Calling community activists: If you’re a committed, left-leaning activist who’d like to take part in “grassroots campaigns to protect the health, economy, environment, and livelihood of Ohio communities,” then Ohio Citizen Action has got a job for you.
And it’s one that pays reasonably well, with benefits on top. This could be an especially nice deal for recent college graduates looking to help create a little drama in Cleveland when the Republican National Convention convenes in July.
Just google Craigslist and Ohio Citizen Action, and you get an advertisement that declares: “Change the World and GET PAID … $80/day (Downtown Cleveland).”
You’ll learn the nonprofit group seeks candidates who “possess strong communication skills and a genuine commitment to the environment, progressive politics, and the empowerment of our fellow OH residents.”
The ad, specifying Cleveland, says positions are full time and pay $80 a day, with bonuses available at 20 days.
Applicants should expect to work from 2 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. And yes, they should be committed to community organizing with an eye toward “environmental justice” and “sustainable energy.”
“Getting paid to participate in a supposedly ‘grassroots’ campaign is a contradiction in terms,” quipped Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, in an email to The Daily Signal.
Community organizing is the backbone of OCA and each year it allows us the opportunity to continue building the strength in numbers that has won so many of our campaigns. We are looking to add highly motivated individuals with good communication skills to our already effective and professional campaign staff. Also, if you are truly looking for nonprofit grassroots organizing experience, we do it all year, and not just when it gets nice out in the spring and summer!
Perks and benefits apparently are available for those willing to stick with it.
“Health insurance, paid vacations and personal days to employees that show longevity and proficiency with the organization,” the group’s ad promises. “Travel opportunities within our nationwide network of nonprofits for environmental and social justice causes.”
What the ad says is revealing, but what it doesn’t say is perhaps more so.
Donors to the nonprofit get tax deductions, skeptics note. Is Ohio Citizen Action really the employer? Is it legitimate for a tax-exempt charity to use donations to protest and engage in political activism?
Ohio Citizens Action has received $30,000 since 2006 from Tides Foundation and $20,000 since 2013 from the William B. Wiener Jr. Foundation, according to data compiled by the Capital Research Center, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks charity and philanthropy.
In addition, the affiliated Ohio Citizens Action Education Fund has received almost $3.9 million from left-wing philanthropies since 2003. Major funders include the Joyce Foundation ($1.4 million since 2003), Rockefeller Family Fund ($595,000 since 2010), Energy Foundation ($422,000 since 2008), Winslow Foundation ($425,000 since 2007), and George Gund Foundation ($525,320 since 2003).
“Ohio Citizens Action is funded by the usual suspects from the world of radical left-wing philanthropy, people who want to tear America apart using crazy social engineering schemes and then try to glue the pieces back together,” said Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at Capital Research Center.
“The Joyce Foundation of Chicago is a particularly bad actor,” Vadum added, “which helps to explain why the radical now in the White House, Barack Obama, was drawn to it and used to be so active on its board of directors years ago.”
Ohio Citizen Action did not respond to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment.
There’s no need for activists on the left to limit themselves to the Ohio group, though, since organized labor also is getting in on the action.
Working America, an organization with close ties to the AFL-CIO, had an even better package until the ad expired.
The group’s Craigslist ad said those hired would start at $12.25 an hour for 90 days, then get bumped up to $15 an hour.
If you want to join the “fight for economic justice,” Working America may be the place for you. Applicants can expect to work in a “unionized, progressive workplace.”
Then-Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., led the charge to defund the organization called ACORN in the aftermath of several high-profile scandals involving voter fraud and financial misappropriation.
Formally known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, the nationwide ACORN network officially went under in 2010.