Oakland Rising Action is a multi-racial progressive organization working in service of working-class, immigrant and communities of color living in the flatlands of East and West Oakland. We educate and mobilize Oaklanders to take bold action at the ballot box to ensure that our government is open, transparent and accountable to everyday Oaklanders. Through innovation, commitment and persistence, Oakland Rising Action builds grassroots political power to elect a progressive governing majority that will fight for healthy and stable communities, safer neighborhoods, and good jobs for all.

Open positions:

  • Executive Director

Executive Director

Start Date: January 4, 2021
Location: Oakland, CA
Schedule: Full-time
Salary: $80,000 – $100,000; Competitive salary ranging from $80,000-$100,000, depending on experience, plus a competitive compensation and benefits package, and a team-oriented yet flexible working environment.

Oakland Rising (OR)/Oakland Rising Action (ORA) seek a political strategist skilled in building member organizations and coalitions and who knows how to win elections, ballot measures, and organizing and policy campaigns to advance progressive political power in Oakland. OR project of Movement Strategy Center (MSC), a 501(c)(3) exempt organization. ORA is a project of Movement Strategy Center Action Fund (MSCAF), a 501(c)(4) exempt organization. In order to advance the work of OR and ORA, we are looking for someone who will bring to the Executive Director role a personal understanding of Oakland politics and relationships with key stakeholders in Oakland and throughout Alameda County. The successful candidate will confidently cultivate and build the relationships with supporters, donors, funders, and allies necessary to sustain and grow the OR and ORA projects and who understands the importance of aligning and building the power of movement organizations. They will be able to jump in easily on strategy and feel comfortable with being the external face of the projects. They will also understand the distinctions between 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) activity and be capable of managing the appropriate separateness of the OR and ORA projects. The Executive Director will be an employee of MSC and will also provide Executive Director services, on behalf of MSC, to the ORA project at MSCAF. 

Who We Are
OR works to build the power of working class families, immigrants, and people of color in Oakland to advance racial, economic, and environmental justice. OR plays three key roles to achieve our mission:
●     Builds and exercises progressive power through integrated strategies, including base-building and policy advocacy.
●     Aligns and coordinates citywide and regional progressive forces through our collaborative model to build power & profile for the social justice movement.
●     Recruits, trains, advances and supports progressive leaders who lead in a collaborative, accountable and values-based way that centers social justice.
Over the past twelve years, OR’s operation has grown into one of the largest, most enduring and most sophisticated programs in the region, having built a voter base that comprises 60,000 voters (over 25% of Oakland’s electorate). OR has helped to craft and win policies for racial, economic and environmental justice and has advanced a vision for transformational governance in Oakland and beyond. Oakland Rising’s partner organizations include: Asian Pacific Islanders for Environmental Justice (APEN), Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, Causa Justa/Just Cause (CJJC), Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), Parent Voices Oakland (PVO) and St. Mary’s Center. UA), and Parent Voices Oakland (PVO).
ORA engages in electoral strategies such as voter education and GOTV operations that encourage Oakland’s working-class, immigrant, and communities of color to think critically about voting for or against issues, policies and candidates based on our shared vision and values for an Oakland for all. ORA’s core strength is winning elections and a key shared priority over the next two years is winning a progressive majority on the Oakland City Council. 
OR’s five person staff, which also provide services to ORA, on behalf of MSC, identify as women, gender queer and majority of color and are committed to building the capacity of our partners, quick to respond to emerging needs, passionate about their work for justice, and exhibit care for one another, their partners, and the people of Oakland. The Executive Director reports to the OR Project Advisory Committee and ultimately to MSC’s Executive Director and Board of Directors. OR’s current budget is $1.2 million.

The Opportunity
OR’s new Executive Director will have the opportunity to:
●     Unify forces in Oakland to win a budget that prioritizes community needs.
●     Design city-wide strategy and engage OR partners in its implementation.
●     Work with the Strategic Partnerships Director to raise the funds needed to support this critical collaboration through relationship building with funders and telling the stories that need to be heard.
●     Drive OR to its next phase of organizational development by creating a plan to expand the organization’s reach to Alameda County.

In providing services to ORA, on behalf of MSC, the Executive Director will also have the opportunity to:
●     Shift the balance of power on Oakland’s City Council
●     Ensure the election of a progressive people’s mayor.

Characteristics We Seek
While we understand that no candidate may embody every skill or quality, the successful
candidate will demonstrate many of the qualifications and attributes listed in the sections

Preferred Experience
●     A proven track record for developing visionary ideas and innovative strategies and taking advantage of strategic opportunities.
●     The ability to transform vision into action plans and examples of successful implementation of campaigns.
●     A reputation as a principled strategic collaborator with keen listening skills and the ability to bridge philosophies and perspectives, resolve and transform conflicts, and forge respectful, trusted relationships with diverse partners.
●     Acumen and enthusiasm for fundraising and financial management that is evidenced by prior development experience or transferable skills combined with the willingness to learn.
●     Prior knowledge of, participation in, and development of electoral strategies.
●     Persuasive public speaking skills grounded in knowledge and authenticity and with experience crafting compelling messages for a variety of audiences and partners.
●     Prior organizing work in the social justice sector with a focus on Black, Indigenous, People of Color and working class community leadership and power-building.

Executive Leadership Skills and Attributes
●     A critical understanding and commitment and practice of racial, economic, and environmental justice.
●     Personal experience and deep roots in Oakland’s Black and Brown flatlands communities.
●     Excellent intellectual, analytical, and strategic thinking skills.
●     An adaptive leadership style with the ability to problem-solve, navigate complex situations and relationships, take advantage of strategic opportunities, and handle the ups and downs of electoral organizing.
●     Political smarts and a sophisticated intersectional analysis.
●     Openness to experimentation and new ways of doing things.
●     The ability to prioritize for self and others.
●     Ability to solicit and synthesize information across organizational structure in order to build a collective vision and plan.
●     A high level of emotional intelligence and capacity for self-reflection and self-improvement.
●     Familiarity with the political terrain and existing relationships with key stakeholders.
●     A track record of accountability and reliability.
Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Supervisory Responsibility: OR’s Executive Director supervises key senior staff who are responsible for organizational development, management, and staff supervision.

Expected hours of work:  Standard days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Daily schedule is flexible within the proximity of this time frame, and will be decided in consultation with the OR Project Advisory Committee.

Travel:  No significant travel expected. Occasional domestic travel may be required for meetings and conferences. 

Compensation: This is a regular full-time exempt salaried position. Competitive salary ranging from $80,000-$100,000, depending on experience, plus a competitive compensation and benefits package, and a team-oriented yet flexible working environment. 

OR/ORA’s staff is currently working remotely during the COVID crisis but has offices in downtown Oakland.

Application Process
Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF to [email protected] Please include a résumé, three references, and a cover letter that addresses:
1) Why are you interested in working with Oakland Rising and Oakland Rising Action?
2) What do you believe you would bring to the position of Executive Director?
3) How are your past accomplishments relevant to this position?

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and interviews will begin in mid-September.
Oakland Rising is a fiscally sponsored project of Movement Strategy Center (MSC) and Oakland Rising Action is a fiscally sponsored project of Movement Strategy Center Action Fund (MSCAF). MSC and MSCAF is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. We strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, QTIPOC folks to apply.


  • Medical, vision, dental for employees and dependents (requires 30 day waiting period and a per paycheck employee contribution);
  • 100% employer sponsored basic life, short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage;
  • Access to a 403b retirement plan.
  • Access to FSA and Commuter Benefits.

How to Apply
[email protected]
Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF to [email protected] Please include a résumé, three references, and a cover letter that addresses:
1) Why are you interested in working with Oakland Rising and Oakland Rising Action?
2) What do you believe you would bring to the position of Executive Director?
3) How are your past accomplishments relevant to this position?

Deadline to apply is November 13th, 2020.


Last Updated October 14th, 2020