislative session. They will work with the Director of Organizing and Campaigns, member committees, and Board of Directors to implement our legislative agenda. This will involve drafting legislation, meeting with allies, meeting with targeted legislators, helping to develop a media plan, and coordinating member lobbying and actions.

As the lead lobbyist for Northern Plains, you will be lobbying during the legislative sessions, interim legislative committees, and state agencies. Additionally, the position represents us in coalitions.

Northern Plains Resource Council has a strict grassroots methodology. Decisions are made democratically by our membership. You will be supervised by the Director of Organizing and Campaigns and will be directed by our member-leaders.

The Legislative Organizer is on the Northern Plains organizing team and is therefore also a Community Organizer responsible for finding, recruiting, and then working with individual Northern Plains members to develop their leadership skills in order to build a sustainable organization with the power to make change happen. They must be able to gather information from diverse individuals and communities, consider the long-range goals of Northern Plains, and use their independent judgment to develop collective, collaborative, coherent strategies to achieve the organization’s goals.

Northern Plains is watching the emerging Delta variant closely and setting our organizing expectations accordingly. In order to keep our staff and members safe, the Legislative Organizer must be able to organize remotely if needed. This requires having access to reliable internet from your home, convening and attending virtual meetings, conducting phone calls, and deploying creative problem solving.

During non-pandemic times, overnight travel averages perhaps 1-2 times a month for this position.

This is very much a “people” job.

After an orientation in Billings, this position will relocate to Helena, the Montana state capital. This is a permanent, salaried, and exempt position.

Download the full position description.

SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDE:

  • Plan, coordinate, and implement strategy on legislative and issue campaigns;
  • Work with member committees on our legislative agenda, bill preparation, lobby strategy;
  • Lobby the Montana Legislature;
  • Maintain contacts within state agencies relevant to our work;
  • Conduct research;
  • Participate in grassroots fundraising efforts;
  • Train members in organizational skills;
  • Organize and run meetings and events;
  • Communicate clearly, orally and in writing;
  • Recruit new members;
  • Generate turnout for events;
  • Help members make contact with public officials and the press;
  • Assist with duties such as member renewal, special events, and routine office tasks;
  • Help produce earned media in the form of letters to the editor and press coverage.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Commitment to Northern Plains’ issues and values
  • Commitment to the democratic process, including a willingness to hear diverse opinions and build consensus among groups
  • Ability to get along well with people from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of personalities
  • Strong speaking and writing skills
  • Ability to travel and be away overnight
  • Ability to lift equipment up to 50 lbs, stand or walk for long periods of time, and work in all weather conditions
  • Willingness to work long hours when needed.

Also helpful:

  • Experience (either as a volunteer or staffer) with a nonprofit organization working for social change or on environmental issues
  • Experience on a political campaign
  • General familiarity with the workings of legislative bodies and agencies
  • Familiarity with environmental and agricultural issues, or familiarity with broader movements for social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Experience with the media and fundraising.

SALARY AND BENEFITS:

$40,000- $45,000 salary range, depending on experience; health insurance; 4 weeks paid vacation; work from home benefit; pension program; 8 paid holidays; paid sick leave; paid parental leave; flex time; opportunity for advancement; opportunity for sabbatical program after 5 years of employment.

TO APPLY:

Application deadline is October 8, 2021.

Email the following to Sydney Ausen, Director of Organizing and Campaigns, at Sydney@northernplains.org:

  • Cover letter (tell us why you want the job);
  • Resume;
  • Contact information for 3 professional references.