Overview

Citizen Action of Wisconsin seeks applicants hungry for the opportunity to lead power building campaigns to achieve the sweeping changes Wisconsin needs to become a just, equitable, and sustainable multiracial democracy.

This position is best suited for creative and effective out-of-the-box thinkers deeply committed not only to being on the right side, but effectively building the grassroots power to make tangible progress on the big challenges  confronting the multiracial working class.

Description of Work: This is a full-time (40-50 hrs/week on average) salaried position that reports to the Movement Organizing Director. A successful Co-op Organizer will work to advance a democratic membership organizing model pioneered by Citizen Action of Wisconsin known as an Organizing Cooperative (a modernized chapter system). This role involves community organizing and maintaining/growing a critical mass of dues-paying co-op members. Together with member-leaders and Citizen Action of Wisconsin staff, the Co-op Organizer will advance issue and electoral campaigns that lead to real impacts in their community and lay the groundwork for large-scale changes in Wisconsin. Current major issues include Healthcare for All and Green New Deal (climate change, and racial/economic equity). See the full Citizen Action of Wisconsin Platform here.

As the Organizing Co-op Model is unique to Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Co-op organizers are expected to learn new skills on the job and are provided with training and onboarding that may take up to 6 months, while also “jumping in” to the work to gain lived experience.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 policy is tied to county transmission levels, as defined by the CDC. In times of medium or high transmission, co-op organizers conduct their organizing mostly virtually, via phone calls, textbanking, email, social media, and Zoom. Citizen Action of Wisconsin requires that all full time permanent staff be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Some weekend and evening hours may be required. Frequent in-state and occasional out of state travel is required. Overnight travel may also be required. This is a work from home position that is based in La Crosse or the broader Driftless Region.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Recruit Dues Paying Members via direct in-person, phone, digital and virtual asks, relationship building, and other fundraising tactics. Follow up in a timely manner with members when their monthly dues lapse/expire to renew their membership.
  • Retain existing dues paying members by building relationships and getting them active in Citizen Action of Wisconsin work via organizing and implementing leadership development activities, training, and events (in collaboration with other staff at times).
  • Develop activists into leaders to co-organize Citizen Action of Wisconsin specific issue and candidate campaigns. At times, also support members who desire to work on other statewide and local issues and candidate campaigns that align with CAW’s vision, mission, and values. Network with partner organization staff and volunteers that may be working on similar issues or candidate campaigns.
  • Plan and implement community events, fundraising events, earned media events, issue education events, candidate town halls and listening sessions, house parties, rallies, protests, direct actions, and other grassroots activities and events. In addition to conducting turn out for events, this can include (but is not limited to) identifying venues, recruiting speakers, working with speakers to refine their presentation, or acting as the presenter or emcee, as well as organizing food and beverages, entertainment, and making sure that all attendees sign in to the event.
  • Create and send daily and weekly email communications, including weekly regional newsletters, and contribute to the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Weekly Statewide Newsletter. In collaboration with other staff, create and share pre-created content on co-op specific social media platforms and contribute to Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s statewide social media presence. Integrate Citizen Action’s values-based and Race Class Narrative frames into all organizing communications.
  • Embrace and utilize tech and tools including but not limited to Zoom, EveryAction, and SPOKE (relational text tool) to conduct membership and supporter outreach, community organizing, and to augment in-person organizing. (Our organizational COVID-19 policy limits in-person organizing based on COVID-19 transmission levels defined by the CDC)
  • Work with other staff to identify and recruit individuals to run for all levels of office and recruit progressive candidates to become dues paying members. Work to form and maintain positive working relationships with sitting elected officials, their staff, and candidates running for office who will practice co-governance with Citizen Action of Wisconsin and who will champion our issues. During election season, work directly with local and statewide candidate campaigns and participate in Federal level candidate campaigns to elect Citizen Action of Wisconsin endorsed candidates.
  • Participate in small and large dollar fundraising in collaboration with CAW staff, in and outside of membership recruitment.
  • Prioritize Rapid Response activities and campaigns as needed.

Required Qualifications:

  • Philosophical commitment to progressive values of economic, gender, racial, anti-oppressive, and environmental justice and equity along with health care freedom for everyone in Wisconsin and America.
  • Ability to understand public policy issues and translate them into organizing issues that motivate average people to act, and devise tactics to move the issues or campaigns forward.
  • Strong creative strategic thinking skills and willingness to innovate in fast moving issue campaigns and meet deadlines.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to produce effective flyers, email alerts, and effective social media posts.
  • Excellent listening, interpersonal and problem solving skills, strong personal time management skills, organization skills, the ability to work under pressure, and the ability to resolve conflicts while maintaining effective relationships.
  • Intermediate computer skills including email, composing documents, designing flyers, working with databases, and social networking (Familiarity with VAN and/or EveryAction, Google Suite, Google Calendar, Google Docs, is preferred as well as familiarity with managing Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts).
  • Ability to function in an ever changing work environment and political landscape with a Growth Mindset.
  • Ability to periodically travel in Wisconsin and occasionally out-of-state.
  • Applicants must have unlimited access to reliable high-speed internet and cellular service at home
  • Fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Desired Experience:

  • Experience in labor, community, political or faith-based organizing, experience with or a strong interest in learning relational organizing as well as a commitment to working on racial justice issues, working with communities of color, and with a multicultural base of individuals.
  • Experience with large and/or small dollar fundraising.
  • Experience working in coalition with a broad array of organizations on issues of social and economic justice.

Desired Qualifications (Not required):

  • Experience and aptitude for organizing in rural and small town communities in a plus.
  • Experience with designing and implementing strategic legislative and/or electoral issue campaigns.
  • Experience with working on racial justice issues and/or working in communities of color.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet fundraising goals.
  • Bilingual/multilingual is a plus.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position which includes health and dental insurance, employer-matched 401K, life insurance, disability insurance, smart phone allowance, and other benefits. Base salary rate is $40,000-$45,000 annually based on demonstrated organizing experience. This is a union position, represented by OPEIU Local 9, AFL-CIO.

To Apply: Email cover letter and resume to Kate Felton (Movement Organizing Director) at kate.felton@citizenactionwi.org. The hiring team will review applications as they come in. The interview process will begin on or about August 1, 2022 or as soon as we feel we have a diverse and qualified applicant pool. If you are chosen to participate in the interview process, a Citizen Action hiring team member will reach out to you via email to schedule a pre-interview phone call, and a first interview via Zoom. Please, no calls or in person inquiries, as we want to ensure a fair hiring process.

Women, Bi-racial/People of Color, Members of the LGBTQ+ community, and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

About Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is dedicated to economic, racial, and environmental justice, and achieving a Wisconsin and an America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. We believe that organizing is the only pathway to unlocking the true potential of democracy to fundamentally transform our society in the human interest and overcome structural racism, sexism, xenophobia, corporate domination, and other forms of oppression.

Founded in 1983 as a community/labor coalition, Citizen Action Wisconsin was an early anchor affiliate of the influential Citizen Action/USAction, played a leading role in organizing the network merger that created People’s Action, and has a leading role in its strategy and governance. We are also affiliated with the Powerswitch Action (fromerly Partnership for Working families). We are one of a small number of social justice groups organizing a deep and multiracial membership base across the entire spectrum of urban, rural, and suburban communities

Citizen Action theory of building power in Wisconsin is to work on big issues that can be the basis for creating a community of interest across the state. The pathway to progressive power in Wisconsin, as it has been since the early 20th Century progressives blazed the trail, is multiracial organizing that bridges the urban/rural/suburban divide.