Shape Public Policy with 5 Political Volunteer Opportunities in NYC

There is no better time than now to take advantage of political volunteer opportunities in NYC – to take a stand and advocate for positive change at the local, federal, and global levels.

Aggressive ICE raids have been reported in Brooklyn and Harlem¹, which could result in family separations and the deportation of refugees. Voting restrictions, including early voter registration requirements, unfairly affect people of color and resulted in an estimated 90,000 disenfranchised NYC voters in the 2016 presidential election². The ethnically and culturally diverse makeup of our city makes it more vulnerable to legislation that disproportionately affects minority groups, increasing the importance of political advocacy.

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Volunteering for a political organization is one way to make your voice heard: to turn your free time, skills, and abilities into a positive result. Taking advantage of the many political volunteer opportunities in NYC connects you with like-minded individuals, focuses your energy and efforts, and provides much-needed support for organizations that are dedicated to supporting human rights and civil liberties, or fighting mass incarceration, climate change, and human trafficking.

5 Political Volunteer Opportunities in NYC That Will Shape Public Policy

Amnesty International

Current issues include ending gun violence, bettering the lives of immigrants and refugees, abolishing the death penalty, and exposing and preventing the use of deadly force by police. Amnesty International defends the human rights and dignity of all people, promoting change throughout the world with research, documentation, and activism; and advocating for public policies to recognize and end injustice.

Volunteers for Amnesty International can organize events and support grassroots activities in their communities. Currently, Amnesty is also looking for volunteers to work at the Northeast Regional Conference November 16 in Providence, RI. Find out how to take immediate action and support Amnesty International today.


Correctional Association of New York

The Correctional Association of New York (CANY) is an independent organization that monitors prisons and the lives and experiences of the prisoners there. They work with the legislature, advocacy organizations, and the prison system itself to support and improve the dignity, health, and legitimacy of the people that are incarcerated in New York prisons.

CANY relies on the support of volunteers, who can contribute to their mission by helping with research, administration, translation, social media, writing, and outreach. Learn more about becoming a CANY volunteer here.



Greenpeace uses non-violent protest and creative communication to promote solutions to the environmental issues of the day: from fighting climate change and saving the Arctic, to protecting the forests and oceans of the world. Greenpeace relies on the efforts of volunteers to execute campaigns, using social justice to promote ecological diversity and sustainability.

Volunteers with Greenpeace are needed to start groups, host events, run campaigns, and connect with other activists to protect our planet’s most valuable resources. Volunteer with Greenpeace here.


Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an NYC-based organization that defends the rights of people throughout the world, promoting awareness of human rights violations and pressuring governments and organizations to change for the better.

Some of HRW’s current initiatives include ending child labor, banning land mines, and closure of the Guantanamo detention center. To volunteer, donate, or sign up for the newsletter, check out the HRW website here.


New York Civil Liberties Union

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is the local arm of the ACLU, working to defend and promote the civil rights of New Yorkers, in accordance with their governing belief, that “all New Yorkers have inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government of by majority vote³.” These rights include freedom of speech, press, and religion as well as equality before the law, due process, and the right to privacy.

The NYCLU defends civil liberties in the courts, schools, and community with advocacy and outreach programs. Support the NYCLU’s mission by becoming an ambassador, or using your skills in translation, fundraising, writing, journalism, or academia and help protect the civil rights of the people in your community. Sign up to be a volunteer here.


The current political environment seems to grow more contentious every day, leaving many feeling emotional, and helpless to make their opinions heard and recognized. One way to get past these feelings is to take advantage of the many political volunteer opportunities in NYC.

Volunteering not only allows you to contribute your voice in support of those issues that mean the most to you – but it also connects you with people who feel the same, helping to overcome feelings of helplessness and isolation, while turning your skills and abilities to a positive, meaningful outcome.

Join a local organization as a political advocate, to protect immigrants, ensure equal voting rights, fight mass incarceration, and reduce the impact of climate change – and help make a better world today.



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