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.
Building a movement of directly affected New Yorkers to demand action to end the Hepatitis C (HCV) epidemic is an increasingly important part of our work. This position is focused on engaging community members in advocacy and activism who need access to hepatitis C prevention, care, and treatment, and supporting the development of a New York State plan to end the epidemic.
VOCAL-NY is seeking a talented individual interested in building grassroots political power as part of a dynamic team. The community organizer will primarily support leadership development, community empowerment, and civic engagement among people living with or at risk of HCV infection, as well as families, allies and healthcare providers in support of action to end the epidemic in New York State. The successful candidate will also work on VOCAL’s other campaigns related to HCV, such as our work to promote access to harm reduction services, authorize supervised injection facilities, and reform NYC and NYS drug policies.
Examples of campaign activities include:
- Expanding access to HCV prevention services by passing legislation to fully legalize syringe possession or appropriations to increase harm reduction funding.
- Coordinating a statewide network of people living with HCV, healthcare providers, and allies in order to undertake original research, policy analysis, and develop advocacy positions related to ending the epidemic.
- Activism targeting pharmaceutical manufacturers for price gouging.
Job activities are varied and may include: community outreach; mobilization; leadership development; base-building; event coordination; monitoring the implementation of legislation; data collection and analysis; communications and media outreach; creating public education and advocacy materials; and administrative tasks as needed.
The position will be based at VOCAL’s office in Brooklyn, NY. The position will require frequent travel in support of VOCAL chapters in Westchester County and Albany.
- Membership Recruitment & Leadership Development: Identify and develop HCV community leaders by responding to email and phone inquiries, conducting one-on-one relational meetings, nurturing an understanding of relevant policy issues, and supporting skills building among people living with HCV as spokespeople who can effectively communicate campaign messages and engage with policymakers.
- Coalition Building and Grassroots Organizing: Promote the active involvement of healthcare and social service providers, community leaders, and civic organizations in the HCV campaign by conducting outreach and recruitment activities such as one-on-one’s and presentations to ensure understanding and support for the campaign among a diverse group of allies. Coordinate the field strategy with HCV campaign partners on an ongoing basis through calls, email and in-person meetings. Track and report on interaction and engagement with advocates and organizations.
- Event Coordination and Mobilization: Implement a range of tactics, including hearings, press conferences, rallies, protests, lobby days, and in-district meetings. Turn out people living with HCV, healthcare providers, and allies to events through mass phone banking and relationship building. Convene, craft agenda, and facilitate regular membership meetings and smaller work group meetings.
- Media and Communications: Identify people affected by HCV 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. Draft campaign materials.
- Support Other VOCAL Campaigns: The position will also be expected to provide support for all community organizing and campaigns around the drug war, mass incarceration, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness within VOCAL-NY as needed. We have a highly collaborative office environment where staff members provide regular support for each other’s campaigns.
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 HCV, harm reduction, and drug policy reform and a willingness to approach these issues through a racial justice analysis. Candidates must have at least two years of experience in community organizing and/or related fields. Advocacy campaign experience, significant community organizing experience, and a valid driver’s license are pluses. Interest in working as a member of a team and in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential. Travel to other parts of New York State will be required approximately once per week. Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email, word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) programs are required.
How to apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com. In the subject line, please put “Community 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 HCV, 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.
Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted