St. Johns: Community Design Advocate (CDA) Program
Position Description  | August 29, 2023

Position Title: Community Design Advocate
Status: Limited-duration position
Available Paid Positions: Five

Application opens: August 29, 2023
Applications due: September 22, 2023
Potential video call with applicants: Week of Sept 25
Selection by: September 29, 2023

CDA Information Session: 
We will hold two informational sessions. You are invited to attend one of the two sessions. Participation in one of these sessions is not required but is highly encouraged. To register for a session, please use the link provided below.

Session: Monday, September 11, 2023 5:30-6:30pm

Session: Tuesday, September 12, 2023 12:00-1:00pm

About Multnomah County Library
Multnomah County Library is one of the nation’s busiest public library systems, providing social, educational, and cultural programs, resources, and services, online and through its 19 public locations. In addition to being Oregon’s largest provider of free internet access, the library offers millions of print and digital resources, in multiple languages for people of all ages. From kindergarten readiness to job training, computer-assisted design, and 3D printing, the library supports all people in their pursuits to connect, learn and create.

Building Libraries Together
Thanks to voters’ support, the Library Capital Bond passed in November 2020. This work allows Multnomah County Library to transform libraries. St. Johns Library is growing to support the community by expanding to provide additional space and a great experience for all. Planning for St. Johns  is underway with construction scheduled to be completed late 2025.  

Position Overview: Community Design Advocate (CDA)
The building project team, including staff from Multnomah County Library, Bora Architecture & Interiors and Convergence Architecture, seek five Community Design Advocates (CDAs) to shape the design of St. Johns Library. The building project team is separate from library administration and library services. CDAs will support community outreach and engagement to center community input during the design phases for St. Johns. The information from this community engagement work will be used by the building project team to inform the St. Johns Library building design, not library services or programs.

Because design advocates are part of the project team, they will be paid for their efforts. Design experience is not required. Instead, lived experience, cultural knowledge, leadership and community ties will shape parts of the project. In addition, each CDA will create and host outreach activities for their communities. We expect the role to spend an average of 12-16 hours per month on this work.

CDAs will gather community input on:

  • Community dreams, needs, opportunities, and challenges
  • Library space types and resources 
  • Positive visitor experience in libraries
  • Building layout, exterior and interior design
  • Universal design and accessibility, Trauma-informed Design, Design for Neurodiversity 

Essential Tasks (During design phases from September 2023 to May 2024)

  • Serve as a project ambassador; increase awareness; promote design milestones
  • Attend a project design team onboarding meeting in person
  • Attend an in-person tour of St. Johns Library 
  • Plan and host at least (3) structured outreach/engagement activities including but not limited to: Focus groups, workshops and gatherings, and additional informal conversations including but not limited to individual or small group meetups and tabling at local events and markets. Potential to collaborate with other CDAs depending on approach alignment.
  • Meet and review engagement plans with the project engagement team and other CDAs to align engagement activities. Project engagement team will provide design materials to support CDA during their planning. 
  • Write up summaries of community input/recommendations
  • Create monthly reports about work completed  
  • Participate and provide input during monthly project engagement team meetings
  • Attend a brief feedback session at the end of the project and fill out an exit survey

Additional Tasks (During construction and opening phases in 2025)

  • Assist Multnomah County Library and Bora during engagement activities and help spread the word about all project engagement activities (including non-CDA hosted activities) 
  • Connect with project engagement team around partnerships with Community-based Organizations (CBOs) on outreach
  • Connect with project engagement team around translations and/or accessibility services 
  • Attend (2) site visits during the construction phase in 2025
  • Participate in groundbreaking and grand opening events
  • (Optional) Participate in the artist selection process and art review process organized by the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC)


  • Multnomah County resident
  • Active community member in the St. Johns neighborhood (eg. – residents in St. Johns neighborhood or adjacent neighborhoods, people working consistently with people in the St. Johns neighborhood)
  • Open to people 14 and older
  • Interest or experience in developing public spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to diverse communities
  • Demonstrated experience in coordinating community/stakeholder outreach, engagement, organizing, or supporting community-centered projects, initiatives, or campaigns
  • Identifies as or has established trust and credibility within any of the following communities in St. Johns:
    • Latino communities
    • Black communities
    • Immigrants and refugees
    • Indigenous communities
    • Communities experiencing housing insecurity or houselessness
    • Teens and young adults
    • People with disabilities (visible or invisible)
    • Older adults or seniors
    • Low-income communities

CDAs will be compensated $4,000.00 with an additional $1,500.00 to cover engagement expenses (materials and supplies, food, gift cards, cash app) for the duration of the project. Compensation will be contingent upon the successful completion of essential tasks. Receipts and documentation must be provided for all expense reimbursement. 

CDAs will need to complete and return an IRS Form W-9 in order to receive stipend and will receive a Form 1099-MISC at the end of each tax year for tax reporting purposes. The 1099-MISC will also be submitted to the IRS by Bora Architecture & Interiors.

To apply for one of the five Community Design Advocate positions available for St. Johns Library, please fill out this APPLICATION FORM by September 22, 2023. 

Selections will be made by September 29, 2023 and you will be notified via email at the email address provided in your application. We might reach out to hold potential video calls with applicants the week of September 25, 2023. 

If you have any questions or inquiries about this application or the CDA position, please email us at: