Communications Strategist (CAP)

Article Media

Location: Sacramento CAP Office

Date Posted: January 3rd, 2020

The Opportunity

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks a Communications Strategist for the ACLU of California Center for Advocacy and Policy (CAP)

The Approach

You are a thoughtful, solution-oriented leader. You have the ability to easily balance multiple projects coming at you at once while staying focused on the details that matter.

The Position

Directs the ACLU of California’s communications work on legislative and other statewide policy issues. Works with CAP staff , ACLU affiliate issue teams and other staff, coalition partners and external stakeholders to develop, manage and implement communications strategies. Coordinates with ACLU affiliate communications staff as needed to ensure legislative and other statewide policy efforts are consistent with affiliates’ work at the local level. This position requires interfacing with and developing materials for both traditional and other media, elected officials and their staff, ACLU staff, the public and ACLU members. Additionally, the. Communications Strategist works closely with coalition partners to provide overall communications support for campaigns as a whole. The. Communications Strategist may also be consulted on communications work related to bill implementation after passage.

About the Organization

ACLU NorCal is one of three California affiliates of a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart of many major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state. Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper, but are protected in practice. Facing new and ongoing threats to civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight unfair and illegal policies and to protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. Join us.

Duties & Responsibilities

Communications Planning & Strategy Development

  • Develop and implement integrated communications plans for priority bills.
  • Work with policy staff, coalition partners, and other stakeholders to identify communications goals, key audiences, messages, and engagement tactics to ensure coalitions, ACLU staff, consultants, legislators and others understand the overall trajectory of the campaign.
  • Work closely with the CAP Digital Strategist and other staff to develop and oversee the implementation of a digital communications plan for priority legislation.

Messaging and Content Creation

  • Develop values-based campaign messaging and framing to achieve policy victories, educate the public, and move target audiences to action.
  • Oversee messaging research projects, including hiring polling firms, overseeing the development of poll instruments, etc.
  • Draft and finalize campaign materials, including Op-Eds, blogs, email action alerts, FAQ documents, ACLU-NC newsletter entries and fact sheets for legislation.
  • Work with CAP, affiliate communications, and other staff to develop relevant polling instruments on legislative issues (funding permitting).
  • Review and approve digital content and materials created by the CAP Digital Strategist, including social media and website content.
  • Plan and manage paid advertising for legislative campaigns, including paid advertising with print, digital and broadcast outlets.

Media Relations

  • Build and expand relationships with legislative and political reporters and editorial boards at the state and national level.
  • Respond to press calls and coordinate interviews with ACLU spokespeople in a timely manner.
  • Prepare campaign spokespeople for media interviews in Spanish and English.
  • Draft press releases, statements, and other accompanying materials to educate reporters on legislative policy goals.

Management & Campaign Coordination

  • Supervise CAP Digital Strategist.
  • Manage consultants to ensure timely content creation that aligns with the ACLU’s voice and mission.
  • Manage CAP communications budget ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands annually.
  • Coordinate with coalition partners, elected officials, and ACLU affiliate communications departments to implement communications tactics.
  • Facilitate calls with communications committees for various bills.


Education / Experience:

  • College degree.
  • 3 years of relevant communications experience.

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Extremely strong project and time management skills, including demonstrated capacity to manage and prioritize competing projects and complete assignments under deadlines.
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Excellent judgment, dependable, punctual, and able to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Solution-oriented approach and ability to build consensus across lines of differences and distances.
  • Ability to work independently and on a team and demonstrated willingness to take initiative.

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

  • Fluency in Spanish preferred, but not required.

Technical Skills:

  • Experience designing web graphics in Canva, Photoshop, or another graphic design editor.
  • Basic ability to edit HTML and ability to use a WYSIWYG editor.


Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and, 401(k) plan with employer match. Salary starting range is $74,132.19 to $86,487.56 annually.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Applications must include, (1) cover letter, (2) resume, and (3) a list of four references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter.

Please submit your application in PDF format to the attention of Communications Strategist CAP Search to:

The ACLU-NC is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, arrest or conviction record, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.

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