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 cross-functionally across the DSA/MID to build relationships with ratepayers and members that drive meaningful action to further the mission of DSA and its policy and legislative priorities.
  • Coordinate with DSA’s VP of Advocacy and Economic Development and members of the DSA Policy Committee to identify and research potential policies and initiatives impacting downtown, DSA members and ratepayers.
  • Serve as the primary DSA point of contact for MID ratepayers and work to identify ways to increase the impact of MID programs and services, particularly in areas where public sector support and action is needed.
  • Manage external relations involving potential new services, contracts, and initiatives within the MID 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 plus five (5) years of leadership experience in community organizing and outreach.
  • Experience with public policy, government relations, and lobbying are desired.
  • Familiarity with city and county government structures and legislative and political processes. Familiarity with similar state and federal political processes are 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 and negotiation 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 and email.


  • Reflect the Downtown Seattle Association’s core values of Collaboration, Perseverance, Innovation, Excellence and Integrity.
  • Deep commitment to equity and social justice with an understanding of the role that racism, ableism, sexism and other forms of bias and oppression play in perpetuating inequity.
  • Commitment to growth mindset, collaborative leadership, and a learning-based philosophy.
  • Humility, sense of humor, comfort with ambiguity and servant leadership.
  • Ability to weave and work within all DSA mission areas associated with creating a healthy, vibrant downtown.
  • Willingness and comfort to engage with evolving and shifting portfolio of job duties.

Salary range $90,000 – $110,000 DOE, plus medical and dental benefits, health insurance, paid time off, long-term disability, 401K retirement plan and annual ORCA transit pass.

Please submit your cover letter, and resume to

The Downtown Seattle Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.