Sacramento-Based Policy Advocate or Legislative Counsel

Public Advocates is excited to announce a position on our Metropolitan Equity Team for a Policy Advocate or Legislative Counsel to join our Sacramento office.

For nearly 50 years, Public Advocates Inc. has been at the forefront of social justice movements in California as a bold and highly regarded civil rights law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination.  We pride ourselves on skillfully deploying a diverse set of legal and policy tools to achieve tangible legal victories and help low-income communities of color build their power to participate effectively in public decision-making.

Our Metropolitan Equity Team is recognized statewide for effective local, regional and statewide advocacy and our commitment to supporting our grassroots partners’ power-building efforts.  We are at the forefront of statewide advocacy and coalition building to promote racial and economic justice by increasing affordable housing, protecting vulnerable renters and communities from displacement, ensuring equitable transportation policies and funding, and advancing climate justice and a Green New Deal.  Our work includes leadership roles in important statewide coalitions and co-sponsorship of major legislation on these issues.  Visit our website to learn more about our team’s work in these areas.


The Policy Advocate or Legislative Counsel we welcome to our team will: (a) engage and advocate with members and staff of the California Legislature, the Governor’s Office and state agencies; (b) collaborate deeply with grassroots and community-based organizations to ensure state policy advocacy is driven by residents of low‐income communities of color across the state; and (c) work with other members of our legal and policy teams to ensure consistency of our state advocacy with local and regional campaigns.  Key responsibilities will include:

  • Legislative and Administrative Advocacy: Monitor, develop and analyze state policy proposals in our issue areas, and promote the policy agenda of Public Advocates and our coalition partners in both legislative and administrative agency decisions affecting the needs of disadvantaged communities
  • Coalition Work: Participate in developing statewide networks and coalitions of grassroots and policy organizations, and in building the capacity of local and grassroots groups to advocate effectively for state policy and investment reforms
  • Strategy: Help inform and shape strategic directions in our program work, incorporating policy advocacy, community collaboration, media and communication to achieve our objectives
  • Communication: Support the team and our communication staff to develop and execute outreach and media strategies, including messaging, community education, writing and representing Public Advocates and coalitions to the press and public


  • Experience, ability and motivation to do the highest caliber policy work; successful candidate will have at least at least three years of policy advocacy, campaign or legislative experience or equivalent, at the state or local level
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and, specifically, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively about policy issues to various audiences
  • Strong political instincts and judgment
  • Motivation and experience working with communities of color and/or low‐income communities and commitment to community empowerment
  • The capacity to collaborative effectively with both our team and with our allies, and to work independently to promote Public Advocates’ policy agenda
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to successfully manage multiple and changing priorities and deadlines
  • For the Legislative Counsel position, a JD and California Bar Admission are required.
  • Preference for one or more of the following:
    • Familiarity with policy in one or more of our issue areas of affordable housing, renters’ rights, transportation planning and funding, displacement and/or Green New Deal
    • Experience coordinating community coalitions, campaigns and/or policy coalitions
    • Experience working with base‐building groups and community organizers

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 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 Policy Advocate or Legislative Counsel would report to our downtown Sacramento office,* as this position would include in-person advocacy to the Legislature as well as administrative agencies.  Our Sacramento office is located just blocks from the Capitol, convenient to public transportation (we offer access to tax-advantaged commuter benefits).  Some travel likely, mostly within Sacramento and to the San Francisco Bay Area, but also to other parts of California.

Competitive salary range of $70,000 to $80,000+.  Salary considerations include relevant experience and internal equity.  Benefits include full health and dental insurance for employee and eligible family members; life and long-term disability insurance; generous vacation; 403(b) retirement plan; and paid sabbatical after 7 years.

*At the time of this posting all our staff are working from home through March 31, 2021.  We anticipate a return to the office (and travel) when it is safe to do so.

Application Instructions

Applications welcome immediately as we seek to fill this position as soon as possible.  To be considered, applications must include: 1) a cover letter that a) explains your specific interest in this role and in our advocacy model, b) addresses how your identity and background have prepared you to be an effective advocate for social justice and c) describes a project or challenge you have managed that will help us understand your qualifications; 2) a resume; 3) writing sample(s) that illustrate your reasoning and communication skills; and 4) names of three references, at least two of whom have directly supervised your work.  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.