Job Title: Water Program Coordinator
Department: Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter
Location: Texas. Austin preferred. This position requires an ability to travel.
Reports To: Chapter Director or Chapter Conservation Director
Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of interdependence. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel injustice, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our future. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it. Sierra Club has close to 800 staff across the country and a network of 64 local chapters that are led and fueled by thousands of volunteers. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with three labor unions representing more than half of our employees.
Despite a deep, multigenerational affection for and connection to the lands, waters, and wildlife of Texas, our state government has historically prioritized corporate polluters over everyday Texans. Sea level rise, beach erosion, degraded salinity gradients in bays and estuaries, and industrialization for fossil fuel exports and petrochemical production all pose massive risks to the well-being of Texas communities, the land, water, wildlife and cultural resources. As Texas looks to supplement its water supplies with risky, unproven, and expensive technologies like produced water treatment and marine desalination, the Sierra Club will work with partners to focus on the pollution and potential environmental and community harms that these new supplies will bring.
Protections for endangered species along the Gulf Coast and stronger water quality standards will provide tremendous benefit for bays, estuaries, wildlife, and local communities. We’ll work with partners to advocate for community-friendly solutions including more holistic “One Water” solutions, drinking water infrastructure, water conservation and reuse, tough standards on plastics pollution, land conservation, and resilient building codes.
Scope: The Water Program Coordinator is responsible for the Lone Star Chapter’s work to ensure that Texas waterways are both abundant and healthy enough to support surrounding human, animal, and plant life. We aim to move Texas toward a culture that preserves and protects our finite water. The coordinator is the lead state and local policy advocate and lobbyist for the Sierra Club’s water program in Texas. They will collaborate with chapter staff and interns, volunteer leaders, as well as community groups, and partners to develop and promote the water policy objectives through administrative and regulatory advocacy, policy analysis, coalition organizing, and legislative lobbying. The coordinator represents the chapter to administrative agencies, regulators and public officials responsible for environmental and natural resource management laws, federal environmental legislation, water quality policy, and some endangered species issues.
Job activities include but are not limited to:
- Develop and Coordinate Strategic Water Campaigns. Working in collaboration with lead volunteers and staff, acts as the campaign lead responsible for coordination, planning, and implementation of the Sustainable Management and Resilient Texas (SMART) Waters project. With the chapter conservation team, implements a regional water program strategy while leading specific campaigns on oil and gas wastewater, and protecting Gulf Coast communities from industrial water pollution. Collaborates with the Chapter’s Conservation and Water Committees, legislative campaign team, Environmental Law Program, Communications team, Organizing Department, and other capacities. Ensures that water campaigns are rooted in equity and justice and inclusive of frontline and directly impacted communities.
- Volunteer Recruitment and Leadership Development. In collaboration with chapter staff, support the recruitment and development of water and wildlife volunteers and activists to increase participation within the Chapter Water for People and the Environment Committee. Facilitate issue-focused volunteer teams to advance the chapter’s water goals through coordinated activities, stakeholder engagement, coalition building, and educating and lobbying elected and appointed decision makers.
- Represent the Sierra Club in Texas. Serve as the lead water lobbyist for the Sierra Club’s work at the state and local levels in Texas. Engage and build relationships with elected officials, business leaders, governmental agencies, outdoor recreation groups, communities impacted by oil and gas wastewater, wildlife enthusiasts, and other nonprofit organizations. Collaborate with chapter communications staff to develop and deliver campaign narratives to media and community stakeholders.
- Mobilize Public Support in Defense of Clean Water. Develop educational and training materials on water resource and water quality issues related to oil and gas development, Gulf Coast endangered species protections, and industrial desalination. This may include writing and editing action alerts, fact sheets, social media toolkits, letters to policy makers, newsletter articles, blogs, webinars and other outreach materials as needed.
- Analyze and Comment on Water Public Policy. Conducts research on water policy and scientific analysis (including water quality, water availability and use, endangered species protections, and environmental water needs) and related natural resource topics in accordance with program objectives. Creates and submits official comments on agency rulemakings, legislative testimony, and other official Sierra Club position statements on state, regional, and local water issues.
- Create partnerships with diverse communities and organizations. Works to build relationships with other organizations and communities on issues around water resource equity, particularly in both urban and rural communities that have historically borne the brunt of water pollution, lack of accessible green areas, and are behind on infrastructure investment.
The successful candidate must demonstrate the following skills, experience and competencies:
- Statewide Advocacy Landscape and Knowledge. Cultural and socio-political awareness of the broader Texas advocacy and social justice world, barriers to transformative change, changing demographics of the state, and familiarity with state-based and regional clean water advocacy programs.
- Planning Strategic Campaigns. Experience identifying goals, campaign targets, and developing a strategic plan to achieve concrete social change.
- Experience working on water policy. This position requires strong knowledge of water issues in one or more of the following focus areas: water quality standards, Gulf Coast bays and estuaries, oil & gas wastewater, and endangered species protections. Ability to learn quickly and keep up to speed on new developments in these fields is very important.
- Working with Leading Teams of Staff and Volunteers. Demonstrated leadership experience working within a team structure. Ability to build vision, trust, and mutual accountability with team members. Experience working closely with volunteers and supporting their growth as state and local leaders.
- Analysis and Practice. You are aware of your group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities and position/role.
- Committed to evolution. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
- Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a constructive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.
The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following skills, experience and competencies:
- Experience cultivating and maintaining just, accountable partnerships, especially with organizations led by those most impacted by the crises we seek to remedy.
- Bilingual in English and Spanish, or English and Vietnamese.
- Legislative and policy-writing background on water quality, industrial wastewater, and/or endangered species protections.
- Relationships with Gulf Coast organizations and community stakeholders affected by water policy.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary for this position is $70,000.
The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.
This is a category 5, non-exempt, union represented position. This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Sierra Club and Progressive Workers Union.
Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club People Department in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce belonging.
The Sierra Club provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, lived experience and skills. The Sierra Club does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.
The Sierra Club values applicants who are people that identify as Black, Indigenous, and other minoritized groups; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people.
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