Jobs

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General Volunteer for VoterPunch

What We Need:
We are in need of a volunteer to help our multiple organization's office with various tasks and projects. Along with doing routine office activities like filing, creating binders of data, taking dictation, answering phones and checking email, our volunteer would also develop databases and spreadsheets integral to our work, reach out to other people/organizations on our behalf and research information for us. If you're interested in and able to draft relatively simple correspondence on your own, with minimal direction, we have need for that as well. If your skill set and/or interests lean more towards some tasks than others, we're flexible and willing to work with you on finding the most ideal tasks for you to do. However, if there's something listed in this description that you know you particularly can or can't do well, please make it a point to inform us of that in your letter of interest. An ideal volunteer would have an interest in politics and/or demographics.

We're ideally looking for someone who can take initiative in doing work on his/her own, while following our directions precisely. Desired skills include meticulousness/attention to detail, strong organization skills, a strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel, clear communication ability and a willingness to be direct with people when necessary.

We are seeking a volunteer who is willing to commit to a minimum of 10 hours a week for at least 3 weeks. You can choose whether to work at home, in our office, or some of each; we have tasks that are well suited to any of these options. Our office is open from 8:45am-6:30pm Monday – Friday and occasionally on Saturdays in the middle of the day. If you're willing to come in on Saturdays, no minimum hourly commitment is required.

For information on who we are and what we do, please review/skim the descriptions provided below. While working here does involve a good deal of work, it is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the demographic influences acting on U.S. politics, to hone professional skills (specifically keeping people accountable, working in Excel and keeping data organized) and to get involved in trying to positively influence citizens and government alike.

Interested applicants please send a brief letter of interest, resume or CV or at least a note describing any relevant experience, and contact information including a phone number to: jobs@voterpunch.org


ABOUT VOTERPUNCH

VoterPunch is an educational tool, which enhances participation in the increasingly vital arena of internet activism by informing and inspiring Americans to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens. Designed as a nonpartisan voting record service, VoterPunch makes it easy for individuals to both learn about what is happening on Capitol Hill and to interact with their elected officials, whether to praise, chide, or demand support before a vote happens on the floor of Congress.

Presently, VoterPunch can be seen in action powering the informative website www.ProgressivePunch.org which serves as a demonstration site for VoterPunch. ProgressivePunch.org displays highly detailed, up to the moment, expert analysis of all important votes that are taken in Congress. ProgressivePunch.org uses a ranking system so that people can see how progressively their representative scores within the spectrum of overall voting records, in the 14 master categories and 140 subcategories created by VoterPunch. Additionally, the site features ultra-easily accessible info from VoterPunch displaying how members of Congress voted on a vote by vote basis. Detailed vote descriptions are original content, written for VoterPunch by Congressional scholars.

We want to enhance public involvement and to make members of Congress responsible for their votes and actions. We believe in providing accurate information to the public about the performance of members of Congress which is detailed and up-to-date on all important Congressional votes. The ensuing greater public awareness will enhance public involvement and governmental responsibility. Making the voting records of our elected officials more easily accessible is the first step to a more aware and involved citizenry.

Web-based Graphic Designer for Progressive Political Organization

Organization Description:
ProgressivePunch.org displays highly detailed, up to the moment, expert analysis of all important votes that are taken in Congress. ProgressivePunch.org uses a ranking system so that people can see how progressively their representative scores within the spectrum of overall voting records, in the 14 master categories and 154 subcategories created by Progressive Punch. Additionally, the site features ultra-easily accessible info from Progressive Punch displaying how members of Congress voted on a vote by vote basis. Detailed vote descriptions are original content, written for Progressive Punch by Congressional scholars.
Progressive Punch pinpoints which districts/states could have more progressive representation than they currently do by contrasting Progressive Punch’s progressive voting scores with underlying political demographics of states & Congressional districts. Members of Congress are measured not just on an absolute scale of how progressively naughty or nice they are, but also against a scale of how naughty or nice we could reasonably expect them to be given whom they’re representing.

Volunteer Description:
What we’re looking for is a volunteer to assist us in developing web-based (NOT print-based) interfaces for our various projects.

We’ve developed extensive mock-ups of a new tool that will enable citizens to monitor what progressive legislation their members of Congress are supporting - before it’s voted on AND send a message to these members. We need the mock-ups turned into living web pages for a full on almost functioning model to show prospective funders. We have a small in house software programming team.

Time Requirement:
Total time estimate 20-30 hours total. We need this done right away.

Qualifications of an Ideal Candidate:
An ideal candidate will have 2 to 3 years of relevant work experience in graphic design for the web. At least one year applying these skills to the design and development of web-based systems. Experience in gaining active end-user involvement in the specification, design, and implementation phases through interviews and site visits also desired, but isn’t necessary for this particular project.

This project is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the world of politics, to hone professional skills and to get involved with a progressive, internet based, political non-profit.

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and links to websites that you’ve designed to: jobs@voterpunch.org

U.S. Congress & Public Policy Writer/Expert (Revised 01/04/10)

VoterPunch needs an expert on U.S. Congress & Public Policy to write Congressional vote descriptions for our searchable database of Congressional votes. We're looking for people who are very lucid and succinct expository writers (think magazine writing not theses.) You must have a very comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings of the US Congress – e.g. parliamentary maneuverings such as motions to recommit, previous question motions etc. as well as a broad command of the range of policy issues confronting Congress and the politics that surround Congressional votes. WE'RE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS THIS INFORMATION DOWN COLD, not a first year Ph.D. student who's just learning it. The individuals who have written the descriptions that are currently posted on our sites are journalists who specialize in writing about Congress, PhD candidates in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former Congressional Chief of Staff. You don't have to be an academic, especially since we aim at a popular audience. Actual Capital Hill experience highly desirable, not absolutely mandatory. BUT YOU MUST BE AN EXPERT ON CONGRESS, NOT JUST SOMEONE WHO HAS AN INTEREST IN PUBLIC POLICY. Pay works out to approximately $30/hour. We're expecting a 3 day turnaround. The number of vote descriptions that need to be written up total just about 60% of all the votes cast in each house of Congress. (For a discussion of which votes you would be writing descriptions for and which ones you wouldn't, see the “What Is a Progressive Vote?” link on the bottom left hand corner of the ProgressivePunch.Org website.)

Send CV, cover letter & (preferably non-academic) expository (i.e. non-polemical) political writing sample to jobs@voterpunch.org;. If academic writing is only thing available, send that.

WE WILL ONLY CONSIDER PEOPLE FOR THIS POSITION WHO:
1. SUBMIT A WRITING SAMPLE WITH AN INITIAL APPLICATION AND COVER LETTER
IN AN EMAIL &
2. (DO THIS WITH THE SUBJECT LINE “Vote Description Writer – followed by the category of Craigslist you saw it in)”.

Your samples should describe/review a specific piece of legislation and/or a floor vote in Congress by:
a) explaining the actual public policy implications of the legislation,
b) explaining the politics of the matter (e.g. How Republicans are trying to screw Democrats and vice versa),
c) demystifying/explaining the parliamentary maneuvering e.g. explaining what “move the previous question” means, and
d) providing the rationales behind both the conservative and the progressive perspective.

To see what the job entails, the best thing to do is to visit www.ProgressivePunch.Org, a licensee of ours, and drill down until you actually see paragraph long individual vote descriptions. To get to this point, start by clicking on a member of Congress, then click on an issue category, then click on an issue subcategory (to be sure that it includes vote descriptions, select one that shows a percentage ranking in the Progressive Score column), and then click on one of the 1-sentence vote description summaries to see the full length narrative vote descriptions.