SEIU Local 521

SEIU Local 521

Political Director

Based in San Jose, CA

SEIU Local 521 is a union of 40,000 public- and nonprofit, private-sector workers in Central California. We are committed to building power in the workplace and in our communities to bring about greater justice for workers and for the communities we serve. We understand that the change we seek can only be won by building real organization and mobilizing thousands of members to fight against the entrenched powers that seek to control an ever-increasing share of society’s wealth while the majority face deterioration in their standard of living, health, and environment. Whether it is the tech giants of Silicon Valley or entrenched agribusiness in the Central Valley, those are the forces that our members must take on and expose in order to win justice for themselves and the communities we serve. We are looking for energetic, hardworking staff that wants to join this fight and be part of the team that wins for workers, families, and our communities.


Description: The Political Director is responsible for managing the union's program to strengthen its political infrastructure and achieve its strategic objectives to engage its members in exercising their strong and effective voice at their worksite, in legislative arenas and at the ballot box. The Political Director will be a member of the Senior Staff and will be a key advisor to the leaders of the Union.

The ideal candidate for the position will have senior level leadership experience in legislative or political organizing campaigns with a labor union or association, non-profit community organization or progressive elective official. She/he will be an experienced manager with the ability to effectively manage a small staff and will possess the capacity to work collaboratively with a diverse staff and stakeholders.

Successful managers at SEIU Local 521 have a progressive orientation and can be nimble in shifting priorities to the changing needs of a growing, dynamic organization. The successful candidate for the position will have a commitment to building a 21st century workers' movement, to racial equality, and to the mission and values of Local 521.

  • Working with Local leadership to develop and implement public policy and political advocacy strategies various counties and municipalities where Local 521 represents members;
  • Working with the International Union to coordinate the Local's political activities and plans with those of the International Union at the Federal, State and Local levels;
  • Working with the Local leadership, directors, and field staff to coordinate political field activities, lobby visits, phone banking and events for our public policy campaigns at the, city, county, state and federal level;
  • Coordinating the union's candidate interview and endorsement process, including developing candidate questionnaires and making recommendations on candidate endorsements and contributions;
  • Coordinating political messaging and engagement strategies with the union's member communications staff;
  • Identifying and developing members for potential elected and appointed political or community positions;
  • Providing support to representational staff for the recruitment, training, leadership development and coordination of member political activists for political fundraising and mobilization for electoral and issue campaigns;
  • Planning and implementing the electoral program for local, state and federal elections;
  • Supporting contract and organizing campaigns by integrating political strategy into the campaign planning, including rallies, press events, legislative opportunities and other targeted political activity;
  • Building the union's capacity through support of the Local and SEIU's COPE program and other grassroots political fundraising drives;
  • Coordinating the union's political work with the SEIU Illinois State Council and other labor and community allies; and
  • Working with Local leadership to identify community, political and civic organizations with whom the Local shares values and interests, and develop and implement outreach and engagement with those allies.

Education and Experience Requirements
The ability to thrive and operate in a fast-paced mission driven environment requires that the ideal candidate will possess a quick thinking and adaptable style that understands the benefits of “leading from the side” to affect change and drive progress. Additionally she/he will, be an experienced professional who performs successfully and with good humor, in the face of ambiguity and complexity. While no candidate is expected to possess all of these qualities, the ideal candidate will demonstrate the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in diverse communities and individuals.
  • Ability to work independently as well as on a team
  • Excellent oral and written communication and listening skills
  • At least five years' experience in political and/or advocacy work with progressively increasing responsibility and leadership
  • Willingness to work long, irregular hours, including evenings and weekends
  • Willingness and ability to travel including overnight travel and assignments.
  • Computer literacy and a willingness and ability to learn the organization's technology tools
  • Strong personal planning, motivation, and time management skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment

Salary and Benefits

  • Annual salary depending on experience
  • Fully paid dependent health, vision, dental, disability, and life insurance
  • Employer paid SEIU pension plan
  • Liberal vacation, sick and comp time

REQUIREMENTS: Must possess a valid California driver’s license; must pass a DMV check and have a good driving record; must have auto insurance that covers business driving (minimum of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per incident bodily injury liability/$100,000 property coverage); and must possess an automobile for business use.

To Apply:Interested parties may apply by submitting a résumé and letter of application stating in detail how the candidate’s skills, abilities, and experience qualify them to successfully address the Union’s needs as described in the position announcement. The résumé and letter of application should be sent to:

Margolies Potterton & Associates, Union Search Consultants
jpotterton@sbcglobal.net AND Lisagude@gmail.com

For all questions regarding this search including confidential inquiries please contact:
Lisa Gude (West Coast)     |   Jim Potterton (West Coast)
Lisagude@gmail.com      |  
(312) 315 3443   |      (831) 332-9324

This position is open until filled; however, the posting/acceptance of applications may close at any time.

Local 521 is an affirmative action employer and encourage applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or disability. Local 521 works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.