Lead Organizer

Position: Lead Organizer

Location: Hartford, CT or Brooklyn, NY

Reports to: Co-Executive Directors   

Type: Full time, salaried, exempt

Our mission to advance practical and transformative reforms to strengthen health, equity, and justice for all. We are guided by a deep commitment to racial equity.

We're focused on:   

  • Ending mass criminalization, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs.
  • Promoting equity, justice, and community safety.
  • Advancing health-based approaches to drug policy.
  • Building leadership and organizing capacity in communities 

About the Lead Organizer Position

The Lead Organizer is responsible for building Katal’s membership base and prioritizing the leadership development of people impacted by the systems we seek to change. The Lead Organizer will play an important leadership role within the organization, implementing Katal’s organizing strategy, training community organizers, and building organizing capacity for our various campaign and project work. The Lead Organizer will supervise staff.


  • Building and developing Katal’s membership of people directly impacted by the systems we seek to change
  • Leadership development
  • Coordinating the community organizing team – including recruitment, hiring, managing, training, and developing community organizers, apprentice organizers, interns, and volunteers in New York City, Albany (Capital Region), and Connecticut
  • Managing staff and tracking outreach efforts, including phone banking, flyering, door knocking, one-on-one’s etc.
  • Ensuring the organizing team meets targeted metrics, including: weekly outreach, membership recruitment goals, leadership development, regular membership meetings, weekly reports, database input and reporting, etc.
  • Identifying issue areas or constituencies where organizers should be focused on building and assisting in developing of training and other key materials
  • Developing creative opportunities for leadership development for membership, ranging from meetings, speaking opportunities, events, direct actions, outreach, etc.
  • Assisting with content creation and reporting, including drafting communications for supporters and members, program updates, press releases, newsletter items, and social media
  • Collaborating with Katal’s staff to develop and implement actions, events, presentations, conferences, press conferences, social media promotion, etc.
  • Facilitating and training, including in a leadership role in Katal’s Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity program (BLOC)
  • Building strong collaborative partnerships with other organizations across New York and Connecticut
  • Contributing to the development and growth of the organization
  • Other related duties as needed


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
  • Thorough understanding of community organizing methodologies and practices
  • Basic computer knowledge in programs like Microsoft Office
  • Experience with project management programs, such as Asana,
  • Understanding of criminal justice, harm reduction, drug policy a plus


  • At least five - seven years of experience as a community organizer working on campaigns.
  • At least two years of experience leading or managing organizing campaigns or initiatives (i.e. implemented a program, policy or systems change)
  • Initiated review of systems and/or procedures for efficiency
  • Previous leadership experience, including supervising staff and interns.
  • Managed collaborative organizing campaign strategies with unlikely allied organizations
  • Coordinated direct actions and lobby days


  • Adaptability: Maintaining effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or the work environment; adjusting effectively to work within new work structures, processes, requirements, or cultures
  • Work Standards: Setting high standards of performance for self and others; assuming responsibility and accountability for successfully completing assignments or tasks; self-imposing standards of excellence rather than having standards imposed.
  • Contributing to Team Success: Actively participating as a member of a team to move the team toward achieving its vision and the completion of goals*
  • Initiating Action (Initiative) Taking prompt action to accomplish objectives; taking action to achieve goals beyond what is required; being proactive
  • A working analysis of systemic power, and a willingness to learn more
  • An understanding of voter registration and voter mobilization, experience with policy reform and advocacy.

Personal Attributes

  • You are motivated and driven. You are committed to community organizing, racial justice and harm reduction.
  • You want to learn and grow, and respond well to feedback
  • You love the details and are extremely organized
  • You like learning the history about how things came to be
  • You can maintain balance in a fast-paced organization
  • You’re an active listener
  • You can make sound, unpopular decisions
  • You are a committed team player
  • You like to “burn shoe leather” & take door knocking and outreach seriously.
  • You value staff development, leadership, relationship building and peer-to-peer development for community organizing.
  • You aren’t afraid to hold staff accountable. You are ready to grow as a manager.

What you need to know to apply:

This is a full time, salaried, managerial position with opportunities for development and advancement. It includes supervisory responsibility of Katal staff, interns, and volunteers.

Salary range is $55k - $65k, commensurate with experience. Katal offers competitive benefits, including full health care coverage, dental and vision coverage, gym memberships, 401k, and more. This position comes with multiple professional development opportunities.

The Lead Organizer reports to the Co-Executive Directors. There will be work on some nights and weekends. Travel throughout CT and NY is part of the job. This position requires the staff person to work out of the Hartford or Brooklyn office.

To apply, please prepare the following application package:

  1. A one-page cover letter that answers these questions:
    • Where did you start organizing, on what issue, and why?
    • Why do you want to join Katal?
    • What will you bring to Katal to help strengthen the organization?
  2. Your résumé
  3. A writing sample of no more than four pages (links to online examples are acceptable).
  4. Your salary requirement

Submit your application package by email to jobs@katalcenter.org with the subject line: "First Name Last Name – Lead Organizer”

Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled. Only application packages received by email will be considered. We’ll contact you only if you’re under consideration, so please – don’t call to check on your submission

Katal is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, formerly incarcerated and/or convicted people are encouraged to apply.