Work for Democracy

Executive Director (New Mexico)

Common Cause

Common Cause

New Mexico, USA
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023
We are looking for an entrepreneurial leader to lead Common Cause New Mexico, promoting the Common Cause agenda at the state and national level; fostering a strong, sustainable organization; leading policy analysis, research and litigation efforts, and building coalitions with the local community and work towards new successes.
This role will sustain the incredible momentum of Common Cause New Mexico, which has been New Mexico’s key government watchdog since 1971, most recently focusing on:
· Defending voting rights, playing an instrumental role in creating an election model where ballots are delivered by mail to all voters, in-person voting options are preserved, and same-day voter registration is available; and providing voters with nonpartisan voter information
· Curbing the influence of money in politics, defending contribution limits at our state Capitol, and fighting for stronger campaign finance disclosure laws and expanding public campaign financing programs both at the state and local levels
· Fighting for ethics reforms at the state and local level, helping the State Ethics Commission in their efforts to reform the Governmental Conduct Act, enhancing requirements, penalties and increased enforcement of current laws governing the State’s campaign finance and lobbyist reporting acts, and expanding the adoption of ethics codes and rules governing local governments
· Modernization of the State Legislature, as the nation’s last “unpaid” legislature, New Mexico’s constituents have been chronically underserved and underrepresented at the State Capitol. Common Cause New Mexico is leading the fight to pass legislation that will allow New Mexico’s legislators to be paid a salary and to have a with a full-time, professional staff with expertise in policy and analysis to better serve the public and to allow more citizens to run for office. Without a salary for members of the legislature, many well-qualified New Mexicans cannot afford to hold an elected office.
This role will report in to our Director of State Operations, and is open to start immediately. This role can be based anywhere within New Mexico, though will require regular in-state travel.
Management / Administrative
· Advance the Common Cause agenda and mission, including nonpartisanship
· Manage the operations of Common Cause New Mexico, including supervising and developing state staff, budgeting, fundraising, and developing volunteers and interns
· Work with, develop, and engage a strong state advisory board of directors to develop goals and strategies for achieving mission and organizational goals
· Collaborate with staff in Washington DC, the region, and in other states, including attending Common Cause National virtual and national meetings as invited
· Build and collaborate with various and disparate collation groups in New Mexico by attending meetings and events and supporting collective and collaborative action
Program Strategy and Leadership
· Develop effective, winnable policy reforms at all levels of government and advocate for their passage and implementation in alignment with the Common Cause agenda and mission, including nonpartisanship
· Center racial and gender equity in our democracy agenda
· Develop and execute lobbying strategies to advance democracy reform and to hold elected and appointed officials and other decision-makers accountable
· Oversee Common Cause New Mexico’s Election Protection program
· Produce timely, high quality policy research
· Develop and implement grassroots organizing strategies with Common Cause members to build support for the Common Cause agenda
· Engage members in lobbying and other advocacy and organizational activities
· Build and participate in effective and diverse political and civic coalitions
· Serve as Common Cause Mexico’s spokesperson in responding to inquiries from media, government officials, and others
· Maintain communication with members and the public statewide through social media, website updates, and periodic emailed or written communication
· Plan and hold public education events to inform members and the public about Common Cause issues
· Develop Common Cause brand as expert on issues of democracy, ethics, transparency, government accountability, campaign finance reform, voting laws, and more in New Mexico
Development / Membership
· Raise money from foundations, major donors, members, and special events, and devise other fundraising strategies to fund Common Cause programs, including lobbying efforts
· Write grant proposals and reports to foundations to fund Common Cause programs, including lobbying efforts
· Set, in partnership with the board and national staff, fundraising goals for the New Mexico organization
· Coordinate state membership activities with current members as well as expand membership in the state by engaging new members from diverse constituencies with the organization

You will thrive in this role if you have:

  • A strong commitment to Common Cause’s non-partisan mission and to advancing racial equity through our democracy agenda
  • Familiarity with New Mexico’s local context and legislative process
  • Ability to build rapport, trust and credibility quickly with diverse communities and stakeholders
  • A track record of working collaboratively with others, and of respectfully navigating conflict while maintaining your values
  • A strategic approach to navigating through ambiguity to achieve goals
  • Ability to manage multiple short and long-term projects simultaneously, and comfort with juggling multiple and shifting priorities
  • An ability to compel action (through both written and oral communication)
  • Openness to feedback and awareness of your own strengths and areas for growth
  • A desire to build and manage a team

The following is required:

  • At least five years of nonprofit professional experience being a leader in public interest advocacy campaigns (ideally centered in racial equity and on legislative or ballot-measure work)
  • Experience convening and navigating diverse coalitions
  • Experience drafting and analyzing legislation, preferably in New Mexico
  • Experience drafting campaign and/or annual plans
  • Experience working with the media, and/or as a spokesperson for an organization
  • Fundraising experience (preferably with foundations and major donors in the democracy space)
  • Experience managing staff (preferably five years or more)
  • Ability to be in or travel to Santa Fe at least three days per week during legislative sessions; ability to travel in-state 1-2 times per month on average and out-of-state 1-2 times per year for team and all-staff retreats
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed, especially during legislative sessions
  • Candidates may not currently be in elected office or running for office

We have a preference for candidates who also demonstrate the following:

  • Existing relationships with political community within New Mexico
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and communication tools such as Canva, Action Network, VoteBuilder, social media, etc.

Additional information about this role:

  • This position is classified as supervisory and therefore not included in the union-represented collective bargaining unit.
  • Common Cause is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa at this time; please note that if hired, you will be asked to produce documentation for authorization to work in the US.
Common Cause is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants of any race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, income class, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status, or marital status, as well as applicants who have been previously incarcerated.
Common Cause (501(c)(4)) and Common Cause Education Fund (501(c)(3)) are nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots affiliate organizations dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Common Cause has more than 1.5 million members and supporters living in every Congressional district in the United States, and offices in 25 states around the country.