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Urban League of Portland

GROUP: Advocacy & Community Engagement (ACE)

SUPERVISOR: Director, Policy & Advocacy

ACCOUNTABLE TO: President and Chief Executive Officer

SCOPE OF WORK: The Policy Specialist is a key member of the advocacy and community engagement (ACE) team and provides support on a variety of Urban League of Portland initiatives. The Policy Specialist will work in the areas of administration, grassroots organizing, community outreach, government relations, communications and policy program assistance. Primary responsibilities include working on initiatives that impact the communities served in Oregon and Southwest Washington.



Advocacy & Policy

  1. Assist in the research and analysis of housing, economic, employment, healthcare, and other public policy that directly or indirectly; negatively or positively impact African Americans at the local, state, and at times, federal levels.
  2. Monitor legislative, regulatory, and administrative matters related to policy issues important to the Urban League of Portland at the local and state level to help make recommendations to advance Urban League of Portland’s priorities.
  3. Represent the Urban League at meetings and collaborate with partners on task forces, work groups, and committees to improve the access of services and policies for African Americans and others living in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
  4. Identify emerging policy issues through networking with community based organizations and partnerships, state, and at times, national affiliate organizations.
  5. Coordinate the production of the State of Black Oregon and periodic issue updates.
  6. Work closely with Urban League of Portland program directors to ensure coherence between policies, proposed legislation, and practices.


Writing & Communication

  1. Write reports and other communication documents related to the work of the Urban League of Portland tailored to a specific and/or general audience.
  2. Support the implementation of Urban League of Portland’s policy priorities. To include, but not limited to, communication and outreach with neighborhood and community coalition groups on a particular policy item; taking the lead on communication pieces such as Op-eds; and working with team members to get pertinent information out to members and the public at-;large.
  3. Develop policy briefs on issues that empower African Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and overall quality of life to help educate elected officials, partner organizations, board of directors, and the general public,.
  4. Assist in developing policy-related backgrounders, public testimony, talking points, letters and other materials to support Urban League of Portland’s policy priorities.



  • Exceptional analytical, writing, and problem solving skills.
  • Creative and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, communication and customer service skills.
  • Able to work under pressure, prioritize and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Knowledge of diverse groups, working with multicultural workforce and sensitivity and appreciation of cultural differences.
  • Understanding of factors that may influence racial disparity and policies that prevent or contribute to social and economic inequity for African-Americans.
  • Ability to cultivate and sustain relationships and work effectively with a wide variety of people.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Passion and desire to make a difference to the community through your efforts.



  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.), preferably in political science, public policy, social science, law or related field of study, from a college or university.
  • At least 2 years of experience in policy development, government relations, politics, or a related field.
  • At least three years of experience in social justice and systems advocacy work.
  • Courteous, effective verbal and written communication.
  • Community organizing and campaign experience a plus.
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving African-American communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
  • Experience with Black/African immigrants is desirable.

How to apply: The Urban League is always looking for qualified, committed people, who are interested in helping others and in building a stronger community. If you would like to be a member of the Urban League of Portland team, please submit a cover letter and resume to gro.xdplunull@tnemtiurcer.

Additional information requested: Submit one (1) professional writing sample. Answer a supplemental questions in 300 words or less: (1) How can the Urban League of Portland have a positive impact on public policy in Oregon?

About the Urban League of Portland: Established in 1945, the Urban League of Portland is one of the oldest African American service, civil rights and advocacy organizations in the region. We are part of a network of over 80 National Urban League Affiliates across the country and are recognized as one of the leading voices for African Americans and others in Oregon and Southwest. We are a key coalition-builder amongst other organizations, and work extensively with both traditional and emerging groups, the faith-based community, businesses, and other organizations, including those serving immigrants and refugees. The Urban League of Portland’s mission is to empower African Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life. Our programs include a distinctive blend of direct services, organizing, outreach, and advocacy. We offer workforce services, community health services, summer youth programming, senior services, meaningful civic engagement opportunities, and powerful advocacy.

Equal Opportunity Statement: The Urban League of Portland is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified employees and applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability, or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.

COMPENSATION: Competitive, based upon experience and education.

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