San Jose Planning Policy Manager

SPUR SPUR Employer:
San Jose, CA, USLocation:
Tue, Oct 19 '21Posted on:

About SPUR

SPUR is a nonprofit public policy organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR works to create an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region, where all people thrive. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems cities face. With offices in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, we are recognized and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues. 

The Opportunity

SPUR seeks candidates for the newly created position of San José Planning Policy Manager. SPUR believes in the power of good planning to create vibrant, equitable cities and communities, and works to make neighborhoods safe and welcoming to everyone. The San José Planning Policy Manager leads SPUR’s work on Planning in San José. This role is an opportunity to lead important work at one of the Bay Area and San José’s most impactful public policy organizations. 

This role is perfect for someone with deep knowledge of the public policy process in San José, and a passion to help San José become a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable city. Candidates must have a professional background in community planning, physical planning, landscape architecture and/or urban design. This position reports to the Community Planning Policy Director.

Core Responsibilities

This role includes significant research, writing, and policy analysis, as well as strategic thinking, effective advocacy, community engagement, and coalition-building. This role involves significant collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to develop policy ideas and strategy, and to effect policy change in San José. This role requires excellent project management skills, experience engaging with funders and with the general public. This role also serves as an ambassador to local government staff, elected officials, business and community leaders, and staff at other civic organizations. 

The San José Planning Policy Manager will help lead SPUR’s work on projects such as centering Guadalupe River Park and Guadalupe River Park Gardens in the future of downtown San José, a 15 Minute Equitable Neighborhood Plan for San José, a vision for the Coleman Corridor neighborhood, the future of Diridon Station Area and Downtown West, a plan to deliver on the promise of Urban Villages, a community-led plan for a community-serving Reid-Hillview, and much more.

Key Qualifications

  • The candidate must have experience writing about, advocating for and making policy change in the field of community planning.
  • The candidate must be well versed in the major community planning policy issues affecting American cities today. Knowledge of San José issues and institutions is highly desirable.
  • The candidate must have a professional background in community planning, physical planning, landscape architecture and/or urban design. Technical design skills would be preferable.
  • The candidate must be a strong writer and researcher, who can make complicated policy issues interesting and intelligible to a general audience.
  • The candidate must have experience advocating for policy change.
  • The job requires strong meeting facilitation skills and the ability to work well with people from all different sectors of the community and build diverse coalitions and consensus to drive policy outcomes.
  • The candidate must have experience effectively managing projects.
  • The candidate should have experience sourcing funding for their work.
  • The candidate must have both high emotional intelligence and relationships management skills, as well as strong quantitative reasoning skills and an ability to interpret and explain data, quantitative methods, trends and summary figures.
  • Either a master’s degree in public policy, urban planning, or a related field, or a minimum of five years equivalent experience preferable.
  • Verbal fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish is a plus.

We are looking for someone who has training in diversity, equity and inclusion and/or who has a demonstrated ability to work across differences. The candidate must be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and manifest that commitment in their policy, facilitation, advocacy and management responsibilities.


The salary range for this position is $75,000-$100,000 and will be based on experience and commensurate with skills and qualifications. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applicants should apply by submitting their materials to this link

Equal Opportunity Employer

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer with a strong organizational commitment to respecting differences of all kinds. SPUR prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, political orientation or disability or any other basis prohibited by law. In that spirit, we strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBT applicants and others that will contribute to the diversity of our staff.

Applicants With Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so assigned.


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