Legislative Advocate – Housing

Sacramento Office


Western Center on Law and Poverty

For over 50 years, Western Center on Law and Poverty has led the fight to end poverty and secure housing, health care, a strong safety net, and racial and economic justice for all low-income Californians. Western Center brings about system-wide change through impact litigation, legislative, policy and administrative advocacy at the state and federal level, and support for legal services and community based organizations.  With offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Oakland, we are California’s largest legal services support center.  For more information, please visit our website: www.wclp.org.


Position Summary

Western Center seeks an advocate who will work in the state legislature to analyze, sponsor, and pass legislation that benefits our client communities and influence housing policy and regulations. As the state faces an affordable housing crisis, this position provides a unique opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the rights of marginalized low-income tenants to push for statewide tenant protections and just land use policies.


The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of multiple areas of housing law and policy, such as landlord-tenant, fair housing, redevelopment, land use, housing finance, federal and state housing programs, tax policy, foreclosures and low-income homeowner issues, homelessness, health and safety, building codes and enforcement, and mobile homes, and the intersection of these issue areas with racial justice.


This position is located in our Sacramento office and the person hired must be available to be in Sacramento a substantial amount of the year. However, it is possible for a successful candidate to live outside of the Sacramento region, such as in the Bay Area or the northern San Joaquin Valley, and commute to the office. This position reports to the Director of Policy Advocacy.



  • Work with community partners and Western Center’s housing team to determine and execute legislative strategy.
  • Analyze, monitor, and advocate for and against pending legislation, budget proposals, and administrative policies and regulations
  • Develop relationships with legislators and their staff.
  • Testify for or against relevant legislation.
  • Respond to requests for information from public officials, agencies, and the media.
  • Create and disseminate legislative reports, analyses of bill and statutes, and administrative materials to our partners.
  • Work with team to implement legislation after passage, including work with administrative agencies on guidance and training as appropriate.
  • Participate in and manage regional housing policy meetings with local advocates.
  • Answer technical assistance inquiries from local legal services attorneys in areas of expertise.
  • Provide trainings for legal services staff members related to advocacy work.
  • Work within a team while engaging in most work independently.
  • Represent WCLP in various coalitions.
  • Some overnight travel is required. NOTE: No travel will be allowed until January, 2021, maybe longer.



  • Knowledge and understanding of California housing law and policy.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in legislative or policy advocacy, preferably in California.
  • Ability to think creatively, be strategic, and exercise good judgment.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain collaborative working relationships.
  • Ability to develop and work in diverse coalitions in which participants may have multiple interests.
  • Ability to work in a team setting but independent enough to be able to implement team objectives effectively outside the team setting.
  • Ability to work under time pressure.
  • Exemplary ethical standards.
  • Ability to travel, as needed.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with a nonprofit legal services agency.



Salary is very competitive and commensurate with experience. We provide a generous benefits package, including leave policies, vacation, and December holiday office closure at full pay. We provide numerous opportunities and support to ensure our staff are able to grow and develop their professional skills. The salary range begins at $71,886 and increases based on experience.


To Apply

To promote racial and social justice and achieve our mission, Western Center is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace. In your cover letter, please explain how you think your experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Western Center strongly encourages applications from persons of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to effectively representing low-income people and underserved communities.


Applications accepted until the position is filled. Applications preferred by September 21.  Please email a cover letter, résumé, two writing samples, and a list of references to: Stephanie Surabian, Director of Finance and Administration, ssurabian@wclp.org.