Ohio State Director Job Description
Reports to: Vice President, ASJ & National Director, TimeDone
Division: State Capacity
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 since its inception in 2021. 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.
The State Director oversees in-state operations on behalf of ASJ in Ohio. In each ASJ state, the in-state operations include policy advocacy, relationship building, the coordination of organizing and grassroots mobilization as well as communications. ASJ’s multi-state teams provide substantial support to staff in the states, allowing state directors to drive a sophisticated reform agenda and win change. Over time ASJ will build in-state teams consisting of at least four staff, with the State Director overseeing these teams and ensuring ASJ is effective and successful at advancing reforms and building influence. The State Director is the lead person facilitating ASJ’s in-state work and representing ASJ in high-impact in-state relationships and partnerships. This is a position for a highly motivated and skilled advocate and leader, dedicated to advancing safety and justice reform in OH who can effectively communicate our priorities across the political spectrum and support relationships with funders.
Reporting to the Vice President (VP), the OH State Director will focus on the following:
Leadership to Advance Reform (70%)
- Represent Alliance for Safety and Justice in OH and oversee in-state operations in a manner that advances ASJ’s reform priorities, including but not limited to:
- Develop plans and strategies to advance reform goals that include building high impact relationships with public officials, making policy proposals for legislative or executive action, elevating the voices of our constituents in media and policy environments, and building strong coalitional relationships with influencers and advocates.
- In coordination with ASJ’s multi-state communications, advocacy, organizing and operations divisions, drive comprehensive strategies for the state that include research, policy, advocacy, organizing, communications and outreach efforts.
- Maintain a strong and detailed understanding of the political, policy and criminal justice landscape in the state, such as: key legislative and political developments activities, key grassroots organizations and activities, government and program developments, forward-thinking criminal justice leaders, state influencers.
- Effectively partner with diverse stakeholders to drive a reform agenda, including providing expertise and support as needed. Stakeholders include elected officials, partners, allies, forward-thinking law enforcement, business leaders, coalitions, and key ASJ constituencies – TimeDone and Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) to drive a reform agenda.
- Identify decision points and emerging opportunities in the state, analyze relevant information and seek to advance reform in the context of emerging opportunities and political or policy developments..
- Serve as an advocate and spokesperson in the state in service of the reform agenda, such as representing ASJ in public hearings, events, networks or in the press; increasing ASJ’s presence within coalitions and among partners and identifying opportunities for collaboration and partnership buildings.
Operational Management for State Teams (30%)
- Grow ASJ’s in-state teams and cultivate support for ASJ among in-state donors, influencers and allies.
- Over time, we envision hiring statewide managers for our Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and TimeDone organizing programs, as well as Government Affairs/Partnerships and communications. As those teams develop, oversee in-state staff, and ensure in-state staff have support to build constituencies, advance partnerships, messages and reform strategies.
- Support the management of state-based funding and/or funder relationships, in partnership with organizational leadership and Development staff.
Knowledge and Abilities
- Leader with a proven track record -capability to build strong relationships with people of all backgrounds and in all kinds of positions of influence.
- A background in criminal justice and public safety reform and expertise in moving advocacy agendas.
- Knowledge of administrative and legislative processes that is demonstrated by an ability to leverage relationships to meet criminal justice reform advocacy goals.
- Strong written, public speaking, and persuasive communication skills with great attention to detail, and the ability to explain and synthesize complex policy information for a variety of audiences.
- Ability to effectively and independently manage and coordinate multi-strategy campaigns with multiple staff and contractors, leveraging diverse capacities, and adapt to rapidly evolving climates with fidelity to advancing the organization’s mission and vision.
- Highly organized and dynamic comprehension skills with a keen ability to analyze, summarize, draw conclusions, and problem solve.
- Proven leadership and experience running and winning social change campaigns, crafting strategy, working within coalitions, working directly with government officials to advance policy reform objectives, and turning lived experience into action.
- At least 5 years of relevant work experience in grassroots organizing, coalition-building, campaign politics and/or advocacy in the state of OH, to include existing expertise and relationships in local and state criminal justice and public safety policy and/or systems are strongly preferred, but may not be required if you are a particularly quick study and have deep experience working in a similarly structured field.
- Demonstrated strong leadership in team collaboration, communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.
- Empathy and ability to work sensitively with people exposed to trauma, with lived experience as a crime survivor, incarceration or other forms of community control.
Must be able to sit at a computer for extended periods of time. Travel is required.
Working Conditions & Physical Demands
- This position is based in OH.
- Occasional travel and/or weekend assignments may be required.
- Requires use of a desktop, laptop, or video display terminal.
- Requires routine physical movements with limited physical exertion.
- Ability to communicate, receive and understand information through oral and written communication and proofread and check documents for accuracy.
- Requires communicating information with co-workers, stakeholders and/or the public; reading correspondence, instructions and/or technical documents; writing correspondence and/or reports and filling in forms.
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.
Applications should be sent to [email protected] with a reference to the job title, “OH State Director,” in the subject line. Please send a cover letter indicating your interest in ASJ, the role, and your related experience, your resume, and 3-4 professional references.
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 accommodations 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.