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Public Affairs & Activation Specialist

Public Affairs & Activation Specialist
Organization: United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date Posted: 11/07/2023


United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA) is home to the change makers and justice seekers. We’re individuals from various walks of life making collective steps towards a better future for our community. Our focus is on bringing about real and sustainable change by unleashing the collective power of people to open minds, unite diverse communities, and convert compassion into action for a more just, inclusive, and thriving L.A. County. Together, we make tangible impact on some of our toughest community issues including poverty, homelessness, education equity, and economic mobility. For us, being ‘united’ isn’t just in reference to our organization but to our hope for the future of Los Angeles. Regardless of race, gender, orientation, or self-identification – we do our part as one by making room for all.


Our Engagement & Activation department advances United Way’s mission by driving awareness, action, and advocacy through real-life storytelling and impactful events. We bring the organization’s vision for community change to life by creating engaging content that grabs the attention of our partners, donors, neighbors, and challengers alike. We mobilize coalitions into unified campaigns and make use of all platforms to engage in real-time policy and civic conversations across LA County. We’re rooted in facts, creative in design, and strategic in our approach to create noise for issues that have been silenced for far too long.


The Public Affairs & Activation Specialist position will play a cross-team coordination role within housing, economic mobility, and education issues carried by the organization.

You will play a key role in driving change forward by thinking with issue intersectionality, guiding coalitions, and mobilizing community partners.

You will have the unique opportunity to change the future of L.A. County by executing predetermined advocacy plans that advance key economic justice and power building strategies in low-income communities of color and supporting important advocacy opportunities.


Community Organizing Expertise:

  • Support the development of community activation strategies across all issue areas including crisis solutions (food security, homelessness initiatives, affordable housing, emergency financial relief) and community prosperity (education, workforce development, economic mobility, community wealth building).
  • Play an active role as a community activation subject matter expert on a team of thought partners to co-design sustainable campaign strategies for priority projects.
  • Continuously leverage and expand your expertise in community activation and organizing to recommend policy, process, and practice improvements that are critical to improving performance measures.
  • Build and foster trusted relationships with coalition members and key stakeholders in Los Angeles’ public affairs space (e.g. advocates, organizers, elected official’s staff) critical to driving systems change and understanding the impacts of those changes.
  • Design and facilitate Everyone In advocacy workshops and townhalls.

Campaign Design & Mobilization:

  • Support the execution of UWGLA led campaigns for policy advocacy priorities.
  • Meaningfully engage and mobilize external partners, including individuals, organizations, and corporate partners towards shared goals.
  • Draft comprehensive and agile campaign plans which accurately determine resource requirements, timelines, milestones, contingencies, and stakeholder involvement/engagement.
  • Continuously monitor campaign progress at each stage, making adjustments and adaptations as needed and documenting progress, challenges, and mitigation steps along the way.
  • Identify and elevate creative engagement opportunities for additional stakeholders to participate in regional advocacy and activation efforts.

Coalition Stewardship:

  • Manage active coalitions, including Our Future LA (OFLA) and Advocates United, by developing shared coalition priorities and translating them into action plans, agendas, and timelines.
  • Effectively facilitate coalition meetings by moving through agenda items, monitoring time, leading discussion items to productive resolutions, developing consensus across stakeholders, and identifying follow-up items.
  • Meaningfully engage coalition members as force multipliers to increase the effectiveness of our collective advocacy for systems change.

Policy Coordination:

  • Collaborate with internal teams to ensure clear lines of communication, competency, and execution of policy related objectives.
  • Engage United Way policy priorities in strategic external spaces and partnerships, giving articulate and persuasive public comments, both written and verbal, in support of United Way policy positions.
  • Draft original talking points, public comments, letters, op-eds, reports, and other documents that professionally and persuasively advocate for United Way supported policies.
  • Attend relevant policy and advocacy meetings taking accurate notes that summarize key highlights including discussion topics, trends, areas of concern or opportunity, and follow-up items.
  • Support team members to engage and activate advocates using a variety of social and digital media tools across issue areas based on their highest priority policies.

Legislative Tracking:

  • Track California State legislative endorsed by United Way or otherwise relevant to our mission priorities.
  • Draft and submit legislation support letters as needed; Mobilize external partners for submission of amendment letters.
  • Review City Council and Board of Supervisors agendas weekly, identifying and elevating key relevant agenda items.


  • Assist and provide expertise on the crafting of an engagement and activation departmental plan to achieve policy and advocacy objectives around all organizational issue areas.
  • Develop and facilitate workshops (Twice per month) that connect our advocates, partners, and donors to the root causes and solutions of housing and homelessness work and activate supporters around solutions to racial and economic inequities.
  • Liaison between internal teams and external partners to develop relationships and connect them with partners that can be highlighted through a year-long engagement series.
  • Identify and participate in public-facing speaking engagements and opportunities to advocate, speak on, and promote United Way’s mission and theory of change.
  • Engage and sustain Everyone In campaign membership and supporters through one-on-one relationship building, facilitating online monthly workshops and leadership development activities.
  • Engage and sustain Our Future LA campaign membership and supporters through one-on-one relationship building and leadership development activities.


Education & Experience:

  • High School diploma or GED required.
  • Minimum 3 years of related experience in public affairs, advocacy, or coalition-led changemaking required.

Personal Qualities:

  • You enjoy a hybrid environment that includes both in-person and remote work styles and are able to work from our DTLA office on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • You are able to provide documentation of your status as fully vaccinated with the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine upon being hired.
  • You understand the value of racial equity as an organizational operating principle and are committed to continued learning on issues related to race, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE A FIT (The Nice-to-Haves)

  • You work well in team settings to collaboratively set goals and are able to execute work objectives individually.
  • You can communicate clearly, concisely, and persuasively to diverse audiences.
  • You have a demonstrated ability to craft scripts, narratives, and talking points that give others high confidence in delivering a message.
  • You can build and navigate relationships confidently with individuals and groups at different levels including community leaders, elected officials, board members, corporations, and the general public.
  • You can manage competing deadlines with poise and control.
  • You demonstrate good judgment and trust yourself to make the right call when decisions are tough and can adapt and pivot quickly around shifting priorities.
  • You are proactive, self-motivated, and action-oriented when it comes to managing your workload.
  • Your strong work ethic gets going when the going gets tough during late nights, early mornings, or weekend assignments.
  • You know your way around the Microsoft Windows operating systems and all its essential programs including Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. Proficiency in EveryAction, Google Drive, and Microsoft CRM is a plus.


Hiring Salary Range: $70,000-74,000 dependent on internal equity and a variety of job-related factors including, but not limited to, experience, training, education, and market demands.

The benefits available for this position include medical, dental, vision, 403(b) plan, pension, life insurance coverage, disability benefits, paid holidays, and paid time off.

Please note: This position is grant-funded for one year. Extended employment opportunities are likely, but contingent upon the continued funding of the grant.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, marital status, disability, gender identity, gender expression, and Veteran status.

We will consider for employment all qualified Applicants, including those with Criminal Histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.

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