A few weeks ago I was laid off from the small-dollar fundraising platform ActBlue. I’d like to thank all my coworkers and my manager Mariam Khan for the many opportunities to learn and grow. Most recently a Senior User Researcher, I’m looking for UX design, UX research, or hybrid roles in civic, political, or nonprofit tech.
As my former coworkers know, ActBlue was close to my heart. I’ve had a long history with ActBlue, including many firsts for both myself and the organization.
Back in 2006 the founders Matt DeBergalis and Benjamin Rahn contracted me as ActBlue’s first UI designer, and offered me employee number 1. I didn’t take that offer, choosing instead to co-found a worker cooperative which contracted with ActBlue for a couple years until 2008. I remain in the top 15 contributors to our Ruby on Rails app from front-end code contributions and bug fixes.
When I came back in 2017 in the wake of Trump being elected, I was the first Product Designer in ActBlue’s history and the first person with the title “product” in the organization. When the product management discipline began at ActBlue, I became a product manager and helped carve out a place for the discipline at ActBlue. And when our former VP of Product, Design, & Engineering Tacita Morway asked me to help found the UX Research discipline at ActBlue, I also became its first User Researcher, the only one until the day I was laid off. I’ll rest easy knowing my concrete contributions as a path-breaking designer, front-end developer, product manager, and user researcher continue to provide substantial value to ActBlue and its users.
I’ve had the opportunity to be of service by contributing to the culture of ActBlue as well, co-developing respectful communications guidelines with colleagues. In addition, I led a screening and conversation on pro-feminist masculinity, co-facilitated a book club on Emergent Strategy, and had the honor of participating in the Core Values Task Force.
But the “first” I cherish the most was the opportunity for the first time in my life, despite nearly a decade in the labor movement as a worker cooperator, to help organize and be elected to represent the ActBlue Technical Services union at the bargaining table. I have been floored by the heart, intelligence, creativity, and solidarity of every single member of our union. The unions at ActBlue make it a better place to work and a stronger organization.
I remain a fervent supporter of ActBlue’s mission and all my passionate colleagues, and I’m excited to explore new opportunities to make a meaningful impact on society.
I’ll leave you with a quote from civil rights leader DeRay McKesson: “We must focus on the type of world we want to live in and devise a plan for getting there, as opposed to devising a strategy centered on opposition.”
Organized, united, we have an opportunity to build the future we want. Let’s build it.