About the position
The mid-Atlantic region of Delaware, Maryland, DC, and Virginia faces grave, inter-connected challenges, including unemployment, racial and economic inequality, and environmental destruction. The pandemic has made these problems worse. People of color and people without access to clean air are dying from COVID-19 disproportionately. Our region is down 480,000 jobs since the spring of 2020, and the economic recovery has slowed.
The communities who bear the brunt of these problems have not had much of a say in what the solutions should look like. This has led to responses that are inadequate and, sometimes, exploitative.
Namati is partnering with communities and environmental justice advocates from across the region to change that. Collectively, we have three goals:
1) Support local organizing to take on, and win, against threats to health, livelihoods, and environment. This includes equipping organizers and communities to use law and science, tools that traditionally have been dominated by elites.
2) Develop a grassroots-driven policy framework for advancing social, racial, and environmental justice across the region, one that highlights both what we are saying yes to (e.g. a green jobs program) and what we are saying no to, and that charts a path to a more equitable and sustainable way of life.
3) Fight to turn that policy framework into law, by advocating collectively and by recruiting and supporting aligned legislators and legislative candidates.
We are searching for a dynamic Policy Officer/Advisor to support this effort across the region. We’re looking for someone who is tenacious, creative, and strategic, with a burning passion for working with communities to advance environmental justice and human rights. We’re open to applicants of different experience levels. We welcome applicants to apply with three years’ experience, or with many more.
The Policy Officer/Advisor will focus on the following:
- Policy analysis: Work with our team, five partner organizers from communities facing environmental harm in Maryland and DC, and coalition partners to develop a policy framework based on communities’ firsthand experiences with the inequitable impacts of current laws and regulations.
- Policy and legislative advocacy: Partner with our coalition and others to turn that framework into law.
In addition, provide some operational support with program management and administration.
Here are some things you might tackle in a typical month–
- Review information from frontline community residents about their experiences with local air pollution-generating facilities and their attempts to address that pollution, and use this information to draft sections of the policy framework.
- Work with teammates and partners to select top priorities of the policy framework to advance with a newly inaugurated state or local administration; map key advocacy targets such as elected officials, senior agency officials, influential policy organizations, and key constituencies.
- Draft a bill for Virginia on addressing cumulative environmental impacts; draft a policy brief to support lobbying and outreach on the bill.
- Meet with peer advocates or thinktanks focused on issues that overlap or intersect with our identified reform priorities to explore alignment and mutual support.
- Lobby advocacy targets with teammates and coalition partners to advance an equity-focused green jobs bill that would build new affordable housing units with energy-efficient, non-toxic insulation and rooftop solar panels.
The Policy Officer/Advisor will work closely with the US EJ Organizer, the rest of the Namati team, and our organizing and coalition partners. Specific responsibilities may be adjusted depending on individual selected candidates’ strengths, level of experience, and complementarity with existing team members.
- Experience in policy analysis, advocacy, and legislative or political lobbying: You are seasoned at working on policy and legislative reform efforts, particularly environmental justice or other justice efforts. You have experience drafting legislation and moving bills through a legislative process.
- Excellent communications skills: You are an outstanding communicator with experience engaging diverse communities in a respectful and sincere manner, including on topics typically seen as complex or inaccessible. You listen deeply, convey ideas clearly, and have the ability to call people to action.
- Passion for environmental justice: You have a passion for addressing the human rights and social justice dimensions of environmental problems, in solidarity with the people who are most affected. You are familiar with how law and regulation can be leveraged creatively to address environmental injustice.
- Strong program management: You are great at providing substantive and operational support to all aspects of an ambitious and emerging program. You’re extremely thorough and will follow through on complicated, multi-step processes. You work quickly and efficiently and can produce excellent, on-point work product on deadline, including in short timeframes when needed.
- Collaborative and service-oriented: You treat everyone you encounter with a collaborative spirit, kindness, and empathy. You are known as an adaptable team-player who brings an “all hands on deck” mindset to all projects.
- Growth-oriented: You’re always seeking to better yourself and your work, and you will push yourself to the peak of performance to help fulfill our mission. You welcome and delight in feedback from supervisors, peers, and others.
- Ease with technology: You’re comfortable working with technology, and when given the opportunity to work with a new program or application, it is not difficult for you to become fluent.
Washington DC, Maryland, Delaware, or Virginia. After the pandemic, the job involves travel across the region, including regular visits to Namati’s office in DC.
Please note that candidates must already be legally eligible to work in the United States to be considered for the role. Due to COVID-19, Namati remains a remote-first organization for the foreseeable future and until further notice. There are zero expectations of in-office presence and we strongly encourage everyone to work from home.
We place staff within position bands based on the level of responsibility they hold and the scope and complexity of their portfolio. With many hiring processes, we determine in advance the position band of the advertised role. In this instance, we are open to hiring at different levels: to that end, over the course of the hiring process, we will assess the position level we think will be the right fit for you and our team. Our offer will be for a position based on this assessment, with a commensurate salary offer. Our salaries are benchmarked regularly and are competitive for organizations such as ours; we aim to give our best, competitive offers up front. For reference, offer ranges in the likely position bands for this role (subject to specific level of responsibility, scope and complexity of portfolio) are typically: senior officer ($65,000 – $75,000); specialist/coordinator ($75,000 – $85,000); and, advisor ($85,000 – $95,000).
Namati is dedicated to placing the power of law in the hands of people.
For billions of people around the world, the law is broken. It’s an abstraction—or worse, a threat—but not something people can use to exercise their basic rights.
Namati advances social and environmental justice by building a movement of people who know, use, and shape the law.
Namati works in partnership with grassroots advocates — sometimes known outside the U.S. as“community paralegals” or “barefoot lawyers” — in six countries. The advocates support their communities to protect common lands, enforce environmental law, and secure basic rights to healthcare and citizenship.
In the U.S., our Advocates include Rhonda Hamilton, who has led her neighbors in the Buzzard Point community of DC in fights against both pollution and gentrification, and Fred Tutman, the Patuxent Riverkeeper and the only Black riverkeeper in the country.
Globally, Namati convenes the Legal Empowerment Network, more than 2,200 groups from 160 countries who are learning from one another and collaborating on common challenges. This community successfully advocated for the incorporation of justice into the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
As we move into our next phase, we’re growing our global team of passionate, results-oriented, big-hearted advocates, united by a common mission and a strong culture:
- Our mission is our North Star. It’s why we all wake up every day. We pour our hearts into this work.
- We’re innovators and changemakers. We are a young, energetic social enterprise and we know that our work is urgent. We believe in being nimble and doing what works.
- Our work makes real, tangible, measurable progress in people’s lives. We take abstract concepts – rule of law and human rights – and make them concrete, helping people find solutions that improve their lives every day.
- We walk our talk. Our movement is about legal empowerment and we bring this spirit of empowerment and collaboration to all our partnerships.
- We hold humility as a core value: we lead when necessary and follow when necessary.
- We are a truly global organization. Our offices are located in Delhi, Freetown, Maputo, Nairobi, Washington DC, and Yangon, and our staff come from all corners of the world. We are united by our common mission.
- We see our people as our most valuable resource. We bring on individuals of the highest caliber and character and we mentor, train, and support our staff.
- We hold one another in the highest esteem. Our work relationships are built on deep abiding respect and love.