Talk:2021 Board Elections
Why I'm Running - Nathan Upchurch - Director At Large
I support efforts to increase membership diversity across all intersections. It is clear that we need to do better in creating an environment that is safe and supportive for BIPOC, transgender and other marginalized members. We can only do this by elevating those voices and greatly increasing the diversity of PS1. I intend to ensure that this aim is represented on the board, and I will do whatever I can to meet the goal of having a diverse, inclusive space.
PS1 was founded on the principle of direct democracy, following the lead of spaces like Noisebridge, where it is recognized that every member is an equal part of making the space what it is, and should therefore have an equal say in the decision making process. Respecting the voice and intelligence of all members is paramount; as a member of the PS1 board you can expect that I will hold that principle above all else, as I believe that all key decisions should be made by the membership, and never for them.
In a member-run organization, transparency is critical. Some members have raised issues with our voting process; I personally believe that members are not always given the information they need to make informed decisions. To this end, I would like to introduce a system of accountability, wherein votes are subject to review some time after their passing. This would grant members the ability to participate in a process wherein they determine how any given vote has served them, enabling greater accountability and helping members make informed decisions.
PS1 has been trying for some time to reduce the 'information silos' that occur throughout the space through initiatives like canvas and the wiki. I believe that these efforts are critical to the continued success of PS1 as an organization, and wish to help these initiatives draw upon the collective knowledge of the entire membership by encouraging the sharing of knowledge and lowering the barrier to entry to submit information for these initiatives.
While I have served in many roles, I started my professional career in a print brokerage in Scotland, where I worked with clients and suppliers to create unique and technically challenging printed products, managing design through delivery. I also spent about two years as a volunteer, teaching around a dozen kids from ages ~8 - ~12 how to play the trombone in a brass-band environment. In a more recent role, I served as Chicago Head of Operations for an international cafe chain, where I opened several Chicago locations, including a commissary / production facility, handling everything from licensing, to purchasing and hiring. I developed new procedures for the Chicago operation, and adapted and implemented procedures from the international business to the Chicago market. I currently work as a communications specialist for a non-profit networking organization for women, dedicated to gender parity in the workplace.
Personally, I'm a classical tenor trombonist, front-end dev,graphic designer, arduino enthusiast, amateur music producer and a vegan cook. I own and operate a small graphic design & web development business with my business partner Davey. PS1 is incredibly important to me, because I recognize the value of self-education, and the importance of access to the tools and people necessary to learn new skills. I didn't complete any education after the age of seventeen, when I dropped out of school. Everything I know today is learned on the job or self-taught, thanks to the numerous people in my past who gave me the chance to learn. I want to extend that opportunity to others.