VOCAL-NY is a grassroots membership organization dedicated to building the power of low- income people affected by the drug war, mass incarceration, the HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C epidemics, and homelessness to create healthy and just communities. We accomplish this through community organizing, activism, and public policy advocacy. You can learn more about our work through our website and Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Statewide Organizer will be responsible for building and coordinating VOCAL-NY’s presence outside of NYC, primarily in Westchester, Albany, Rockland, Putnam and Nassau counties. The Statewide Organizer will work to increase individual membership in existing chapters in Westchester and Albany and will be responsible for building new ones in other areas. This position will focus primarily on HIV/AIDS and housing policy in those areas, but will also work in coordination with issue organizers on Hepatitis C and Medical Marijuana. VOCAL utilizes a model of building a membership base by organizing institutions (primarily nonprofit service organizations) and the people they serve. Extensive travel throughout the region is required. VOCAL has offices in both Yonkers and Brooklyn. The Statewide Organizer should expect to assist with communications, coalition building, and other work to win VOCAL campaigns related to ending homelessness, the hepatitis C epidemic, promoting harm reduction strategies to address drug use, ending AIDS and mass incarceration.
The Statewide Organizer will also be expected to support a variety of campaigns related to harm reduction and drug policy reform. Examples of current campaign activities include:
- Base-building in urban areas outside of NYC;
- Regular teach-ins at service organizations on a range of issues (primarily housing, Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS policy).
- Coordinating direct action campaigns to win progressive legislation and increase funding for housing for the homeless.
- Issue identification and campaign planning.
- Policy research and analysis: Monitor state and city legislation and prepare briefings and materials for VOCAL members and staff. Research and writing for policy proposals.
- Coalition Building and Grassroots Organizing: Promote the active involvement of directly affected people, healthcare and social service providers, community leaders, and civic organizations in campaigns relating to Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, homelessness and mass incarceration by conducting outreach and recruitment activities, leadership development and other training activities, and providing support for coalition meetings and events.
- Event Coordination and Mobilization: Implement a range of strategies, including hearings, press conferences, rallies, protests, lobby days, and in-district meetings. Turn out people living with HIV/AIDS, people impacted by mass incarceration and the drug war and Hepatitis C, healthcare providers, and allies to events. Convene, craft agenda, and facilitate regular membership meetings in Westchester and Albany and with Statewide providers.
- Media and Communications: Identify people directly affected by the issues we work on and allies for media and communications activities. Respond to media inquiries. Prep advocates speaking to the media. Draft op-eds, letters to the editor and quotes on behalf of advocates.
- Support Other VOCAL Campaigns: The position will be expected to periodically provide support for any and all community organizing and campaign work within VOCAL-NY. We have a highly collaborative office environment where staff members provide regular support for each other’s campaigns as needed.
Requirements / Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will be an energetic, self-motivated individual who has strong inter- personal, public speaking, writing, and problem solving skills. Candidates must demonstrate interest in AIDS, Hepatitis C, homelessness, drug policy and a willingness to approach these issues through a racial justice analysis. A deep commitment to social justice is required.
The ideal candidate will have:
- A Bachelor’s degree or 3 years of organizing experience.
- Willingness to work in a fast-paced environment with sometimes unpredictable hours and shifting assignments.
- Ability to lead their own campaigns is a must.
- A strong commitment to teamwork and to working with and promoting the leadership of people directly affected by the issues we work on.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Excellent organizational skills.
- Demonstrated substantive strength in one or more key areas of VOCAL-NY’s work.
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate meetings and trainings, coordinate coalitions, and develop partnerships among a wide and diverse array of stakeholders.
- Proficiency with common business software (e.g. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email clients).This is a full-time position. The position will report to the Policy Director and will work collaboratively with other members of the policy and community organizing staff.The position will require regular travel to Albany and other parts of New York State, including occasional overnight travel, as well as attendance at evening and weekend meetings.
The salary range will be commensurate with experience. VOCAL-NY offers a generous benefits package of twenty days of paid vacation, monthly metro card, full cell phone coverage, a 100% employer-covered health and dental insurance plan, and 403(b) retirement plan.
How to apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line, please write “Statewide Organizer [Your Name]”. No phone calls, please.
VOCAL-NY is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, people who are formerly incarcerated, people living with HIV or Hepatitis C, women, LGBT people, and those who have been adversely affected by the criminal justice system and the war on drugs are strongly encouraged to apply.
The position will remain open until filled.
Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.