Community Outreach Planner

7 days left

Alexandria, VA
$62,657.92 - $76,591.84 Annually
Feb 12, 2021
Mar 14, 2021
Program Manager
Full Time
Community Outreach Planner

The City of Alexandria is located in Northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 160,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest City in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter square miles in the City have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for this Community Outreach Planner position, classified with in the Urban Planner III job classification, within the Department of Planning & Zoning (P&Z).

An Overview
P&Z considers the community an active partner in planning for the future of the City as articulated in What’s Next Alexandria , Alexandria’s civic engagement handbook that establishes principles for inclusive, meaningful, and collaborative engagement. As Alexandria looks ahead to future challenges, it is essential that all members of our diverse community and neighborhoods have an equal and meaningful opportunity to shape the agenda, evaluate options, and reach decisions. This position will play a lead role in expanding, improving, and executing the City’s approach to inclusive community engagement in planning for the future.

The Community Outreach Planner must be an experienced and innovative planning professional with community planning experience in comparable urban settings and the ability to translate complex planning topics into clear concepts that the community can understand. This position will have experience communicating with and building relationships among historically marginalized populations in order to ensure an inclusive vision for the future.

P&Z’s work program has a broad spectrum of planning projects requiring community engagement and dialogue. One current example is the update to long range plans in the Mount Vernon Avenue Corridor. The communities along this corridor are among Alexandria’s most diverse and are among the most proximate to the Amazon HQ2 and Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. The Community Outreach Planner will develop and execute inclusive engagement strategies that ensure that all of the diverse perspectives are heard and understood to help shape the resulting plans.

What You Should Bring

Urban Planning Expertise:

  • Strong understanding of and experience applying urban planning concepts and topics, such as housing affordability, urban design, open space, transit-oriented development accessible to a variety of transportation modes and /or development economics;
  • Demonstrated ability to convert technical and complex planning concepts in order to translate them into clear terms for a variety of audiences;
  • Familiarity with how racialized origins of land use and planning policy in the U.S. contributes to current disparities and inequitable outcomes by race, ethnicity, income, and geography, and
  • Experience designing and implementing community engagement strategies, including equity principles, for planning processes.

Communications and engagement Skills:

  • Proven track record of leading community engagement efforts that successfully apply a variety of low- and high-tech engagement strategies to involve members of the community in decision making about the future and increase transparency in the planning and development process;
  • Demonstrated skill and ease in delivering presentations to a range of small and large audiences, and the ability to explain complex messages in a clear, concise and engaging manner;
  • Fluency in written and verbal Spanish to engage members of the community who may not otherwise participate;

  • Experience creating graphics and concise messaging for a variety of audiences; and
  • Experience with media relations.

Government and Policy Experience:

  • Experience in local government and communicating with policymakers, senior level managers and interdepartmental staff and intergovernmental entities.

Quick and Innovative Thinking:

  • Demonstrated ability to be proactive in quickly assimilating complex information, discerning challenges, and devising effective innovative solutions.

People Skills:

  • The successful candidate will be outgoing and enjoy interacting with members of the community and community leaders to develop positive relationships and further strengthen community engagement; and
  • Demonstrated expertise in engaging and building trust among historically marginalized populations, including members of the public who speak languages other than English.

The Opportunity

  • Collaborate on an update to the City’s Community Engagement practices and policy, taking into account lessons learned during the pandemic and focusing on engaging historically marginalized populations;
  • Review the P&Z’s work program, and in collaboration with P&Z leadership, identify projects or program areas requiring community engagement and outreach to develop an annual community engagement and outreach work program;
  • Develop community engagement plans for individual projects that incorporate a variety of high- and low-tech engagement strategies tailored to meaningfully engage a broad variety of stakeholders,
  • Lead the City’s upcoming Strategic Plan update;

  • Work with City’s Race and Social Equity Officer through the P&Z Equity Core Team and P&Z's representation on the Interdepartmental Core Team to ensure the implementation of the City's All Alexandria vision with regard to community engagement and equity efforts in general are effectively implemented;
  • Meet with stakeholders (non-profit organizations, civic/homeowner organizations, faith-based groups, educational institutions, individuals, etc.) around the City to establish and grow relationships to ensure that current and future planning initiatives are informed by broad community engagement;
  • Utilize a range of social media platforms to promote community engagement initiatives;
  • Serve as a community engagement resource to other City departments;
  • Work closely with other departments to promote/educate the public on mutual planning related Strategic Plan goals, such as affordable housing, mixed use developments, transit-oriented development, and more; and

  • Other duties as assigned.

About the Department The Department of Planning and Zoning works closely with communities to carry out the City's Strategic Plan, fostering amenity-rich, service-oriented and equity-balanced neighborhoods; protecting historic and cultural resources; and supporting diverse and creative businesses. In developing neighborhood plans, reviewing development proposals, and promoting economic vitality, we continue our commitment to collaborate with all stakeholder groups to honor the character of each neighborhood and to strengthen and sustain them, and Alexandria as a whole, for now and in the future.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Four-Year College Degree from an accredited college or university in regional, or urban Planning, or a closely related field such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies, Public Administration, Physical Sciences, Historic Preservation, or Environmental Studies and five years of relevant planning experience or two years and a Master's Degree; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications

Five or more years of progressively responsible work experience in the field of urban planning, with a focus on community outreach and engagement, and demonstrated success in reaching traditionally underrepresented communities; knowledge and experience in equity related principles; fluency in Spanish; proficiency with graphic software to produce creative, engaging and informative material for a variety of audiences and stakeholders; demonstrated expertise in oral presentation and writing; media relations experience; at least three years of experience with social media and digital engagement. Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite or equivalent.


This position requires the successful completion of a pre-employment background check.