Notes from the Field

A Note from Michael

July 15, 2020

It has been 7 years since my first day as an FMT intern. Since then, I have served as a volunteer, field fellow, field organizer, and field manager. I have organized dozens of community events, mobilized thousands of voters, testified in public hearings, met hundreds of incredibly passionate organizers across the country, and so much more. As I reflect on these experiences I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for my mentors, volunteers, and colleagues. We have persevered through turbulent times and grown together as people and leaders. It is in this troubling time that I will be saying goodbye to Montana, and leaving my post as Billings Field Manager.

I will be moving to Washington D.C. to continue my professional journey. As we all know, at FMT we value leadership development, and the time has come for me to hang up my clipboard and grow in my capacity as a leader and advocate for transformative social change. 

It is a bittersweet end to a very rewarding tenure. I am so proud of what I have accomplished in my time as field manager. The Billings office has grown exponentially, we have registered and turned out thousands of people to vote in Yellowstone County, advocated for equal rights and movements that center those most affected, and made it abundantly clear that young people “give a shit” about Billings. Furthermore, we have graduated 28 interns who have gone on to lead campaigns, start their own movements, and serve as FMT staff and board members. I could not have done any of this without them (Shout out to #teambillings).

I want to give special thanks to my mentors. Lucy Perino, thank you for recruiting me to be an intern, you taught me to never settle for second best and to set and achieve ambitious (and sometimes audacious) goals! Kiah Abbey, you taught me self reliance, courage, and authenticity. Thank you for pushing me towards bravery and reminding me that I am DAMN GOOD at my job. And to Rachel Huff Doria, you saw in me my full potential and trusted me to grow into my role, I cannot thank you enough for that trust and for your support.

I wish I could leave FMT in more certain times. However, I am certain of this, this organization gets better, faster, and stronger every day, and all of my colleagues at FMT are going to continue to kick so much ass in the coming years. I expect great things from y’all. I am so proud of this team and I will miss you all very much. 

This is by no means goodbye, Montana will always be home, I’ll see you all soon,

Rock on FMT,

Michael Nelson