Job: Political Director – San Jose

Title Political Director – San Jose
Location San Jose

The Political Director is responsible for managing the union’s program to strengthen its political infrastructure and achieve its strategic objectives to engage its members in exercising their strong and effective voice at their worksite, in legislative arenas and at the ballot box. The Political Director will be a member of the Senior Staff and will be a key advisor to the leaders of the Union.

The ideal candidate for the position will have senior-level leadership experience in legislative or political organizing campaigns with a labor union or association, non-profit community organization or progressive elective official. She/he will be an experienced manager with the ability to effectively manage a small staff and will possess the capacity to work collaboratively with a diverse staff and stakeholders.

Successful managers at SEIU Local 521 have a progressive orientation and can be nimble in shifting priorities to the changing needs of a growing, dynamic organization. The successful candidate for the position will have a commitment to building a 21st-century workers’ movement, to racial equality, and to the mission and values of SEIU Local 521.

You will be responsible for:


  • Working with Local leadership to develop and implement public policy and political advocacy strategies various counties and municipalities where Local 521 represents members;
  • Working with the International Union to coordinate the Local’s political activities and plans with those of the International Union at the Federal, State and Local levels;
  • Working with the Local leadership, directors, and field staff to coordinate political field activities, lobby visits, phone banking, and events for our public policy campaigns at the city, county, state and federal level;
  • Coordinating the union’s candidate interview and endorsement process, including developing candidate questionnaires and making recommendations on candidate endorsements and contributions;
  • Coordinating political messaging and engagement strategies with the union’s member communications staff;
  • Identifying and developing members for potential elected and appointed political or community positions;
  • Providing support to representational staff for the recruitment, training, leadership development and coordination of member political activists for political fundraising and mobilization for electoral and issue campaigns;
  • Planning and implementing the electoral program for local, state and federal elections;
  • Supporting contract and organizing campaigns by integrating political strategy into the campaign planning, including rallies, press events, legislative opportunities, and other targeted political activity;
  • Building the union’s capacity through support of the Local and SEIU’s COPE program and other grassroots political fundraising drives;
  • Coordinating the union’s political work with the SEIU Illinois State Council and other labor and community allies; and
  • Working with Local leadership to identify community, political and civic organizations with whom the Local shares values and interests, and develop and implement outreach and engagement with those allies.
What you will need to do the job:

Education and Experience Requirements
The ability to thrive and operate in a fast-paced mission driven environment requires that the ideal candidate will possess a quick thinking and adaptable style that understands the benefits of “leading from the side” to affect change and drive progress. Additionally she/he will, be an experienced professional who performs successfully and with good humor, in the face of ambiguity and complexity. While no candidate is expected to possess all of these qualities, the ideal candidate will demonstrate the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in diverse communities and individuals.
  • Ability to work independently as well as on a team
  • Excellent oral and written communication and listening skills
  • At least five years’ experience in political and/or advocacy work with progressively increasing responsibility and leadership
  • Willingness to work long, irregular hours, including evenings and weekends
  • Willingness and ability to travel including overnight travel and assignments.
  • Computer literacy and a willingness and ability to learn the organization’s technology tools
  • Strong personal planning, motivation, and time management skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Must possess a valid California driver’s license; must pass a DMV check and have a good driving record; must have auto insurance that covers business driving (minimum of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per incident bodily injury liability/$100,000 property coverage); and must possess an automobile for business use.



  • Annual salary depending on experience
  • Fully paid dependent health, vision, dental, disability, and life insurance
  • Employer paid SEIU pension plan
  • Liberal vacation, sick and comp time

Send cover letter and resume to Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer;
Attention: Pamela Rodgers, Administrative Director
2302 Zanker Road, San Jose, CA 95131
Fax: 408-954-1538
No phone calls, please.

This position is open until filled; however, the posting/acceptance of applications may close at any time.

SEIU Local 521 is an affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, or disability. SEIU Local 521 works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

About SEIU Local 521
SEIU Local 521 was founded in 2007 when 5 local unions came together in the Bay Area, Central Coast and Central Valley to form one larger, more powerful union. Together our members are building a true 21st century union fighting to empower and improve the lives of our members. We represent 40,000 public service workers in cities, counties, courts, schools, private non-profits, special districts and public health care. We are looking for energetic, hardworking staff that is committed to real change, who believes in the value of work and the value of public services, and who wants to be part of the team that wins for workers, their families, and their communities.

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