Citizen Action of Wisconsin North Side Rising Co-op Organizer Job Description

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is seeking to hire a North Side Rising Co-op Organizer (organizing co-ops are Citizen Action’s chapter system) to start as soon asMay 1st, 2021.  This is a full time (40-50 hrs/week on average) salaried position. Some evenings and weekends required, as well as in-state travel and occasional out-of-state travel. Normally, this position would be based in the Milwaukee office, but during the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is a majority work from home position. In person usage of the Milwaukee Office will be granted on a need basis and in compliance with Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Covid 19 Safety Policy.  Applicants must have unlimited access to reliable high speed internet and cellular service at home, and an aptitude for/ desire to learn how to conduct organizing though digital and phone communications. Applicants must live in (or be willing to relocate to) the Greater Milwaukee Area. Women, Bi-racial/People of Color, Members of the LGBTQ+ community, and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

Description of Work: This position reports to the Climate and Equity Director. A successful Co-op Organizer will work to launch and advance a democratic membership organizing model pioneered by Citizen Action of Wisconsin known as an Organizing Cooperative (a modernized chapter system). North Side Rising organizing co-op will be built working with and for residents of the North side of Milawukee.  The role involves community organizing and maintaining and 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 diverse/multi level issue and electoral campaigns that lead to real impacts on their community and lay the groundwork for large scale changes in both their community and in Wisconsin. Current major issues include Healthcare for All and Green New Deal (climate change, and racial/economic equity).

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. After 6 months to a year, the successful Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizer will be highly skilled in traditional community organizing; event planning, hosting, and turnout; dues-paying membership recruitment and retention; development and implementation of short and long term issue and electoral campaigns; and at least at an intermediate level in regards to all technology and tools they have at their disposal; as well as crafting organizing messaging and maintaining social media presence.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Co-op organizers currently conduct their organizing mostly via phone calls, textbanking, digitally (email, online, social media), and via Zoom.

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, interest and involvement in the work of Citizen Action, via organizing and implementing leadership development activities, training, and events (in collaboration with other staff at times).
  • Directly organize and act as a regional leader while developing activists and leaders to co-lead Citizen Action of Wisconsin specific issue and candidate campaigns. At times, also support members who desire to work on other statewide and local issue and candidate campaigns (that align with CAW’s vision, mission, and values) with training, tools, and opportunities to network with partner organization staff that may be working on similar issue or candidate campaigns.
  • Plan and implement public and members only events, fundraising, earned media, issue education, candidate town halls and listening session events, 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 etc.
  • 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 work.
  • Embrace and utilize tech and tools including but not limited to Zoom, Every Action, and SPOKE (relational text tool) to conduct membership and supporter outreach, community organizing, and to augment membership recruitment/retention and on the ground/in person organizing. (*We are currently not requiring staff to conduct in-person organizing due to Covid 19)
  • 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 as well as work to form and maintain positive working relationships with sitting elected officials/their staff and candidates running for office that will practice co-governance with Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and supporters and be champions on our issues.   During elections, work directly with local and statewide candidate campaigns, and participate in Federal level candidate advocacy campaigns in an effort to ensure that Citizen Action of Wisconsin members and endorsed candidates are elected.
  • 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 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, and 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, as well as managing Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts).
  • Ability to function in an ever changing work, cultural, and office environment and political landscape with a Growth Mindset.
  • Ability to undertake periodic travel in Wisconsin and occasionally out-of-state.

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 with a broad array of organizations in a coalition on issues of social and economic justice.

Desired Qualifications (Not required):

  • Experience with designing and implementing strategic legislative and or electoral issue campaigns.
  • Experience working with a broad array of organizations in a coalition on issues of social and economic justice.
  • Experience with working on racial justice issues and/or working in communities of color.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet fundraising goals.
  • Bilingual/multilingual a plus.

Salary and Benefits:  This is a full-time position which includes health care, dental and employer-matched 401K, life insurance, disability insurance, cell phone allowance, and other benefits.  Some weekend and evening hours and frequent day and overnight in-state as well as some outstate travel required.  Base salary rate is $40,000.00 annually, and is negotiable upon offer of employment based on experience and qualifications. This is a union position, represented by OPEIU Local 9, AFL-CIO. 

To Apply:  Email cover letter and résumé to Angelique Rogers (Associate Director) at [email protected]  The Hiring team will review applications as they come in. The Interview process will begin as soon as we feel we have a diverse and qualified applicant pool.   If you are chosen to participate in the in person interview process, a Citizen Action Hiring Team member will reach out to you via email to schedule a pre-interview via phone, and a first interview via Zoom.  Please, no calls or in person inquiries, as we want to ensure a fair hiring process.     

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