Hiring: Policy Associate

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Policy Associate to support the policy advocacy mission of the BGA. This position plays a key role in the coordination and implementation of the BGA’s policy agenda. The Policy Associate will report to the Policy Director.

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

The BGA Policy team is a leading advocate for open records and open government in Illinois. Its policy agenda has included fair maps, pension reform and government consolidation. The BGA Policy team operates completely independent of the BGA’s Investigative team—which conducts deep journalistic investigations of corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency, inequity and lack of transparency. The Policy team at times proposes policy solutions to structural failures uncovered by the BGA’s investigative work.

The Policy Associate contributes to the advancement of the BGA's legislative agenda in support of government transparency, accountability, ethics, efficiency and oversight in Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois through research and analysis of policy initiatives, legislative and administrative record keeping, and supporting work with other reform groups and lawmakers.


  • Conducts original research and analysis on policy issues to advance short- and long-term goals of the BGA’s Policy team. Such research may include data analysis, best practices, and legislative research and will generally take the form of policy memos, calls-to-action, fact sheets, or web posts.
  • Prepares articles, policy briefings, research reports, memos, presentations, fact sheets, testimony and other documents that clearly and comprehensively articulate complex analyses and positions for the BGA’s Policy team, lawmakers, and general readership.
  • Reviews and monitors legislation.
  • Contributes to the formation of the BGA’s policy positions and advocacy strategies with sound research and opinions.
  • The Policy Associate will maintain a working knowledge of the legislative activities on the state, county, and city levels.
  • Assists in developing effective talking points for radio, television, and other public interviews—The Policy Associate may also attend and speak at public meetings, and other venues, on occasion, in service of the BGA’s mission.
  • Supports the administration of the Policy team, including maintenance of legislative tracking systems and lobbyist registration reporting requirements.


  • The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a bachelor's degree as well as legislative advocacy and community organizing, or other relevant experience in government, journalism or a related field.
  • A strong candidate must be able to understand the Illinois, Chicago City Council and Cook County legislative processes, including how to access, read, and analyze legislative documents such as bills, amendments and committee reports; committee testimony, records, debates, and actions; floor debates and actions; and the messages and actions of the governor, City of Chicago mayor and Cook County president.
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills; must be able to analyze budgets, basic datasets, and policy practices from across the country.
  • Experience prepping talking points/speeches for senior staff is a plus.
  • Demonstrated history of working with a broad range of stakeholders, including civic groups, religious organizations and social service agencies.
  • The successful candidate will protect the BGA’s non-partisan standing while advocating for policy reforms and interacting effectively with partisans from all sides of public policy issues.

Send cover letter and resume to Ernest Crowder at ecrowder@bettergov.org. No phone calls.

The Better Government Association is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.” All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.