Oakland Community Organizer

The Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) is an environmental justice organization with deep roots in California’s Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Since 1993, APEN has built a membership base of Laotian refugees in Richmond and Chinese immigrants in Oakland. Together, we have fought and won campaigns to make our communities healthier and just places where people can thrive. By building an organized movement, we are bringing fundamental changes to economic and social institutions to prioritize public good over profits, and to honor the right of every person to healthy environment and a decent, safe, affordable quality of life and the right to participate in decisions affecting our lives. APEN holds this vision of environmental justice for all people.

This Community Organizer position is within APEN’s Organizing work in Oakland, working towards APEN’s vision of building healthy, fair and just neighborhoods. The Community Organizer plays a crucial role in organizing low-income Chinese immigrants, developing their leadership to engage in advocacy, campaign, and electoral actions, and providing interpretation and translation to make these processes accessible to monolingual members. The position reports to the Lead Organizer and works within the Local Organizing Component of APEN, which strives to integrate bold and authentic Asian immigrant and refugee leadership throughout the organization.

The Oakland Organizing Project focuses on Anti-Displacement work and Housing Justice as well as Energy Democracy and Climate Justice Initiatives. Key Strategies we engage in are tenant protections and connecting community with free legal services, policies and projects that preserve existing affordable housing and policies and projects that promote equitable development.


1.   Basebuilding: Outreach, Transformational Organizing, Leadership Sustaining & Development

  •  Contribute to setting organizing goals and plans for recruitment
  • Conduct outreach and various activities to gain new members and new constituencies
  • Ensure member participation in various leadership development and campaign activities that engages members in the Environmental Justice movement
  • Contribute to developing organizing systems and methods
  • Interpret and translate activities and materials or support interpreters/translators to do so
  • Coordinate & implement logistics for various activities, including providing transportation, arranging childcare, etc.
  • Data Management: Document & track the participation of members
  • Supporting general community members and APEN members in accessing necessary resources as is within the scope of APEN’s work
  • Support members to improve needed skills (e.g. public speaking, grassroots fundraising, critical thinking & analysis, campaign strategy, electoral phone-banking)
  • Work with members to deepen political consciousness (e.g. critical analysis of political context; understanding of the importance of transformative organizing; shared commitment to vision; exposure to different social justice issues)
  • Contribute to culturally relevant and accessible curriculum and messaging towards leadership development
  • Support projects that create local economic alternatives to advance Just Transition*
  • Engage our members in furthering Just Transition strategies

2.   Campaign & Alliance Building

  • Support local policy and electoral campaigns, including political strategy development and alliance building
  • Conduct research and analysis of policy/legislative changes that are needed
  • Work with members to identify progressive campaign demands
  • Plan and implement campaign goals and activities
  • Support members to lead campaign strategy and implementation
  • Build relationships, alliances and coalitions to win campaigns, integrating those relationship with APEN’s membership
  • Share, learn and exchange with other social justice allies

3.   Organizational Development

  • Contribute to overall organizational integration and planning processes, including yearly & strategic planning
  • Participate in grassroots and foundation fundraising as needed
  • Build new narratives, act as a spokesperson, and engage with communications work
  • Manage volunteers and interns when needed
  • Contribute to the APEN culture of team-building, emotional intelligence and feminisms
  • Develop personal and professional growth and leadership


  • Commitment to the mission and principles of APEN and social justice; and shares the commitment of indigenous peoples and the broader environmental justice movement to work toward a Just Transition, defined as shifting from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy that provides well being for all.
  • Fluency in Cantonese required, Mandarin proficiency also preferred. Confident with interpretation and translation
  • English communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Access and knowledge of using Wechat
  • Self-motivated, responsible, proactive, and disciplined
  • Team-oriented, with a commitment to principled struggle
  • WIlling to work some evenings and weekends
  • Willing to travel
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and access to a car with valid insurance


  • Working within Social/Environmental Justice movement
  • Outreach and recruitment; willingness to talk to strangers
  • Facilitation in small to large groups (5-100 people)
  • Working with API community, especially elders
  • Supporting community members in building up their confidence to participate


APEN offers a generous salary package commensurate with experience, and it also offers its staff a generous benefits package that includes, health, dental and vision; vacation and sick time; 401k contributions and an opportunity to qualify for a sabbatical. APEN is a family-friendly employer.


This position was posted in March 2019 and will be open until filled. Applications are due electronically. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Please email with subject line “Oakland Community Organizer” to info @ apen4ej.org. The email must include three enclosures:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter describing interest in the Oakland Community Organizer position and qualifications
  3. Three references, including at least one previous supervisor.

APEN is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, queer, and gender non-conforming people strongly encouraged to apply.

*For more information about Just Transition, please reference: https://climatejusticealliance.org/just-transition/