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Director of Congressional Affairs

Director of Congressional Affairs
Organization: City Year
Location: Washington, DC
Date Posted: 01/05/2024

Congressional Affairs Director

Apply: City Year Job Portal

Location: Washington, DC (Hybrid On-Site/Remote)

Job Description: City Year is seeking a Director of Congressional Affairs to join our Federal Affairs and National Service Policy team. The Director of Congressional Affairs will use their knowledge of Congress and the Executive Branch to help shape and advance City Year’s legislative priorities and cultivate bipartisan champions among key decisions makers in the federal government.

By design and since inception, City Year has a strong record of accomplishment in the area of public policy, most notably helping to inspire the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993. Today, City Year is investing in the powerful and unique potential of national service to advance educational opportunities and to build a more equitable, just and hopeful future by creating environments where each person has a chance to maximize their potential. City Year has worked steadily to cultivate and leverage a broad base of political and public support and elevate national service as powerful policy strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country, and developing civic character.

City Year serves as the organizational and operational host of Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national, state and local service organizations working together to build bipartisan support for AmeriCorps, develop policies to expand and strengthen service opportunities for all Americans, and to ensure a robust federal investment in the Corporation for National and Community Service. City Year’s Federal Affairs and National Service Policy department, including the Director of Congressional Affairs, serves as the staff for Voices for National Service.

As Director of Congressional Affairs, you will:

Policy Development and Analysis (40% of time)

  • Monitor and track committee hearings, legislation, the budget process, agency action and regulations.
  • Keep internal and external stakeholders apprised of legislative activity, draft legislative analysis memos, email communications, website and blog posts, and action alerts.
  • Draft fact sheets, position statements, policy papers, comment letters, briefs, testimony, and other documents that convey policy positions to Congress and the administration.
  • Support national service policy development, working with both the Voices for National Service members and City Year’s subject matter experts across departments and verticals, to develop federal policy proposals, positions, and problem resolutions.
  • Support SVP for Federal Affairs in responding to requests for technical assistance from congressional staff, think tanks, and other groups working on national service and education corps legislation.
  • Collaborate with City Year’s SVP for Education Policy and Systemic Change Leader and VP for District Engagement to identify federal education legislation that is important to our partners or City Year’s ability to effectively operate in schools; advocate for federal education programs and education funding streams that states, districts and schools use to fund their City Year partnerships, as well as federal education programs and funding that advance educational equity and create environments where students can build on their strengths and fully engage in their learning.

Federal Relations, Strategy and Events (55% of time)

  • Manage Voices for National Service’s Government Relations Committee and organize committee members to achieve outcomes; responsibilities include scheduling regular committee meetings, drafting agendas and materials.
  • Work with Senior Vice President for Federal Affairs to develop strategies and tactical plans to influence Congress, the White House and relevant agencies.
  • Support engagement of the National Service Congressional Caucus.
  • Engage City Year’s network and allied organizations to influence legislation and budget outcomes, providing partners with training and technical assistance, talking points and materials.
  • Represent City Year and Voices for National Service during Hill visits, coalition meetings, congressional briefings, hearings, or conferences.
  • Help manage City Year’s participation in other advocacy coalitions including Title IV Coalition, Children’s Budget Coalition, and America Forward.
  • Lead project management for all Capitol Hill Days, congressional briefings, and policy forums; schedule meetings, create materials, develop pre-event trainings, and oversee event logistics.
  • Support the Director of Advocacy and Outreach’s efforts to activate the Voices for National Service coalition; translate federal policy into compelling communication and action items; develop content for toolkits or direct-action campaigns, create templates that advocates can adapt and implement locally.
  • Assist in preparing for and presenting at national conferences, trainings, and webinars on national service policy priorities and advocacy strategies.
  • Provide support for Voices for National Service events and meetings including Steering Committee meetings, the annual Friends of National Service Awards, Days of Action, and in-district service site visits.
  • Support City Year’s CEO, EVP, SVP in their federal relations, public speaking, and media interviews to promote policy priorities.
  • Support senior leaders in setting strategic direction for Voices for National Service and implementing work plan as needed.

Support Voices for National Service’s Research Agenda (5% of time)

  • Prepare and oversee the preparation of research projects that support Voices for National Service’s policy priorities and initiatives.

Our Ideal Candidate: We’re looking for an individual who has experience with the legislative process, policy analysis or advocacy. Successful candidates are self-motivated, enjoy working within a fast-paced environment, and have an understanding of, or an interest in, national service and education issues. We seek someone who desires to be part of and contribute to a team effort and has a demonstrated aptitude for project management.

You are motivated by City Year’s mission and values. You have a deep commitment to diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity, and a strong willingness to continue your own ongoing learning and growth in these areas.

In addition, you will have many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Working knowledge of the federal government and strong grasp of the political process.
  • Experience as a legislative assistant or advocate within Congress, the administration, a state legislature, policy making organization, or a political or issue-based campaign.
  • Experience developing and drafting legislative proposals and strategies to pass them into law.
  • Experience crafting clear and compelling written content including bill summaries, fact sheets, policy briefs, action alerts, position statements, testimony, regulatory comments, and online/social media pieces related to policy issues.
  • Strong political instincts and a desire to work collaboratively with both Democrats and Republicans on federal policy.
  • Excellent communication skills (written, interpersonal and presentation) and ability to apply to a broad range of audiences in a compelling manner that moves people to action.
  • Experience producing Capitol Hill Days, policy forums and briefings, or other elected official engagement events.
  • Well-organized with ability to balance competing priorities, deadline-conscious, results driven, and high performing in a fast-paced environment.
  • National service/AmeriCorps and/or education experience is a plus.
  • Experience in coalition-building and/or grassroots activation is a plus.

Background on City Year: City Year helps students and schools succeed, while preparing the next generation of civically engaged leaders who can work across lines of difference. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide support to students, classrooms and the whole school. Schools that partner with City Year are up to two to three times more likely to improve in English and math assessments, and the more time students spend with AmeriCorps members, the more they improve on social, emotional and academic skills— skills that help students thrive in school and contribute to their community.

City Year’s 900 staff and 3,000 AmeriCorps members work and serve in 29 communities across the U.S., including Boston (where City Year was founded in 1988 and is headquartered), Baton Rouge, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, Sacramento, San Antonio, San José/Silicon Valley, Seattle/King County, Tulsa and Washington, D.C. City Year also has international affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa.

A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by AmeriCorps, local school districts and private philanthropy. City Year has been designated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator since 2003, putting City Year in the top 1% of non-profits nationwide for accountability, transparency and responsible fiscal management, and placing City Year among the most trustworthy nonprofits in America.

City Year’s core values include advancing diversity, social justice for all, and inclusive environments where everyone can thrive. We aspire to become an antiracist organization, to support the holistic growth and development of our AmeriCorps members, and to promote educational equity for all students. We work each day, in partnership with schools and communities, to ensure that people of all identities feel welcome, valued, empowered and engaged.

Benefits: Full time employees will be eligible for all benefits including vacation and sick days and organization holidays. You may participate in all benefit programs that City Year establishes and makes available to eligible employees, under (and subject to all provisions of) the plan documents that govern those programs. Currently, City Year offers medical, dental and vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment and disability coverage, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), other benefits including 401(k) plan(s) pursuant to the terms and conditions of company policy and the 401(k) plan document. For more information, click here.

Employment at City Year is at-will. City Year does not sponsor work authorization visas.

COVID-19 Notice: Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees and AmeriCorps members and their families; our students and school partners; and the community at large from COVID-19. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for employment and service – all staff members, including remote staff, and AmeriCorps members are required to be fully vaccinated* no later than their start date. If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or sincerely-held religious beliefs, we will consider requests for reasonable accommodation consistent with our policy, and where we are able to provide such accommodations without undue hardship to the organization pursuant to applicable law. Notwithstanding any language herein, City Year will comply with any state, local, or federal orders, statutes, or regulations that may conflict with the COVID-19 vaccination policy. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the completion of their primary vaccination series.

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