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LOCATION: In 2021, this position is likely to be fully remote. In 2022, this position will be located in Sacramento or somewhere easily accessible to Sacramento via drive or transit (i.e. the San Francisco Bay Area).

SALARY RANGE: $70,000-85,000, commensurate with experience

DEADLINE: March 5th

California Common Cause is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization fighting for a California democracy that includes everyone. We work on voting rights, redistricting, money in politics, and media & democracy issues to build state and local governments that are responsive to and reflective of the communities they are meant to serve. We seek a Policy Director who will lead California Common Cause’s policy work statewide and legislative work at the California Capitol.

California Common Cause’s Policy Director will lead the development of a multi-year policy agenda for the organization, together with the Executive Director and the California Common Cause staff and board, and will be responsible for executing on that policy agenda. The position will need expertise on the full policy lifecycle, including policy research and analysis, policy development, legislative drafting, coalition-building and management, stakeholder engagement, legislative advocacy and lobbying, and policy implementation.

This position will report to the California Common Cause Executive Director. The Policy Director will, like all staff at California Common Cause, approach their work through an equity lens while also being conscious of California Common Cause’s historic nonpartisan identity.


Build and advance a policy agenda aimed at building a more inclusive, accessible, equitable, representative, honest, accountable, and trustworthy democracy in California.

This includes:

  • Policy Vision – The Policy Director will be an innovative policy thinker who can help set a vision for the democracy reform field in California.
  • Research and Policy Development – The Policy Director will complete research on the state of California’s democracy, to determine areas of improvement, and complete research on policy ideas attempted elsewhere to determine their suitability for California. The Policy Director may sometimes author reports to further California Common Cause policy priorities.
  • Legislation – The Policy Director will develop ideas for legislation, draft legislation, devise legislative advocacy strategies, find bill authors, lobby, testify at legislative hearings, build coalitions, negotiate amendments, and manage all other parts of the legislative process for the organization.
  • Writing – The Policy Director will author op-eds, legislative factsheets, research reports, and memos to the California Common Cause advisory board.
  • Diplomacy – The Policy Director will engage partners and key stakeholders on California Common Cause’s policy priorities, including power players who dislike the organization’s desire for transparent government, campaign finance rules that reduce the influence of special interests, and ethical practices that inspire public trust in our politics.
  • Coalition-Building – The Policy Director will build coalitions behind the organization’s legislation and other policy projects, and manage those coalitions.
  • Public Speaking – The Policy Director will testify at legislative hearings, speak frequently to the press, and may occasionally speak at press conferences or rallies.


This is a full-time role. The person filling the role must have flexibility to work some nights and weekends, especially during peak periods in the legislative calendar. The person filling the role will likely be fully remote in 2021, but will need to be located in or able to easily travel to Sacramento in 2022.

Funding for this position is guaranteed for 18 months, though we are constantly and actively seeking funding to continue the position indefinitely into the future.


  • The ability to think flexibly, creatively, and innovatively about the future of California’s democracy and the changes that can make improve it.
  • At least three (preferably more) years of experience working on legislation in California, strong skills with legislative drafting and advocacy, and strong working relationships in the California Capitol.
  • At least three (preferably more) years of experience building and managing coalitions.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and the ability to persuade.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Excellent research skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Professionalism, composure, advocacy skills, and speaking skills necessary to represent California Common Cause in meetings with the California Secretary of State, legislative leadership, the Fair Political Practices Commission, and other critical stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of the policy issues pertaining to California’s democracy, including voting rights, redistricting, and campaign finance reform – strongly desired but not necessary for the right candidate.
  • Ability to remain on track with multiple priorities and projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work independently and guide projects in a remote environment.
  • Positive attitude and passion for changing the world for the better.
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultural competency, including the ability to work effectively with people of all backgrounds.
  • Flexibility to work occasional nights and weekends.

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, activities or responsibilities may change at any time with or without notice.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status.

Common Cause is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the organization and believes strongly in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce.


Please submit resume, cover letter, and three references to Director of Human Resources at hr@commoncause.org and include “Policy Director, California Common Cause” in the subject line. No phone calls please. Applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP.

Common Cause is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants of any race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, income class, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status or marital status, as well as applicants who have been previously incarcerated.


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