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Public Education Campaign Organizer

Posted 1/25/2023


JOB TYPE: Full-time (40 hrs/wk)


DIRECT SUPERVISOR: Reports to the Executive Director 


LOCATION: Statewide (preferably based in East Tennessee)

ABOUT SOCM:

SOCM is a 50-year-old, member-driven organization dedicated to empowering Tennesseans in their efforts to have a greater voice in determining their own future. We accomplish this by training local leaders and by developing and sustaining long-term, democratically run, and locally rooted membership organizations in communities throughout Tennessee. Together, SOCM members work towards a Tennessee where all people are treated with dignity, where our environment is preserved and protected, and where corporations and public officials are held accountable to the needs of the people. We believe in an approach to organizing grounded in listening to our neighbors, identifying deeply and widely felt issues, developing an analysis of power, and creating campaigns to address issues together. SOCM’s staff team works with grassroots members and leaders to implement local and statewide issue campaigns as well as organizational goals and priorities. 

PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN:

In recent years, we’ve seen an alarming number of bills coming out of Nashville that are designed to set public school teachers and students up for failure. Our governor continues efforts to channel desperately-needed public funds away from public and into privately run, religious charter schools; Tennessee is already trailing most of the country in per-student funding coming in at 46th out of 50 states; Books are being banned; Legislators are increasingly relying on standardized tests as the sole indicator of a student’s performance.

In October of 2022, SOCM Membership voted to establish Public Education as a strategic, long-term, statewide campaign focus. Our inaugural public education campaign has focused on amending the 3rd Grade Retention law in the Spring 2023 legislative session. In November, we began regular statewide public education campaign team meetings as a space for folks from across Tennessee to strategize, plan and take action together. This team is coordinated by SOCM staff and comprised of SOCM members and new supporters from across the state. Since November, involvement in this statewide team has exploded and continues to expand. We need a dedicated staff-member to continue organizing this team, follow-up with new participants, and support on the ground organizing of campaign events and actions in East Tennessee.

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

The Public Education Campaign Organizer will work alongside other SOCM staff and members in a supportive team setting to accomplish campaign goals. Specific responsibilities of this position include:

  • Coordinate Statewide Public Education Campaign Team 

    • Support Public Education Campaign Team members in developing and implementing effective campaign strategies  - this will entail working with SOCM members and other staff to prep agendas, assign facilitation roles and develop clear action items for every meeting

    • Communicate critical Public Education campaign needs to the rest of the staff team   

    • Help coordinate regular campaign phone banks (focused on legislative outreach, member engagement, fundraising etc)

    • Develop a media plan for any relevant public education campaign events or actions 

    • Join in-person Public Education campaign meetings with East TN members as needed

    • Ensure the Public Education Campaign team provides content (articles, photos, and/or graphics) for the SOCM Sentinel, E-news and other SOCM publications

  • Member development, recruitment and fundraising

    • Conduct (and/or coordinate members to help) follow-up 1:1 calls or in-person visits with every person who has signed up for our Public Education Campaign contact list

    • Help coordinate door-to-door canvassing efforts related to public education campaign goals

    • Continue to refine a “ladder of engagement” to provide new participants with opportunities to get involved with statewide campaign team action at a local level

    • Explain the SOCM model and make membership asks of all new campaign participants

    • Work with members to integrate grassroot fundraising strategies into their campaigns

    • Work with director and other staff to train members in essential organizing skills, including: public-speaking, working with the media, fundraising, campaign planning and development; planning direct actions, lobbying; and running good meetings

  • Coalition responsibilities

    • Serve as SOCM’s liaison to the Public Education committee of the Tennessee For All coalition. This will include helping prep agendas and facilitating Tennessee for All Public Education committee meetings, attending assigned training sessions and staying in communication with the TN4ALL staff to coordinate coalition events and joint programming.

  • Other

    • Provide reports to Director and Board about campaign progress 

    • Participate fully and constructively in weekly virtual staff meetings and monthly in-person staff meetings

    • Meet virtually or in person on a weekly basis with Executive director to develop weekly goals and workshop challenges

    • Contribute to a culture of mutual respect, support, accountability, appreciation and learning, based on good working relationships and communication with other staff.

    • Other duties as negotiated and assigned.


QUALITIES OF AN IDEAL CANDIDATE

  • Commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice through a base-building, community organizing framework; 

  • Creative, self-starting, and able to prioritize work effectively

  • Excellent time management skills

  • Enjoys talking with and learning from people of diverse backgrounds (including race, gender, income-level, age, ability & political background)

  • Compassionate, honest and empathetic 

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

  • Devoted to personal growth and self-development

  • Good communication skills including listening, asking challenging questions, and writing

  • Experience as a volunteer member or leader in a member-led grassroots organizing group

  • Experience as a facilitator, trainer and designer of participatory workshops 

  • Understands how to work effectively in and with diverse communities


QUALIFICATIONS:

  • At least 1-2 years of experience in public education, labor, or community organizing (paid or volunteer)

  • Strong commitment to developing members and leaders

  • Basic knowledge of public education issues in Tennessee (experience as a public education teacher, parent or advocate preferred)

  • Competency with digital tools including Google suite, Microsoft Office suite

  • Strong listening, verbal and written communication skills

  • Has access to reliable transportation and ability to travel to different parts of state and region on a regular basis

  • Experience with grassroots fundraising preferred 


COMPENSATION & BENEFITS:

Starting salary is $42,000-$49,000 and is negotiable depending on experience. After hire, SOCM staff receive $1000 annual raises. SOCM provides Gold plan family health insurance for all employees that includes excellent vision and dental coverage. We also offer generous vacation package, flexible work hours, paid personal growth time, family and medical leave, milage reimbursement, and a pension plan with contributions after two years of employment. 


SOCM strives to create a welcoming, creative and supportive work environment. We highly value group planning, mutual accountability, goal setting and establishing clear work/non-work boundaries. We believe we work most effectively when we’re not burned out! 


TO APPLY: 

Send an email with your resume, a cover letter and three references to austin@socm.org

Include subject line "ATTN: SOCM Organizer Application [Your Name]"

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