Director of Legislative Advocacy

05 Jan, 2019


Director of Legislative Advocacy

Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind
Oakland, CA

Mission of Children’s Defense Fund:

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.

CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.

Overview of Children’s Defense Fund-CA

Evolving from CDF’s history, the Children’s Defense Fund-CA (CDF-CA) was established in 1998 to meet the needs of underserved children in California. With offices in Los Angeles and Oakland, CDF-CA champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty, ensure their access to health coverage and care, provide children with an equitable education and transform justice systems for youth.

Position Summary:

The candidate will serve as a core member of the CDF-CA policy team and will serve as key advisor to CDF-CA on child-centered legislative and advocacy matters. This individual will serve as the lead staff on CDF-CA’s Ending Child Poverty campaign and will provide guidance on legislative and advocacy strategy to key staff leading on other organizational policy priorities, including ensuring access to quality health coverage and care for children, reforming juvenile justice systems, and promoting positive school climate practices. This individual will be responsible for identifying and assessing opportunities to advance the organization’s mission as well as developing and implementing strategies and campaigns to execute its legislative priorities. The position requires regular travel to Sacramento, and periodic travel to Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Clinton, TN. This is a full-time position based in the Oakland office; however, candidates from Sacramento and Los Angeles will be considered.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Lead efforts in collaboration with colleagues to develop and implement a comprehensive advocacy strategy that combines internal and external resources and partnerships to advance CDF-CA’s state and local policy initiatives and issue-based campaigns.
  • Monitor the State Budget process and other relevant activity in the State Capitol in order to inform CDF-CA’s advocacy strategies, priorities and opportunities.
  • Work with Policy and Program Teams to build and nurture effective multi-organizational coalitions and alliances on priority issues and campaigns.
  • Manage effective working relationships with strategic partners and key public officials at the state and local levels.
  • Conduct research and analysis on key policy and budget developments at the local, state and federal level.
  • Lead policy development, coalition-building, and advocacy to advance CDF-CA’s Ending Child Poverty campaign.
  • Develop advocacy materials for policymakers, community partners and the press.
  • Prepare detailed summaries and memos, comparative analyses of legislation, reports, fact sheets, speeches and talking points, and web materials relating to child poverty, with a keen eye for detail and factual content.
  • Represent CDF-CA in meetings with partners, coalitions, legislative and administrative officials and other stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and manage external resources (e.g., consultants, law firms) that may be retained to support CDF-CA’s advocacy efforts.


  • Commitment to CDF’s vision, including demonstrated interest in improving the lives of children and/or low-income individuals.
  • At least 3-5 years of relevant work experience in policy analysis, budget advocacy, stakeholder engagement, political/issue campaign development, outreach and/or coalition building.
  • Familiarity with state and federal policies that pertain to children and families;
  • Demonstrated ability to influence stakeholder and decision makers/elected leaders, and partner effectively with diverse communities.
  • Strong understanding of the policy making process, particularly at the California state level.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences (advocates, press, policymakers) –
  • Experience managing teams and resources effectively
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking, including proven ability to prioritize, balance, and meet conflicting demands in a fast-paced environment;
  • Exemplary written, oral communications and analytical skills;
  • Strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Ability to prioritize among multiple projects in a demanding environment.
  • A proven track record of working well within teams;
  • B.A. required, graduate degree in related field strongly preferred.
  • Spanish-speaking a plus.

Salary: Commensurate with education and experience.

To apply submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-01-05