HOUSING JUSTICE ORGANIZER
JOB DESCRIPTION-ONE NORTHSIDE
TITLE: Housing Justice Organizer
SUPERVISED BY: Organizing Director, Deputy Organizing Director, or Lead Organizer
SUPERVISES: interns, as assigned
SALARY/HOURLY, EXEMPT OR NONEXEMPT: Salary, Exempt
ONE Northside is seeking an energetic and highly organized Housing Justice Organizer to support ONE Northside’s campaigns to increase funding for affordable housing, preserve and increase the number of affordable units on the north side, and improve the living conditions in affordable buildings. A successful candidate for this position is an individual who takes initiative, has a track record of working with a diverse group of people, and wants to engage in organizing for change on the local, state and federal level. An ideal candidate is someone with a serious hunger to build tenant power, and who is rooted in a deep commitment to racial, economic and social justice.
Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside (ONE Northside) is a community organization resulting from the merger of Lakeview Action Coalition and Organization of the Northeast. Together, LAC and ONE have a history of nearly 60 years of powerful and effective community organizing. ONE Northside started on July 1, 2013. ONE Northside organizes people from over 80 institutions as well as individual community residents from Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown, Ravenswood, North Center, Lake View, and Lincoln Park.
Mission: Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside is a mixed-income, multi-ethnic, intergenerational organization that unites our diverse communities. We build collective power to eliminate injustice through bold and innovative community organizing. We accomplish this through developing grassroots leaders and acting together to effect change.
The ONE Northside Housing Justice Organizer’s main focus will be to build tenant power. This organizer will work with Organizing Department leadership, Housing Justice Team staff and leaders to develop a strategy to build a tenant base. They will organize tenants in affordable housing buildings – both subsidized and naturally occurring, including Single Room Occupancy Hotels – to improve living conditions in those buildings, preserve those units as affordable, and to support larger structural change campaigns ONE Northside and ONE People’s Campaign supports. Currently these campaigns include: Bring Chicago Home, the Waitlist Transparency Ordinance, and the National Homes Guarantee. This organizer will also have a focus on organizing tenants to win resources and improvements in their buildings through recently won resources at the city (SRO Preservation Loan Fund) and federal (Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Bill) levels.
The organizer will do this by building relationships with poor and working-class tenants in north side housing buildings and institutions where these tenants participate; working to identify tenant leaders and develop their leadership abilities; organizing and attending campaign, coalition, and other organizational meetings; working with grassroots leadership to coordinate comprehensive campaign strategies; conducting research; assisting with organizational events and trainings; and other tasks as needed. This will involve regular, independent door-to-door canvassing and phone banking.
- Reach out to tenants in naturally occurring or subsidized affordable housing buildings, clients at social service agencies, and other public institutions to identify new community members to take action on housing justice campaigns (including new building-specific fights, as well as existing Housing Justice Team-wide campaigns)
- Cultivate a diverse team of community members to develop winning strategies for strategic campaign(s) by creating and executing plans to achieve campaign goals. This will include using tactics such as meeting with elected officials, public education, direct action, strategic communications, and more.
- Conduct research on policy, processes, and issues important to the organization and our campaigns, and train community members to do research themselves.
- Mentor and develop the leadership skills of community members by supporting them in taking on roles in the housing justice campaign and other organizational activities.
- Create and lead popular education and skill building trainings to develop the leadership of grassroots members.
- Meet with grassroots and grasstops community members on issues impacting them, determine their interests, and bring them into the organization.
- Build relationships with service providers and support tenants in addressing immediate needs by connecting them to local resources
- Work with grassroots leaders to participate in city, statewide, and national coalitions that advance our campaigns
- Support the activities of ONE People’s Campaign, our 501c4 sister organization
- Plan events and meetings from start to finish including preparing the agenda, securing the logistics, ensuring radical hospitality, and generating the turnout. Support on these elements of events planned by other team members.
- Prepare written weekly progress reports, meeting summaries, press releases, and related materials as they pertain to the work
- Participate in quarterly grassroots fundraising tactics and support grant fundraising by identifying and drafting grant proposals and reports, participating in and preparing leaders for site visits.
- Participate in weekly staff meetings, bi-monthly joint housing organizer meetings, quarterly staff retreats, quarterly Membership Council meetings
- Develop and maintain relationships with leaders in our institutional members, engage them in our quarterly membership meetings, and help recruit new institutional and individual members.
- Assist the management team with other tasks, as assigned
- Preferred 1-3 years of organizing experience.
- Familiarity with a diverse range of organizing tactics and strategies
- Proven ability to work with a diverse constituency, across lines of race, class, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion and other differences
- Serious appetite and excitement to go door-to-door, make calls, meet new community members and bring them into the work in order to build power
- Commitment to racial equity and overcoming white supremacy, you recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in shaping disparities among communities and you consistently amplify community voices to advocate for more equitable solutions. You recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome, reflect on, and act on feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about race, ability, and other lines of difference.
- Experience working in coalitions is a plus
- Effective communication skills
- Effective and creative problem solver
- Must be a motivated self-starter who can juggle many moving pieces
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Proficient with google suite and other computer skills
- Innovative, creative, mature thinking and reasoning
- Demonstrated commitment to (or interest in) the profession of community organizing
- Willing to use confrontation as a tactic for winning justice
- Commitment to training and agitation methodology as a tool for growth and accountability
- BA degree or equivalent life experience
- Fluency in a second language is a plus
- Having a car is preferred
This is a community organizing job and will require attendance at night and weekend meetings. ONE Northside is an equal opportunity employer.
- Salary is in the $48,175 – $56,191 commensurate with experience
- Comprehensive benefits package includes employer paid medical and dental insurance. Employer contribution of 4.5% of salary into a retirement plan. 13 paid vacation and personal days the first year, 12 wellness days and 18 paid holidays.
To Apply – Please send a resume and cover letter to Becky Wanberg at bw******@on**********.org with the subject line Housing Justice Tenant Organizer. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. We expect interviews to begin in February 2024.
Last updated: January 2024