Illinois PIRG Consumer Defense Campaign Associate

Illinois PIRG is seeking a Campaign Associate to help lead our Campaign to Defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

You should be able to save, invest and manage your money without fear of being trapped, tricked or ripped off by the institutions you are trusting with your future. But as we've seen time and again, from Equifax to Wells Fargo, this isn't always the case. That’s why we need strong consumer protections in the financial marketplace. We saw in 2008 what happens when Wall Street is allowed to engage in reckless, largely unchecked behavior. The financial crash and recession that followed made it clear how much we need fair, clear, transparent and enforceable rules to protect consumers. So we helped create an independent agency whose sole mission is to create and enforce those rules — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In just six years, the Consumer Bureau has been a huge success, returning nearly $12 billion to more than 29 million consumers wronged by companies that have broken the law. Yet instead of cheering on the Consumer Bureau, the Trump administration and some members of Congress are pushing to weaken or even get rid of it. Last year, there were at least a dozen bills or resolutions against the CFPB, and the financial sector spent more than $2 billion during the 2016 election cycle trying to buy influence in Washington, D.C., through lobbying and campaign contributions — that’s more than $2.7 million a day.

We need to make sure the agency continues to have all its tools and independence intact so that when a qualified director is eventually back in charge, they are able to carry out the agency's mission again and not have their hands tied behind their back.

That’s why Illinois PIRG is calling on our senators to stop any bad bills that try to roll back or eliminate consumer protections, oppose any efforts to weaken the bureau by removing its independent funding, and only approve leaders to the bureau who are qualified and committed to its mission.

Entry-level candidates are encouraged to apply; we provide training on advocacy and organizing skills, as well as oversight and on-the-ground training by an experienced advocate. Ideal candidates will have leadership experience, top-notch written and verbal skills, an eagerness to learn, and be ready for a challenge. We value organizing experience, including building campus or community groups.


  • Build powerful coalitions: Reach out to like-minded organizations and affected constituency groups to demonstrate support for our campaign goals.
  • Earn traditional media and social media attention: Organize news conferences and write opinion pieces. Build a following on Facebook and Twitter for your campaign.
  • Lobby elected officials: Coordinate strategy with champions in Congress. Make a convincing case to legislators who are undecided on a particular vote. When a critical vote is happening on your campaign, work to demonstrate the support you’ve been building on the ground to help line up the votes needed to win.
  • Research and write reports: Catalogue and analyze data relevant to the issue and our policy proposals to help influence public debate and earn media attention for our cause.
  • Identify and cultivate donors: Reach out to foundations and major donors and ask them to fund your campaign.
  • Run a grassroots campaign office each summer: Run a campaign office for the summer to raise money to support our campaigns, build our organization and membership, and help build critical and timely grassroots support to win key campaigns while honing your organizing and management skills.

Pay & Benefits

The target annual compensation for this position is $28,500-$30,000 in the first year. Illinois PIRG offers a competitive benefits package. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement.


Chicago, IL

We’re also hiring Campaign Associates to work on other campaigns in locations across the country. We accept applications on a rolling basis.

Things to know when you apply

Illinois PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. Click here for things you should know about our network when you apply.

Illinois PIRG is an equal opportunity employer.


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