All posts by Murphy Institute

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

New Organizing Institute — Digital Boot Camp

From New Organizing Institute:

Since 2006, the New Organizing Institute has trained an army of progressive organizers to run and win powerful campaigns by leveraging digital tools and tactics. We know we’ve got to keep and grow our digital talent advantage — that’s why we created BootCamp.

This 7-day intensive program prepares organizers to run winning digital campaigns across the country and applications are open for our summer 2015 class.

APPLY NOW to join the Summer 2015 Digital BootCamp Class July 26-August 1 in Washington, DC 

We’re looking for organizers who have a passion for progressive issues and the drive to win.  If you’ve got experience in another campaign area — like field, finance, or operations — that’s great. If you’re only just starting out, that’s great too. We want BootCampers who are serious about building a better world and who want the digital skills to get the job done.

You’ll leave BootCamp with the skills you need to start a digital organizing career. And you’ll have the chance to work with some of the most extraordinary folks in the business during your week in Washington.

BootCamp grads all over the country are leading big fights and they’re winning them. We’re looking for the next class of organizers who are ready to step up.

APPLY NOW to join Digital BootCamp 

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis from now until June 12th. We’re committed to making BootCamp possible  through scholarships, payment plans, and other support. DO NOT let cost stop you from applying — if you’re accepted, we’ll figure out how to make it work. 

We look forward to reading your application.

—Tracy & the NOI Team

p.s. If you’re already working in digital and know a talented intern, recent grad, friend or relative who has the passion and the drive to be a great organizer, make sure you forward this on to them. We’ve all got a part to play in identifying the next generation of talent! 

Taking It to the Streets! Street Vendors in the New Labor Economy

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 Javier Valdez, Co-Executive Director, Make the Road New York and Diana Robinson, Campaign & Education Coordinator, Food Chain Workers Alliance discuss the prospects and challenges of organizing food vendors.