Remember Aaron Swartz

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Jeanie Kyle

I met Aaron in 2010 when I was an organizer on a Senate primary challenge in my homestate. I was only 23, and it was the first (and only) time I was a field staffer instead of a volunteer or intern. Aaron came to my office on E-day to see the way we were using Activate, because he was working on a proprietary autodialer for progressive organizations (I think). I was really down about the job I was doing, and was taking every minor failure personally. Aaron observed my instructing a shift of vols on how to use Activate, and was incredibly sweet and kind and told me that I was doing a great job helping my vols with a complicated technology.Even though we ended up losing, I still remember that encouragement, and what a sweet, shy young man he seemed to be.

I hesitate to act as if Aaron and I were friends when we only met the one time. I doubt if I’d never seen him again that I would have actively missed him. But knowing that he’s left the world, and in such heartbreaking circumstances, I now doubt I’ll stop thinking about him for awhile. My thoughts and prayers are with those who did know him, and who will undoubted have a hard time getting through the coming days and weeks without him.