Policy Associate - The Network

Website Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

Working to end all forms of sexual exploitation.

About CAASE

Mission and Vision
CAASE envisions a community free from all forms of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. CAASE addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. Our work includes prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.

Values
Social and institutional systems do not adequately serve survivors of sexual violation. Sexual violation disproportionately harms people from marginalized communities, including girls and women, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and immigrants and people without documentation. To best support survivors, CAASE confronts the inequities that fuel or intersect with sexual harm. Our dedication to this work is reflected in our values.

Dignity | We respect the inherent humanity of all people and strive to expand opportunities for personal autonomy.

Accountability | We answer to survivors and collaborate with allies as we seek to hold those responsible for harm accountable.

Progress | We create individual, institutional and cultural change by using innovative approaches to ending sexual harm.

Equity | We commit to building a world where every person, with consideration for their intersecting identities and unique circumstances, has the same access to opportunity and power.

CAASE does not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, sex (including sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, gender stereotyping, pregnancy and childbirth status) religion, national origin, age (40 and over), mental or physical disability, neurotype, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military status, veteran status, arrest record, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as being under an order of protection, lack of a permanent mailing address or using the mailing address of a shelter or social service provider, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. CAASE supports a person’s full access to reproductive health information and services.

About the Opportunity

The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE)  is excited to be hiring a Policy Associate! You are someone with passion and experience in advocacy, policy, communications, research and/or organizing for social justice. Collaborating with others and working towards systemic solutions invigorates you, but you’re also comfortable working independently on projects and can ask for help and feedback when needed. You don’t need to have all the answers on policy or research questions, but you know where or how you can find them, or who is the best to learn from. You have impeccable and creative communication skills, targeting the best key messages for the right audiences, and can distill difficult concepts into straightforward messaging. You prioritize tasks and projects well in a rapidly-changing political and policy environment, are strategic with your time, can anticipate what’s next, and are flexible. You are confident and down-to-earth in a variety of spaces while working with a diverse group of stakeholders, coalitions, policymakers, and elected officials.

Job Function

The Policy Associate assists with the development, execution, and implementation of policy and advocacy efforts, and works in collaboration with public, private, and governmental agencies to transform their responses to sexual exploitation, including specifically sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. We support systemic solutions that prevent future sexual violence by breaking down the layers of oppression that increase the likelihood of victimization, including sexism, racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism and transphobia. The Policy Department advocates for local and statewide policies and legislation that expand options for survivors of sexual harm, hold perpetrators and systems accountable, curtail the criminalization of trauma behaviors, and prevent future violence by:

• Advocating for survivor-centered legislation and policy on local and state levels

• Working in coalitions with survivor-leaders and allies to address major systemic issues

• Meeting with policymakers and elected officials

• Educating voters on candidates’ positions on our issues

• Engaging in strategic judicial reforms like amicus briefs

Salary and Benefits

The role is a hybrid, full-time, 40 hours per week position, with the ability to work remotely in Illinois, with preference for Chicago or Springfield, and/or in-person at CAASE’s Chicago Loop office. COVID-19 vaccinations are required for candidates as of their first day of employment.

Status: Full time, non-exempt.

Reports to: Policy Manager

The starting annual salary for this position is $55,000 and may be negotiable depending on experience. This position is grant funded for one year, with the goal to provide continued funding after one year.

CAASE strives to provide a comprehensive and equitable benefits package, including health and dental coverage with employer contributions to premiums, optional vision coverage, and employer paid life insurance. CAASE offers a robust 401k plan with a 2% employer contribution regardless of employee elections. CAASE offers remote work stipends to partially cover phone and internet expenses for those to whom it applies. CAASE also has generous paid time off, including regular vacation time, flexible sick time which can be used for mental health, preventative health and family wellness, regular paid holidays (including floating holidays,) and long term paid medical and parental leave.

Responsibilities

Research and Communication

Prepare in-depth, quality research into policy issues and translate that research to convincingly reach diverse audiences.
Draft fact sheets, social media posts, talking points, and related communications and advocacy materials that advance the mission.
Monitor and identify emerging issues relevant to the project’s goals.
Help design and execute strategies for effective dissemination of research and communications documents to advance policy change in Illinois.
Collaboration and Organizing

Maintain relationships with partner organizations working on policy campaigns.
Build and maintain relationships with policy makers, staff, and stakeholders. Collect information, track policy efforts, and develop partnerships, advocacy and education strategies to advance the department’s agenda and expertise.
Schedule, plan and lead campaign committee, grant partner, work group, and steering committee meetings.
Represent CAASE at conferences, meetings, and other events, including preparing materials for distribution and making presentations, as needed.
Schedule, plan and lead campaign committee, grant partner, work group, and steering committee meetings.

Legislative Advocacy and Implementation

Develop and maintain relationships with elected officials, policy makers, key governmental staff, community groups, and campaign partners.
Assist in preparing for meetings with elected officials and other lobbying activities, including scheduling visits, and drafting and compiling materials.
Communicate with elected and public officials and their staff on behalf of CAASE.
Develop a deep understanding of the policy and political landscape in Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois.

Administrative

Assist Policy Manager with other responsibilities as needed.
Participate in office-wide fundraising, team-building, and administrative activities.

Education and Experience

Candidates must be committed to feminist principles and social justice, practicing intersectional equity in all facets of the work, and ending the perpetration of sexual harm in Chicago and Illinois.
A minimum of three years of relevant experience in fields like policy, advocacy, organizing, communications, research, law, social work, etc.
Strong relationship-building and interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships both internally and externally.
Highly collaborative mindset both internally and externally; comfortable working both independently and as part of a team, and engaging with diverse stakeholders.
Excellent written and oral communication and research skills; able to communicate complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a lay audience, and target communications and messaging to specific audiences in a variety of formats.
Strong strategic and critical thinking skills, including applied research and analytical skills, ability to synthesize information, identify themes, and exercise a logical and resourceful approach to evaluating and addressing problems.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Thorough understanding of the dynamics of sexual violence and sexual exploitation, including criminal legal system responses and/or non-carceral responses, as well as an understanding of the Illinois legal landscape.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated knowledge of and experience in at least one of the following:
policymaking and issue campaigns at the local or state level;
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Chicago Police Department response to sexual harm crimes, including understanding of criminal and/or civil legal systems
Organizing and collaborating with diverse coalitions
Demonstrated project management and organizational skills; able to meet multiple deadlines by setting priorities and identifying resources.
Ability to think strategically, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, resolve problems creatively and logically, organize time efficiently, and remain attentive to details.
Experience implementing complex projects aimed at informing and advancing effective policy.
Experience with victims of crime and people who have experienced trauma, and an understanding of survivors’ experiences in the criminal legal system is a plus.
Acute political awareness and non-partisan perspective and approach; demonstrated ability to build relationships among individuals and organizations with a range of interests and perspectives.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@caase.org