American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation’s foremost defender of constitutional rights and civil liberties. ACLU of Colorado is an affiliate of the national ACLU, and it is the state’s guardian of freedom, working in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities across the state to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all. Founded in 1952, ACLU of Colorado is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the promise of equal justice under the law for all Coloradans. For more information about the work of the ACLU of Colorado and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit our website at www.aclu-co.org.

Commitment To Equity, Diversity, Belonging, and Inclusion

ACLU of Colorado is an equitable opportunity employer. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all community members can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified persons, including people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented and marginalized groups.

ACLU of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to providing a work environment that practices equitable and inclusive treatment and is quick to act to prevent and address harassment or discrimination of any kind. 

Advocacy and Strategic Alliances

ACLU of Colorado’s new Department of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances (“ASA”) focuses on achieving transformational and systemic change for civil rights and civil liberties. ASA accomplishes this goal through multi-year, issue-based integrated campaigns, building powerful coalitions and networks working together to achieve shared goals, and empowering the next generation of civil rights and civil liberties champions. The ASA team includes policy experts, campaigners, organizers, data analysts and researchers who work in integrated teams alongside ACLU of Colorado's litigators and communications experts. These integrated teams weave together policy advocacy, organizing, public education, litigation, electoral and political strategies, corporate campaigns, and communications strategies to achieve audacious goals.

Job Description

ACLU of Colorado’s Policy Counsel will be joining one of the most dynamic and impactful policy teams in the state. The Policy Counsel sits in the affiliate’s Department of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, and works on integrated campaigns with colleagues in organizing, legal, communications, campaigns, and research and analytics to develop and execute audacious multi-year policy campaigns alongside community and coalitions. The Policy Counsel contributes to the affiliate’s lobbying and other strategies at the state capitol during the legislative session, as well as contributing to policy advocacy with other legislative, executive, and administrative bodies. The Policy Counsel reports to the Senior Policy Strategist.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conduct legal and policy research
  • Draft model policies and legislation
  • Analyze policies and legislation, including mark-ups and amendments
  • Draft white papers, reports, or other policy-orientated assets
  • Major role on lobbying and testifying in one or more policy spheres
  • Designs and execute one or more short-term policy projects
  • Work collaboratively with an inter-disciplinary team to design policy strategies that are aligned with and supported by strategic communications, organizing, litigation, electoral programs, and other strategies and tactics
  • Cultivate key strategic relationships with elected officials, stakeholders, and peers at other organizations
  • Lead or be the principal of coalitions or policy tables 

Qualifications: 

  • Dedicated to carrying out the mission and goals of the American Civil Liberties Union in protecting and furthering civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Ability to apply the work of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (EDIB) to the Department
  • Excellent legal and policy research, analysis, and writing skills
  • Policy expertise and/or lived experience in one or more of the following two issue areas:  (1) digital speech, privacy, surveillance, and technology or (2) criminal justice reform
  • Capable of fast-paced analysis and policy recommendations
  • Comfortable working in values-based alliances, as well as strategic alliances across the political spectrum
  • Experience with policy strategy at the state level, and municipal or county-level policy experience a plus
  • Can execute complex lobbying strategies, including multi-year or multi-jurisdictional strategic policy projects
  • Can create workplans and campaign plans that clearly identify measurable goals, strategies, and tactics. Fluency with project management software a plus.
  • Anticipate complex and distant contingencies and both near-term and long-term opposition
  • Effective project management skills, including in multi-disciplinary teams that may include external partners and vendors
  • Public speaking and writing experience 
  • Willingness to work long hours, especially during state legislative session, and statewide travel as required
  • Three years or more experience in policy drafting and/or analysis
  • Juris doctor or master’s in public policy

Work Accommodations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

ACLU of Colorado has a hybrid return-to-work model that began on June 1, 2022. To make it safe to work at the office amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a mandated mask policy and a mandatory vaccination policy, unless you request in writing a medical or religious exemption. You will need to send a copy of your updated COVID vaccination card. 

Compensation and Benefits

This position is full-time; the approximate salary range is $70,000 to $98,000 and within the pay scale parameters of ACLU of Colorado. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, paid vacation, and holidays. A relocation stipend is available for new hires to move to Colorado.

To Apply

Email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references with “ACLU of Colorado Policy Counsel” in the subject line to jobs@aclu-co.org. No phone calls, please. Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning September 22, 2022, and the position will remain open until filled.