Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri) Policy Consultant Position
Short position description: The Union of Concerned Scientists and CleanAirNow partner to fight for environmental justice in Kansas City. Bringing together community, technical, and scientific expertise we build power and advocate for policy solutions that will lead Kansas City to more just, equitable, and sustainable solutions to health, safety, and environmental issues. We’re looking for someone with local environmental/health policy expertise, ideally in both Missouri and Kansas, who is bilingual, English and Spanish. The work will include: identifying existing and potential new policies that advance our goals, support drafting of policy language, building relationships with policymakers and their staff, working with organizers to communicate with our supporters and the broader public about the policy process and further engaging them to ensure that Kansas Citians, especially its most impacted people, are informed and their voices are represented in government and legislation. This will be a position jointly managed by the Union of Concerned Scientists and CleanAirNow (Union of Concerned Scientists consultant but will primarily be directed by and follow the lead of CleanAirNow)– both organizations are 501c(3) and adherence to the guidelines is required. The consultant must have familiarity with environmental justice, racial justice, and community-based policy solutions and engagement. The position will be part-time, 8-10 months long, at an hourly rate of $30 with a total contract amount of $25,000. Position begins as soon as candidate is found.
Please review the background, goals, and summary of work below, and apply by sending a resume and brief cover letter to:
Sr. Outreach & Partnerships Coordinator
Center for Science & Democracy
Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and CleanAirNow (CAN) partner to fight for environmental justice in Kansas City. CleanAirNow is a local, grassroots environmental justice organization that builds community power through environmental health education, equitable community-based research projects, and people driven solutions in public policy to improve health. CAN’s main focus is air pollution
via stationary and mobile sources and climate justice, but CAN also works on the myriad issues facing its most underserved and impacted members including COVID response and immigration, among other things. CAN’s constituency is a mixture of working class, lower-income, communities of color, immigrant and Latinx members, including many native Spanish speakers. CAN’s current work includes community-based air monitoring, engaging in the Armourdale General Planning process, and fighting for federal funding and investment in Kansas City via the American Rescue Plan and Justice 40 initiative.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a national non-profit organization that combines scientific, organizing, and policy expertise to engage and support our membership, partners, and the broader public in advocating for health, safety, and environmental solutions. The Center for Science and Democracy (CSD) is the program within UCS that works directly with CAN on a number of projects and issues. CSD’s main goal is to work across issue area to fight for science-based, just, and equitable solutions that improve our democracy, promote scientific integrity, and center environmental justice.
CAN and UCS are developing a report on the environmental health and safety hazards and their cumulative burdens and disproportionate impacts on marginalized communities. The report focuses on both sides of the state line in Kansas City and contains recommendations for all levels of government to prevent and mitigate these impacts. The report will be released in early November 2021, and a slate of outreach and community building activities are being planned. This report launch is another jumping off point from which we look to inform the public, decision makers, and the media about the issues and to galvanize the fight for environmental justice.
After the report release, we will keep up the momentum and engagement with community, scientists, decision makers, and the media, and take collective action that pushes for substantive policy changes that address environmental racism. The policy consultant will support the state and local policy strategy and engagement to help make this happen.
With the leadership and guidance of CleanAirNow’s (CAN) Executive Director, Beto Lugo-Martinez:
- Policy consultant, CAN, and the community members and public they serve develop and maintain trusted relationships
- Boost the capacity of CAN to engage in the political process and win campaigns at the local and state levels (primarily Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas)
- Advance 3-5 environmental justice legislation and initiatives at the local and state levels (primarily Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas)
- Increase in CAN’s membership and the greater community (including UCS supporters and scientists/technical experts) understanding and excitement of the policy process and places where community can engage
- Expand and deepen CAN, CAN’s membership, and the greater community (including UCS supporters and scientists/technical experts) direct engagement with decision makers, their staff, and the legislative process
Summary of Work
Following the Jemez Principles, the Principles of Environmental Justice, CAN’s Guiding Principles, and UCS consultant contract conditions, the policy consultant will be responsive to and directed by CleanAirNow and its membership. The consultant will be a representative of both CAN and UCS while also working at times directly with UCS and keeping UCS up to date on outcomes, challenges, and successes. This part-time, 8-10 month position will boost CAN’s capacity to engage in the political processes in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas within the 501c(3) parameters, building on CAN’s grassroots efforts and the resources (expertise, reports, etc) of both CAN and UCS.
The work includes, but is not limited to: providing strategy support to identify existing legislation and potential new legislation opportunities and their feasibility/timeline of passage; developing language for legislation that addresses environmental justice; providing intel to CAN and its members about decision maker positions and industry and other influences opposing our work; building relationships with decision makers and relevant staff so that they are aware of the work CAN is doing, utilizing our report/CAN’s website and materials/and other EJ resources in legislative efforts, reaching out to CAN for input and deepening their engagement with and responsiveness to CAN and its membership; updating CAN, its membership, and the public on legislative activities; and facilitating activities the build and show local political power and center impacted community, scientist, and local supporter voices.