I'm a software engineer and an activist for affordable housing, cooperatives, and sustainability.
I've been writing code since I taught myself at the age of 13, and have been working in the software industry for the last decade. Currently, I work as Lead DevOps Engineer for Ceros, a software company based in New York City. I work remotely to manage the team that builds Ceros' server infrastructure in Amazon's cloud, and automates the processes used to deploy new versions of the software.
Outside of work, I've volunteered, served on committees, and on boards. I'm a bit of a workaholic. I've always felt that the way things are is not the way that they have to be. I have a firm belief in democracy and that the powerful should be held to account.
All of this shows in my activism. Whether it's been getting my hands in the soil for the Bloomington Community Orchard, aggressively challenging the ossifying power structures at Bloomingfoods that risked the survival of that treasured institution, or doing anything from digging through financial spreadsheets to working to mediate and resolve disputes at Bloomington Cooperative Living, I'm always working to advance alternative institutions, make the community more sustainable, and keep power from getting too comfortable.
Not all of my activism has been outside of government. In 2015, I got the opportunity to serve on Mayor Hamilton's transition team, and in 2016 to co-chair the Task Force on Government Innovation alongside Darryl Neher. Both experiences gave me a view into the inner workings of municipal government, the ways in which it is working and the ways in which it isn't. I'm a frequent attendee at City Council Meetings where I often push the council from the public comment podium on issues I care about.
I have deep roots in Bloomington. I spent my childhood in the halls of Rogers-Binford Elementary School, Jackson Creek Middle School, and Bloomington High School South. My wonderful partner of the last four years, Teal Larsen, is also a Bloomington native, born and raised here. She's a graduate of Harmony School and IU - the first Wells scholar from Harmony. Both our families are located here and have been for over 30 years.
We love our home on the west side. Countless hours of work have resulted in a half acre covered with vegetable gardens, fruit and nut trees, and native wildflowers. We're wrapping up construction on a new sustainably designed house that we hope to raise a family and grow old together in. We want to watch those trees grow tall and, with luck, leave them to the next generation. Bloomington is our forever home.
In getting ready to raise a family of our own, we've been doing a lot of thinking about what the future will be like for our children. To be honest, it looks pretty bleak right now. And not just because of climate change, although that looms huge and threatening on the horizon. Growing wealth inequality, the decay of democracy, creeping authoritarianism, the loss of privacy, rampant racism and inequity, and so many other problems threaten to overwhelm all of us. All is not lost. There's still time to turn things around, but every community is going to have to do its part, including Bloomington.
We've got a lot of hard work and challenging conversations in front of us. I'm not overeager to face down those challenges - I hold no illusions about how hard this is going to be, for all of us - but nor am I willing to pretend that someone else will solve these problems. And so I'm stepping up to do my part, as best I can.