Legislative Advocacy Director
- Experience Level
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) works to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play and worship in Georgia communities. GCDD is one of 55 entities of its type in the United States and territories that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It is authorized under Public Law 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000. Our activities are governed by a 27-member board, appointed by the Governor and comprised of at least 60 percent individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. Other members include policymakers that represent various agencies and organizations having a vested interested in persons with developmental disabilities. Today, the GCDD continues to serve as an advocate for all persons with developmental disabilities. We are charged with creating systems change for people with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity and self-determination. Activities include public policy research and analysis, reform, project demonstrations, education and training. Since our inception in 1971, we have been a powerful advocate for more than 1.7 million Georgians with developmental disabilities and their families.
With the many policy changes and challenges that face people with developmental disabilities and their families, GCDD seeks to hire a Legislative Advocacy Director to work with the GCDD Public Policy Research Director. The successful candidate will work with the Public Policy Research Director to create and advocate for conceptually coherent policies for the integration of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and the people who support them. Together, these positions create, implement and oversee the GCDD public policy program and agenda. The focus of this position is working with and through others, building and maintaining relationships and working closely and accurately within established guidelines. The ability to interact comfortably with all kinds of people is important. This position requires superb research, written and verbal communication skills, experience working with local, state, and federal policy makers, skills in facilitating the development and operations of coalitions, and significant computer skills. The successful candidate must be detail oriented and a well-organized problem solver who is self-directed as well as a committed team player and leader.
The Legislative Advocacy Director will bring expertise and passion for promoting public policy on the state and federal levels that result in people with developmental disabilities and their families being more independent, productive, included and integrated in their community and self determined in their lives.
This Position will:
1. Work with the Public Policy Research Director in educating State and Federal legislators about issues important to people with developmental disabilities. Serves as representative of agency to Georgia legislature, Congressional Delegation, state and federal agencies, and national and regional associations. Responds to stakeholder requests/inquiries regarding constituents or providers in a timely manner.Coordinates with members of the Georgia General Assembly and state agency officials on agency issues that may impact services. Maintains a thorough knowledge of federal legislation that impacts people with developmental disabilities and the Council.
2. Coordinates and administers the Council's public policy program. The Legislative Advocacy Director will develop and implement the GCDD legislative program based on the Council's established programmatic and legislative priorities. The Director will work with Council members, staff, advocates, and others to identify topics that may warrant legislation or legislative budget approval. This includes coordinating efforts to recommend an annual legislative agenda founded in programmatic knowledge of shared goals and objectives with stakeholders; developing a process to identify issues early and preparation of materials for discussion and adoption of public policy statements; tracking changes in legislation, or reviews newly enacted legislation and analyzes how these changes may impact agency, people with disabilities and their families; and, making recommendations for new policy to appropriate individuals and or groups.
3. Creates and disseminates policy documents and legislative updates in support of the Council’s legislative and policy priorities. This includes researching national best practices on issues related to people with developmental disabilities, synthesizes information and makes recommendations as requested. Participates collaboratively with Council members and staff, other government agencies and community stakeholders in developing joint policy and position statements
4. Insures mobilization of grassroots advocacy on critical state and federal policy campaigns. Works with state and national advocates to develop coalitions that work on public policy issues using established models and best practices. Develops and implements training for individuals with disabilities, their families, professionals, and community members on how to effectively advocate for relevant state and federal policy.Develops and maintains a grassroots advocacy database that includes advocates, their Representative and Senator, and their contact information so that advocacy campaigns can be intentional and targeted to maximize impact.Supports advocates to contact and/or meet with their Representatives and Senators through coaching and modeling.
5. Review/develop pertinent legislative proposals and determine impact on the agency. The Policy Research and Development Director will work with the Public Policy Director to monitor legislation proposed during the legislative session. The Director will work with staff and other advocates to track changes in legislation, or review newly enacted legislation and analyze how these changes may impact people with disabilities and their families.
The best candidates for the Legislative Advocacy Director’s position will have completed a doctorate or master's degree in public policy, public administration or a related field and have previous work experience with policy makers and/or advocacy organizations especially in the area of public policies impacting people with developmental disabilities.The ideal candidate will have:
• Strong working knowledge of state government operations, including state legislative tracking experience.
• Strong written and oral communication skills with the ability to understand and communicate effectively with people who have developmental disabilities, their families, professionals, policy makers, and support/advocacy groups.
• Experience in training and mobilizing grassroots advocacy on state and federal level policies.
• Experience lobbying and/or frequently meeting with state legislators and government officials.
• Experience in convening task forces, coalitions and workgroups, and communicating with a varied array of stakeholders on the products and results of those efforts.
GCDD is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation, disability, and any other classification considered discriminatory under applicable law.