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Sustainable Communities & Planning Advocate

Montana Environmental Information Center
Helena, MT
Position Summary: The Sustainable Communities & Planning Advocate will develop and implement strategies to create sustainable Montana communities, support land use policies that help to address the climate crisis, and advocate for equitable land use decision-making through the defense of Montana’s existing land use policies and regulatory framework as well as through the creation of creative and strong land use policies in Montana. This position will lobby the legislature and other government officials, work with local and state agencies, and engage in public advocacy, organizing, and outreach. Issues include, but are not limited to subdivision regulation, protection of water resources, planning and zoning, and equitable and sustainable communities and housing. To Apply: Please combine a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample, and the names and contact information for three references into a single PDF file and email by May 14th to [email protected] The position is open until filled. RESPONSIBILITIES Program Related Activities: 50% -Assist in the development and implementation of campaigns and programs that result in the adoption of innovative and equitable policies and rules that improve housing affordability and sustainable land use practices. -Research effective sustainable land use practices in Montana and across the West and assist in the development of policies and/or legislation that would implement sustainable land use practices. -Defend Montana’s existing regulatory framework against efforts to undermine the protection it affords to communities and the environment. -Work with local governments and planners to identify and encourage sustainable development and affordable housing. -Help local governments adopt and implement plans and ordinances that provide affordable and sustainable land use practices. -Coordinate with state, regional, and national organizations and individuals to develop policies promoting affordable and sustainable land use practices. -Assist MEIC’s Clean Energy Advocate in implementing programs that aid in the equitable transition towards electrification of buildings and transportation in Montana. -Serve as a registered lobbyist during the Montana legislative session and interim legislative committees. These duties include but are not limited to conversing with legislators and other stakeholders, research, drafting legislation and fact sheets, conducting outreach to members and supporters, testifying at hearings, and representing MEIC in a favorable and professional manner. Periodically work with federal elected officials and agencies on sustainable land use policies. Organizing and Outreach: 40% -Work with MEIC staff to develop and implement grassroots education and advocacy programs to build support for sustainable land use practices. -Help build and manage a coalition of individuals, organizations, businesses, and community leaders across the state to develop and defend policies that promote affordable housing, clean air and water, open space and agricultural lands, the climate, sustainability, and the constitutional rights to a clean and healthful environment and the right to participate. -In coordination with other staff, help prepare written and visual materials, such as policy papers, fact sheets, presentations, action alerts, newsletter articles, and social media communications. -Develop strong working relationships with news media, including reporter education and speaking at press events. Work with MEIC staff to develop and implement media and social media campaigns. -Represent MEIC at conferences, events, meetings, and other public speaking engagements on issues consistent with MEIC’s strategic plan. -Stay up-to-date on current environmental, technical, and political events. Administration: 10% -Work with MEIC staff to develop and implement social media strategies. -Write and review member alerts for events and issues. -Write newsletter articles, blogs, and social media materials. -Participate in staff and board of directors meetings. -When requested, participate in staff evaluation processes. -Track work time and submit monthly time reports in a timely manner. -Assist with fundraising. -Assist in preparation of the organization’s annual budget. Participate in board meetings, retreats, and member events. -Comply with MEIC Board policies as necessary. -Participate in the preparation of annual and long-range plans. -Help maintain a safe, collegial, clean, and productive work environment. Job Title: Sustainable Communities & Planning Advocate Location: There is a preference for Helena, Montana, though other locations in the state will be considered for the right candidate. Full-time presence in Helena is required during the legislative session (Jan. 1, 2023 through April 30, 2023) Type: Full time. The position is funded for one year. There is potential for permanent status if funding permits and program benefits are demonstrated. Reports to: Water Policy Director/Staff Attorney Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state and out-of-state required Compensation: $47,000 to $50,000/year. MEIC offers a competitive benefits package that includes: paid vacation and holiday leave, sick and family leave, and health insurance. Additionally, retirement account contributions begin after two years of employment, and sabbatical leave is available after seven years of employment. Knowledge, Competencies, & Skills: -Bachelor’s degree is required. A graduate degree or comparable work in a related field is preferred. -Three years of experience in land use regulation and/or planning, or a related field is strongly preferred. However, MEIC encourages applications from those with a passion for land use protections and who meet other qualifications. -Understanding of Montana’s land use regulatory framework and its connection to the climate crisis and equity. -Keen awareness of Montana’s political landscape, especially as it pertains to environmental and land use issues and policies. -Commitment to diversity, equity, and justice and an understanding of how these values intersect with environmental and land use issues. -Excellent communication skills. Strong and persuasive public speaking and writing skills. Capacity to understand legal issues and translate them into accessible, engaging language. Ability to facilitate conversations as needed. -Social and emotional intelligence. -Highly-motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently. The ability to lead and work effectively in a team environment. An understanding of and demonstrated effectiveness in working in a coalition of individuals and organizations with potentially disparate interests. -Demonstrated leadership skills. -Comfortable with confrontational advocacy and resilient in high stress conditions. -Demonstrated ability to think and act quickly, strategically, and enthusiastically. -Lobbying experience preferred but not required. -Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. -Ability to work on multiple projects at a time. Please visit our website for more information about the position and about MEIC.