Oakland Rising Political Director

Job Description

Oakland Rising (OR), a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Empowered Politics Education Fund, is a collaboration of social justice organizations that have a long-term, shared vision for winning a community-based political infrastructure and governing majority in Oakland that centers racial, economic, and environmental justice. Over the past eight years, OR’s political operation has grown into one of the largest, longest-lasting, and most sophisticated programs in the area. It has built a voter base in Oakland’s working-class, immigrant, and communities of color neighborhoods that makes up more than 25% of the city’s electorate. OR has helped to craft and win policies for racial, economic, and environmental justice while promoting a vision for transformational governance in Oakland and beyond.

This position is shared with our sister entity Oakland Rising Action (ORA), a separate 501(c)4.

Now, we seek a proven leader with significant experience as a political practitioner and a values-based leader to grow and implement our political strategy, programmatic goals, and movement building vision.

Position Overview
The Political Director will direct OR’s program operations and strategy. OR’s goal is to build the power of working-class people of color and immigrants in Oakland and beyond through integrated civic engagement programs, collaboration and alliance building and coordination, and leadership development. The position requires the development and management of a multi-pronged organizing and political strategy that includes support and supervision across programs and navigating a wide range of key organizational relationships and coalition spaces to advance our mission and build our movement. The ideal candidate will be a self-starting, enterprising thinker with senior experience working on political campaigns, with advocacy organizations, and in complex coalition spaces.

They will have deep grounding in the social justice movement; sharp racial, economic, and environmental justice analysis; and a demonstrated commitment to movement building and transformational, values-based leadership. They will bring strong supervisory and management experience; and a proven commitment to coaching and developing the leadership of others. This position is shared with our sister entity, Oakland Rising Action, a separate 501(c)4.

Supervisory Responsibility
The Political Director, collaboratively with the Deputy Director, supervises the Program Team, which is made up of the IVE Manager, the IVE Coordinator, the Volunteer Coordinator, and other program staff as needed. This senior-level position reports to the Executive Director and is part of the Senior Leadership Team.

Primary Functions and Responsibilities:
Program Development and Implementation: (50%)

Lead the program team and collaborative partners around the development, implementation, evaluation and refinement of Oakland Rising’s integrated political strategies, including: civic engagement programs, collaborative and coalition coordination, and leadership development work.

Civic engagement programs include, but are not limited to: 1) Non-election year civic engagement programs, 2) Election year voter identification and mobilization, 3) Voter education through policy agenda, voter guides, and online communications.

Collaborative and coalition coordination with the IVE Director includes, but is not limited to: 1) Leading Oakland Rising’s Steering Committee Meetings and internal collaborative organizing around political strategy, 2) Representing OR and playing a leadership role in key electoral and policy coalitions and meetings, including but not limited to: Bay Rising, California Calls, Oakland Progressive Alliance, Real People’s Fund and issue-based tables.

Leadership Development including development of staff and core leaders in OR’s civic engagement program and co-governance efforts.

Develop and design systems to track the “ladder of engagement” to deepen civic participation of OR’s electoral base during campaigns, activities, and with our partner organizations.

Manage, with the IVE Director, the development of the program team, and coordinate with partners to deepen leadership and build skills of OR’s staff, partners and leaders through integrated civic engagement programs, collaboration spaces, and the cultivation of shared political strategy.

Ensure that technology, data and communications infrastructure are current and being utilized effectively to maximize impact and achieve benchmarks.

Policy and Research: (10%)

Maintain up-to-date knowledge of priority policy issues moving on the local level, including tracking, attending and reporting out on city and county government meetings and agendas. This may include specific regional and state level policies on an as-needed basis.

Maintain up-to-date knowledge of key legislators, legislative districts, and boards and commissions in relation to OR’s policy priorities.

Maintain up-to-date knowledge and expertise on local (and as-needed regional and state) politics, electoral landscape and civic engagement and leadership development field.

Prepare and deliver presentations related to the above as needed.

Participate on ballot measure, policy, and budget committees as needed and develop integrated strategy for IVE with core leaders, program participants and partner organizations.

Develop pathways and programs for Equitable Democracy Platform with partner organizations

Implement an endorsement process and assist with content for voter guides.

Organizational Relationships and Movement Building: (20%)

Position Oakland Rising as a leader in integrated civic engagement, collaborative formations and leadership development locally, regionally, and statewide.

Develop, nurture and manage relationships with key civic engagement stakeholders and decision makers, including local community based organizations, labor unions, and government officials.

Model and advance values-based leadership that prioritizes transformational outcomes, as well as the evolving notion of co-governance.

Serve as an organizational spokesperson and ambassador.

Organizational Leadership and Strategy: (20%)

Partner with the Executive Director and the Senior Leadership Team to refine and advance the organization’s strategic direction, including supporting annual planning retreats, and developing and evaluating annual goals and benchmarks.

Provide supervision with the Deputy Director of the Program Team by: 1) managing the direction of weekly program team meetings and retreats and 2) meet as needed one-on-one with Program Team members – to create shared responsibility and accountability to the organization’s mission as well as work plans, goals, and deliverables.

Participate in the Senior Leadership Team to coordinate organization-wide work, monitor overall health and functioning of the organization, and facilitate effective organizational responses to opportunities and challenges.

Support fundraising by providing reports and materials for foundation and individual donor efforts, as well as participate in the annual fundraising event and sprint fundraising campaign.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time, with or without notice.

Required Qualifications:

Five or more years of previous campaign, union, or community organizing experience in the social justice sector, with a focus on Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and working-class community leadership and power-building.

Prior knowledge of, participation in, and development of electoral strategies.

Senior management experience (minimum of 2 years) preferred.

Personal experience and deep roots in the Black and Brown flatlands communities of Oakland.


A critical understanding of racial, economic, and environmental justice, as well as a commitment to and practice of it.

Excellent intellectual, analytical, and strategic thinking skills.

An adaptive leadership style with the ability to problem-solve, navigate complex situations and relationships, take advantage of strategic opportunities, and handle the ups and downs of electoral organizing.

Political smarts and a sophisticated intersectional analysis, which includes a local to global perspective.

Openness to experimentation and new ways of doing things.

A high level of emotional intelligence. Capacity for self-reflection and self-improvement.

Familiarity with the political terrain and existing relationships with key stakeholders.

A track record of accountability and reliability.

Bilingual Spanish a plus

Compensation and Benefits
This position is 40 hours per week. The estimated salary range is $90-105K depending on experience. We offer a competitive health benefits package that includes: medical, dental, vision, and a generous paid time off schedule.

To Apply:
Please use this job portal to send in your resume, cover letter, and three professional references.

Oakland Rising contracts with Resilient Strategies LLC for backend and operational support, including hiring and employment. Resilient Strategies is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Folks who are queer, trans, non-binary, Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, parents, are/have been system-impacted, are immigrants, and anyone who has experienced systemic oppression and/or gender-based violence are encouraged to apply. Pursuant of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and co