Norte Advocacy Director


Advocacy Director


Norte believes that people of all ages and abilities have the right to safely access the places they need to get to – think work, school, the library, grocery stores, parks, businesses, and public transit – by bike or foot.

The Norte Advocacy Director will support a range of programming and communication activities to advance Norte’s mission of building healthier, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart.

The Advocacy Director requires a genuine enthusiasm for Norte’s work and a passion to build systems and communities that support active transportation.

Strong interpersonal, communication and leadership skills are essential to effectively cultivate relationships with elected leaders, government staff, community partners, and grassroots supporters to advocate for best practice policies and infrastructure that encourages active transportation.

In the last five years, Norte has achieved great success as a small organization focused on bike-centric encouragement and education of youth. In 2018, we took on empowering neighborhood champions with our Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocacy Academy while also finding ourselves in the role of advocates for more sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and safer crosswalks and intersections in Traverse City and East Bay, Long Lake and Garfield Townships.

This is a new position for Norte and we’re pretty excited about it!

Position: Part-time, Non-exempt

Hourly rate: $22-$25/hr, depending upon relevancy of experience.

Hours: 15-20 hours per week, Often M-F during the day plus some work on weeknights and weekends in order to attend community meetings and events.

Reports to: The position reports directly to Norte’s Executive Director.

Empowers and leads: Norte members, volunteers, and grassroots community advocates

Works with: Program Director, Outreach Director, Clubhouse Manager, Board of Directors; as well as external stakeholders, such as community partners, donors, volunteers, and the general public.


What will Norte’s Advocacy Director do?

You will work with Norte’s Executive Director, and all parts of the organization, including staff and members, to develop and win support for key biking and walking infrastructure and policy improvements. This job will entail working closely with community groups, businesses, and elected officials to develop grassroots and grasstops support for new and improved streets, spaces and policies that encourage active transportation.

Coordinating with Norte’s Executive Director, you will also be responsible for helping create new, as well as liaising with existing, neighborhood-level pro walk/pro bike groups and help them create and advance locally-led campaigns. You should be comfortable with street-level organizing as well as grasstops outreach.

Responsibilities may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Campaign strategy and outreach for campaigns to build more and better biking, walking and traffic calming infrastructure and policy throughout the Grand Traverse region;
  • Grassroots outreach that may include on-street organizing, Action Alerts, the creation of compelling presentations, talking points, and visual tools;
  • Co-developing, training, empowering and supporting neighborhood leaders, members in campaigns and elevating their voices to decision-makers;
  • Working with governmental agencies, park and planning commissions, and elected officials to advance campaigns;
  • Coordinate, plan, and lead an annual Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocate Academy program;
  • Create new relationships and deepen existing relationships with community partners;
  • Regular communications both in person and in writing, which will include engaging and communicating with Norte members, and the media when necessary, about our work at all steps in the campaign process;
  • Representing the organization at public meetings and with public officials, planners, etc;
  • Assist with grant writing;
  • Help manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic communications regarding advocacy work, including newsletter, website, social media, and press releases;
  • Coordinate website maintenance to ensure new and consistent information is posted and updated regularly regarding advocacy work



  • A deep commitment to Norte’s mission;
  • At least two years of relevant experience;
  • Exhibit a passion for active transportation and for creating systems that lead to a culture of health;
  • Professionalism with superior social and interpersonal skills;
  • Has the ability to develop and nurture relationships with organizational partners and community stakeholders;
  • Technical knowledge in best practices in community design, transportation policy, urban planning;
  • Strong interpersonal and relational skills, especially listening skills;
  • Looks for intersectionality in divergent goals and priorities;
  • An ability to take initiative and lead advocacy efforts within the organization;
  • A demonstrated track record of successful project planning, project management, base-building, strategy implementation, and ultimately moving people to action;
  • Persistence;
  • An ability to work individually and as part of a team;
  • The desire and ability to implement systems that will allow your work to scale quickly and significantly to maximize your impact;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a wide variety of audiences;
  • Strong leadership skills;
  • Exhibit ability to work well, engage, encourage and communicate with community partners;
  • Extremely detail-oriented with strong organization skills;
  • Effective problem-solving skills;
  • Proficient in use or willingness to learn Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, WordPress, Salesforce;
  • Strong experience utilizing social media, specifically Facebook, Instagram and Twitter;


A typical day will consist of working, along with 4 other awesome people, in the “open Clubhouse”, business casual environment of our Civic Center headquarters. The day will consist of working very independently in the writing, planning, and documenting your advocacy efforts. This will include coordinating with staff on these written materials, talking points, presentations, events, and strategies. There will also be extensive outreach to community partners, which will include numerous phone calls, meetings (many off-site), and email.

How to Apply

Write a compelling cover letter and submit it along with a resume. Be sure to mention where you saw the opening advertised.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through Friday, January 18th, 2019 at 5pm EST and considered until the position is filled. The ideal candidate would start employment in early to mid-February 2019.

By e-mail: Please send email with cover letter and resume to with “Advocacy Director” in the subject line.

By mail: Please enclose your resume and cover letter in a sealed envelope and mail to:

Ty Schmidt, Executive Director
PO Box 781
Traverse City, MI, 49685

You are also welcome to drop off an application in-person at the Clubhouse during regular weekday office hours (9am – 5pm Monday through Friday)

Norte is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate in employment, promotions, or compensation on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, color, national origin, marital or veteran status, or disability.