All posts by Murphy Institute

Washington Labor Center Seeks New Director

The Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at South Seattle College (SSC) is seeking a new Director. The salary range is $59,836 – $82,631 DOE. The positon carries full benefits including comprehensive medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, paid sick leave, vacation and paid holidays, and retirement benefits. This is a full-time position at the Georgetown campus of SSC.

 All applications must be submitted through the Seattle College District’s Human Resources on-line application process. Position and application information can be found at Look under “Job Opportunities” and scroll through the pages until you find the listing for the Director, WA State Labor Education and Research Center.

This position closes on June 20th, 2015.

For questions contact SSC Georgetown campus Associate Dean EV VanDerWeil at

 Position Summary

The Director of the Labor Center is responsible for design of, oversight, and implementation of multiple on- and off- campus adult education programs that fulfill the mission of the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, and the Seattle College District. The Director reports to the Executive Dean of the Georgetown campus and supervises Labor Educators (exempt staff) and support staff (classified staff). The Center collaborates with union and community organizations to design programs to help working people develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge to become effective leaders, organizational staff, and rank-and-file activists.  With the fourth highest union density in the U.S., and a significant number of worker-centered and employment-focused organizations, Washington State has a particularly robust need for labor education services. Our work is essential to develop and sustain organizations concerned with job quality, workplace rights, and an economy that works for working families. To this end, the Center provides educational and technical services via contract to unions, community-based organizations, and public institutions in a broad range of topical areas.  In addition, the Center offers ongoing, non-credit open-enrollment classes, and also organizes conferences, workshops, and institutes open to a broad mix of union activists and community members. The Labor Center develops for-credit classes and serves as a resource for faculty, students, and staff in our home institution and other institutions of higher education.  In addition to all of the program development mentioned above, the Director is responsible for staff hiring & training, developing contracts for specialized training, budget management and fundraising, and all the technical aspects of running a complex organizations with dozens of community partners. The Director also teaches and facilitates workshops, convenes the Center’s Advisory Committee, is the Center’s primary liaison with labor leaders and legislators in Washington State, works with other labor educators nationally and internationally to develop programs in the community and higher education settings, participates in or supervises research projects, and works to integrate the Center into our home institute, South Seattle College, and the Washington State Community and Technical College system more broadly. 

ARTICLE V of the Labor Center Advisory Committee Bylaws titled “ROLE IN APPOINTMENT OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR” states: The SSCC President shall be the appointing authority for the Director position. In recruiting the Director, the President shall appoint a seven person committee, including at least three members from organized labor in Washington State selected by the Advisory Committee, and at least one faculty member from SSCC. The LCAC shall also be empowered to interview finalist candidates and make an independent recommendation for the Director position to the College President.

Candidates selected for an interview will be required to complete a questionnaire prior to the interview and provide a teaching demonstration during the interview.

Seattle Colleges are committed to recruiting dedicated faculty and staff who together create a welcoming academic climate that reflects the diverse backgrounds of our community, including ethnicity, national origin, religion, race, gender, gender identity, age, status as a veteran or disabled veteran, disability, political status, and sexual orientation.

Essential Functions

·     Oversee and direct the work of the Labor Center, including program development, hiring and supervising staff, budgeting, and fundraising. 

·     Provide vision, leadership and management in order to develop and support a Center that responds to the critical educational needs of labor unions, workers, students, apprentices, and community members involved in civic engagement and economic empowerment.

·     Strategically plan and implement Labor Center program and funding expansion.

·     Recruit and support excellent staff and assist with their professional development.

·     Work with other Labor Center and college staff and/or community partners to write grants to foundations, government agencies, and other potential funders as appropriate.  

·     Establish overall budget priorities for each academic year, and oversee budget expenditures.  Primary responsibility for following sound financial management practices and staying within the allocated budget while anticipating and planning for future growth and development of both the Labor Center and its curriculum.

·     Serve as lead ambassador to labor unions, the Washington State Labor Council, other union organizations, Washington state legislators, the governor’s office, other institutions of higher education, and national labor education organizations.

·     Keep the Center’s Advisory Committee vital through recruiting members, working with the Committee Chair to schedule and plan meetings, and producing the Committee’s meeting notes.

·     Serve as one of the Center educators by designing, planning, and teaching workshops, formal presentations, and other educational programs.

·     Serve as principal investigator or participant on research teams as appropriate.

·     Work with the SSC community (students, staff, faculty, and administrators) to integrate the Labor Center into the credit and non-credit curricula of the college.

·     Work with the statewide community and technical college system to introduce labor education into credit and non-credit curriculum of the various colleges. 

·     Serve as an expert on campus and with segments of the public about labor union issues.

·     Oversee production of Labor Center publications and outreach efforts.  

Required Education, Experience & Abilities

·     Bachelor’s degree plus three years’ work experience developing, delivering, and facilitating labor education programming for adults.

·     Knowledge of and sympathy towards the basic premises of labor union organizing.

·     Sensitivity to and understanding of issues of difference and power (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, class, etc) as they impact working people, labor unions and communities throughout Washington state.

·     Skills as a teacher, facilitator and researcher, with an understanding of a variety of teaching methods including popular (experiential) education and on-line or hybrid formats.

·     Successful budgetary, fundraising and administrative experience.

·     Ability to organize collaborative leadership for event planning committees, with diverse representation from union and community organizations.

·     Excellent written and oral communication skills and literacy in Office and Internet computer applications.

·     Experience working within a large bureaucracy and comfort with following complex administrative processes. 

·     Proven effectiveness at staff management and development.

Preferred Qualifications

·     Master’s degree plus five years’ work experience developing, delivering, and facilitating labor education programming for union and community members.

·     Successful financial management experience.

·     Fund raising and/or grant writing experience.

·     Experience in labor representation, bargaining, and/or organizing.

·     Experience building community/labor coalitions or partnerships around issues such as immigrant rights, women’s rights, the right to organize, etc.

·     Employment experience teaching in a community or technical college or other institution of higher education.

·     Experience working with legislative bodies.

·     Fluency in a language other than English.

·     Experience with strategic research and campaigns. 

East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy Hiring a Campaign Director (Oakland, CA)

Raise the Wage Campaign Director:

Dynamic opportunity to join the movement for economic justice

East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) has a 16 year track record of advancing economic, racial and social justice by building a just economy in the East Bay based on good jobs and healthy communities. We address the root causes of economic injustice by developing strategic alliances among community, faith, and labor to build power and create change with low-income workers and communities of color.

Position Summary
EBASE’s Raise the Wage Campaign Director is principally responsible for managing EBASE’s campaigns, coalition building, and solidarity work in partnership with low-wage worker organizing efforts. The Campaign Director will work with community, labor and faith partners to ensure successful enforcement of city-based minimum wage and worker justice policies. The Campaign Director will also work with partners to develop and support worker justice campaigns in other East Bay cities to build towards a regional set of worker justice standards. Tasks will include building a shared vision among partners on the campaign strategy; coordinating worker, electoral and faith-rooted organizing, media, politics and coalition building; and representing EBASE with allies, employers, government officials, and other decisionmakers. The Campaign Director will support fundraising efforts related to this campaign, and participate in organizational planning and leadership. The Campaign Director is supervised by the Deputy Director, will supervise one organizer, and may supervise other researchers, organizers, interns, volunteers, and consultants as needed.


Campaign Strategy and Coalition Building (60%)

  • Build a shared vision among community, labor and faith partners working to support worker organizing through advancing minimum wage and other worker justice policies in East Bay cities.
  • Develop and lead comprehensive campaigns that include coalition building worker, community, electoral, and faith-rooted organizing, media, policy development, and politics.
  • With allies, ensure workers are receiving all the appropriate pay and benefits under the city-based Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Day, and Service Charge Protection ordinances, and coordinate campaigns to hold employers and the cities accountable to the law.
  • Develop relationships with community, labor and faith partners towards building efforts to expand the minimum wage movement in 2-3 cities in the East Bay.
  • Develop policy proposals affecting low wage workers that reflect the needs of workers and community partners, drawing upon policy experts and resources as necessary.
  • Convey EBASE’s positions with employers, elected officials, and other decisionmakers in writing, in public meetings and 1-1.
  • Lead the internal Raise the Wage team of organizers, communicators, and researchers. Identify opportunities to engage all EBASE staff in the campaign and keep staff up to date and educated about what is happening in the campaign.

Organizing and Leadership Development (25%)

  • Work with allies to develop coordinated organizing strategies that create opportunities for affected communities and workers to build power and develop leadership through the campaign.
  • Create avenues to deepen solidarity and commitment of rank and file members across community and labor organizations through member-to-member meetings, low wage worker summits or other activities.
  • Identify worker leaders who can take on greater leadership in the campaign as volunteer organizers, spokepeople and strategists.
  • Supervise a community organizer, conduct regular weekly checkins, review workplans and create a leadership development plan to support his/her growth.

Fundraising and organizational leadership (10%)

  • Partner with the Executive Director and Development Director to prepare and edit foundation grant proposals and reports.
  • Participate in funder briefings and build relationships with program officers.
  • Support individual donor fundraising.
  • Participate in Directors Team and organizational planning.

Organizational Development and Personal Administration (5%)

  • Participate in weekly staff meetings, internal trainings, mandatory all staff meetings, and strategic an annual planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Support “all hands on deck” requests, including mobilization support, phonebanking, and other activities.
  • Maintain personal organization systems.
  • Complete reimbursements, timesheets and lobbying reports.



  • Minimum of 7 years of directly applicable experience with a community organization, labor union, base building organization, or equivalent.
  • Significant campaign leadership, organizing and base building, and coalition building experience.
  • Experience in supervising and training a team including organizers, researchers, and communicators.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and stay accountable to individual and team workplans and goals.
  • Commitment to social, economic, environmental, and racial justice movements.
  • Ability to balance irregular schedules with evening, weekend, and holiday work, with periods of rest and reflection.


  • Policy advocacy and policy development experience, particularly on jobs and employment issues, is highly desirable.
  • Fluency in written and verbal Spanish.
  • Political understanding of Oakland and East Bay cities.
  • Understanding of minimum wage, paid sick day, and other low-wage worker campaigns and policies.
  • Experience working with low-income communities and low-wage workers of color.

Compensation and Benefits
Competitive salary between $55,000-$65,000 depending on experience, plus a generous benefits package. EBASE provides an excellent working environment that encourages team work and recognizes high-quality work.


To apply, please email cover letter, resume, and 3 references by June 19, 2015 to:
Jennifer Lin, Deputy Director at Please send documents in Microsoft Word or Adobe pdf format, with “Raise the Wage Campaign Director Search” in the subject line. The position is open until filled.

EBASE is an affirmative action employer, and strongly supports the social goals of affirmative action. We therefore make special efforts to recruit individuals from groups that are historically under- represented in professional environments, or that suffer broader societal discrimination.

Participatory Budgeting Project Seeks Project Manager (NYC)

Position Opening: Project Manager

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is seeking a highly motivated individual to manage our technical assistance projects in the Eastern US and Canada. The Project Manager will assist and build the capacity of local governments and organizations to develop flagship models of participatory budgeting in North America. The position reports to the Deputy Director and is based in our Brooklyn, NY office, with frequent regional travel.

About the Participatory Budgeting Project

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a non-profit organization that empowers people across the US and Canada to decide together how to spend public money. We create and support participatory budgeting (PB) processes that deepen democracy, build stronger communities, and make public budgets more equitable and effective. Through our work with partners in over 10 cities, we have engaged 100,000 people in deciding how to spend $98 million.

Download the job description [PDF]


  • Launch, develop, and support PB processes in the Eastern US and Canada.  In collaboration with partner institutions and organizations, institutionalize high quality civic participation and build flagship models of PB.
  • Introduce PB to new, strategic locations and pots of funding, by supporting local advocacy campaigns in the Eastern US and Canada.
  • Manage communication and interactions with diverse clients and partners, providing guidance and troubleshooting problems.
  • Deliver trainings and presentations for community members, organizations, and government employees.
  • Develop and revise materials, including facilitation guides, educational materials, and project management tools.
  • Hire, support, and supervise several project staff and contract workers.
  • Be responsible for project planning, finances, budgets, contracts, and administration.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable contract and grant requirements, and with PBP policies and procedures.
  • Contribute content to blog posts, websites, newsletters, presentations, reports, and other communications.
  • Respond to and build relationships with local volunteers, supporters, and funders,  and work with PBP development staff to secure funding for local projects and help meet the organization’s fundraising goals.
  • Support other projects and programs within the organization as necessary.

Desired experience, skills, and strengths

  • At least three years of demonstrated experience performing related work, with progressively increasing responsibilities.
  • Excellent project management skills, including the ability to organize, prioritize, and effectively delegate large volumes of work.
  • Excellent facilitation and training skills.
  • Excellent analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills, both verbally and written.
  • Excellent judgment, decision-making skills, and creativity; ability to exercise discretion.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team; demonstrated ability to work on challenging, dynamic, and multifaceted projects.
  • Strong computer skills, including demonstrated proficiency with Google apps and Microsoft Office.
  • Proficiency in English and an additional language.
  • Experience working with local governments, community organizations, and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and democracy.
  • Experience with participatory budgeting and other kinds of civic participation.
  • Flexibility to adapt as our organization and work changes rapidly.

Educational requirements

We understand that there are a wide variety of paths towards the skills necessary for the position. As such, there are no formal educational requirements, as long as the applicant can demonstrate mastery of the desired skills. We do, however, value experience gained through educational programs, including credits completed in related subjects.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Strong benefits include full health insurance, 4 weeks paid vacation, and a commitment to staff development and a healthy work environment.

How to Apply

Please email applications to by June 7, 2015, with Project Manager in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Applications should include the following, if possible compiled in a single pdf:

  1. cover letter explaining your relevant experience and interest in the position;
  2. resume; and
  3. list of three professional references with contact information. Expected start is in August.

We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, and LGBTQ individuals.

Download the job description [PDF]


The Affordable Care Act: How Is It Working for Working People?

The Murphy Institute is known for its public programming, bringing thinkers, leaders and policymakers together to discuss the issues vital to making change in our city and our world. 

Watch Barbara Caress, former Director, Strategic Planning and Policy, SEIU Local 32BJ, discuss the impact of the ACA on working people.


Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center – Research and Policy Associate

The Urban Justice Center is made up of ten independent projects serving thousands of low-income individuals and families in New York City.  The Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center provides legal, technical, research and policy assistance to grassroots community groups engaged in a wide range of organizing efforts throughout New York City.

CDP’s Research and Policy Initiative partners with and provides strategic support to grassroots community organizations to build the power of their organizing and advocacy work.  We utilize a “participatory action research” model in which low-income and excluded communities are central to the design and development of research and policy.  Our work is guided by the priorities and needs of the community partners with which we work. The Research and Policy Associate would report to the Director of Research and Policy and join a team of three full time staff (including the Associate) and several graduate school interns.  You can find more information about our recent work here.

Our work consists of the following:

  • Participatory Action Research Reports: From start to finish, we work with our community partners to design, administer, analyze and write participatory action research reports.  These reports are used by our partners to educate community members, engage elected officials, garner media attention and advocate for socially just policies. Read our reports here.
  • Grassroots Policymaking: With community organizations, we research and develop ground-up policy solutions to problems they identify and document.
  • Popular-Education Curriculum Design and Research Training: Our trainings and tools assist communities in designing and conducting their own research.  We also conduct trainings on a variety of research topics to build the capacity of our partner organizations. View CDP’s Research for Organizing toolkit here.
  • Strategic Campaign Research:  We conduct background research and develop fact sheets to provide strategic data in support of organizing campaigns.  Our partners use these materials in leadership development and base-building and to educate elected and government officials about specific issues and campaigns

The Research and Policy Associate will do the following type of work:

  • Design and planning of participatory action research projects;
  • Develop research tools (surveys, focus group guides, interviews, etc.);
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Develop databases and do data entry;
  • Support community-based organizations (community partners) in collection of data;
  • Research and policy training and education for community partner groups;
  • Conduct background research and policy analysis related to partner’s campaigns;
  • Coordinate and communicate with community groups to carry out participatory research projects;
  • Support advocacy efforts of partner groups;
  • Support the development and implementation of strategic communications related to research and policy work;
  • Write policy-related documents and research reports;
  • Create public education materials to support the efforts of community partners.



  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 2 years of experience preferred;
  • Experience with research design and project management;
  • Experience and knowledge of policy analysis and NYC and NYS political landscape;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Experience and demonstrated skill in working with diverse populations;
  • Experience with group facilitation and public speaking;
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with potential partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • Experience with data analysis and statistical programs such as SPSS, GIS, Survey monkey and excel is preferred;
  • Detail oriented;
  • Demonstrated commitment to community organizing and social justice;
  • Knowledge of issues affecting low-income communities of color and related to social justice;
  • Spanish and/or Chinese language ability is a plus.


Salary and compensation:

Salary is commensurate with experience ($40,000 to $50,000 starting range) and excellent benefits package is available, including generous vacation, personal, and sick time, along with industry leading medical and dental coverage.


The Community Development Project is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including women, people of color, immigrants, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.


Application Instructions:

Please send a cover letter, resume and 2 writing samples (each writing sample should be no longer than 3 pages).  The writing samples should exhibit your ability to write about public policy and/or summarize research findings.


Please send the complete application to Alexa Kasdan, Director of Research and Policy at  Please write “R&P Associate application” in the subject line.


Applications will be accepted until June 19th, 2015

Spain’s Municipal Elections and the Prospects for Radical Democracy

Photo from the 15M anniversary march in Madrid last week. (Credit: Robert Pluma)

With contributions from a New York City social movement delegation currently in Spain ahead of the country’s local elections on May 24th, which includes JSMI Part-Time Staff Member Tamara Shapiro. You can follow their trip on Twitter at @NYCtoSpain, and NYC to Spain on Facebook. This article originally appeared on

“Do you hear the buzz? The buzz says: let’s defend the common good.” These are the lyrics of the campaign song of Barcelona en Comú — one of the new “confluence” platforms of “popular unity” running in the May 24th municipal elections in Spain, sung (with the help of autotune) to the rhythm of a popular Catalán rumba by its candidate, Ada Colau. According to the polls, Colau is poised to win the mayoral election in Barcelona this Sunday. These electoral insurgencies across Spain are reimagining the promise of radical democracy, one that draws from social movements to define a new participatory style of “governance by listening.” Four years ago, the May 15 movement appeared precisely during the campaign for municipal and regional elections. Despite its undeniable questioning of electoral politics and representation, previous election cycles were too soon to measure the movement’s impact. Then, the characterization of the movement by many politicians and mainstream media oscillated between patronizing and condescending overtones: “If these kids want to achieve anything, they should organize a party, and run for elections.” Continue reading Spain’s Municipal Elections and the Prospects for Radical Democracy