All posts by Murphy Institute

Jail Workers & the Fight to Close Rikers

The fight to close the Rikers Island Jail complex has received renewed attention since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan last March to close down the facility in the next 10 years. Many have welcomed the moved, but one group has expressed resistance: correctional officers.

In a recent article in the Daily News, Brooklyn College sociology professor Alex Vitale argues that this resistance is misguided:

Corrections unions face a difficult challenge in the months and years ahead. Do they continue to defend a broken institution in the hopes of saving jobs or do they look for concrete ways to ensure that the people who work at Rikers have secure economic futures?

The irony of this dilemma is that the men and women who work at Rikers know better than almost anyone what a failed institution it is. They see day in and day out the deteriorating infrastructure, inadequate management, and culture of violence that organizes their daily work life. Continue reading Jail Workers & the Fight to Close Rikers

Photos: The City is The Factory: Discussion and Book Party​​

On November 3rd, faculty, students and community members gathered for a lively discussion and celebration of The City Is the Factory: New Solidarities and Spatial Strategies in an Urban Age​, co-edited by Miriam Greenberg, University of Santa Cruz and Penny Lewis, Murphy Institute, CUNY.

Contributors Penny Lewis, Miriam Greenberg, Stephanie Luce, Shannon Gleason and Melissa Checker discussed today’s urban-based struggles for change, asking: what are the new kinds of organizing that we’re seeing emerging in cities today? What challenges do they face, what potential do they have?

Some photos from the event are below!

NYC Public Advocate Seeks Outreach Coordinator-Bronx Focus

Interested applicants should send;

-Most recent resume

-Cover letter to

-Writing sample 



The Public Advocate for the City of New York is a citywide elected official who serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman, or “watchdog,” for New Yorkers by providing oversight of city agencies, investigating citizens’ complaints about city services and making legislative or policy proposals to address perceived shortcomings of those services. The Public Advocate presides over New York City Council stated meetings and is a non-voting member of the Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation.

Position Description 

The Outreach Department is responsible for tracking the needs of the diverse communities throughout New York City, and engaging with those communities with the goal of advancing the priorities of the New York City Public Advocate. The Outreach coordinator is responsible for conducting research, and developing relationships with New York community and their leaders, addressing their needs, developing trust, and creating pathways between organizations and the NYC Public Advocate. The Outreach department is fast-paced requires evening and weekend availability; therefore, the Outreach coordinator would be expected to operate under such conditions. 

Preferred Qualifications 

·     Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a Relevant Field of Study (Political Science, Urban Studies, Social Work, Public Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Marketing, etc.)

·     Candidates with at least 3 years of experience in government/non-profit sector preferred  

·     Excellent communication, analytical and public relations skills.

·     Excellent organizing and communication skills 

·     Prior experience with events planning.

·     Ability to work independently and with a team of like-minded professionals.

The Office of the New York City Public Advocate and The City of New York are Equal Opportunity Employers.


English and Spanish preferred.



HOW TO APPLY: Interested applicants should send;

-Most recent resume

-Cover letter to

-Writing sample

Center for Popular Democracy Seeks Fair Workweek Campaign Manager (Brooklyn, NY)

Fair Workweek Campaign Manager

Join the next wave in the movement for economic justice in America.

Working people driving America’s service economy struggle with jobs with unpredictable part-time hours, low wages and few benefits that strain their families and cause economic insecurity. The Center for Popular Democracy’s Fair Workweek Initiative (FWI) seeks a Campaign Manager to support and coordinate bold new campaigns to win a fair workweek in cities and states across the country.

The Fair Workweek Campaign Manager will work with CPD/CPDA affiliates and allied partners to advance policy and public education campaigns to ensure working people have wages and hours they can count on to care for themselves and their families. We are seeking an experienced strategic campaigner who has driven successful policy and issue-based campaigns while building strong coalitions and deep grassroots leadership. The ideal candidate will be an experienced and energetic professional with strong project management, facilitation, training and problem-solving skills who thrives in a fast paced work environment and is a self-starter.


The Fair Workweek Campaign Manager is responsible for working closely with partner organizations to develop and execute local field campaign plans, and engage allied national partners to integrate local campaigns into a comprehensive national strategy to win a fair workweek. In addition to providing technical assistance and supporting others who are driving local campaigns, the Campaign Manager will work closely with the policy, organizing, communications, research and digital staff at CPD/CPDA. 

The Campaign Manager reports to the Director of the Fair Workweek Initiative and collaborates with the project team and other CPD programs.

About The Fair Workweek Initiative

Anchored by the CPD and CPD Action, the FWI is driving the growing momentum to restore a workweek that enables working families to thrive. We are committed to elevating the voices of working people to ensure they shape the solutions that work for their families – through improved industry practices or workplace protections. Learn more at:

Since 2014, FWI has won groundbreaking campaigns that established new work hour standards in six cities and the state of Oregon, and moved corporate retail chains to deliver more predictable stable hours for hundreds of thousands of working people.

About CPD + CPD Action

The Center for Popular Democracy and the Center for Popular Democracy Action promote equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. We currently work with more than 50 partner organizations in more than 35 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico to build the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda. We offer an exciting opportunity to drive ambitious campaigns and partner with community-based organizations across the country to build political power and win tangible victories that improve the lives of low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities of color.

Position location: Open to remote locations. CPD has offices in NYC and DC. Current FWI team members are based in NYC, DC, Los Angeles, Oakland and Atlanta.

Primary Responsibilities:

The candidate will report to CPD’s Fair Workweek Initiative Director and will:

·     Oversee and provide leadership for the development of multiple fair workweek policy campaigns that include innovations in worker engagement and mobilization; diverse coalitions; public education and issue elevation within a women’s economic and racial justice framework; and cutting-edge use of field and digital strategies.

·     Assist partner organizations in the development and implementation of state and local campaigns. Especially seeking candidates with rigorous approaches to campaigning, and the management expertise and relational nuance to work with state and local organizations in building out such campaigns.

·     Work with the Corporate Strategies Director and Lead Organizer to ensure that campaigns directly engage and develop the leadership of working people.

·     Work with the Senior Staff Attorney for Worker Justice to gain strong proficiency in fair workweek policy, represent the organization with policy makers and staff, and develop local policy solutions

·     Develop and oversee strategic communications and public support research projects integrating findings into field tools (e.g. message guides, support models, etc.) Help plan and execute national days of action, rallies, marches, and other high-visibility activities.

·     Build a dynamic learning network with local affiliates, national allies and elected officials to ensure campaigns share strategy and information, deploy the most effective tactics, and generate national momentum and attention to the issue.

·     Produce and manage projects that produce essential tools for the field – both internal campaign supports and public facing document

·     Support national integration and collaboration through all-campaign meetings, regular sub-group calls (communications, field, research, etc.).

·     Build campaigns with an approach that increases the knowledge, expertise, experience and capacity of our state and local partners.

·     Participate in regular meetings of the FWI team and broader CPD/CPDA staff team.

Job Requirements:

·     Minimum 5 years campaigning experience (policy, labor or community, or electoral);

·     Experience leading winning policy campaigns with national significance or impact;

·     Understanding of issues facing communities of color, women and low-and moderate-income families;

·     Experience building and working with broad-based issue coalitions;

·     Advanced experience in training, coaching and developing organizers and campaigners;

·     Comfort, and some areas of expertise, implementing a range of campaign strategies and tactics, including policy, corporate accountability and civic engagement;

·     Excellent communication, writing, and organizational skills;

·     Self-motivated and dedicated – proven ability to work independently and overcome obstacles;

·     Ability to work well with diverse organizations and communities.

CPD is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and actively recruits people of color, women, individuals with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community.


We have a generous benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurances; 15 vacation days per year; 10 sick and safe days per year; 7 paid holidays per year; and contributions to individuals’ 401K plans.




Send a cover letter and resume through the following link:

The Legal Aid Society – New York City Seeks Criminal Defense Practice Community Organizer-CJU

The Legal Aid Society is seeking a driven, inspired, and energetic Community Organizer who will work with The Legal Aid Society’s Community Justice Unit (“CJU”) to build grassroots community participation in efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

The Society’s CJU provides legal services/case consults in a specific catchment area in each of the five boroughs providing anti-violence services through the CeaseFire model (now called “CureViolence”). This is a public health model originated in Chicago that responds to gun violence with services in the community–mediation, social services, violence interrupters, etc. The model works on the theory that if conflicts can be worked out by people in the community, further violence can be avoided.

The ideal candidate is an experienced organizer who has worked on grassroots, policy and advocacy campaigns. The ideal candidate is committed to The Legal Aid Society’s mission, is flexible and effective in a fast-paced environment. This is not an office-based job. The ideal candidate will be working with our CureViolence partners throughout the five boroughs, engaging with and supporting community members who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.


·     Assist Community Justice Attorneys in providing training and outreach to CureViolence community partners

·     Develop social media campaigns to highlight program success

·     Work with other units of The Legal Aid Society to create opportunities for community members

·     Participate in implementing a client advisory board

·     Lead street outreach and other community-based canvassing;

·     Measure and track outcomes; enter data to track outcomes

·     Ability to work flexible hours beyond 5:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays


·     Other duties as assigned

Location: Citywide


·     Bachelor’s degree preferred, but not required

·     Previous community organizing experience preferred; a demonstrated commitment to activism and mobilizing communities required

·     Experience developing members into leaders and employing grassroots strategies for social change

·     Experience working on coalition-based campaign to effect policy change

·     Basic knowledge of and interest in criminal justice reform, including a serious commitment to ending mass incarceration

·     Deep and meaningful ties to the community and community driven policy reform

·     Comfortable working with clients and their families

·     High energy, strong interpersonal, public speaking and problem-solving skills; an outgoing personality and willingness to take risks are essential to succeeding in this position

·     Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email, word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) programs

·     Comfort working with a team in a fast-paced and dynamic environment

·     Experience working in New York City and State preferred, but not required

·     Collaborative instincts, sense of humor, and charm

·     Valid driver’s license

·     Proficiency in languages other than English is desirable, but not required

Only PDF documents will be accepted. If your document is not a PDF your application will not be processed. Applications submitted without all the required materials will not be processed.

The Legal Aid Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer — Women, People of Color, Gays and Lesbians, Transgender People, Veterans and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For technical difficulties or questions regarding this posting please email


Work for Progress Seeks Consumer Advocate


Speak For The Public Interest

Every day, whether it’s in Washington, D.C., a state capitol, or a corporate boardroom, someone is making a decision that will affect all of us — it could be about our health, our safety, or our democracy. 

Special interest groups spend billions of dollars to influence these decisions. Someone needs to speak for the public interest. As a U.S. PIRG Fellow, that’s what you’ll do.


What It Means To Be A Fellow 

You won’t just sit behind a desk. You’ll be out in the real world, working on everything from reducing the overuse of antibiotics in the food industry to defending consumer protections on Wall Street. You’ll be recruiting new groups to join a coalition, speaking in a church basement or town hall to win a new endorsement, organizing a news event or rally, meeting with an editorial board, or doing whatever else it takes to get results.

This is a two-year program, expressly designed to prepare future leaders with U.S. PIRG. We look for smarts, leadership experience, top-notch written and verbal skills, and an eagerness to learn. We value experience organizing, including building campus groups. 

Pay & Benefits 

The target annual compensation for this position is $26,000 in the first year. U.S. PIRG offers a competitive benefits package. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement. To learn more visit

Locations & Start Dates 

We’re hiring for positions in Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago. If you’re flexible, you can apply for multiple locations. We accept applications on a rolling basis. Positions start in August 2018, or visit our website to see immediate openings.

Are you ready to speak for the public interest?

U.S. PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network—a group of organizations that share a vision of a better future, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done. Visit to learn more. 

U.S. PIRG is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. 


U.S. PIRG offers a competitive benefits package. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement. To learn more visit