Farewell Note from Executive Director Nick Rathod
As we gear up for a new year and our state legislative work gets underway, I wanted to give you some exciting news about our work as well as changes at SiX.
Four years ago, I was hired to build an organization to support progressive state legislators across the country. This critical infrastructure has eluded the progressive movement for generations, while conservatives have benefited enormously in investing locally, which has allowed them control of policy making, bench building, elections and redistricting across the states now for more than a decade.
Working with our amazing staff, board, funders, and partners over these last years we have been able to change this dynamic and impact progressive’s work in the states in countless ways. Our programs are helping legislators to be more effective at serving their constituencies, translating into stronger communication of progressive values and tangible policy results for millions of Americans. The spaces we provide for networking, like our annual conference, have allowed for a cross-pollination of ideas and the creation of a community of legislators across the country. And the strategic support we provide has armed legislators with the tools and information they need to defeat regressive policies and advance ones that are aimed at treating all Americans fairly and providing working families with security and opportunity.
The organization has also grown. This will be the first year that we will have full time staff on the ground in state capitals. We have also added to our already dynamic national team. Last year, we brought on Neha Patel as Chief Development and Strategy Officer and Leigh Warren as our first Chief Operating Officer. Both bring decades of experience in their fields and have had enormous impact in the organization. Vicki Simarano, a nationally known legislative strategist and campaign organizer, joined us to run our legislative operations, and veteran advocate Kelly Baden joined as our Director of Reproductive Rights. And last month, Ellen Moran joined SiX as a senior advisor to help us develop a strategic plan. Ellen brings over 20 years of experience running progressive campaigns and causes, and previously served as Executive Director of EMILY’s List.
Together, we have built a special organization that is poised for even greater impact in the coming years.
As proud as I am of this amazing progress, I have also been taking the time over the last several months to think about my own future. In the beginning of the new year, I informed the chair of our Board of Directors that I would be leaving as Executive Director of SiX. I am excited about opportunities to pursue consulting and take on a more diverse set of projects that will allow me to continue to contribute to the broader progressive movement. I’m also taking to heart the importance of engaging locally and will be fully exploring the best ways for me to serve my community and the Commonwealth of Virginia. And, I am especially looking forward to being present for my wife and three young children who have missed me as I traveled many, many days and nights these past years.
While this is bittersweet for me, I’m excited to see SiX’s work continue and grow. The SiX staff and Board of Directors are some of the most dedicated and passionate professionals I have ever worked with and they are committed to taking the organization to the next level.
As I transition out in the coming weeks, Ellen Moran will take on my responsibilities on an interim basis as a search for a new Executive Director begins. She will be working with our talented staff to run and manage this transition until a new Executive Director comes on board. As the 2018 state legislative sessions get underway, I couldn’t be more optimistic about our prospects to drive change in the states. Your continued support and partnership will be crucial as SiX moves forward.
I don’t have the words to fully express how grateful I am both personally and institutionally for your friendship and support. My sincerest thanks for all you have done – and will continue to do – for SiX.