Ask Logan Dixon how his current job differs from his previous career, and he just laughs.
“You know how many times I’ve almost been bitten?” he asks. “At one point, I was halfway up the driveway, and this dog just started barking, running, and it ran past where its lead should’ve ended, and it was running right at me.”
Fending off dogs with his clipboard was just one of the perks of canvassing for the Maine People’s Alliance, where Logan learned the art of persuasion and advanced grassroots democracy—and trekked a fair number of miles.
“That’s just what you have to deal with at times,” Logan says with a shrug. “And people being like, ‘How’d you get here?’ The answer was, I walked. But yeah, you got to talk to a bunch of different people and try to convince them that the thing you’re talking about is the right thing, hopefully, which is always fun.”
Before Logan began calling executives in different industries and persuading them to speak with Trueline, he would show up on people’s doorsteps at dinnertime in rural stretches of Maine. Then he would try to convince them—say, to vote against the entrenched incumbent representing them in the Senate.
“It’s a different vibe,” Logan says of his work today as a sales development coordinator. “But sometimes it feels similar—like apples and pears.”
Logan’s canvassing work led to a canvas director job offer in D.C., which was to start in 2020. Then COVID-19 hit, and his would-be employer shut down operations, leaving Logan casting about for his next step.
A Trueline job posting popped up in his Indeed search, and it struck Logan as a great way to use his skillset in a new line of work. An added draw was that he could do the job from anywhere—including Pittsburgh, where he now makes his home with his partner, Hannah, her finicky, energetic chinchilla, Roger, and his very vocal rescue cat, Leon.
“I wasn’t entirely sure what Trueline did at that point, but I sent in an application, and Joy talked to me,” he says. “And the rest is history.”
All the World’s a Stage
Born in Maine, Logan spent his early years in New Hampshire before returning to the Pine Tree State at 5 years old. It was back in Maine that he discovered theatre—a thread that would run through good times and bad and ultimately give him the performance skills and confidence to succeed at Trueline.
It all began with a role as one of the lost boys in “Peter Pan” at the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor. From there, he began helping out behind the scenes: doing stagehand work, running lights, checking sound and learning everything he could.
“I love theatre, acting—all that stuff is very fun and interesting,” he says. “In high school, I went to the Maine School of Science and Mathematics… and I participated in theatre stuff there, which, there wasn’t a theatre program at the school; we just got together and did plays.”
At the magnet school, which Logan says was like going to college at 15, he enjoyed the “weird little isolated community of really smart people” about three hours northeast of his home in Bangor. A mile and a half from the Canadian border, he saw the Northern Lights multiple times. And he shivered through some truly frigid winters.
After graduation, Logan headed south to the Florida Institute of Technology, where he studied computer science for a year. But he realized he didn’t want to drop $80,000 on a degree he didn’t really care about, so he made his way north, back to the Penobscot Theatre. There he interned as a production apprentice, running spotlights, managing other interns and “doing wild construction things I can’t even remember,” he says.
“It was definitely a great experience, and something that I did to kind of get me back into the groove of just doing what I enjoy,” he says.
The Kindness of Strangers
Theatre wasn’t going to pay the bills, so Logan worked a series of odd jobs to support himself. That included stocking produce at a grocery store, waking up at 4 a.m. and walking two and a half miles to work every day. By the time a canvasser from MPA showed up on his doorstep in 2019, he was ready for something better. At that point, he had just quit a particularly uninspiring job out of frustration and had no idea what to do next. But he had worked as a canvasser briefly in 2015 and liked it.
“I talked to the canvasser, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I did that before; I could probably do that,’” Dixon recalls. “And I looked up the organization. They were hiring.”
Some days, a kindly elderly couple might invite him in for cold tea and political discussion—and looking back, Logan says the hospitality of strangers is what sticks with him the most. But other days, he considered himself lucky if he signed one person up for membership.
Take, for example, the time he looked at a map of the turf he had to canvass and thought he had an easy day ahead. It looked “like a big old loop,” Logan says. He planned to hit everything at once, circle back and just keep going. But then he arrived at the first address.
The road was on a giant hill. What’s more, it didn’t loop around. There was just a dense patch of forest at its end.
The one person who opened her door to him told Logan he could find the loop back by cutting through the woods. So, he went the way she had pointed him, following her directions, only to encounter a rather aggressive loose dog.
He ducked into the woods before he’d found any sort of path.
“I wandered around in the woods for awhile before I found this trail, and then walked another mile on the trail to get to where there were actually people,” Dixon says. “It was a great day. I walked like 10, 15 miles by the end of it.”
Building Human Connections
Today, Logan is enjoying life in highly walkable Pittsburgh, to which he and his partner moved after she finished her master’s in global climate policy. They wanted more reasonable rents paired with a good public transportation system. In Pittsburgh, they have a garden out back and have started sharing free produce with their neighbors, trying to build community and foster mutual aid networks.
As for work, Logan credits Trueline CEO Haj Carr, COO PJ Rose, former Director of Sales Sean O’Reilly and his departmental colleagues with helping him raise his persuasive skills to a new level. And he genuinely enjoys the people he connects with during his workday.
“Breaking down objections is super fun,” he says. “Being able to convince people, get them excited for what we’re able to do. And seeing them show up, seeing them appear in the magazine several months down the line. Then seeing them post it on LinkedIn and sharing in their excitement.”
Logan doesn’t just use his persuasive skills on features; he has cajoled multiple colleagues to read “The Wheel of Time,” a fantasy series by Robert Jordan. Other leisure activities include playing guitar and video games, catching live concerts and, of course, live theatre.
Through it all, Logan sees symmetry between his work for Trueline and his pursuits in Pittsburgh.
“It’s just helping people out,” he says. “That’s the goal, at the end of the day.”
Did you know?: Logan’s second time on stage, he had to dress up as a grandma and climb through a window in a skirt for “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”
Who’d play you?: Seth Rogen.
Bucket list: Backpacking across Europe.
Greatest achievement: “Life is a constant stream of challenges, so just getting this far.”