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Driving Change: Crafting Policy and Empowering Communities

Jason Greene featured image This week, we spoke to Jason Greene II, Legislative Aide for the Office of Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

Can you tell me about your career path that you’ve taken that’s led you to where you are now?

Growing up in Philadelphia, I experienced many of the issues plaguing our cities: underfunded public schools, dilapidated public infrastructure, high poverty rates, and more. I saw many of the solutions to these problems through public policy and government. During my senior year of college, I interned for Congressman Dwight Evans of Philadelphia when I worked in the district office with district staff who interacted with constituents daily. I worked with the staff to perform constituent services and even created a project around the social determinants of health and got to present it to the member.

That experience made me interested in working on Capitol Hill. After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C., to be the Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Evans, where I worked on health and education policy for the office. Today, I am the Legislative Aide to Senator Patty Murray of Washington State, where I work on, among other things, agriculture/nutrition, transportation, and science/technology/telecommunication policy for the senator.

Which specific policy areas or legislative issues are you most passionate about, and how do you stay informed and engaged in those areas?

I am very interested in policy areas primarily affecting urban areas and the African-American community. I want to move back to Philadelphia and work in local government to build the city I know it can be. What is remarkable about the role that I am in now is that I get to work on those types of issues every day, such as SNAP and WIC, public transportation, and more, but at the federal level. I hope to take my knowledge of these issue areas soon and apply them at the local level.

Describe a challenging or rewarding project that significantly influenced your growth as a professional. How did you handle the challenge, and what did you learn from the experience?

In addition to being a Legislative Aide to Senator Murray, I am the President of the Congressional Black Associates, the largest Black staff association on the Hill. Being President of such a large organization comes with its own set of challenges and roadblocks. From scheduling general body meetings to planning large-scale social events for members to network and have fun after a long work week. What I have learned in this role is that collaboration is vital, and getting input from multiple stakeholders can make your job so much easier. When you allow people to showcase their talents, you can make a difference in many people’s lives.

What advice would you give to individuals who aspire to work on Capitol Hill?

Do not doubt yourself. I still struggle with that to this day. I think many people here have imposter syndrome, especially young staffers who this is their first job out of college. You belong here and take advantage of working in a place many dream of working in.

What do you believe sets Capitol Hill apart as a unique work environment, and how do you navigate its challenges in your everyday work?

You are working in the center of power with people who are dedicated public servants who are at the top of their game in their respective fields. Only a few places of work can say that. However, you can sometimes interact with people who do not have your best interest in mind or have enormous egos. Don’t fall into that trap. Stay true to yourself and constantly remind yourself why you came to this place first: to serve.

Word association, what is the first word that comes to mind for each of these?

Policy – Impact

Networking – Relationships

Writing Skills – Necessary

Working on the Hill – Opportunities

Leadership Connect – Invaluable

To be featured or learn more, reach out to Gabi Thomas, and spread the word to any colleagues who would be interested.

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Gabrielle Thomas

Gabi joined Leadership Connect as a Research Analyst and is now the Legislature Outreach Liaison.