Senior Policy Counsel, Democracy
The Senior Policy Counsel – Democracy is lead counsel for the Task Force’s Queering Democracy pillar, and is responsible for employing a racial, economic, gender and social justice framework and analysis to advance the organization’s federal and state efforts to promote, protect and advance democracy for LGBTQ people. Major areas of responsibility include managing FedWatch; advocating with the Biden-Harris Administration; Queering the Census; advocating for criminal justice system/policing reforms and on immigration; partnering on democracy issues; and more. The Senior Policy Counsel – Democracy also leads democracy advocacy through our sister organization the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund.
Home Office Location: Washington, DC
Reports To: Policy Director
The Senior Policy Counsel uses research, writing, leadership abilities, collaboration skills, public speaking and community engagement in working with the Task Force to:
- Manage FedWatch, playing a collaborative leadership role to engage 450 advocates from 200 LGBTQ and progressive groups in federal administrative change.
- Advocate with the Biden-Harris Administration to advance proactive regulations and policies; eliminate Trump-era harms; and press the Administration to keep campaign promises to the LGBTQ community and more.
- Queer the Census, ensuring the federal government prioritizes counting the diverse LGBTQ community, especially people of color, immigrants and people and families who are hard to reach or to persuade to participate due to systemic racism and other structural barriers to full participation in our Democracy.
- Advocate for Democracy at the federal level and at the state level in partnership with state coalitions/groups on issues such as criminal justice system/policing reforms, redistricting, apportionment, voting rights, and money in politics.
- Ally with LGBTQ and progressive federal and state groups leading cross-movement efforts on democracy issues, including where religion is used to justify broad-based discrimination, coordinating work with other Task Force staff.
- Show leadership within the LGBTQ movement to increase the visibility of and engagement in democracy as an LGBTQ issue, and drive efforts to ensure that our Democracy works for LGBTQ people.
- Manage FedWatch by collaborating with co-leaders on monthly meetings; reviewing the Federal Register daily; sharing substantive content on issues affecting LGBTQ people; strategizing to develop FedWatch to advance democracy by stimulating and supporting cross-movement work; and recommending when the Task Force should take the substantive lead on a proposed regulation or other administration action.
- Advocate with the Biden-Harris Administration, developing substantive work products to further democracy at the federal level; working with the Administration to protect and advance LGBTQ issues and cross-movement issues; and driving the work to push the Administration beyond Obama-era advances to better the lives of LGBTQ people.
- Work with the steering committee of a federal religious exemptions clearinghouse and partner with cross-movement policy colleagues to assess the impact of versions of religious exemptions in play on LGBTQ and democracy issues. Maintain resources of LGBTQ religious exemptions/refusal measures at the national, state and local levels including laws, policies, model language, briefing papers, fact sheets, and maps/charts.
- Participate in democracy advocacy strategy coalitions and partner with state and local voting rights groups. Provide policy advice to advance pro-LGBT voting rights and thwart anti-LGBT, anti-voting rights and anti-justice actions, especially those using religious exemptions as a tool to undermine progress.
- Increase our specific policy expertise to support work at the intersections of democracy and LGBTQ movements. Update the Task Force’s voting rights and democracy toolkits and other resources as needed and develop new ones as needed.
- Advise communications team on talking points for including democracy issues in major speeches and help make the case for democracy as an LGBTQ issue through infographics, fact sheets, and reports. Advance democracy issues daily on social media.
- Plan and lead workshop sessions on democracy at our annual National Conference on LGBTQ Equality: Creating Change and Creating Change Online. Propose recommendations to build out our democracy work across the Task Force’s state, federal, research and training program areas.
- Serve on cross-department groups to ensure the appropriate and efficient provision of support and services to state and local colleagues.
- Recruit, hire and supervise legal interns for research, writing and policy work.
- Assist in writing grant proposals/reports and in development efforts; and perform other duties and respond to other requests as needed by the Advocacy and Action Department and the Task Force.
In this role, strategic thinking, strong writing skills, and organization are critical. A commitment to racial, economic, gender, and disability justice and a belief in our collective ability to create change in systems of power is mandatory.
A qualified candidate should have:
- A law degree, and preferably a bar license for supervising legal interns.
- 5+ years of experience advocating for change in your community.
- Strong writing skills. The ability to communicate information clearly is fundamental to this role. You will be asked to draft campaign and program materials, edit others, and communicate with a variety of internal and external stakeholders to develop campaign assets.
- Exceptional communication skills. The ability to clearly communicate with the staff you are working with within the organization as well as external partners, consultants, and media is paramount; especially in fast-faced moments, you will need to be on message, clear and ask for clarity in return.
- A deep LGBTQ justice analysis. Understanding how LGBTQ identity impacts a person’s lived experience will help you be a more effective strategist.
- Top-notch organization skills. If the books on your bookshelf are in alphabetical order, your notes utilize colors with specific meanings, and you find long to-do lists energizing, we want to talk to you! There is a lot to keep track of in this role, and nothing can fall through the cracks. Meeting quick deadlines is key.
- Leadership skills. While management experience is not a prerequisite for this role, skills in developing talent, training, coaching, planning, delegation, and accountability will be important to development in the legal intern management part of this position.
Commensurate with experience. Provides excellent benefits – health, dental, and vision insurance; flex spending accounts, annual and sick leave, and 403(b) plans.
How to Apply:
Please submit a cover letter and resume addressing your qualifications, experience relevant to these responsibilities and describing your interest in being a member of the Task Force staff. We also ask that you submit to writing samples for this position. If possible, please submit the names, affiliations, and contact information for three references. Applications will be accepted via e- mail for this position at hr@theTaskForce.org; please write “Senior Policy Counsel, Democracy” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.
The Task Force is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, transgender people, veterans, and people of color are encouraged to apply.