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Insights Associate, Vera Insights (Budget Justice) - NYC

This position is based in our New York office, which is in Industry City, Brooklyn. The Insights Associate will report to the director of Vera Insights.

Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grasstops, and grassroots organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

 

Vera has a staff of almost 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

 

Advocacy at Vera

Vera’s Advocacy department is responsible for coordinating the vision, strategy, and staff development across Vera’s initiatives to pass legislation, change policy, and create change at scale. We work to ensure that the goals of our advocacy campaigns align with the people and communities most impacted by criminal justice and immigration policies, and we collaborate with movement and advocacy partners to produce the right knowledge and ideas needed to change policies and legislation at the right time.

 

Vera Insights

Vera Insights is a new work unit that will serve a centralized, rapid response data analysis and visualization function for ad hoc requests and special projects. The team will build a stable of data-driven advocacy resources for the organization and enhance the visibility and use of Vera data inside and outside the organization.

 

The Insights Associate will drive the department’s emerging Budget Justice portfolio that aims to shed light on excessive spending in the criminal legal system and advance an agenda to reallocate resources to spending priorities that uplift, rather than tear down, communities.

 

Who you are

You are passionate about social and racial justice, motivated to drive change, and unafraid to challenge the status quo. You have broad knowledge of local-level budget and tax policy, as well as a solid understanding of the various functions provided by state and local governments.  You are committed to an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to budget justice that leverages everyone’s perspectives and analytic strengths. You are enthusiastic, collaborative, curious, and kind. You have hands-on experience analyzing local and state budgets, as well as national data sources such as the Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances. You are creative, adaptable, collaborative, and able to support multiple efforts simultaneously. You believe in the value of doing “inside” lane work in partnership with advocates, organizers, and people who are formerly incarcerated and directly impacted by the system.

 

In this role, you will:

  1. Analyze local budgets to uncover what’s driving costs, identify areas for savings, and provide context to the breadth of criminal legal system spending in historical and comparative terms.
    • Support teams throughout the organization that are interested in using budget analysis and advancing budget justice through their initiatives and campaigns.
    • Use an interdisciplinary approach to budget justice that leverages everyone’s perspectives and analytic strengths.
    • Develop recommendations on how to end the excessive spending on the criminal legal system that is an injustice compounded onto the harms caused by the system itself.
  2. Support the development of a strategy to disseminate information about Budget Justice.
    • Develop relationships with community advocates and elected officials looking to drive budget justice conversations in their jurisdictions.
    • Cultivate relationships with partner organizations that also seek to advance Budget Justice.
  3. Create original datasets that compile budget and spending data from state and local governments.
    • Continue annual collection of police department costs expand data collection into other justice agencies such as jails, prisons, and prosecutors. 
  4. Perform data exploration and analyses of various data sets, including ad hoc analysis beyond the budget justice portfolio.
    • Conduct exploratory analyses to identify patterns, questions, and areas for further analysis.
    • Develop analyses in collaboration with stakeholders inside of, and outside of, Vera.

 

What qualifications do you need?

  • 4-5 years of academic or professional experience examining state and local budgets.
  • Experience analyzing and writing about budget policy for a mass audience.
  • Extensive experience with Excel.
  • Experience with Python, R, and Tableau, preferred
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

 

The Nitty – Gritty

  • This is a full-time position available immediately
  • Salary is approximately $70K annual plus excellent benefits

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s career page) is preferred.  No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.  

 

ATTN: Human Resources / Insights Associate, Vera Insights (Budget Justice)
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

 

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org

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