Michigan Government Affairs Manager

Michigan Government Affairs Manager Job Announcement
Location: Michigan
Reports to: Managing Director, Government Affairs
Start Date: ASAP – Position open until filled
Position type: Full time, exempt

Founded in 2016, the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), a project of the Tides Center, is a multi-state organization that aims to win new safety priorities in large incarceration states across the country. At a time of immense opportunity, ASJ partners with leaders and advocates to advance state criminal justice reform through policy advocacy, coalition building, research, education and strategic communications. ASJ also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence. ASJ’s sister organization, Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ), also a project of Tides Center, has been leading state advocacy efforts to replace over-incarceration in California with new safety priorities for the last six years. With a substantial California staff and a strong track record, CSJ operates as ASJ’s flagship state advocacy effort. Additionally, the Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund, a project of Tides Advocacy, is the 501 (c) 4 arm of both ASJ and CSJ. Combined, ASJ and CSJ operate with over 60 staff.

Position Summary:
In recent years with local partners ASJ supported the historic passage of Objective Parole (HB 5377) into law, establishing objective criteria for release upon a first parole hearing for people assessed as low risk—the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) estimates this will lead to a savings of $40 million and the reduction of thousands of prison beds. ASJ also helped to secure the passage of HB 5243, a medical probation bill to give greater flexibility to counties to move medically frail individuals to treatment from jail. ASJ will continue to work in Michigan to advance ambitious policies that improve public safety and outcomes for crime survivors.

The Alliance for Safety and Justice seeks a Government Affairs Manager who will be responsible for the success of 1) legislative advocacy efforts to advance smart safety solutions and reduce incarceration, 2) advancing and supporting the implementation of justice reform policy to maximize impact, and 3) developing strong and positive partnerships in the state in support of legislative and implementation strategies—with a particular focus on building partnerships with law enforcement leaders from across the state. Legislative and implementation efforts include building bipartisan coalitions and partnerships with law enforcement, business, crime survivor stakeholders, community leaders and associated agencies.

The Government Affairs Manager will represent the Alliance for Safety and Justice in the state capitol and local jurisdictions, manage key in-state partner relationships and shepherd ASJ’s role in day-to-day coordination with in-state advocates. The Government Affairs Manager will report directly to the Managing Director for State Campaigns and be a part of the Programs team.

Primary Responsibilities:
Reporting to ASJ’s Managing Director of Government Affairs, the Michigan Government Affairs Manager will focus on the following:

Michigan Policy Development & Strategy (70%)

  • Assist with managing the lobbying team by overseeing the execution of lobbying strategy; writing lobbying reports and tracking the activities of lobbying activities with respect to implementation and legislative advocacy work plans
  • Develop and execute legislative and policy implementation advocacy strategies at the state and local level with guidance from the Managing Director
  • Develop and maintain a working understanding of the political, policy and criminal justice landscape in Michigan, including but not limited to key legislative activities; key grassroots organizations and activities; government and program innovations;
    forward-thinking criminal justice leaders and state influencers
  • Represent the Alliance for Safety and Justice in public forums and before legislative and other government bodies
  • Develop an understanding of what role each of our key partners will play, establish effective partnerships between ASJ and local officials, government agencies, key stakeholders (such as local law enforcement), business leadership and in-state advocates
  • Develop and manage coalitions and coalition partners
  • Identify decision points, analyze relevant information and make recommendations to the ASJ leadership team about changes in advocacy strategies

Relationship Management and Information Sharing (20%)

  • Cultivate and maintain strong partnerships and relationships with allies and key stakeholders in law enforcement, the community and government
  • Represent ASJ in public forums and before legislative and other government bodies

Planning and Prospecting (10%)

  • Research and analyze state legislation, state budgets and public safety administrative procedures and develop a strong understanding of best practices in criminal justice and public safety policy
  • Provide recommendations for ASJ leadership and produce memos, briefs and powerpoint presentations on those findings.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent; advanced degree preferred
  • Impeccable written and verbal communication skills required
  • Sound judgment and decision-making skills
  • Strong public speaking and persuasive communication skills with great attention to detail and an ability to explain complex ideas in a simple way
  • Strategic and critical thinker able to focus on diverse internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrated awareness of related laws and regulations that govern the state of Michigan and the legislative process, including related legislative committee structures and the roles of other important influencers
  • A self-starter who is well-organized and capable of managing multiple projects simultaneously and independently
  • Able to work efficiently and adapt to rapidly evolving climates with limited oversight
  • Strong project management skills
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar and a history of getting things done even in the face of obstacles
  • Dynamic comprehension skills with a keen ability to analyze, summarize, draw conclusions and problem solve
  • Flexible, goal-oriented and able to work long hours and travel extensively when necessary
  • Expertise and experience in Michigan criminal justice and public safety policy and/or systems
  • Strong community ties in Michigan, preferably downstate
  • Experience with policy advocacy, coalition building, community outreach and organizing
  • Demonstrated experience working directly with government officials to advance policy
    reform objectives
  • Experience with law enforcement or victim advocacy is strongly preferred

Physical Demands:
Must be able to sit at a computer for extended periods of time. Travel will be required.

Work Environment:
This is a remote telecommute position that requires travel, especially within Michigan. Work hours, depending on circumstances may sometimes be odd and include an occasional night or weekend assignments.

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary will be commensurate with experience. The Tides Center offers a competitive benefits package including health/vision/dental insurance, retirement 403b match benefit and paid sick, holiday and vacation leave.

To Apply:
Applications should be sent to jobs@safeandjust.org with a reference to the job title, “Michigan Government Affairs Manager” in the subject line. Please send a cover letter indicating your match to the stated job requirements and your resume as well as 3-4 references. Position open until filled.

The Alliance for Safety and Justice, a project of Tides Center, is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions. Reasonable
accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.