The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) seeks a dynamic Organizing & Political Director.  

The ACLUF-SDIC is a 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 (ACLU-SDIC), 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).

While there are more than 50 ACLU affiliates nationwide, our work covers the length of California’s border with Mexico. We work collaboratively with the National ACLU and with ACLU affiliates in California, on the U.S-Mexico border and throughout the United States. In addition, we value partnerships and collaboration with community organizations and groups across the state and throughout the border region.

The ACLU Foundation and ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (known collectively as ACLU-SDIC) have a proven track record of success combining impact litigation, policy advocacy, legislation, research and analysis, public education, strategic communications and community organizing to achieve meaningful social change. We are 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.

Position Summary:

The ACLU-SDIC affiliate seeks an Organizing and Political Director who is experienced in the Director-level expertise of strategic planning and critical thinking, while being able to work alongside their direct reports and fulfill day-to-day operations as needed.  The primary duties and responsibilities of this position are to develop and manage strong, well-designed voter engagement programs/campaigns, lead strategic, effective organizing campaigns that further civil liberties and expand ACLU’s base of supporters, develop and maintain external strategic partnerships with a diverse sector (public, private and non-profit) cadre of leaders that will advance organizational program priorities, and establish ACLU-SDIC as a political power force in the region. 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Provide overall leadership, management, and support for base building program activities, including multi-disciplinary campaigns that utilize litigation, advocacy, public education, and organizing strategies
  • Work with Legislative Advocacy Director and Imperial Valley Regional Director to identify power building campaigns and grow base of supporters
  • Develop voter engagement campaigns to support our ballot initiative and legislative campaigns and grow our political power in the region
  • Guide and advise program staff in the conception and implementation of mobilization goals, tactics, indicators of success and development of assessment tools
  • Plan, develop and implement campaign tactics that will expand participation of the organization’s volunteer base focusing on diverse communities and impacted community members using a regional organizing approach that moves volunteer leaders through a ladder of engagement
  • Create grassroots and grass-tops elected accountability campaigns
  • Collaborate with ACLU National and affiliate staff to develop new organizing, base building and political power building campaign models, strategies and tactics
  • Lead strategic, effective mobilization campaigns by facilitating dynamic, collaborative work among ACLU staff teams and allies
  • Lead effective, high impact organizing campaigns to protect and promote civil liberties
  • Direct and facilitate, as appropriate, collaboration across staff teams and integrating legal, legislative, public education, communications, and organizing strategies
  • Collaborate with the other ACLU offices in California (ACLU Cal Action, ACLU Nor Cal and ACLU So Cal) and along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as the National ACLU office on advocacy campaigns and rapid response; and
  • Ensure collaboration and communication with allies and community partners.

Supervision & Collaboration

  • Primary supervision of Community Organizers and Digital Organizer, including staff development and continuous structure re-alignment to meet the needs of the organization at any given time
  • Supervise organizers and champion implementation and expansion of the organization’s leadership engagement ladder through periodic evaluation
  • Bring in acquired experience and management style
  • Oversee organizations data management systems, voter file, volunteer engagement and mobilization tools
  • Supervise the preparation of progress reports and updates for staff, board, and other ACLU offices
  • Work with Legislative Advocacy Director and Imperial Valley Regional director to support Chief of Programs and Strategy to identify statewide and local ballot initiatives
  • As a member of the Senior Leadership Team collaborate with other program directors and affiliates (ACLU Cal Action, ACLU Nor Cal and ACLU So Cal) to build up the political work and grow our political influence
  • Commitment to the organization’s Strategic Plan and to leading a team through historic shifts towards integrated advocacy work that meets the need of the current political realities for the organization and the region
  • Work with our Communications Team develop strong membership communications that will engage ACLU members in issue fights, advance our mission and build our visibility; and  
  • Serve as a coach and mentor for your staff team. Ensure that each member of the organizing team has clear workplans, goals and knows what success looks like for their role.


  • Supervise program staff’s compliance with FPPC and local election laws, regulations and reporting requirements
  • Staff the board’s Political and Ballot Measures Committee
  • Create and oversee budget for the department
  • Other duties as assigned

Our Must Haves:

  • Familiarity with and proven commitment to a broad range of civil liberties issues, such as, immigrants’ rights and other border issues, education equity, racial and economic justice, discrimination, death penalty, policing, housing, privacy and technology, gender and reproductive rights, drug policy, and voting rights
  • At least seven (7) years of non-profit experience
  • At least five (5) years of political or grassroots organizing
  • People management or direct staff supervision experience required
  • Self-sufficient, strategic thinking in micro cases and long term multi-facetted change process
  • Strong candidates will have demonstrated experience using advocacy, community engagement and litigation as part of a creative response to civil rights violations in affected communities; relevant experience working on social justice issues; experience managing or leading coalitions; experience using constituent management database tools and voter file programs; and be a flexible team player but also comfortable working independently and taking initiative
  • Spanish language fluency is preferred
  • Work evenings and weekends when necessary.

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.


Salary range: $100,000 - $120,000

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; and 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, 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.