Community Organizer (Full Time) – Public Housing Campaign

Organization Name: Empower DC
Location: 1419 V St., NW, Washington, DC 20009
Job Terms: Full Time
Salary: $38,000 – $45,000 based on experience
Benefits: Generous benefits package including full medical coverage and IRA
Anticipated Start Date:  March, 2017
Schedule: Monday-Friday, with some evening and weekend hours required; 40 hours per week.

Job Description
Join a dynamic team working to build real political power for low and moderate DC residents!  Empower DC is known for hard hitting community organizing, standing with front line communities and fighting racial, social, economic and environmental injustice.  We are committed to building the voice and leadership of the real experts on our communities – the people who live in them!  And we are working to make sure that long term residents are not displaced from their homes, that the health and well being of low income residents is protected, and that the priority needs of low income families are addressed.  

Public Housing Campaign 
This position is responsible for the development of the Public Housing Campaign which builds the confident self-advocacy and organized political power of public housing residents.  The work has both neighborhood-specific and citywide components, and includes the following elements:

Support the continued development of the Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association (BFTAA) and build the campaign to win redevelopment in place, immediate repairs to poor housing conditions, and to otherwise influence the redevelopment process to stop the displacement of residents and the loss of public housing units.

Organize and mobilize citywide public housing residents in a campaign to address slum like conditions and push for repairs by engaging in City Council oversight and budget hearings on the DC Housing Authority, pushing for greater accountability and winning local funding for maintenance and repairs.

Create a resident-led vision for the future of public housing which offers an alternative to current trends of demolition and privatization and explores use of community land trusts.  Work toward the introduction of policy reflecting this vision.

Support the Public Housing Empowered fellowship program by helping to plan and carry out participant recruitment, training sessions, and involvement of participants in the above campaign elements.

Specific Responsibilities Include:

Community Organizing

  • Carry out extensive grassroots outreach in targeted communities including door knocking
  • Perform timely follow-up with new contacts
  • Hold 1-on-1 meetings with leaders and potential leaders to develop their involvement
  • Organize and facilitate effective, well-run meetings with well-planned agendas, ground rules, and active participation of attendees
  • Recruit and encourage participation of residents in meetings and events
  • Develop campaign plans and strategies with impacted residents to meet identified goals
  • Identify and cultivate allies and supporters including participating in coalitions and building partnerships with other organizations, faith based institutions, and local businesses and working with attorneys, artists, and others who can support our goals
  • Create and disseminate well designed, user-friendly and informative outreach materials
  • Organize workshops and trainings designed to enhance the knowledge and confident self-advocacy of constituents
  • Meet regularly with leaders, partners, and allies
  • Support and encourage participation in city government hearings, meetings and forums
  • Support the successful use of nonviolent direct action where necessary

Membership and Leadership Development

  • Recruit new members to Empower DC and encourage the renewal of lapsing members
  • Develop the confidence of new leaders by building meaningful relationships and providing opportunities for their ongoing learning and development
  • Contribute to robust participation from our directly-impacted base at quarterly Membership Meetings
  • Develop and carry out leadership development plans for participants that help them take on new levels of leadership within the campaigns
  • Participate in shaping and planning the theme and agenda of membership meetings
  • Support the development of Empowerment Circle trainings and Fellowships
  • Assist with the identification of potential Board members from our base of impacted members
  • Record and track feedback from participants as part of program evaluation

Planning, Reporting, and Evaluation  

  • Participate in weekly staff meetings, and weekly support meetings with the direct supervisor
  • Develop long-term, interim and short term work plans
  • Submit weekly timesheets
  • Track the effectiveness of campaign work and progress toward meeting benchmarks via monthly staff reports


  • Develop campaign related messaging and communications strategies
  • Assist with outreach to the media and social media communications
  • Provide Operations Director with updated campaign information for the Empower DC website
  • Provide Operations Director with press clippings related to our work for the organization’s archive

Resource and Professional Development

  • Support fundraising efforts by sharing appeals and encouraging giving, assisting the Executive Director with the crafting of grant proposals and participating in funder site visits, where needed
  • Support the provision of training as a fee-for-service revenue generating opportunity for Empower DC
  • Identify and partake in opportunities for ongoing learning and professional development
  • Maintain a working knowledge of DC government and issues impacting low income DC residents

Administrative Duties

  • Provide Operations Director with accurate contact info for contacts (including residents, press, and partners) for entry into the organization’s database
  • Assist with organizational phone banking and mailings, especially when turn-out is required for membership meetings and important activities
  • Take pictures of organizational activities and file them in the electronic archive
  • Maintain well organized campaign files on the common drive
  • Support the management of interns and volunteers


  • Minimum 2 years’ community organizing or grassroots advocacy experience including experience building the leadership of community members
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the District of Columbia – it’s neighborhoods and politics
  • Demonstrated commitment to community organizing and social, economic and racial justice
  • Ability to effectively communicate, both in writing and verbally, and speak before large groups
  • Strong reading comprehension, ability to examine policy issues, think strategically and relay complicated information in a user-friendly manner
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to work independently, provide leadership in groups, manage projects with multiple parts and manage time effectively
  • Comfort with people from all backgrounds and ability to work with people with limited educational background
  • Must present oneself professionally, be accountable to outcomes, arrive to work on time, and comply with requirements of timekeeping, planning and reporting
  • Basic computer competency for word processing and data management
  • Must have a flexible schedule to accommodate some weekend and evening hours

Other Desired Qualities (not mandatory)

  • Graphic design, media and social media skills
  • Knowledge or background in public housing, community development or community planning
  • Conversational ability in Spanish
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply

How to Apply
Please send as an attachment a cover letter, résumé, short writing sample and the names and contact information for three professional references knowledgeable of your organizing work to  We will begin reviewing resumes as they are received. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Women, people of color, and DC natives are encouraged to apply.