Location

Philadelphia

Department

Advocacy

Deadline date

Applications due May 27

Background:

Philadelphia police are updating the way they handle minor crimes in the 2nd, 14th, 17th, 22nd and 24th Police Districts. Beginning May 1, 2022, police will ask people who are committing minor crimes to stop the behavior and move along. At this point, the officer will not take down the person’s name or ask for their ID or touch them in any way. The person is free to walk away. (There are exceptions if the person is a danger to themselves or to other people). If the person continues the offense, then the officer can officially stop the person -- which includes telling them they can’t leave, asking for name or ID, checking if they have warrants, and possibly frisking them. 

This change comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and others more than a decade ago that challenged the Philadelphia police department’s illegal use of stop-and-frisk. Despite the lawsuit, data show that the police continue to illegally stop and frisk people, especially Black people. Stop-and-frisk is one of the most common ways for people to be caught up in the criminal legal system. This pilot program could be a turning point - if the mayor and police commissioner are serious about implementing it and enforcing it. But we need to educate residents and raise awareness about the pilot program and get the community’s help in making it a success for everyone.   

About this opportunity:

The ACLU of Pennsylvania is seeking several ambassadors to educate people in the selected police districts about the new pilot program, as well as monitor its progress in these neighborhoods. Ambassadors will receive training on the new rules for police stops and will have ongoing supervision and support from ACLU of Pennsylvania staff. They will commit about 5 hours/week to educational and outreach efforts. The compensation for this work is $25/hour.

Responsibilities:

Ambassadors will:

  • Attend neighborhood events and meetings to share information with residents;
  • Meet with community leaders to educate them about the pilot program and get their feedback;
  • Support ACLU-PA staff in other types of outreach, like literature drops, canvassing (going door-to-door), phone outreach, and text outreach; and
  • Engage residents who have concerns about the program or how it is being implemented and connect them to staff where appropriate.

Qualifications:

We are looking for applicants who are:

  • Residents of one of the police districts included in the pilot program (2nd, 12th, 17th, 22nd and 24th). You can see a map of the police districts by going to https://openmaps.phila.gov/ and clicking on “Police Districts” in the left column;
  • Connected with community members, organizations and leaders in the neighborhood;
  • Familiar with or interested in learning about the criminal legal system (police, courts, jails and prisons). This includes personal or family experience being stopped, arrested or incarcerated;
  • Comfortable working with and in diverse neighborhoods and communities;
  • Flexible, motivated, and eager to learn new information and skills; and
  • Passionate about changing our system of policing.

Compensation

Ambassadors will work about 5 hours per week, beginning in late May and running through the end of August. The program may be extended into the fall, if needed. The hours are flexible and depend on the ambassadors’ availability and the schedule of community events in their neighborhoods.

Ambassadors will receive training on the rules of the new pilot program, as well as any technology used for outreach (for example, text outreach technology). Ambassadors will be hired as independent contractors and paid biweekly at a rate of $25/hour. 

To Apply:

Email Julie at jzaebst@aclupa.org and share:

  • The police district you live in (You can see a map of the police districts by going to https://openmaps.phila.gov/ and clicking on “Police Districts” in the left column);
  • Why you are interested in this position; 
  • What skills or experience you would bring to the work; and
  • The best way to get in touch with you.

The ACLU-PA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-PA encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, people with records of arrest or conviction, veterans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply.

The ACLU-PA comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union (the “Union”) of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation (the “Foundation”) of Pennsylvania.  The Union is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, and ACLU membership dues fund its lobbying work. Donations to the Union are not tax-deductible. The ACLU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation funds support litigation and public education efforts. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. The Campaign Director is an employee of the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Both the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania have the same overall mission, and share office space, employees, and the same board of directors. The two entities are jointly known by the term “ACLU of Pennsylvania.”

ACLU-PA’s hiring process will comply with Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards (“Ban the Box”) ordinance.