Policy Internships

Greenbelt Alliance seeks motivated individuals to provide support for our advocacy campaigns and research projects around smart growth issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This unpaid position requires a 2-5 days/week commitment for at least three months (six month commitment preferred). Working hours are flexible, but most work must be completed between 9am and 5pm weekdays.

About Greenbelt Alliance
Greenbelt Alliance is the champion of the places that make the Bay Area special. We defend the Bay Area’s natural and agricultural landscape from development and we help create great cities and neighborhoods – healthy places where people can walk and bike, communities with parks and shops, transportation options, and homes that are affordable. With a committed staff of 20-plus, there is strong team spirit and sense of fun at our organization. We are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Walnut Creek. Between 2010 and 2040, the Bay Area will grow by two million people. This growth could make the Bay Area a better place to live, or it could hurt the region. Will people be able to find homes they can afford? Will they be able to walk or bike to work, or will they have to pay for gasoline, whatever it costs? Will natural areas and working farms continue to provide clean air, clean water, and fresh food?

Greenbelt Alliance’s Grow Smart Bay Area vision and research shows that by directing growth to existing cities and towns, protecting the region’s natural areas and working farms, and making sure this growth happens in an equitable way that benefits everyone, the Bay Area will remain a great place to live.

Policy Intern Responsibilities
The Policy Intern’s will work primarily on two main projects:

1. Helping with the final phase of a research project to assess the primary barriers to infill development in each of 20 Bay Area cities with high infill development potential and suggest approaches to overcome those barriers. Activities may include:

a. Brainstorming and prioritizing potential Greenbelt Alliance campaigns to implement solutions to the identified barriers.

b. Drafting and revising written materials expressing the findings of the research. This could include a formal report, fact sheets, graphic representations of results, and/or fundraising materials.

c. Reaching out to key stakeholders, including allied organizations, developers, and city staff, to review the findings of the report.

2. Supporting the final phase of a region-wide campaign to influence the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, Plan Bay Area. Activities may include:

a. Drafting comment letters, blog posts and other written materials.

b. Recruiting key messengers such as business representatives to contribute to the public conversation.

c. Coordinating meetings with allied organizations to discuss messages and tactics.

d. Attending and speaking at public meetings on the plan.

e. Conducting media outreach.

The Policy Intern may also undertake other tasks to support other Greenbelt Alliance campaigns, such as drafting talking points on key issues, researching land use policy recommendations, assisting with event planning and execution, or reviewing draft planning documents and drafting blog posts or comment letters. The Policy Intern will report to the Program Director and will work with other staff as appropriate.


This position requires a 2 to 5 day a week commitment for at least three months starting April or May 2013; a 6- to 12-month commitment is preferred. Interns are expected to adhere to a regular schedule, but working hours are flexible and interns can generally choose this schedule. Much work will be completed between 9am and 5pm weekdays in the Greenbelt Alliance main office in downtown San Francisco. This location is BART and MUNI accessible and public transportation is encouraged.

Talents/Skills desired

Greenbelt Alliance is seeking candidates with knowledge of urban planning issues – particularly infill development – strong quantitative and qualitative research skills, strong writing skills, and a friendly and professional demeanor. Candidates should have strong organizational skills and an ability to work independently to meet deadlines. Graduate students or those who have completed graduate school are preferred but recent college graduates will also be considered.


The position is unpaid. Travel reimbursement is available for interns working more than 30 hours a week who can demonstrate financial need.

This position is an excellent opportunity to have an impact on land use decisions throughout the Bay Area. The intern will meet professionals from around the region and will learn about environmental and urban planning issues while developing a network of contacts and references in the non-profit field. When applying for future jobs, interns will be able to point to tangible results from their work and describe discrete projects that they led.

To apply
To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Stephanie Reyes, Program Director at sreyes@greenbelt.org.  Please include the date you would be available to start work and how many months you can commit to the position. Greenbelt Alliance values a diverse workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people of all sexual orientation, trans and gender non-conforming people, and individuals of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applications will be evaluated as they arrive; the position is open until filled.

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