Webscraping as an Organizing Tool

Workshop Description:

Labor researchers with a command of webscraping skills can harness the power of computer processing to save hours and unlock vast troves of data. In this workshop, Mellissa Chang of Rank and File Research will teach you how to use webscraping as a union researcher. You will gain new capacities piece together and create new datasets and more-accurately surveil corporate activities. To make the most of this applied, skills-based workshop, it is recommended that researchers have a basic, working knowledge of Python coding. If you do not yet know how to code in Python, Mellissa’s earlier workshop will provide all prerequisite knowledge.

Workshop Leader:

Mellissa Chang (she/hers) is freelance campaign researcher and data engineer. Through her firm, Rank and File Research, she conducts data-informed campaign research and builds data tools for labor unions and non-profits. Prior to this, she was a research coordinator at the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, where she tracked and analyzed eviction data and acquisitions to support tenant organizing campaigns around the country. During the pandemic, she closely tracked covid relief spending, identifying parent recipients and matching recipients to a database of federal regulatory violations, earning her the DC Femme Tech Award in 2021. Before entering the non-profit sphere, she worked as an airports campaign researcher at 32BJ. Mellissa holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. In her spare time, she builds automated mass transit systems in Minecraft.