SEIU Local 721
SEIU Local 721

External Research and Policy Coordinator

Based in Los Angeles, CA


SEIU Local 721 is a dynamic, and fast growing organization recognized as one of the largest and strongest union of publicly funded employees in the nation. We are on the forefront of local politics, defending public services in the face of budget challenges, organizing workers in the public service sectors and are key players in national reform efforts. We have over 180 staff members covering 6 counties. Our more than 90,000 members provide public services in diverse fields, including health care, social services, special districts, private non-profits, libraries, courts, parks and recreation, public works and mental health in cities and counties throughout Southern California. Through grassroots organizing, identifying and developing leaders within our Union, and organizing worker political power, we are on the front lines of holding government accountable, ensuring efficiency, tackling waste, and improving services.

The External Research and Policy Coordinator is responsible for leading specific issue and program areas within new organizing and the union as well as supervising and mentoring research staff within the External Department. The External Research and Policy Coordinator must have a deep understanding of the power dynamics that will determine the actions of employers and be able to translate that understanding into ideas that the local union can use to build power to win in organizing, public policy and collective bargaining.

The Research Coordinator will report directly to the External Organizing Director and the Assistant Director of External Organizing, as well as the Chief of Staff, the Executive Director and other Local 721 leadership. This person will help manage specific day-to-day operations of the department. This may include oversight of research and policy portions of campaign, assigning work to other staff and building our capacity.


  • Develop the capacity of research and policy in External and Local 721 to understand and track the major issues that affect new organizing industries and campaigns.
  • Refine research and policy systems for tracking, documenting, and communicating the funding mechanisms that drive the work of our union and/or new organizing.
  • Identify and develop research and policy expertise in the intergovernmental relationships that drive new organizing and the work of Local 721 members, including fiscal, legal, and political relationships.
  • Document and provide a baseline understanding of local, state and federal government and policies that impact new organizing industries, for Local 721’s use in informing and developing union campaigns.
  • Work with other Local 721 departments in developing campaigns and strategy.
  • Plans and manages multiple campaigns and projects simultaneously in a high-pressure environment requiring rapid adjustment to changing priorities and strategies.
  • Initiates and leads projects.
  • Assists to build the External Research team, leveraging the diverse skills and experiences of the research team to build synergies and growth across the department.


  • Ability to lead and develop research in effective one-on-one meetings with staff as well as group meetings
  • Ability to independently plan, manage and guide research projects, including breaking down the larger projects into a group work plan, in support of campaigns
  • Ability to work independently under limited direction and balance conflicting demands
  • Ability to independently develop an understanding of employers’ strategic interests and of the other governmental entities, organizations and individuals which can influence an employer’s decisions.
  • Deep understanding of employer budget and other financial statements; ability to independently summarize findings from employer budget and other financial documents for the rest of the union and provide strategic guidance based on the information
  • Deep understanding of the employers and relevant industries to be able to interact with union leadership and other stakeholders within and outside labor movement
  • Can train others on using industry sources and sources of information available
  • Understanding of how workers form unions (both traditional and non-traditional) and public sector functions, including safety net programs as well as other local public services.
  • Ability to synthesize complex issues and communicate them to a variety of audiences, including local leaders, union members, employers, elected officials, and the public.
  • Ability to write well in a variety of formats and for different purposes, as required by specific campaigns.
  • Advanced computer skills, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access or GIS
  • Demonstrated results in creating and driving policy work
  • Deep understanding of campaign research and policy and union organizing
  • Ability to work independently under limited direction and balance conflicting demands and guide the work of other staff members.
  • Willingness to work long and irregular hours, including weekends and participate in all union wide activities.
  • Proven ability to work with a diverse group of people, including union members, union staff and leaders, elected officials, and other community and issue stakeholders.
  • Strong personal diplomacy, including a highly professional temperament and the ability to work in a collaborative team environment.
  • Commitment to social justice and building power for workers.
  • Required to have valid driver’s license, car insurance, and a working automobile.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Prior labor experience is strongly preferred.
  • Experience in the areas of strategic labor communications with special expertise in media relations and event planning

The Research and Policy Coordinator is an exempt position. SEIU Local 721 offers a generous benefit package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, 14 paid holidays, and vacation. Salary is commensurate based on experience.

Mail, fax or e-mail a cover letter, detailed résumé, two-page writing sample and the name, job title, address, and phone number of three professional references to:

Human Resources Department
SEIU Local 721 Suite 100
1545 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Fax: (213) 402-3590

E-mail: careers@seiu721.org

SEIU Local 721 is an affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or disability. SEIU Local 721 works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces zero tolerance policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

Position will remain open until filled.

Posted Internally on October 15, 2021

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