Title: Director of Advocacy
Reports To: Executive Director
Work Schedule: 40 hours per week (includes meetings after hours, and occasionally on weekends)
The Director of Advocacy works closely and collaboratively with the Landmarks Executive Director, Board and staff to design, implement and execute a comprehensive advocacy program to save and revitalize historic properties and areas that exemplify the historic character of Greater Portland, and to achieve the goals and objectives of Landmarks strategic plan.
Duties include developing strategies to address a wide range of preservation issues, projects, and initiatives, including rehabilitation of historic buildings, designation of historic districts and landmarks, saving endangered properties, and increasing public awareness of issues related to historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes and parks.
The Director of Advocacy develops background information, talking points, position papers, testimony, and public presentations to communicate Landmarks advocacy positions at a variety of community meetings, gatherings, and events. In addition, s/he convenes major stakeholders, including property owners, developers and city officials, and engages allies and affiliated organizations to preserve historic properties and to enlarge the constituency for historic preservation.
The Director of Advocacy is an optimistic team player with excellent interpersonal and communications skills, who will represent the organization well and can galvanize community support for a wide range of historic preservation initiatives in the Greater Portland area.
Prepare and execute the annual work plan for advocacy to engage community leaders, stakeholders, and citizens to save and revitalize at-risk properties and areas through advocacy, publicity, partnerships and preservation expertise. Working closely with the Executive Director and the Advocacy Committee and in accordance with the Board-approved advocacy policy, prioritize current issues and recommend advocacy positions on specific issues. Responsibility includes developing communications strategies for each major issue and coordinating related public education initiatives and website and social media outreach with the Manager of Education Programs and Office Coordinator, respectively.
Working closely with the Executive Director and Advocacy Committee and in accordance with the Advocacy policy, develop background information, talking points, position papers, testimony, and public presentations to support prioritized advocacy issues, preservation of Places in Peril listees, and a strong and adequately-funded City of Portland Historic Preservation Program. Evaluate and recommend opportunities for involvement in Greater Portland communities. Engage with private owners, developers and appropriate local governments in the early stages of a project with an impact on historic properties and areas. Communicate Landmarks advocacy positions at a variety of community meetings, gatherings, and events, and to the press, in order to influence historic preservation projects and issues.
Working closely with the Office Coordinator, help keep the website and social media current by providing timely advocacy content updates. Recommend preservation resources and links to relevant information to include on the website. Refer individual requests for preservation advice, assessments, products and services to the website, preservation/trade show directory, and/or qualified providers.
Be familiar with and advocate for use of preservation strategies such as local historic district and landmark designation, National Register listing, preservation easements, adaptive use, historic preservation tax credit incentives, and historic preservation ordinances and land-use planning techniques. Understand and be able to communicate the parameters of preservation regulations, including Portlands historic preservation ordinance, Section 106, and others.
Manage Places in Peril, a biennial listing of major and modest endangered properties in Greater Portland, including soliciting nominations, conducting the selection process, and developing and implementing a communications plan for the program, working closely with the Executive Director. Supervise the Endangered Properties Intern, who assists in all aspects of the program.
Work closely with the Director of Development, Executive Director, and members of the Board to create and grow an Advocacy Fund to support essential preservation actions, such as research studies, public relations, and legal advice, and other activities as determined.
Work with municipalities, private groups and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to survey and identify historic resources and pursue National Register and/or local designation of historic districts and landmarks. Supervise and train interns and/or volunteers to assist with surveys, and coordinate with sub-contractors as needed.
Maintain mutually supportive relationships with local preservation allies, neighborhood organizations, Maine Preservation, Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Organize an annual gathering of Greater Portland preservation allies for organizational updates and advocacy briefings and respond to requests for assistance on advocacy policy. Participate in advocacy on local, state, and federal issues, including sustaining tax credit and other incentives for historic preservation.