Policy Analyst

About the Organization 

Canal Alliance exists to break the generational cycle of poverty for Latino immigrants and their families by lifting barriers to their success. Canal Alliance is a nonprofit champion of immigrants who are challenged by a lack of resources and an unfamiliar environment. Every day, we educate, empower, support, and partner with motivated immigrants to best meet all their unique needs— from putting food on the table, to becoming American citizens, to learning English, to graduating from college. Canal Alliance strives for a trauma-informed collaborative and inclusive culture. We invest in high quality services, professional development, and work-life balance. 

Position Summary

The Policy Analyst assists the Program Director with development and implementation of Canal Alliance’s policy and advocacy priorities by conducting rigorous research, tracking Policy Agenda priorities, and working with the Director in building trusted relationships with members of the community and elected and appointed officials. As a member of the Policy and Civic Engagement (PACE) team, the Policy Analyst will work under the supervision of the Director to provide detailed research and analysis for current and prospective public policy priorities, and assist in the development of policy positions and recommendations. The Policy Analyst will assist the Director in lobbying efforts on behalf of local and regional public policy priorities, coordinate stakeholder meetings, create compelling public commentary, and work with community partners to help further our organizational policy goals. The Policy Analyst must be a clear and concise writer who has a curious and strategic mindset when it comes to designing policy solutions to solve problems. 

The Policy Analyst will assist the Director in engaging the levers of local and regional government and work closely with community members to help galvanize support for Canal Alliance’s policy objectives in advancing equity for the Latino immigrant community in Marin County and beyond. The role is highly collaborative, requiring work within strategic coalitions, diverse communities, and across all Canal Alliance departments to ensure coordination of organizational priorities across the region. 

The Policy Analyst is a full-time, exempt position with a hybrid work model (some remote work is possible). The Policy Analyst will at times be called on to attend and convene meetings outside of normal business hours, which may on occasion include the weekend. The Policy Coordinator reports to the Director of Policy and Civic Engagement. 

Essential Functions 

• Support Director in development and implementation of Canal Alliance’s policy agenda and advocacy priorities, including but not limited to local advocacy efforts with local government officials, members of city and county staff, analyzing and tracking local legislation, drafting policy memos and recommendations, and preparing written and oral statements for public comment

• Under supervision of the Director, participate in and convene regular local and regional stakeholder meetings to advocate on behalf of PACE’s Policy Agenda

• Create and maintain a system for analyzing and tracking local policy that allows the PACE team to better understand the position, progress, and impact of Canal Alliance's Policy Agenda

• Work with the Senior Manager of Civic Engagement to maintain a departmental calendar, help screen intern applications, and convert policy advocacy initiatives into engagement opportunities

• Assist the Director and Senior Manager of Civic Engagement in the planning and coordination of engagement opportunities to raise visibility and support for campaigns and organize staff, volunteers, and community members to advance policy goals, broadening and strengthening our supporter base throughout the region 

Policy Research and Analysis 

• Conduct rigorous policy research and fact finding that will help to develop mission aligned policy solutions

• Draft clear and concise policy memos on a range of issues that will enable strategic partnerships and policy recommendations

• Work with the PACE team, non-profit partners and local leaders to draft and analyze policy that advances our organizational goals 

• Produce written materials that will influence policy positions, prospective legislation, or help our team better understand existing policy such as briefing papers, advocacy letters, and public comments

Relationship Building 

• Work with the Director to build and maintain trusted, respectful relationships with community members, partners, local coalitions, elected officials, and other decision makers that share our strategic priorities to support our policy and research goals 

• Work with the PACE team to bring the voices and leadership of those directly impacted by our work into the research and policy priorities of the team

• Under supervision of the Director, conduct research and compose memos to achieve policy objectives in priority areas, while building relationships with local/regional communities that the research and policies are most impacted by 

• Work with the PACE team to engage in public education around activities that increase public and impacted community awareness of, and opportunities to engage on, policy and research objectives


• Graduate degree relevant to policy advocacy or equivalent experience

• 2 years of experience conducting policy research and working with communities most impacted by systematic inequity 

• Experience researching, collecting, and synthesizing large amounts of information from a range of sources and providing recommendations on next steps

• Proven ability to write and communicate clearly and effectively, especially explaining complex issues in simple terms

• Proficiency with office technology and information systems, including online communications, word processing, and spreadsheets

• Willingness and availability to work beyond the normal workday, on weekends, or more than 40 hours a week as necessary

• Willingness and ability to travel throughout Marin County, and occasionally to other regions of California and other states for conferences and training

• A commitment to the mission and values of Canal Alliance, including racial, gender and economic justice and civil rights, and an understanding that these issues are central to breaking the generational cycle of poverty in the Latino immigrant community in Marin County and beyond

Essential Skills & Abilities 

• Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects with competing deadlines on a tight timeline while maintaining a strong attention to detail

• Ability to build and maintain genuine and strong relationships with marginalized communities and/or people who have been systems impacted

• Ability to communicate effectively with large and small audiences, in meetings, and in one on-one conversations

• Ability to be resilient - understanding that working towards systemic change is a marathon and not a sprint; and 

• Ability to think critically and strategically about solving problems and coming up with solutions that will drive results

Desirable Experience, Skills & Abilities

• Experience writing clear and concise research or policy memos

• Experience tracking policy and legislation at a state or local level and communicating progress to others

• Experience reading and interpreting the impact of complex state statutes and local ordinances

• Experience lobbying or advocating for policy measures in state or local government

• Experience working in a diverse coalition to achieve a policy change outcome

• Working knowledge and broad understanding of Latino immigrant issues, integrated advocacy and strategic communications

• Experience working at an organization with an integrated advocacy model where lobbying and civic engagement are used collaboratively and cohesively to achieve results

• Ability to communicate in Spanish. 


Salary starting at $75,000. This is a full-time, exempt position with benefits. We offer a competitive salary with a benefits package that includes 3 weeks paid vacation a year, 12 days of sick leave a year and 100% paid employee medical & dental insurance as well as long term disability and an employee assistance program. In addition, there are 15 paid holidays annually, a 403(b)-retirement plan and a Flex cafeteria plan.  


Canal Alliance Equity and Inclusion Statement 

Canal Alliance actively promotes and recognizes principles of fairness, equity, and social justice in relation to, and across, intersections of race, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, disability, ancestry and all other identities represented among our diverse employees. 

Application Process 

Please email your resume and cover letter to HR@canalalliance.org. Only electronic applications will be accepted. (Keep it green!) Please indicate “Development Associate – YOUR NAME” in the subject line of your email. 

Salary Description