Senior Legislative Advocate

Sacramento, CA
Legislative & Communications – Legislative Unit
Full-Time/Exempt
If you require an accommodation due to a disability to complete this application OR you are experiencing issues submitting your application and accompanying
materials please e-mail DRCHR@disabilityrightsca.org.

DEADLINE: Open until filled. Applications should be received by October 21, 2019, to be considered for the first round of interviews.

SALARY RANGE (Depending on Experience):  $76,487 - 105,575 annually

Location: Sacramento, CA

WHO WE ARE
Disability Rights California (DRC) is a statewide, non-profit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities.  DRC works to achieve fairness and justice for people with disabilities through individual and impact litigation, state and federal policy and regulatory advocacy, and community education and training.

PURPOSE OF THE JOB
The Senior Legislative Advocate is part of the legislative unit for Disability Rights California (DRC) and is responsible for legislative advocacy activities. The Senior Legislative Advocate identifies, monitors, and advocates legislative activities that affect Californians with disabilities; has expert substantive knowledge in two to four disability rights areas; and, a working knowledge of all areas covered by Disability Rights California.
 
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
Senior Legislative Advocate essential functions:
Legislative Advocacy – 100%
-      Independently identify and develop one to three sponsored bill ideas.
-      Draft and advocate on a combination of two to eight priority bills and/or budget items, including DRC-sponsored legislation.
-      Represent DRC through the legislative process: advocate, consult, and negotiate with legislators and their staff, committee consultants, administrative department heads, and their staff and other stakeholders involved in the legislative process including other disability rights organizations.
-      Analyze and develop policy recommendations on 40 to 80 bills and two to three budget proposals per legislative year with minimal support from legal and advocacy staff.
-      Draft position letters and amendments on 30 to 60 complex bills and two to three budget items per legislative year. Testify as appropriate at legislative committee hearings.
-      Work with DRC staff and Board of Directors to develop guiding principles applicable to legislation and state budget items relevant to people with disabilities and DRC.
-      Engage in advocacy activities at the Capitol and within the disability community on issues of importance to the disability community.
-      Act as a liaison and representative of DRC with selected agencies, task forces, committees, coalitions and community-based organizations related to areas of responsibility.
-      Act as a liaison to Disability Rights California legal practice groups and provide legislative support and backup for the groups.
-      Organize, train, and develop easy to understand materials on complex legislative matters for California grassroots constituencies to understand and respond to state and national issues and legislation.
-      Represent Disability Rights California in the media on areas of expertise and work with Communications Director to identify legislative matters for the media, assist with developing press releases, and other press related materials.

Other Duties
-      Participate in outreach activities with diverse and under-served communities and populations, as assigned.
-      Limited travel, as assigned.
-      Perform other duties, as assigned.
 
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES
-      May supervise and mentor one to two legislative advocates or law students, as determined by the Legislative Director.
 
TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
Ability to travel occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, training, or outreach activities up to 25% of the time.
 
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
Education and Experience
-      J.D. or advanced degree in related fields such as political science, public administration or other subjects that provide foundation for legal analysis, lobbying and drafting of legislation for people with disabilities.
-      Three years of experience in legislative advocacy, legislative staffing, or public policy development.
-      Two years of additional experience in any of the following areas: 1) legislative advocacy/legislative staffing; 3) community organizing; or 4) advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.
-      Experience and ability to work effectively with a variety of organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives, the public, elected and appointed officials, people with disabilities, and governmental agencies, especially at the state and local levels.
-      Demonstrated understanding of legislative process and protocols and public policy issues regarding rights of and services for persons with disabilities, and other public interest areas.
-      Experience reviewing, analyzing and lobbying with the state budget process.
-      Demonstrated ability to independently analyze complex legislative and draft organizational posture statements regarding proposed legislation.
-      Knowledge of public policy developments and laws at the state and federal levels regarding rights of and services for people with disabilities.
-      Ability to work collaboratively with other DRC staff, community organizations, agencies and the legislature.
-      Demonstrated ability to draft sponsored bill language, budget trailer bill language and bill amendments.
-      Ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally.
-      Ability to analyze complex problems, develop solutions, and explain legislation so it is easily understood by people at the legislature and the general public.
-      Contacts with disability organizations or within disability communities.
-      Ability to work effectively as a member of a legislative or public policy coalition.
-      Experience in using word processing systems.
Licenses / Certificates
-      Must be a registered lobbyist or become registered within 60 days of employment.
-      Must attend Lobbyist Ethics Course.
 
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
-      Bilingual: Spanish, American Sign Language or an Asian language.
-      Experience working with civil rights groups or legal services programs.
-      Experience as staff working with board of directors and/or similar task forces and committees.
-      Experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons with disabilities and/or experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons from multi-ethnic communities.
-      Life experience as a person with a disability or direct experience as a caregiver of a family member with a disability.
-      Experience with State Net or other legislative tracking platform.
 
CORE COMPETENCY SKILL LEVELS
The competencies below represent the knowledge, skills, behaviors and/or abilities required to be successful at DRC, with or without disability related reasonable accommodations.
 
Advocacy
Ability to participate in stakeholder meeting with government officials/offices. Ability to provide legal advice and represent individuals in litigation. Ability to lead individual litigation. Ability to influence public policy.
 
Communication
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents/terminology, laws, financial and technical reports. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to negotiate to serve the interest of the client or reconcile divergent interest and opinions. Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on controversial or complex topics to governmental entities, facility leadership, public groups/officials, and/or boards of directors.
 
Critical Thinking
Understands that few things are black and white. Ability to explore factors in any situation for the purpose of determining the array of best possible solutions. Incorporates facts, impact on others, and communication strategy into problem solving methodology.
 
Diversity & Inclusion
Advocates for deep understanding and respect for the diversity of disabilities, cultures, values, perspectives and beliefs. Works to understand the perspectives of others and encourages them to provide their perspectives. Leverages diverse perspectives in group processes and decision-making. Anticipates and recognizes the concerns of others, even if those concerns are not openly expressed.
 
Relationship Building
Ability to take proactive steps to reach out to clients, community partners, facilities and/or community agencies in more direct, relevant, and personal ways. Addresses issues in an open, constructive, professional manner, and persuades others to approach issues in the same manner. Seeks to resolve confrontations and disagreements constructively. Focuses on the situation, issues, or behaviors, rather than the people. Supports the good ideas of others.
 
WORKING CONDITIONS
The following describes general working conditions and requirements of the job, which can be performed with or without disability related reasonable accommodations. Duties are generally performed in an office environment and also in the State Capitol, in legislative offices and public hearing rooms.

Work areas are often noisy. Duties frequently require sitting, standing, talking and/or listening and possibly stooping, kneeling, and crouching. Weights to be lifted and/or moved up to 10 pounds are occasionally encountered. Must be able to transport oneself to work-related meeting, centers, etc. 

If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following:
1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form
2. Your resume
3. Detailed cover letter.

At Disability Rights California, we value diversity among our employees because unique perspectives allow us to effectively serve Californians with disabilities from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), Disability (mental and physical), sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.

Disability Rights California endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.