All posts by Murphy Institute

Statewide Organizer at VOCAL-NY

Organizational Background

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.

Position Description

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.

Job Responsibilities:

  • 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 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.

Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition Seeks Community Development Organizer

The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) is a 40-year old social justice community organization that unites individuals and institutions to fight for better neighborhoods and for social, economic, environmental, and racial justice.  NWBCCC is a membership-based organization that uses direct action community organizing to address affordable housing, public education, immigrant rights, youth, voting rights, economic development and jobs issues, and to fight for broader policy change in these and other areas.

The Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition seeks a dynamic, experienced community organizer to work on the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. The organizer will be responsible for supporting local institutions and residents in implementing a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) signed with the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC), and ensuring that residents are able to stay in the community to enjoy the benefits of the development. The Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA), a project of the NWBCCC and its allies, led a 17 year campaign to win development of the long-abandoned Armory to build economic democracy in the Northwest Bronx, and signed a historic CBA with KNIC in 2013. The agreement promises 51% local hiring, wall-to-wall living wages, local procurement, 50,000 square feet of community space with $8 million for build-out, significant revenue sharing, green development, and community access to facilities.

The NWBCCC works to build economic democracy through which wealth is generated locally and controlled democratically. We are a member-led organization in which community residents plan and lead campaigns to win local victories and broader policy change. Our work on the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory is building a model of community-controlled development without displacement.  Winning the historic CBA was a major victory. Now we are working to ensure its full implementation, and we need a strong and experienced staff person to support this work.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Support the continued development of KARA, our committee of local residents and institutions fighting for the implementation of the CBA and against the displacement of local residents and businesses
  • Build our base through membership recruitment of community and faith-based institutions
  • Conduct leadership development to build the capacity of community leaders and members in the basics of organizing and in more technical aspects of CBA implementation
  • Support the work of the Kingsbridge Armory Signatories and the Community Advisory Council, the two community bodies charged with ensuring the implementation of the CBA
  • Coordinate anti-displacement organizing with our Housing Committee and the broader organization
  • Assist in writing reports to current funders and assist with grant development
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and training opportunities.


  • Minimum two years of experience in organizing, though more is preferred;
  • Demonstrated commitment to and passion for social justice
  • Understanding of community organizing approach to social change
  • Strong writing, communication and negotiation skills
  • Background in economic development preferred
  • Fluency in English, with Spanish proficiency preferred
  • Strong interest in and ability to work with diverse groups
  • Ability to work nights and weekends as necessary


  • Competitive salary, based on experience.
  • Excellent benefits, including health and life insurance, tax-sheltered retirement plan, and vacation.
  • Excellent training in community organizing and professional development opportunities.

Apply online via City Limits

AFT Hiring Senior Associate

Job Title:
Senior Associate


Job Number:

Assistant to the President for Research and Strategic Initiatives

Research and Strategic Initiatives

Annual Salary:

Special Note:
The purpose of the position is to conduct research in close coordination with AFT staff and affiliates, with a particular focus on AFT’s Nurses and Health Professionals division.

Position Summary:
Under the direction of the research and strategic initiatives manager, the senior associate will conduct research, develop resources and materials and work with affiliate leaders and staff to support and advance organizing, contract campaigns and other initiatives of AFT’s healthcare affiliates.

Position Responsibilities:
· Conduct research and financial analyses of healthcare employers and healthcare networks in support of organizing, issue and collective bargaining campaigns of affiliates.
· Analyze and interpret trends in the healthcare industry at the state and national level that will affect AFT’s affiliates and members.
· Assist in the preparation and presentation of findings, reports and information to AFT leadership, affiliates and staff.
· Provide assistance to leaders and staff of AFT affiliates and develop and implement research-based organizing and contract campaigns.
· Coordinate with other AFT departments as needed to assist and support AFT affiliates.
· Assist in the organization, development, facilitation and delivery of training for AFT affiliate leaders and staff.
· Coordinate and monitor work assignments of interns.
· Extensive travel and some weekend and evening work required.
· Other duties as assigned.

Primary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
· Qualified candidates must have demonstrated technical research skills including experience with quantitative analysis using programs such as Excel and Access.
· Knowledge of healthcare industry and issues affecting nurses and health professionals.
· Successful track record assisting in the preparation and delivery of presentations and trainings on complex material.
· Strong written and verbal communication skills, including preparation of easily understandable materials for affiliate leaders and staff; patient advocates; community and labor allies; and the general public.
· An advanced degree in healthcare policy, law, labor studies, sociology or related field is required.

Secondary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
· Two years or more experience working in a union environment is preferred.
· Strong commitment and dedication to work in the labor movement.
· Familiarity with AFT and/or its affiliates.

Application requirements:
Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to the director of human resources or via email to Please reference posting #AOF-58-31-1015-V


Why America Needs Worker Co-Ops More Than Ever

Featured photo credit: USDA Photo by Lance Cheung, via Flickr CC

This article originally appeared at Triple Pundit.

By Daniel Faris

America is no longer a representative democracy—a fact underscored by decades of grotesque and steadily worsening economic inequality and an election process that depends more on wealthy donors than on an informed electorate.

Case in point: the middle class has been shrinking for decades and is now in the process of disappearing altogether. Since 1979, 90 percent of the economically-challenged have lost money each year, while the wealthiest 10 percent have posted huge gains, according to Forbes (and any reputable economist). The American dream is all but dead for the vast majority of us, with 1% of the population controlling 43% of the nation’s wealth.

Self-determination in the workplace could be one of the keys we need to empower and grow the working class in our nation and re-igniting the American dream. And worker-owned cooperatives could be the match that lights that flame. Continue reading Why America Needs Worker Co-Ops More Than Ever

UC Labor Center — 2016 Lead Organizer Training

Lead-Organizer-Training-2016-flyer_finalThe coming years will present exciting challenges for labor and community groups. Unions and community-based organizations will need skilled staff in order to tackle the mounting needs placed before them and their constituents.

The UC Berkeley Labor Center will offer a Lead Organizer Training on January 20-22, 2016, featuring these topics:

Staff/Leadership Development • Wellness/Healthy LifeStyle Exercises • Training/Teaching/Learning Skills • Strategic Campaign Planning • Community-Labor Coalition Building • Lead Organizing Techniques/Tools

This workshop is offered for those union and community activists who hold lead organizing positions within their organizations, or will be assigned the task in the near future. Groups entering contract bargaining, conducting campaigns, or undertaking issue-oriented activities during 2016 should consider sending their lead organizers to this training.

The three-day training will be facilitated by UCB Adjunct Labor Specialist Maria L. Abadesco. It will also feature Sanjay Garla, Organizing Director of SEIU United Service Workers West, and Kuusela Hilo, Organizer with United Nurses Associa- tion of California/Union of Health Care Professionals.

SEIU United Service
Workers West office
3411 East 12th Street, Suite 200 Oakland, CA 94601

Application Deadline: November 16, 2015

Maximum 22 participants

Registration Fee: Unions: $400 CBOs: $275

Cost includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and printed and online materials. Registrations that are cancelled after Friday, January 15, 2016, 5:00 pm will be charged 10% of tuition.

For more information please contact:

Maria Abadesco
Adjunct Labor Specialist 707-494-2461


Alicia Flores
Program Coordinator 510-643-0910

To download an application go to

The 2016 Lead Organizer Training welcomes participation from people of all races, ethnicities, national origins, and gender identities.

“Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation

On October 19th, the Murphy Institute had a packed house for “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement,” sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.

The forum panelists highlighted that the growing movements, Black Lives Matter and Fight For $15, share in the struggle for access to justice and equality. These movements not only intersect but recognize that together there is the opportunity to create significant change. Continue reading “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation