City Policy Manager

Arlington, VA
Full Time
Mid Level

The Institute for Justice’s Activism Team seeks a bright and driven person with a passion for cities, entrepreneurship, and municipal policy to join our Cities Work initiative. While the position is advertised as City Policy Manager, the title is commensurate with experience. If you don’t meet every requirement but are interested in this position, we still encourage you to apply.


Our Cities Work initiative is dedicated to making it cheaper, faster, and simpler to start and run a small business at the local level by cutting red tape and regulations. We work with entrepreneurs and city officials to reduce barriers to business creation, speed up the startup process, and simplify existing rules and city codes to make it easier to earn an honest living and to empower underserved communities seeking access to entrepreneurship. The City Policy Manager will work closely with the Cities Work Team on our efforts to reform laws that create unnecessary barriers for entrepreneurs.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Lead advocacy campaigns in cities, meeting and managing relationships with key stakeholders to convince them to champion small business regulatory reform. 
  • Identify legislative sponsors, draft and testify on proposed ordinances, and brief city council policy staff on key Cities Work issue areas.
  • Collaborate with city officials within executive agencies to improve regulatory processes on behalf of entrepreneurs.
  • Manage research projects that synthesize regulatory best practices from cities across the country, describe and quantify legal pain points for small businesses, and make formal reform recommendations for policymakers.
  • Publish internal and external reports, policy papers, op-eds, and other materials on key Cities Work issue areas.
  • Manage the day-to-day logistics of the Cities Work initiative, while assisting on long-term project planning to engage in new cities and explore fresh topics.
  • Facilitate grassroots activism efforts in cities across the country to meet and interview entrepreneurs, lead roundtables, canvass small business corridors, and organize the entrepreneurial ecosystem around regulatory reform.
  • Coordinate outreach efforts, manage contacts, and schedule communications with small business owners, policymakers, and other local stakeholders.
  • Monitor city and state legislative activity in areas of interest and monitor small business and entrepreneurship reform efforts across the country.
  • Assist in developing the initiative’s online presence and outreach, including social media advertising, branding, and contacting potential leads or contacts for city campaigns.



  • Possess exceptional research, writing, and interpersonal skills
  • Background and interest in public policy (through curriculum or practice)
  • Record of demonstrated initiative and leadership
  • Experience, professional or otherwise, with advocacy work and community outreach is a plus, but not necessary
  • Commitment to promoting individual liberty and challenging government abuse



  • Hybrid work schedule
  • Flexible work hours with our core business hours of 10am and 4pm
  • Work from home equipment reimbursement
  • Casual dress code
  • Health, Dental, and Vision insurance (IJ covers 100% of individual premiums)
  • Free Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Life insurance plans
  • HSA employer contributions
  • 401(k) with employer matches
  • Generous PTO including a paid personal day and 12 paid holidays


To Apply:

Please submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter detailing your interest in the position and the Institute for Justice’s mission.


No phone calls, please. 

IJ is an equal opportunity employer.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At IJ we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.


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