Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

Water Leadership Strategist - Visalia

Title: Water Leadership Strategist

Organization: Community Water Center

Location: Visalia, CA

PDF version available here.

The Community Water Center (CWC) acts as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy. We seek to build and enhance leadership capacity and local community power around water issues, create a regional movement for water justice in California, and enable every community to have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.

At CWC, we believe that safe, clean, and affordable water is a human right, not a privilege. Our organizing and advocacy work, community collaborations, and organizational culture all reflect a concern for equity, mutual respect, appreciation for diversity, and environmental and social justice. We are looking for candidates who share our values, who bring a willingness to contribute to our mission and to the growth of a new organization, and who are open to developing their skills.

Position Description

The Water Leadership Strategist is primarily responsible for coordinating the Community Water Leaders Network (CWLN) and supporting efforts to build regional power. CWLN is a network of 22 elected representatives from city councils, county board of supervisors, local water boards, public utilities districts, community service districts, school boards who have made a commitment to securing safe, clean and affordable water for their communities. The network is designed to support local elected decision makers by connecting leaders to each other for peer support and mentorship, providing accurate information and water expertise, and by sharing information on opportunities to secure safe and affordable drinking water.

Local governments hold significant power when it comes to securing long-term solutions to drinking water challenges as key project sponsors to secure and manage funding, engage community members, and advocate at the regional and state levels for policies that work for their communities. In the Southern San Joaquin Valley, the majority of local water boards are not having elections, leading to a significant gap in democratic representation of communities. Local elected seats are also the starting point for higher office and critical to building a pipeline of community-focused progressive leadership at all levels of government.

The goals of the Network are: 1) local elected leaders have the necessary information, skills and knowledge to address water concerns in their communities, 2) to create a platform for leaders across the Valley to support and give advice to other leaders in order to build regional power, and 3) increase access to safe and affordable water for all Californians.

The Water Leadership Strategist is a full-time position based out of our Visalia office. The Water Leadership Strategist will report to the Regional Water Management Coordinator, and will work with CWC staff, the Executive Director, Valley community members, as well as members of partner organizations and agencies, and various interns.

Major Responsibilities:

Program Strategy

  • Work closely with the Regional Water Management Coordinator and Executive Director to develop and refine the program and campaign strategy to sustain and grow the Network, set goals, identify resources needed, and evaluate progress toward those goals.
  • Work with the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager to articulate the vision of the Network, highlight successes, and identify ongoing needs to sustain and grow the network to inform fundraising efforts, grant applications, funder communications and CWC online newsletters and other fundraising materials

Program duties:

  • Implement core components of the Network with the goal of engaging current members and advancing their motivation and ability to secure safe and affordable drinking water:
    • Get to know each member and identify their specific needs and goals as it relates to leadership on drinking water issues and provide one-on-one for mentorship, guidance and support;
    • Provide tailored, ongoing technical assistance and support to members and connect them to additional support and resources as needed (legal, technical, etc);
    • Coordinate and host quarterly roundtables including developing agenda, event materials, translating materials, providing interpretation, coordinating speakers, and managing event logistics. Roundtables are an opportunity for CWLN members to build connections with one another and to learn skills information about a relevant drinking water topic such as affordability, groundwater management, and board member responsibilities;
    • Compose and distribute monthly CWLN newsletter with relevant drinking water information including policy updates, funding opportunities and status updates on relevant local water processes;
    • Maintain CWLN google listserv: send periodic emails with reminders and opportunities;
    • Curriculum development: revise existing materials and develop bilingual curriculum for trainings to support local elected leaders;
    • Facilitate interactions between CWLN members and other local, regional, and state decision makers in order to build relationships and to advocate for drinking water policy.
  • Develop a strong sense of network leadership development throughout all programming and strengthen network connections between different CWLN cohort groups.
  • Developing CWLN bilingual communications including program outreach, recruitment materials and website updates.
  • Identifying and promoting mentorship opportunities between members to support the promotion of best practices and peer learning.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Community Outreach and Network Promotion:

  • Support ongoing analysis and maintain up-to-date information about local water board vacancies and seats up for elections in key water districts.
  • Develop and revise education and outreach materials on how to run for a local water board.
  • Coordinate community meetings to share information about the importance of local water boards and about the steps community leaders can take to run for their board.
  • Encourage and provide support for community leaders interested in running for their local water board.
  • Coordinating the CWLN cohort formation process including identifying potential new members and promoting their participation, conducting interviews and selections with the help of the CWLN Steering Committee, and facilitating the introduction of new members.
  • Develop community awareness of CWLN and build positive connections with other water leadership programs, resources, and networks in the Central Valley.
  • Work with the Community Water Center Action Fund to develop and implement an electoral strategy for endorsing community leaders running for their local water board.
  • Coordinate local and regional candidate forums, as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.

General Duties

  • Foster an environment that promotes trust and cooperation amongst CWC staff, community members, and affiliate organizations.
  • Actively participate in program strategy, staff meetings, and staff retreat.
  • Support the tracking and reporting of CWC’s activities for internal evaluation, grants reports and contractual obligations.
  • Actively participate in CWC fund development activities, such as donor drives, online appeals, and other events.
  • Other duties as assigned

Note: Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Required Qualifications:

  • Strong passion for and commitment to social and environmental justice.
  • Experience with political organizing, developing political campaigns, or political strategy.
  • Experience with leadership network development.
  • Experience working with low-income communities and/or communities of color.
  • Experience working in the Central Valley.
  • Fluent in Spanish (written and oral).
  • Proficient in Microsoft and Google Office Suites.
  • Excellent communication skills, typing, good organizational skills and willingness to learn new programs.
  • Proven ability to work in a collaborative, fast-paced office environment and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to accept praise and critical feedback – the ideal candidate would value self improvement and seek evaluation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in sustainable local water management planning and/or policy or related fields
  • 3-5 or more years’ experience in successful local leadership development programs or political campaigning/organizing.
  • Direct experience with local drinking water policy or project development

Starting date: OPEN UNTIL FILLED

Salary: Competitive salary based on experience and qualifications.

Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package which includes: medical, dental and vision insurance; generous vacation, family and sick leave and holiday policies; flexible work schedule; professional development opportunities and more. (Benefits guidelines and eligibility vary based on tenure and employment status, among other factors.)

To apply: Email your resume and cover letter to Adriana Renteria

adriana.renteria@communitywatercenter.org.

Community Water Center is committed to providing equal opportunity to qualified job applicants and employees and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability (including pregnancy), mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

To learn more about the Community Water Center and our programs, visit our website at www.communitywatercenter.org.

PDF version available here.