Dayton, Ohio is a progressive mid-sized city experiencing a period of significant reinvention. Dayton’s population has recently stabilized after decades of decline, and the city’s downtown and neighborhoods are seeing new activity and investment. Yet significant challenges related to poverty and long-term disinvestment remain, and the City is working to make sure that new investment and opportunities benefit all residents.
First elected to the Dayton City Commission in 2005, Nan Whaley was the youngest women ever chosen for a commission seat. She was proud to be elected as Dayton’s mayor in 2013 by a double-digit majority. As mayor, she has focused on the areas of community development, manufacturing, and women and children. Mayor Whaley is a national leader among her peers, and in 2017 was named one of Politico’s “Mayors Going Places.” Her leadership roles include serving on the Board of Trustees for the US Conference of Mayors as well as Chair of the International Committee for the conference. She is also a founding board member for the Ohio’s Mayor Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of Ohio’s 30 largest cities.
In 2019, Mayor Whaley announced a new strategic focus for the city that aims to reduce barriers to opportunity for residents. Mayor Whaley’s office is seeking a Director’s Intern to work on a summer-long special project related to this strategic focus, likely with a. The intern will work closely with the mayor’s Senior Policy Aide and other senior staff on this project, but will also be expected to work independently. The intern may also be assigned other shorter-term projects as needed, including helping with events, constituent assistance, or scheduling.
- Familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel
- Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills
- Ability to work collaboratively and independently
- Must exemplify the City of Dayton’s core customer service values: being courteous and professional, taking accountability and ownership, and taking initiative.
- Experience interacting with grassroots and grasstops community stakeholders
- An interest in urban policy, particularly in older industrial cities
2019 Intern Reflection:
As an intern for Mayor Nan Whaley this summer, I've been able to experience multiple facets of local government. I've interacted with a wide variety of constituents and stakeholders, assisted during crisis situations, and worked on housing policy.
On 2019 Memorial Day evening, Dayton and surrounding communities experienced an EF4 tornado. Although the loss of life was minimal, many individuals experienced severe home damage, power outages, and water shortages. To assist during this critical time, I managed a webpage that regularly updated to reflect available resources and important community notices. I also researched best practices for equitable disaster recovery. In addition, Mayor Whaley took me to multiple meetings and site visits related to relief efforts.
I selected this internship in part because of Dayton's interesting housing market. More specifically, redevelopment has been extremely uneven; although certain neighborhoods have completely revitalized and now are in high demand, others have continued to struggle and experience further decreasing populations. Furthermore, these divisions are characterized by distinct racial, socioeconomic, and geographic differences. As a result, housing policy in Dayton is not just about sheer numbers; it is indicative of larger issues surrounding economic mobility and race relations. In order to tackle this housing policy issue from both the quantitative and qualitative perspectives, I've been coding a program that collects housing market data from popular sites and also writing briefs on best practices for reducing evictions. I've presented my findings to residents, community experts, and other stakeholders.
The office culture here is extremely open and deeply collaborative. My direct supervisor, Mayor Whaley's Senior Policy Aide, is approachable and always willing to answer questions. She has also given me plenty of space to problem solve, collaborate with other employees, and explore independently. I've also gotten close to the other Legislative Aides in the Dayton's Commission Office. Like many other local governments, the work ebbs and flows in intensity and quantity.
Crystal Xue '22