State Legislative and Policy Advocate
Oregon Law Center (OLC) seeks a full-time state legislative and policy advocate. This position provides an exciting opportunity for an experienced advocate to work as part of a team dedicated to improving the lives of low-income Oregonians. Legislative and administrative advocacy at OLC focuses on issues related to poverty, including family law, employment, farmworker justice, civil rights, human services and public benefits, consumer law, landlord-tenant and affordable housing, healthcare, and domestic and sexual violence survivor advocacy.
About the Oregon Law Center
OLC is a statewide non-profit legal services program committed to achieving justice for the low-income communities of Oregon by providing a full range of the highest quality civil legal services. OLC does not receive funding from the federal Legal Services Corporation. OLC operates eleven regional client service offices, a litigation support unit, legislative advocacy unit, and statewide farmworker program. OLC works closely with Legal Aid Services of Oregon and other partners in Oregon’s coordinated civil legal services delivery system.
About this Position
The Legislative and Policy Advocate will be responsible for moving forward a portion of OLC’s legislative and policy priorities. OLC’s agenda is non-partisan and established through a priority setting process approved by OLC’s Board. This process incorporates input from our clients and client communities, the eleven OLC offices, OLC’s litigation support unit, community partners, and the legal community. Advocacy issues and responsibilities are shared, with each member of the legislative team playing a role with subject-matter specialization and focus.
The position is a full-time, exempt position based in Portland that reports to and is supervised by the director of public affairs and legislative advocacy. The position will join the director and two legislative advocates, to make a team of four. The position requires working in Salem on a daily basis during legislative sessions and at other times as necessary. As a result of the pandemic, OLC is currently operating remotely, and depending on the current circumstances, the individual hired for this position may start their employment working remotely.
OLC is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a healthy work environment for a diverse staff. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and communities to apply.
- Provide high quality legislative and administrative advocacy for OLC’s client communities.
- Help policy makers understand the needs of low-income people in Oregon and the impact various proposals could have on low-income people.
- Craft strategic legislative, administrative, and budget priorities designed to be effective in both the short and long term.
- Conduct policy research to assist with the development of policy priorities.
- Work effectively with legislative counsel, OLC lawyers, community partners and other stakeholders to draft priority legislation and amendments.
- Develop and maintain trusted relationships with the Governor’s office, legislators, legislative staff, and interim committees as well as community partners, agencies, coalitions, and the civil legal community.
- Prepare high-quality expert testimony and information for legislative committees and staff, analyze measures, negotiate solutions, and track priority bills.
- Help legal services advocates and community partners understand the legislative process, and legislative changes that impact client communities.
- Demonstrated commitment to OLC’s mission: justice for low-income communities.
- Demonstrated commitment to antiracism and racial justice.
- Exceptional prior relevant work experience.
- A high degree of initiative and demonstrated ability to work in coalition.
- Good judgment and ability to think strategically re: short-term and long-term policy agendas.
- Excellent written and verbal advocacy skills.
- Strong interpersonal communication skills, a sense of humor, and a positive attitude.
- Creative thinker and problem-solver.
- Ability to work longer hours during the legislative session.
- Oregon-based legislative advocacy experience or legal services experience.
- Experience with legislative, rulemaking, and agency budget negotiations.
- Background in employment, farmworker, civil rights, justice reform or other poverty issues.
- Legal training and OSB membership, or demonstrated ability to manage relationships with and technical input from lawyers and other stakeholders.
- Two to ten years of experience.
- Additional language skills are a plus.
Application: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The position will remain open until filled. Please submit your resume, cover letter, and list of three references to Sybil Hebb at firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to ensure a confirmation of receipt of application, please include “Legislative Advocate Position” in the subject line.
As part of your cover letter, please address the following:
OLC is committed to achieving justice for the low-income communities of Oregon. Our client communities include people of color, farmworkers, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, seniors, people with lived experiences of homelessness, veterans, people with disabilities, and people from other underrepresented groups. It is essential to our work to serve clients that we also work to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How do you think your personal background or experiences (professional or otherwise) have prepared you to: (1) serve our diverse client communities effectively, (2) work effectively with colleagues from backgrounds different than your own, (3) acknowledge the systemic barriers that our clients face, and (4) contribute to our efforts to achieve racial justice? Feel free to provide examples, and apply various aspects of your life and personal experiences, as you respond to this question.