Position Description

Position Title: Full Time People’s Agitator (August 2020 -January 2021 with the possibility of extension)

Report to: PDI Support Squad (weekly check-ins, bi-annual review)

Salary and Benefits: Starting at 33K salary, commensurate with qualifications & experience. Includes medical

Organization Mission: People’s Defense Initiative (PDI) is a grassroots, anti-capitalist, and abolitionist collective focused on the defense of human rights in Southern Arizona. Our mission is to advance an intersectional movement that challenges structural oppression, exploitation, and the criminalization of poverty. We believe that solidarity is key to building the power for transformational change and transformational change can only be won with a movement that builds collective power and is led by those who are directly affected, communities of color, and other groups who are systematically oppressed.

PDI envisions a Tucson that serves as a safe refuge for all people regardless of their immigration status, race, color, age, disability, gender identity, ethnicity, ability to speak English, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status.

As a prolific and growing organization, PDI is in the process of restructuring internally and we are looking to hire a full-time People’s Agitator. Until now, PDI has been in large part self-funded and volunteer-run with just one person on staff. PDI is a collective composed of a diverse group of community members that believe in addressing issues by grasping them at their root. We are action-oriented, intentional, and strategically minded.

Currently, PDI is working on issues directly related to the criminalization of poverty, police violence (disarm/defund/disband #DefundTPD), housing justice (Tucson Tenants Union, #CancelRent), and community mutual aid (Feeding Those Who Feed Us).  In response to our large, ever-expanding work, we are looking to grow staff and are now accepting applications for a full-time People’s Agitator who identifies personally with our morals, mission, and foundation.

Position Summary: The full-time People’s Agitator will be an integral part of building capacity as we adjust our work during these unknown times of crisis by creating space for intentional growth, learning, and truth-telling in our community.

The People’s Agitator’s duties include but are not limited to: 

Issue-Based Movement Building: Agitator will continue to build capacity, trust, and expand infrastructure for future campaigns by galvanizing and building with our base on issues important to our mission. Our goal is to create a cohesive, inter-connected base with shared ownership and vision. This base will continue to help with the identification and development of solutions and programs through constant exchange of best practices and participatory membership and coalition building.

Housing is a Human Right: Gentrification and mass displacement of families in Tucson has become an existential threat for many, with dozens of families being evicted on a daily basis without any form of representation. In line with our mission, we are in the process of building the Tucson Tenants Union. See link for more detailed information. Duties here will include: Community outreach, education, research, housing justice forums (webinars), coalition building, leadership building, and assist tenants with their immediate needs (food, legal, rent, etc.).

Sanctuary for All: In line with our mission, we continue to expand on the concept of “sanctuary for all” and how that can be applied and uplifted locally in a matter which will create material relief for our community. Our sanctuary for all program consists of intentional community conversations, fighting against police power (defunding, disarming, etc),  mobilization/education around Tucson’s most pressing issues (poverty, criminal justice, immigration, housing), policy research and implementation, and coalition building.  The People’s Agitator will assist on all facets of this campaign.

External Communications: direct voter contact (texts, emails, calls, safely canvassing, etc), create online content, social media, research, webinars, emails, fundraising, website updates, press advisory, public advocacy, etc.

Internal Communications: organize and facilitate weekly or biweekly PDI (Zoom) meetings, emails, research, report back to Support Squad, etc.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Passion and commitment to social justice with direct knowledge and personal connection to these issues
  • Experience in direct action organizing
  • Experience in collective organizing spaces
  • Experience working with youth and young adults
  • Able to work with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, including, but not limited to tenants, low-income families/individuals, undocumented folks, etc.
  • Possess capacity to understand local and county-wide policy and government
  • Demonstrate ability to lead, support volunteers and collaborate with others
  • Demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills with public speaking, training, storytelling and facilitation skills
  • Knowledge about event planning and fundraising

Preferred qualifications:

  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Critical and historical analysis of the borderlands in terms of policing, immigration, and militarization
  • Be a highly organized strategic thinker with an ability to translate vision into concrete planning and implementation steps
  • Experience with relationship and leadership building

Non-Discriminatory Statement: People’s Defense Initiative (PDI) provides equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to age, ancestry, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, marital status, education level, or life-threatening illness, and promotes the realization of this policy through a positive, continuing program of affirmative action. PDI is committed to equal opportunity for all applicants and staff members in personnel matters. We reflect our community and celebrate identities. Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrants, womxn, LGBTQ, and directly impacted community members are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Applications received starting July 20, 2020. Electronic submissions only. No phone calls please. Please email your resume or CV, cover letter (1-page max), and three references to zaira@peoplesdefenseinitiative.org. Write “People’s Agitator” in the email subject line. This position is open until filled with priority given to applications received by July 27, 2020. We will consider applications as they are received until August 3, 2020.