Strategic Campaigns Director (Houston)

Strategic Campaigns Director (Houston)

About the Texas Organizing Project (TOP): Founded in 2009, TOP, has become the leading statewide organizing group in Texas, advancing racial and economic justice through community and electoral organizing. Our programs are anchored in the three largest metro regions of the state, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. We have a base of over 100,000 members and supporters who reflect Texas’ growing population – people of color, low-moderate income families. Through on the ground organizing, grass-roots leader trainings, direct action, policy advocacy and electoral engagement we have made gains in policy solutions and public investments in neighborhood infrastructure, family sustaining jobs, affordable housing, community schools, criminal justice, health access and immigrant rights. TOP also runs the largest independent grassroots electoral field operation in the state, activating over 200,000 voters of color each election cycle.

Texas is “too big to fail.” Its population growth is among the most rapid in the U.S., with recent census data supporting projections that the state’s population will double by 2050. Reports by the Office of the State Demographer predict that the Latino population will surpass the white population by 2020 and will be the majority of the state’s population by 2042.

Over the years, TOP has invested our organizational resources into honing our ability to be increasingly strategic and methodical in our approach to tackling the state through real community organizing and base-building-–coupled with effective policy campaigns and highly effective political programs. We’ve continued to test organizing models, methods and messages, building key strategic partnerships across the state and nationally and investing in data analysis.

TOP’s theory of change for Texas is to build power from the cities outwards. By organizing in the largest mega-metro regions of the state (Houston, Dallas and San Antonio) we are driving forward a progressive Texas agenda that is rooted in racial and economic justice and a clear counter from the ultra-conservative state leadership. Based on detailed analysis of voter data in Texas and historical assessment of past voter engagement efforts, our strategy is based on a clear understanding that the path to building a more reflective and progressive state is through the largest and fastest growing cities and counties, where there are the largest concentrations of New American Majority voters.

Position Summary: TOP is seeking an experienced and dynamic comprehensive campaigns strategist to join our staff leadership team to direct/ oversee our multi-issue campaign portfolio, delivering wins that directly benefit our membership and communities of color at large. Playing a hands-on role, the Strategic Campaigns Director will support and challenge organizing teams on the ground in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio to utilize a full range of campaign tools/ tactics including direct action, on-line and off-line base building, earned media, grassroots leadership development and partnerships with allies. Campaigns will be advanced in deep integration with TOP’s voter participation goals, and where appropriate, electoral plans. TOP’s campaign agenda includes: immigrant rights, criminal justice reform, public education, economic opportunity, health care and neighborhood rights.

The Strategic Campaigns Director will report directly to TOP’s Executive Director and will work closely with TOP’s Deputy Director, Policy Director, Director of Political Strategy, Communications Director and campaign lead organizers- with a team of direct reports. The person will also serve in a senior role on the Staff Leadership Team, contributing to the overall vision and direction to the statewide organization. TOP currently has 35 full time staff.

Key Areas of Responsibility:

1) Oversee successful, strategic issue campaigns in each region, working directly with key staff leaders
• Drive the coordination and implementation of 1-2 priority campaigns, including field operations, communications, political and ally coordination, research and policy.
• Work with key staff to set goals and develop effective long-range campaign plans.
• Work with key staff and leaders to move campaign plans into action, and regularly measure campaign progress in achieving goals.
• Insure that there are effective, growing, membership-based campaign committees so that members are partners in strategic decisions around the campaigns.
• Support the coordination of research and policy work essential to the campaigns.
• Support development of communications plans as integral to the campaigns. This includes earned media, traditional media and social media. This will be done in coordination with the Communications Director of TOP.
• Facilitate learning opportunities for staff and leaders to grow as strategic campaigners.
• Lead experimentation with new campaign tools and tactics to bolster effectiveness.

2) Provide overall leadership to TOP as a member of the staff leadership team.
• Actively participate in organization-wide goal setting, decision making, planning and measuring success.
• Provide regular updates and internal communication about ongoing issue campaigns and strategy for leadership team and board.
• Show commitment to TOP’s work for racial justice, building black/brown unity and building the organizational culture and structures to support our values.

3) Drive fundraising in specific areas of campaign work.
• Work with the Executive Director and the development coordinator to create a fundraising plan in alignment with each strategic campaign.
• Write concept papers, funding proposals and reports as necessary to generate campaign resources.
• Manage certain relationships with individual and institutional donors.

4) Represent TOP at the local, state and national level around issue campaigns.


Qualifications and Competencies

Work experience:
• At least five years of experience in strategic campaigning with a membership-based organization.
• Deep issue fluency in one or more of TOP’s central campaigns– criminal justice, immigration reform, economic opportunity, public education, neighborhood rights/affordable housing.
• Some experience and/or working knowledge of electoral campaigns

Specific skills and subject knowledge:
• High level of competence to design and develop written, long term strategic campaign plans
• Ability to operationalize campaign plans through management of a variety of people, working on concurrent activities.
• Ability to enlist and engage a broad spectrum of support for campaigns (community, policy, labor, and government stakeholders.)
• Deep working knowledge of the progressive, organizing, advocacy and political field
• Cultural competence to develop campaigns using a race and gender lens.
• Experience and comfort level with full range of direct action tactics to achieve leverage.
• Commitment and effectiveness in working with grassroots leaders to insure their integral role in decision-making around campaigns.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Organized and detail-oriented. Fully takes initiative, is creative and resourceful.
• Ability to effectively manage multiple projects and work well under tight deadlines.
• Can exercise high level of autonomous decision making and problem solving.
• Exemplary proficiency in interpersonal communication, listening and conflict resolution; diplomatic in resolving issues.
• Emotional intelligence and professional self-management under pressure.
• Superb personal organization, rigorous, outcome driven work habits
• Familiarity with project management tools and ability to manage peers and direct reports to use them to track goals and benchmarks.
• Bilingual in Spanish and English a plus.

Characteristics of the Position:
• Job requires some evening and weekend activities
• Travel as necessary to support campaigns across the state and occasionally to represent TOP in national settings
• Salary will be commensurate with experience; TOP has a competitive pay scale.
• Benefits include comprehensive medical, dental, vision, 401(k), paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, and travel reimbursement.
• Applicants should email cover letter, resume, and references to: with “Strategic Campaigns Director” in the subject line.

TOP is an equal opportunity employer – women and people of color are encouraged to apply.