ACORN organizers build power for working class people!
They go door-to-door, block-to-block, city-to-city, listening to community residents’ concerns, and connecting what they want to see changed to effective mass-based action. Organizing protests, developing campaigns, listening, and working closely with our membership.
Of course, COVID-19 has changed this a bit. We do more phone calls now to our extensive lists, have developed digital strategies to build those lists, and are doing more street canvassing and petitioning in the neighbourhoods we are organizing in.
No experience required, BUT applicants must be interested in fighting for economic and social justice in Canada and be able to explain that in a quick cover letter. Do not apply without a cover letter.
What is ACORN?
We are a tenants’ union. We are a disability action union. We are a worker’s union. We are a consumer's union. We are whatever our members are. Our members pay dues so that the organization can be sustainable and not dependent on outside funding from labour, government, or foundations. Each dues member has a vote, and only members speak for the organization. Our members get elected board of directors and have the authority to set the policy and determine the tactics of the union.
ACORN is a multi-issue, mass based union of low-to-moderate income people. The purpose of the union is to give low-to-moderate income people power so that they have the ability to have their voices effectively heard at the highest levels in the country. With chapters across the region, province, and across the country, ACORN is able to be both a local-based union winning local campaigns, as well as a large organization combining forces to fight national corporations and governments that are at the root of most of our problems.
The job of an ACORN organizer is to build formal groups of working class people so they can disrupt and change the systems that negatively impact their community.
The on the job training provided allows someone to learn all elements of running an organization, as well as fundamentals on how to be a community organizer. This includes effective outreach, strategic research, campaign planning, communications, organizing events and actions, getting press to cover our actions and campaigns, and both internal and external fundraising.
The successful applicant will be joining an exciting staff team at the BC ACORN office, and working with organizers across Canada, as well as the USA, France, and the UK.
The current priorities laid out by ACORN’s leadership are:
- Housing Campaigns:
- Municipal Stand Up for Housing (stop displacement and healthy homes).
- Provincial Vacancy Control Campaign
- Raise the Rates
- Permanent extension of the $300 per month COVID emergency benefit
- Internet for All
- Force Shaw Cable to provide $10 High Speed Internet for low income people
- This year our campaign forced Telus to provide $10 internet to all people on disability and social assistance in Alberta and BC.
ACORN has been central to winning groundbreaking tenant relocation policies in Burnaby and New Westminster that effectively stop the mass renovictions and demovictions. The organizers job will be to help our leadership expand on these successes.
Responsibilities and Duties
- Work with ACORN leaders to expand both our local fights against tenant displacement, renovictions, and demovictions, as well as the larger provincial fights for Real Rent Control and COVID Rent Freeze.
- Work with our staff trainers in BC and Ontario on a day to day basis.
- 42.5 hours per week - working in afternoons and evenings Monday through Friday.
- Fundraising and asking for money is a fundamental part of an organizer’s job. We are structured like a union: ACORN members pay membership dues.
- Willing and able to travel to training, and staff meetings (some outside of Canada). **COVID has drastically changed our travel***
- Dealing with multiple tasks in the same day - flexibility and resilience are keys to success.
- Representing the organization in the neighbourhoods, as well as with our leadership at external meetings or events (allies or targets).
Qualifications and Skills
- Have strong social and people skills.
- Be willing to work in a team setting that you are sometimes leading, and sometimes following.
- Ability to listen in order to identify issues that are affecting our constituency.
- No paid experience required; professional organizer training provided
- Base compensation is $35,600 annually
- 5 paid sicks days
- Health benefits and RRSP retirement program included after 6 months