ORGANIZING DIRECTOR Toxics Action Center, a New England-wide nonprofit public health and environmental organization, seeks a dynamic leader and experienced community organizer who knows that it takes an engaged and active citizenry to make democracy work, hold polluters accountable, and win real results for public health and the environment.
The Organizing Director directs our New England team, overseeing staff while driving forward our unique community organizing program, building Toxics Action Center’s effectiveness and visibility, strengthening our partnerships, and advancing our mission. The Organizing Director can be based in Boston, MA, Montpelier, VT or Portland, ME and will report directly to the Executive Director.
Background: For decades, communities have suffered at the hands of polluting industries. Stories of black soot covering the walls of homes near a belching smokestack, the stench from a burning trash incinerator permeating evening meals, or hazardous waste leaking into the well-water of nearby neighborhoods are all too common.
At Toxics Action Center, we start from the core belief that everyone has the right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in a healthy community where government operates responsively and democratically. Our mission is to make these rights a reality by organizing side by side with residents who are facing toxic threats. We train residents in the skills and know-how they need to run effective local campaigns, while also developing long-term leaders to fuel New England’s progressive movements. Our work in Maine over the last fourteen years has led to countless victories including: • Working with community groups in Camden, Scarborough, and Brunswick to ban toxic pesticide spraying on public lands and sparking a regional movement to limit pesticides on lawns and school grounds. • Helping local residents and lobstermen join together to prevent Conoco-Phillips and Trans-Canadia from building a massive new liquefied natural gas facility in Harpswell. • Convincing the three largest blueberry growers in Maine to abandon aerial spraying of pesticides. • Halting a proposal to build a massive coal-burning power plant on the banks of a river and lobstering hub in Wiscasset.
Job Description: That’s where you come in. We are seeking an experienced organizer and manager who is ready to go where the fight is. You know that corporate polluters will go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for their messes, and that government bureaucracies are slow to act. You also believe in the power of building groups and strengthening communities and have seen that when community members join together to organize they can win against powerful special interests.
Key Responsibilities: • Staff management and training: You will oversee as many as five organizers based in communities across New England. You’ll be responsible for providing them with the management, training, and support that they need to organize and win campaigns. You’ll travel one to two days a week for site visits with your staff, you’ll organize and run in-person staff meetings and trainings, and you’ll run conference calls and have frequent phone meetings with your staff. • Strategic planning and program development: Be part of the team that sets the organization’s agenda. You’ll identify the biggest local environmental threats and work with organizers to enter communities, and build relationships with key local leaders. You will respond to threats as they arise and also seek new opportunities for campaign development. You’ll identify solutions to local environmental problems and develop creative strategies to win. • Community organizing training and leadership development: You will conduct group training consultations on campaign skills and one-on-one coaching and leadership development sessions with group leaders. • Coordinate coalitions: You will work with the traditional environmental community, volunteer activists, and unlikely allies to build public support to influence decision-makers to support zero waste solutions, curbing pesticide spraying, and chemical reform. • Communications and organizational visibility: You will work to increase the organization’s media presence and name recognition through events, news releases, and one-on-one meetings, along with improving the organization’s online presence and printed materials. • Fundraising: You will build lasting relationships in the funder community and build resources for your work through foundations, major donors, canvassing, event planning and other grassroots fundraising opportunities.
Qualifications: The ideal candidate is passionate about community organizing and movement building and has a track record of accomplishment. Candidates must have at least four years of organizing experience, including community organizing, campus organizing, campaign coordination, environmental advocacy, or coalition building. If you have less experience, you can apply for our Community Organizer job at www.toxicsaction.org/opportunities.
Salary and Benefits: Salary for this position is commensurate with the relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees that a candidate possesses. We offer a competitive benefits package including health care, 401(k), education loan assistance, and paid vacation and sick days. Opportunities for advancement, travel and additional training are available.
Toxics Action Center is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the base of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or veteran status.