Organizing & Political

The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) seeks an Organizer.

The ACLUF-SDIC is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) civil liberties and civil rights organization. working to advance equality, freedom and justice through public education and litigation.  Together with the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that does our legislative lobbying work, we are a prominent force for the protection and expansion of fundamental rights in California’s second-most populous county (San Diego) and the county with the highest per capita Latina/o population (Imperial).

With affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU fights tirelessly in courts, in legislatures, and in communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and

liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution and U.S. laws to everyone in this country. The work of the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties and ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (known collectively as ACLU-SDIC) encompasses the length of California’s border with Mexico. We collaborate with the National ACLU and with ACLU affiliates in California, on the U.S-Mexico border and throughout the United States. We strive to partner with community organizations and groups across the state and throughout the binational border region.

After 15 months of intensive strategic planning for our future – led by the ACLU-SDIC leadership team, ACLU-SDIC is restructuring to become an integrated advocacy organization that operationalizes our theory of change and prioritizes racial and economic justice, liberation and abolition. We are building on the affiliate’s proven track record of success combining impact litigation, lobbying, legal/policy analysis and research, field organizing, donor mobilization, strategic communications and non-partisan voter engagement to achieve meaningful, lasting social change across our region.

The ACLU-SDIC is dedicated to confronting issues that threaten our most cherished civil rights and freedoms and defending the progress the ACLU has made over its 100-year history.  And we are dedicated to working in relationship with people directly impacted by inequity to create a more just and fair society for us all.

Position Summary:

Under the supervision of the Organizing & Political Director, the Organizer will be responsible for developing close relationships with a variety of individuals and organizations representative of local communities. The Organizer will develop and execute an annual work plan designed to promote participation in local, state, and federal campaigns; build an active base of community advocates who can be mobilized to participate in meetings, rallies, hearings, and delegations; create a volunteer leadership development process that empowers the community; build relationships with community organizations, faith leaders, business leaders, donors, and new and diverse communities to advance our civil rights and civil liberties campaigns. The Organizer will work in collaboration with ACLU-SDIC staff based in Imperial County, as well as ACLU policy, communications, and legal staff at the affiliate level.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Represent ACLU in coalition meetings, tabling events, and work collaboratively on joint efforts with community organizations and coalition partners. 

  • Develop organizing campaigns around key civil liberties and/or civil rights issues that are generated through community interest and vision and aligned with the affiliate’s priority issue areas (Advancing Justice, Advancing Immigrants’ Rights and Advancing Racial and Economic Justice).
  • Identify, cultivate, and develop 1:1 relationships with community leaders across Imperial Valley with an emphasis on a particular region
  • Conduct 10-15 weekly relational meetings with volunteers, community leaders, and organizational allies.
  • Lead a regional volunteer leadership team.  Identify and train leaders to build organizing teams with the power to win policy changes that promote immigrant justice, economic and racial justice utilizing ACLU’s organizing model and approach to leadership development.
  • Develop and conduct training for leaders and partners on effective community organizing: research meetings, team building, mobilization, advocacy, gathering signatures, power analysis, voter engagement, coalition building, structural racism, popular education, storytelling, one-to-ones, etc.
  • Use weekly planning and tracking tools to report on goals, outcomes, and key learnings. Maintain and update leader lists, regional sign-in lists, and other data.
  • Work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team to integrate and align organizing strategies with strategic communications, policy, litigation, electoral programs, and other strategies and tactics.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • A strong commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU-SDIC, racial equity, dismantling white supremacy, and incorporating a structural power analysis into work.
  • Bilingual, English and Spanish required.
  • Knowledge and understanding of how power and oppression is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, citizenship and socio-economic circumstances.
  • Strong interpersonal communication and relationship-building skills; ability to connect with others, motivate and quickly gain trust with volunteers, staff, community members, and coalition partners.
  • Growth and learning mindset: ability to take and implement feedback.
  • A minimum of 2 years of organizing experience (including paid or volunteer) in community/field organizing and base building for issue-based or political campaigns.
  • Experience in Ballot Initiative or electoral campaigns are a plus.
  • Valid automobile driver’s license and working vehicle required; this position will involve extensive travel throughout San Diego and Imperial County. Must be able to accommodate a variable work schedule including nights and weekends.

Other Possible Qualifications:

  • Familiarity and experience working on issues of housing rights, criminal justice, immigrant justice, economic empowerment, healthcare and racial equity, and other issue areas.
  • Experience doing integrated voter engagement work, including canvassing, phone banking, and using PDI.
  • Experience organizing with diverse communities including some but not limited to (been incarcerated, people without immigration documents, or people experiencing homelessness/housing displacement/severe rent burden.)
  • Understanding and connection with the Imperial County community, history, and culture. Life experience with incarceration, being without immigration documents, or homelessness/housing displacement/severe rent burden, system impacted.

Cultural Competencies:

Demonstrated awareness of one’s own cultural identity, views about differences, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms. A complex understanding of racial justice and the urgency of confronting institutional racism and inequity. Commitment to equity and inclusion as organizational practice and culture. Proven track record of working across lines of race, immigration status, ethnicity, language, class, gender and other identities and experiences including record of arrest or conviction.  Courage and impeccable integrity.

Physical Requirements:

While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is required to exchange accurate information, detect/identify documents and the information contained in them, move between areas in and out of the office to complete their role. The employee may need to move various equipment including computer to their work location.


Hybrid Working:

The ACLUF-SDIC is headquartered in San Diego, California, though employees have hybrid schedules that allow for remote work. 

Travel Requirements:

Valid automobile driver’s license and working vehicle required; this position will involve extensive travel throughout San Diego County. Must be able to accommodate a variable work schedule including nights and weekends.

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary range: $65,000 – $80,000.

Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 18 office holidays; Medical and dental insurance for staff members and their families; life and long-term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match.

What Now?

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position as detailed in this announcement, a current resume, writing sample, and names and contact information of three professional references (including at least one supervisor).

Electronic applications are preferred.  To submit your application, please click here.

However, hard-copy applications can be mailed to:

Deputy Director

ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties

P.O. Box 87131

San Diego, CA 92137-7131

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions.