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Jobs & Internships



Policy Coordinator

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Policy Coordinator. The overarching purpose for this position is to play a leading role in the development, coordination, and implementation of the BGA’s policy agenda. The Policy Coordinator will report directly to the BGA’s Director of Programming and be a key member of the BGA’s policy/advocacy team.

The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, policy/advocacy, and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois. Its offices are located in Chicago.

Duties: The Policy Coordinator will represent and facilitate the BGA's strategies to inform and influence local and state decision-making on public policies affecting the delivery of good government. The Policy Coordinator will monitor and analyze policy proposals, research best practices, and support ally organizations, BGA staff and volunteers in planning and executing sound policy advocacy. The Policy Coordinator is directly involved in the management and coordination of multi-issue campaigns that involve players from multiple sectors, which include community and labor organizations, governmental officials, and academia. The Policy Coordinator will handle government relations and public policy issues; collaborate with allied groups; conduct education and training events; and schedule and facilitate meetings with legislators, civic leaders, and other key stakeholders involved with identified issues.

Qualifications: The successful candidate must have a minimum of five years of advocacy experience with a strong emphasis on both legislative advocacy and community organizing. A legal background is helpful but not essential to this position. A strong candidate must understand the Illinois legislative process including how to read and analyze legislative documents such as bills, adopted amendments, defeated amendments, and conference committee reports; committee testimony, records, debates, and actions; floor debates and actions; and the Governor's messages and actions. A leading candidate will have strong skills in community organizing using effective tactics to inform the general public of the issues being addressed and expose or pressure the decision-makers through a variety of responsible actions. The BGA is committed to working both with grass-roots organizations and in coalition.

A strong candidate must possess strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated success with campaign activities. Additionally the successful applicant must be an effective public speaker and possess excellent speaking, writing and editing skills. The successful candidate also will have a track record for open and effective internal and external communication, and a flexible and collaborative working style.

The ideal candidate will have good judgment and excellent analytical and strategic thinking capabilities; the ability to work quickly and effectively under pressure; the capacity to pay close attention to detail while working in a fast-paced environment and juggling multiple tasks; and the ability to effectively work independently as well as part of a team made up of people from diverse backgrounds and in partnership with other organizations.

Highly motivated, enthusiastic, personable, hard-working and committed individual. May need to work weekends and perhaps some evenings. Will be expected to travel to Springfield and other parts of the state on occasion.

How to Apply: To apply, send resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Robert Reed at Do not call.

Salary: The salary is competitive with similar positions in other nonprofit organizations and commensurate with experience. Exceptional benefits.

Submission Deadline: Until Filled.


Communications and Public Relations Internship

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks an intern to work in public relations and communications.  We are looking for a bright, ambitious intern who is in college or graduate school. The ideal candidate should be proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, excel is a plus. Daily activities would include maintaining media logs, assisting staff with internal and external communications and event planning. A major and/or interest in communications/journalism and government is preferred. 

The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy, and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois. Offices are located in downtown Chicago.

The candidate will gain a solid grounding in his or her public relations skills needed to understand and navigate the media world for a not-for-profit organization. A desirable candidate must be able to multitask, have excellent organizational skills, be deadline-oriented, have the ability to work independently, be energetic and eager to learn.

Compensation:  Unpaid. Interns must make arrangements with their schools to gain academic credit for this internship. The BGA is happy to provide any documentation necessary for this process.

How to Apply: Please email cover letter and resume to Mary Frances O'Connor,

Investigative Unit
(Ongoing—use the form below to apply)

The BGA's Investigative Unit hires unpaid interns in the summer and throughout the year to assist in news projects.

Some of the duties might include:

  • going to courthouses to pull documents
  • making phone calls to sources
  • attending news conferences
  • contributing to select stories and blogs
  • coming up with ideas for articles and investigations
  • researching
  • filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • journalism or related major in college
  • upperclassmen, graduate student or recent grad
  • previous experience writing and reporting
  • a nose for news, and an ability to learn new skills quickly
  • an understanding of local government (particularly in Chicago and Illinois) and current events
  • a solid work ethic, attention to detail and a sense of humor

Note: Depending on the circumstances, the BGA is willing to comply with requirements so that an internship can translate into course credit.

Policy Advocacy Unit
(Ongoing—use the form below to apply)

The Better Government Association seeks a full or part time Policy Intern. The Intern will report to the Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator.


Building on the original work of the BGA’s Investigative Team (which conducts deep journalistic investigations of corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency, inequality and lack of transparency at all levels of government), the Policy Intern will help to monitor and analyze policy proposals, research best practices, and support ally organizations, BGA staff and volunteers in planning and executing sound policy advocacy.


The Policy Intern must be able to research issues of public policy impacting city, county and state units of government, and synthesize and present findings to members of the policy team.

The Intern must have strong interpersonal and writing skills.

The Intern must have experience working in a fast-paced office setting.

The Intern shall be a full or part time graduate or upper class undergraduate student with the ability to earn credit for her internship.

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