Director, Community Relations & Organizing

Director, Community Relations & Organizing

Reporting Relationship
VP, Advocacy & Economic Development

Full-time, Exempt


The Downtown Seattle Association’s (DSA) mission is to create a healthy, vibrant downtown for all. For over 60 years, DSA has provided vision and leadership on the critical issues and opportunities facing Seattle’s urban core, including economic competitiveness, transportation and mobility, housing, and the quality of downtown Seattle’s public realm. As a member-based organization, a core activity of DSA is to advance economic competitiveness issues and advocacy for downtown businesses, nonprofits, and residents. DSA works closely with city and county leaders, neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies to advocate for more affordable housing, better transportation options and making downtown Seattle attractive and accessible to businesses, workers, residents, and visitors. DSA also serves as the program manager of the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), a city-established Business Improvement Area (BIA), first initiated with the support of property owners in 1999. The district encompasses more than 1,500 properties across 285 blocks and funds cleaning, safety, hospitality, public space, marketing/promotion, and economic development programs. The MID maintains contracts with public agencies to extend the impact of these programs within the district with public funding. The DSA also manages a subsidiary nonprofit, Commute Seattle, to provide commute trip reduction services and consultation to downtown employers and property owners under contracts with local transportation agencies.

Essential Duties and Tasks

  • Develop and execute a downtown community organizing plan focused on expanding downtown stakeholder reach with an emphasis on bringing new and diverse perspectives and voices into DSA’s advocacy and engagement efforts.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively across the DSA/MID to build and nurture relationships with ratepayers and members that leads to meaningful engagement on issues that further the DSA’s policy and legislative priorities.
  • Coordinate with DSA’s VP of Advocacy and Economic Development and members of the DSA’s Policy Committee to identify and research policies and initiatives impacting downtown, DSA members and ratepayers.
  • Supervise and manage the work of DSA’s Community Relations and ratepayer Specialist who serves as the primary DSA point of contact for MID ratepayer issue resolution.
  • In coordination with DSA’s VP of Advocacy and Economic Development, serve as project manager for select DSA/MID policy and advocacy initiatives including managing external relations with community groups, ratepayers and public agencies.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relations with elected officials, senior public agency staff and other aligned organizations on behalf of DSA/MID funded programs and priorities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred plus five (5) years of leadership experience in community organizing, outreach and public policy.
  • Strong knowledge of local policy issues and experience in government relations, and/or lobbying.
  • Familiarity with city and county government structures and legislative and political processes. Familiarity with similar state and federal political processes is also desired.
  • Ability to exercise strategic judgment and diplomacy in a wide variety of public situations and high-profile issues.
  • Ability to work with a variety of constituencies including business leaders, public officials and community representatives.
  • Extensive experience and knowledge of community issues.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong collaboration and consensus building skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Well-developed presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Ability to effectively represent DSA, its mission and values.

Specialized Skills

Experience with the following types of software and/or Windows-based applications is preferred: word processing, databases, internet, email, CRM platforms, digital advocacy tools.

Employment Details
DSA is committed to internal and market equity. The salary range for this position is $96,200.00 – $153,900.00. Salary is determined based on internal and market equity, internal and market data/salary ranges, and the applicant’s job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. We will hire at the beginning to mid-range of the salary range to allow future salary growth based on an employee’s performance, professional development and increases in responsibilities and duties. Downtown Seattle Association provides a comprehensive benefits package including but not restricted to:

*Medical/Dental/Vision Coverage
PTO/Personal Holidays
*Paid FMLA
*Life Insurance
*ORCA Card
Flexible Spending Account
Employer-Matched 401(k) Contribution with up to 5% Match
*First Choice EAP
Corporate Discounts

*Employer paid benefit 

Application Instructions

Please submit your application materials to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Deadline is March 1, 2024

We recognize the value of the Downtown Seattle Association and our affiliate organizations and programs reflecting the diversity of our community and are intentionally and actively seeking out applications from a variety of backgrounds, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).

Downtown Seattle Association is an equal opportunity employer. All employees and potential employees will be recruited, selected, trained, promoted, and, if necessary, disciplined without regard to sex, race, religion, creed, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political ideology or activity, disability, honorably discharged veteran, or military status. All applicants are carefully screened, and full consideration is given to their training, education, skills, aptitudes, experience, and previous work record. In addition, DSA does not discriminate based on genetic information in its employment related policies and practices, including coverage under its health benefits program.