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Staff Writer, FairVote, Takoma Park, MD

About FairVote: FairVote (www.fairvote.org) is the nation’s leading advocate of better voting methods. We have a history of success in developing and advancing innovative ideas to make our local, state, and national elections fairer and more representative. We are at the center of research and advocacy on behalf of ranked choice voting (as passed in Maine in 2016), American forms of proportional representation, and a national popular vote for president. We are nonpartisan, with a politically diverse staff united in the goal of giving more voice to voters and encouraging secure and participatory elections. We are led by Executive Director Rob Richie and Board chair (and former Nirvana bassist) Krist Novoselic, with a large and growing team of staff and volunteers, including 18 based in Takoma Park (MD) and several field staff.

Job Description: FairVote is seeking to hire a full-time staff writer to write articles and commentaries on elections and electoral reform for FairVote’s website and for outside publications. Under the supervision of a senior communications fellow with extensive journalism credentials, the writer will craft rapid responses to current events and add FairVote’s unique perspective to electoral reform discussions in both local and major media platforms. In addition, the writer will provide regular content for FairVote’s blog, assist staff with preparing written material and be ready to appear on television and radio.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Produce and pitch long-form articles and commentary on elections, electoral reform, and analysis.

  • Identify and act on opportunities to provide commentary that puts FairVote and its reforms into the mainstream dialogue on democracy reform.

  • Write blog posts and assist in creating web content as needed.

  • Assist the Executive Director and communications staff with media inquiries and interview requests.

  • Assist communications staff with targeted media outreach to journalists and editorial boards, including pitching stories to journalists writing about electoral reform topics and help maintain media database.

  • Draft and/or contribute to press material (press releases, fact sheets, media advisories, press kits, and speaker’s bios) and assist with preparing spokespersons for media appearances.

  • Work across all departments to ensure that FairVote’s website content is up-to-date, which includes posting blogs and reports, and reviewing the site for opportunities to improve content and messaging.

  • Be prepared to speak about writings on radio and television.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Minimum of two years of professional writing or journalistic experience, with journalism degree preferred.

  • Comprehensive understanding of American democratic structures and challenges.

  • Sophisticated awareness of contemporary media landscape, the voice of publications, and interest/understanding of how to work with reporters and editors to best advance FairVote policy agenda

  • Experience working with reporters and developing high-quality written materials, including blogs, fact sheets, talking points, and press releasea plus, but not required.

  • Experience writing about public policy and politics a plus, but not required.

  • Strong writing and analytic skills.

  • Must be well organized, detail oriented, and have excellent time management skills.

  • Must have ability to work independently as well as with a team.

  • Self-starter, creative thinker, and able to produce content on a short deadline.

  • Appreciation for our central reform priorities detailed at FairVote.org and, in particular, ranked choice voting and fair representation voting.

  • Able to multitask in a fast-paced, dynamic environment while still paying close attention to details.

Desired Work Environment: Most FairVote staffers share offices and are at their best when regularly learning from one another and being open to new ideas and approaches. We host regular waves of interns and junior staff who add to our diversity of perspectives and experience and bring a great deal of energy and new ideas to the team. We seek to make FairVote a joyful and fun place to be because our work is exciting and our reforms are gaining momentum and see this position as playing a central role in fostering this environment.

Salary and Benefits: Competitive salary commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits package that includes health insurance (medical, vision and dental, along with payment of deductible costs), retirement, and commuting reimbursement. Limited telecommuting is potentially an option.

Notice of Non-Discrimination: FairVote is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity. We do not allow any unlawful discrimination against or harassment of our employees or others visiting our facilities.

How to Apply / Timing: Please email a cover letter, resume, and one strong writing sample or a link to an online portfolio to hr@fairvote.org. Please use "Staff Writer" as the subject line of your email.

Applications will be reviewed starting March 6th and should be received no later than March 20th, with a projected start date in April or May.

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