Oakland Planning Policy Manager

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 Oakland Planning Policy Manager. SPUR believes in the power of good planning to create vibrant, equitable cities and communities, centering anti-displacement approaches to create neighborhoods that are both inclusive and allow for the growth necessary to support a more affordable Bay Area. The Oakland Planning Policy Manager leads SPUR’s work on Planning in Oakland. This role is an opportunity to lead important work at one of the Bay Area and Oakland’s most impactful public policy organizations. 

This role is perfect for someone with deep knowledge of the public policy process in Oakland, and a passion to help Oakland become a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable city. Candidates must have a professional background in either community planning, physical planning, landscape architecture and/or urban design. This position will report to the Oakland Director until the Community Planning Policy Director position is filled. This position will be part of a team of city-focused Community Planning Policy Managers. 

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 Oakland. 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 Oakland Planning Policy Manager will help lead SPUR’s work on projects such as shaping Oakland’s General Plan Update, advocating for SPUR approved policy and influencing outcomes, with particular attention to the housing, transportation, land use and environmental justice elements. In addition, the Oakland Policy Planning Manager will work to support the success of critical planning projects such as Howard Terminal and the Coliseum to ensure good planning principles and equitable outcomes are centered in the processes. The Oakland Planning Policy Manager will also occasionally support other policy priorities in Oakland, ranging from Good Government to Economic Justice. 

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 Oakland issues and institutions is highly desirable.
  • The candidate must have a professional background in community planning, physical planning, landscape architecture and/or urban design. 
  • 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.
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and the ability to explain methodologies and express findings through tables, graphs, and charts is desirable. 
  • GIS skills are desirable.
  • Either a master’s degree in public policy, urban planning, or a related field, or a minimum of five years equivalent experience preferable.

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.

Hybrid Work Environment

At SPUR the health of our employees and their families is our top priority. SPUR has a hybrid workplace model defined by a combination of remote and in-person work. We have mandatory all staff in-person days on Monday and staff may be required to attend other in-person meetings, events and programs as needed. All policies are subject to change as relevant health orders change.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

SPUR employees are required to confidentially show proof of up to date COVID-19 vaccination to HR as a condition of employment. If the employee is entitled to a medical related reasonable accommodation or a sincerely held religious belief or practice, then the employee is exempt from the vaccine requirement and reasonable accommodations will be considered and made available if there is not an undue hardship incurred in order to provide it.

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, LGBTQ 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.