For 50 years Public Advocates Inc. has been on the frontlines of social justice movements in California. As a bold and highly regarded nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination, we pride ourselves on our ability to skillfully deploy a diverse set of hard-hitting communication strategies to achieve tangible legal & policy victories in education, housing and transportation that help low-income communities of color build power and raise their voices in public decision-making.

Over the last 18 months, we have seen the disproportionate impact of the COVID pandemic on communities of color – the COVID crisis has exposed even further the inequities built into our housing, education and transportation systems.  These factors, combined with the renewed movement for Black lives and racial justice and a shifting political landscape, mean that we are in a once-in-a-generation moment to broaden and deepen grassroots power and to win truly transformative change.  We believe that communications using social and earned media deployed in partnership with grassroots groups plays a critical role in that effort.

Some examples of recent work that our communications team has engaged in:

  • Oakland Renters Demand Justice: Media strategy, social media campaign and a Zoom tele-presser in collaboration with grassroots group and renters to announce a lawsuit against an Oakland 28th Avenue landlord for deplorable conditions and treatment of residents. Resulted in coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, Telemundo and Oaklandside.
  • AB 705 Enforcement: Video, social media and ad campaign to support community college students unlawfully railroaded into remedial classes that delay graduation; coordinated with legal action. Resulted in 32,000 views of video targeting top statewide decisionmakers.

We are excited to announce an opening on our small but dynamic communications team for a Communications Associate who is skilled in both traditional and digital media to promote and advance the advocacy work of our program teams, community partners and allies.  Reporting directly to the Director of Communication, the Communications Associate will also provide execution and implementation support for general organizational and development-related communication.


  • Program Communications: Assist team w/development and execution of media plans and action campaigns with program staff as assigned; draft, format, execute press materials, and alerts as needed in consultation with team and program staff; provide support to program teams in preparing, formatting and releasing reports
  • Website: Work w/team to generate and upload creative content to website (blog posts, articles/news clips, video, other documents) and related media; send staff alerts regarding press hits; review content daily and proactively advise the Director of Communication on content updates to website; respond to website publishing requests as needed and complete regular website updates as assigned
  • Digital Media: Assist w/creating and maintaining digital editorial calendar; generate and execute daily content and ads, including visual content on FB, Twitter and other social media channels; track, analyze and report on web and digital communication metrics; assist team w/production and distribution of e-newsletter
  • Press Relations: Support press release function including maintenance of press lists and logging of press interactions with reporters and press outlets throughout and beyond California
  • General Organization Communication: Maintain organizational video and photo library; take photos as assigned or work with photographers, acting as liaison with program teams on media campaigns; create communications assets/products using graphic design or work with contracted graphic designers on said products
  • Development Communication: Format and send key development-related e-communication pieces (e.g., appeals, fundraising campaigns); assist development team w/copy editing and content-checking of fundraising appeals; work w/development team to draft, upload and maintain development-related content to the website; provide day-of execution support for organization events


  • Minimum of 2-3 years of experience in communications-related position
  • Ability to independently generate and update program communication content and products and to assist with other writing assignments; strong writing, grammatical, verbal, interpersonal communications skills; talent for editing, fact-checking and proofreading documents
  • Ability to update and post on WordPress website as well as set up and send e-action alerts via Muster, Constant Contact (or demonstrated aptitude for learning how to skillfully use new software tools)
  • Experience and savvy with social media and web integration w/social media
  • Ability to perform basic graphic design using tools like Canva; demonstrated facility working with social media assets
  • Some experience with media relations, general understanding of how reporters do their work and what is considered news (i.e., journalism-school background or studies in communications or journalism)
  • Experience and skill managing short deadlines and multiple, simultaneous tasks; demonstrated initiative in assigned work areas
  • Preference for candidates w/:
    • Demonstrated interest in using communication as a social justice advocacy tool
    • Willingness to learn new information/content related to Public Advocates’ policy areas
    • Experience working in coalitions or with other social justice advocacy organizations

Qualities expected of all Public Advocates staff include integrity, high professional standards, commitment to progressive social change and working successfully with diverse colleagues, clients and community partners.  This includes active participation in promoting healthy workplace culture through our organizational diversity and inclusion initiative – an ongoing and intensive process of communication, trust-building and learning about our individual and organizational areas for growth.  We strive to build a culture of cooperation and mutual support and value flexibility, resilience, optimism, curiosity and a sense of humor.

Compensation & Work Setting

The position is full-time (37.5 hours/week), exempt position.  The starting salary range for this role is $51,000-$55,000 depending on experience.  Benefits include full health and dental insurance for employee and eligible family members; life and long-term disability insurance; generous vacation and paid holidays; 403(b) retirement plan; and paid sabbatical after 7 years.

We are open to candidates who are within commuting distance to either of our San Francisco or Sacramento offices.  Our San Francisco headquarters is currently located on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  Our downtown Sacramento office is located a few blocks from the Capitol.  Both are convenient to public transit and we offer access to tax-advantaged commuter benefits.

*At the time of this posting all our staff are working from home.  We anticipate a return to the office when it is safe to do so but have not yet confirmed a return date.  We are also in the process of designing a return to the office that meets the needs of both the organization as well as the staff.

Application Instructions

Applications welcome immediately; position open until filled.  To be considered, applications must include: 1) a cover letter that a) explains your specific interest in this role, b) addresses how your identity and lived experience have informed your desire to use your skills to advance social justice and c) describes both a traditional communications project and a digital media project you have managed or contributed significantly to that will help us understand your qualifications; and 2) a resume.  Submit your application (and/or questions) by email to


Public Advocates seeks to fill this position with someone who shares our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.  We encourage all interested individuals to apply — especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people with disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or anyone belonging to any other federal or state protected category.  Read our Diversity Vision Statement here.

Communications Associate
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