You're young and smart and a natural leader. You like to solve problems and disrupt stuffy institutions. You'd kill for a job that pays $174,000 a year, plus expenses, and comes with flexible hours, short work weeks, gold-plated benefits, and a two-year contract.
You should become a member of the House of Representatives, says David Burstein, and he'll show you how.
A Millennial Generation writer, filmmaker, and storyteller, Burstein is launching a campaign called Run for America that will recruit 12 leaders from his generation to run for the House in 2016. Run for America will serve as a new generation consulting firm that offers a range of services, such as website infrastructure, data architecture, voter modeling, opinion polling, message development, policy research, multimedia/ad production, and fundraising consulting.
It's a post-modern political organization—bipartisan and competing with the private sector for the greatest young leaders in America.
"This is not about Republicans or Democrats," said Burstein, 26, executive director of Generation18, a nonpartisan organization that engaged young voters in the 2008 election."This is about investing in great people. People solve problems and we need the best and brightest problem-solvers in Washington right now, and we certainly don't have them."
Run for American launched Monday with a job notice posted on LinkedIn. It's a hoot: The first job description on Congress describes the House ("a public-sector institution incorporated in 1789 to assist in the governance of the United States of America") and a congress member's job in the language of a Human Resources department:
During this volatile period of change, the House is in need of visionary leaders to reverse its historically low public favorability and help the institution overcome divisions that have left its management deadlocked on issues of critical national importance. Run for America seeks to recruit and support a dozen highly accomplished, innovative, future-focused, and passionate candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016.
Upon election, Representatives are afforded a two-year contract, which can be renewed following a public performance review every two years. Representatives are expected to work tirelessly on behalf of their constituents and their country in the pursuit of the citizenry's general welfare and a more perfect Union.
Noting that the private sector spends $70 billion a year in recruiting, Burstein said politics needs a process that competes for the top-shelf talent. Run for American is asking the public to nomination young leaders—"the most amazing, most talented people you know," said the author of the acclaimed book on millennial activism, Fast Future.
The organization is putting together a bipartisan panel of political experts who will help select the 12 most capable candidates. The winners will get leadership training and consulting services at bulk rates.
Access to cash and political connections are the two main qualifications for Congress today. In each party, a handful of consultants, lawmakers, and lobbyists scour the country for rich people (or people who know a lot of rich people) and beg them to seek office.
The job requirements via Run for America are borrowed from the Constitution: at least 25 years old and a U.S. citizen. Under "desired experience," the group seeks people who have held leadership positions in the public, private, or non-profit sector for at least two years, and who successfully mobilize "ideas, people, and resources."
Run for America is not looking for traditional politicians. The application is a nod to the fact that millennials tend to be social entrepreneurs who volunteer at record-high rates—solving problems and creating micro-institutions outside of a political/government system they don't trust. "No prior experience in elected office is necessary (indeed, preferred)," the job notice says.
The "salary and benefits" section is appealing: $174,000 plus "an ability to set future salary; 132 required work days, no five-day work weeks, and paid vacation."
—Allowance of $944,671 for a staff of up to 18 individuals, and an additional allowance (avg. $450,000) for mailing and office expenses
—Generous pension eligibility after five years of employment and full health and dental benefits
—Complimentary travel to and from Washington, DC headquarters
—Immunity from arrest while at work.
—Opportunities to attend exclusive events and meet VIPs through "Congressional -Delegations"
—A front row seat to history, and an ability to make a difference for millions of people
Run for America hopes you can't resist.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.