Workplace Democracy Project Coordinator

Sustainable Economies Law Centeer
Oakland, CA

Position Summary

The Sustainable Economies Law Center exists to bridge the gap in legal expertise needed to transition from destructive economic systems to innovative and cooperative alternatives. We are excited to add a new team member to help us bridge that gap for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces! We are looking for a new part-time co-worker (which we define as 20 hours per week) to help us coordinate and collaboratively implement projects and campaigns that cultivate an integrated cooperative ecosystem of democratic, worker controlled enterprises that empower people marginalized by the dominant economy.


We are excited to welcome someone who is interested in working with our Labor Circle (which holds our worker cooperatives and Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit programming) to help them plan, coordinate, and implement projects that advance our vision of an integrated cooperative ecosystem. 


We expect that this person’s roles will break down approximately as follows:

  • 80% of their time will be supporting Labor Circle projects and campaigns of all types, from simple activities to more complex strategic planning. These responsibilities include working closely with our Director of Economic Democracy and other Labor Circle members to prepare program and project plans, which would include assessing existing and needed resources, supporting the development of project timelines, and helping develop program and project budgets. They will perform a variety of coordinating tasks, like scheduling, communicating and engaging with partners and coalitions, along with administrative duties, like collecting project documentation and supporting our online and in-person training, education, and legal advice services; and


  • 20% of their time contributing to the overall governance and function of our collectively-managed organization (e.g., attending all-staff “General Circle” meetings, contributing to annual grassroots fundraising efforts, participating in staff trainings, etc). 


Our Timeline: We are accepting applications through July 22nd, 2020. We expect to conduct interviews from August 10th through August 18th.


How to Apply: Please find a link to our Application Form at the bottom of the job description and fill out the Application Form by 11:59pm PST on July 22nd, 2020. Note: We are NOT requesting resumes for the initial application. However, if you are invited to a first round interview, you will be asked to provide us with a resume prior to coming in for your interview.


See below for more detail about the specific roles we hope this person will fill at the Law Center.

Who We Are Looking For

The Law Center is known for its creativity, innovation, and bold vision for just and resilient economies. We are looking for a Workplace Democracy Project Coordinator who can understand the big picture vision, break down long-range goals into practical steps, and support a team in executing those steps.

Required Qualities, Skills, & Experience

  • Kindness, diligence, integrity, and patience.

  • An interest in, passion for, and commitment to the Law Center’s mission and vision, including a strong commitment to economic, social, and racial justice.

  • Ability to ask for and receive support when things are challenging or unknown.

  • Ability to work independently, remotely, and as part of a team.

  • Competency to work across lines of difference, including with communities of color, poor and low-income communities, immigrant communities, and other marginalized groups.

  • Willingness to engage in a self-governing staff and collectively-managed organization.

  • Strong internal drive and problem solving skills to move programs and projects toward expected outcomes.

  • Strong time, organizational, and task management skills with the ability to meet deadlines.

  • A knack for coordinating project schedules, resources, equipment and information on multiple projects.

  • Detail oriented.

  • Competency in and/or willingness to learn GSuite applications including Google calendar, docs, sheets, and slides, online project management tools (e.g. Asana), and a handful of other software platforms for our financial operations and internal communications.

  • Some familiarity with website tools such as Nationbuilder and Wordpress.

Desired Skills & Experience

We encourage you to apply even if you meet just a couple of these qualifications!

  • Spanish speaking. 

  • Experience with community organizing and/or issue-based campaigning.

  • Some familiarity with video editing.

  • Strong interpersonal skills to steward relationships with people and organizations we work with and who reach out to the Law Center.

  • Public policy strategy interest and/or experience. 

  • Interest or experience in popular education. 

  • Passionate about supporting our vision of cultivating an integrated cooperative ecosystem of democratic, worker controlled enterprises that empower people marginalized by the dominant economy.

Employment & Benefit Details

  • Compensation: Law Center staff are compensated based on an equitable pay structure that starts at a minimum base salary of $60,552 for Alameda County residents working full time. The salary may be higher depending on a staff person’s need to support children and other dependents. Since this position would start as a part time position, the minimum base salary would be $40,373 for Alameda County residents. 

  • Hours: This position would start out part time at 20 hours per week with the possibility of moving to full time in the future. We consider a full-time work week to be 30 hours. 

  • Location: Our office is located in downtown Oakland. If and when the office is reopened, staff are required to work in the office, on average, 2 days per week. Remaining days can be in the office or remote. If and when shelter-in-place is lifted, this person would also be expected to attend meetings with our partners in the Bay Area.

  • Time Off: We have a “free time off policy,” which means that there is no limit to paid time off during a calendar year. Each core staff member has the opportunity and responsibility to take as much paid time off as they see fit, so long as they can fulfill their roles and responsibilities to the organization.

  • Health Insurance: We offer health insurance for staff and children dependents (and cover the premiums for spouses who have no other insurance access) and flexible spending accounts.

  • Child Care: We contribute $5,000 to a flexible spending account for dependent care per staff member with children under the age of 10.

  • Family Leave: We provide 12 weeks of paid parental and/or caregiving leave.

  • Sabbatical: We have a sabbatical policy that permits a 12-week sabbatical after working at the organization for 5 years.

Information about Sustainable Economies Law Center

Our mission is to cultivate a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. We provide essential legal tools - education, research, advice, and advocacy - so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community.


We are a worker self-directed nonprofit. This means that we use democratic governance and decision-making systems that provide all staff with a voice in the direction of the organization. We expect that all core staff participate in decision-making that affects the entire organization. 


We share roles and responsibilities. Most staff take on a diversity of roles within the organization, based on the organization’s needs and on staff members’ interests and skills. So there are likely some things you will do as a core staff member that are not listed on this job description, including, for example: regular staff meetings, participating in creating organizational budgets, and quarterly staff trainings. This also means your list of roles will likely evolve over time, with the potential to spend a portion of your time contributing to other areas of our work, such as our Housing, Energy, or Grassroots Finance programs. 


There’s more! The Law Center has some unique policies intended to create a healthy, inclusive and effective work environment. Read more about our systems of accountability, autonomy, and democracy within our organizational structure.


Before answering our questions on our application form, feel free to watch our informational videos below. They explain a little bit about our dynamic organizational structure, our office culture, and what you should expect of our hiring process. Sometimes, folks don't actually like the way we work. And that's ok! We believe working for a democratic organization is more effective, equitable, and empowering; and at the same time, it requires an interest in sharing responsibility for the wellbeing of the organization as a whole. 


Video: Take a tour of our (old) office! ("No fancy pants" rules still apply.)


Video: Bringing on new members to our dynamic, constantly evolving Law Center!


People of color, transgender and gender nonconforming people, people from poor and working class backgrounds, people with disabilities, and women are encouraged to apply.

Detailed Job Description

While our workplace democracy initiatives overlap with different program and operations Circles, this person would start as a member of and be accountable to two Circles in our organization: the Labor Circle and the General Circle. 

Labor Circle Responsibilities

About 16 hours/week (80%)

The Labor Circle develops and implements the Law Center's Worker Cooperatives and Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit strategies to cultivate an integrated cooperative ecosystem of democratic, worker controlled enterprises that empower people marginalized by the dominant economy. From the time they are hired to Fall 2021, the majority of their Labor Circle time will be spent supporting the completion of grant deliverables including some of the projects described below. After Fall 2021, the role will evolve based on the interests of this person and the needs of the organization. For example, this person could focus on curriculum development for certain target communities, help organize workers to convert their businesses to worker cooperatives, or support our state level policy work. Ultimately, the Project Coordinator’s duties are to ensure that the projects they are supporting are completed on time, within budget, and meet the standards of our organization and our cooperative ecosystem stakeholders.


The new staff person’s initial activities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Serving as a thought partner in designing and creating work plans to achieve program goals;

  • Monitoring and supporting the completion of project deliverables;

  • Developing project budgets;

  • Providing hands-on administrative and event support to staff;

  • Organizing and facilitating meetings and, where appropriate, coordinating follow up with project team members on ongoing tasks and deliverables;

  • Client administrative support; and

  • Cultivating and stewarding relationships with grassroots partner organizations.


These activities would initially apply to the following projects:

  • Updating our comprehensive worker-owner legal resource library,, which provides a central legal resource hub for attorneys and entrepreneurs ready to dive deeper into cooperative law and space to aggregate and disseminate our cooperative legal resources;

  • Coordinating the creation of our Intensive Online Training Program for Cooperative Attorneys which seeks to upskill attorneys to serve democratic, employee-owned businesses and deepen their legal expertise via an anytime, on-demand, massive online open course;

  • Coordinating our report analyzing the cooperative ecosystem landscape in California;

  • Providing project management support for our California Practice Guide for Attorneys Focused on Worker Cooperatives, a first of its kind in the nation, helping mainstream the practice of cooperative law;

  • Stewarding the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives’ Racial & Economic Justice Council, which the Law Center is a founding member of, that acts as a conduit between USFWC members and grassroots racial, gender, economic, and environmental organizers and movements;

  • Supporting Labor Circle client engagement and associated deliverables.


General Circle Member Responsibilities

About 4 hours/week (20%)

As a worker self-directed nonprofit, we expect all core staff to fully engage with and adhere to our organization's democratic governance and decision-making processes. This part of the job description is intentionally unstructured to allow individuals to learn about our organization, identify what other roles they feel drawn to, and begin to fill or build new roles within the organization. This unstructured time is also intended to encapsulate core staff responsibilities not accounted for elsewhere in this job description. Core staff responsibilities include:

  • daily communications (internal and external);

  • staff-wide meetings;

  • circle (team) meetings;

  • events; and

  • adhering to organizational policies that promote transparency and distributed decision-making.


In our dynamic organization, everyone wears multiple “hats.” While this position will be, at a minimum, focused on coordinating and supporting our Labor Circle strategies, we may adapt role responsibilities to fit the hired person’s skills and interests. For example, the 20% of this role that is currently allocated to the General Circle can be flexed to include time for this person to join one of our other programmatic or operational areas. 

So, if you don’t think you qualify for everything, that’s okay! Please don’t let that stop you from applying.  

Our Timeline

We are accepting applications through July 22nd, 2020. We expect to conduct interviews from August 10th through August 18th.

How to Apply

Please fill out our Application Form by 11:59pm PST on July 22nd, 2020. Note: We are NOT requesting resumes for the initial application. However, if you are invited to a first round interview, you will be asked to provide us with a resume prior to coming in for your interview.


If you have any questions, please email with the SUBJECT: “LABOR CIRCLE OPENING - QUESTION”. Thank you again for taking the time to submit your responses. We can’t wait to read your application!

Click here to apply!

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