Nick Matthew is new to politics, but still personally and professionally familiar with the issues that drive his progressive political agenda.

An Arizona native, Matthew grew up in struggling single-parent households with family support scattered across the country. It’s Matthew’s time growing up in Phoenix and later in Colorado where he witnessed the deep community division along class and racial lines. It’s these community divisions and the division in his own home that inspired him to dedicate his life to causes that would bridge the gap in these divides and strengthen the ties that bind us.

Matthew then went to school to become a teacher. He believed a career in teaching would best position him to combat the growing inequities that beset our underprivileged youth. When he began his teaching career in Chelsea, he found that these inequities don’t start in the classroom, but back at home. He noticed that many of his students were carrying the burden of their fractured households into the classroom, stunting their educational growth. Matthew then realized that a more holistic approach must be taken beyond the classroom to provide students with an equal opportunity for growth and development.

To this end, Matthew became a very active and effective community organizer. He founded the Toxic Stress Action Plan Committee, an organization dedicated to developing a curriculum to help students better deal with toxic stress. He founded the Boston Consulting and Impact Coalition, which is an alliance of five MBA Schools in Greater Boston that take a business-centered approach to make positive social and environmental changes in the region. In Ohio, Matthew co-founded the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition, which organized community bike rides and advocated for improved bicycle infrastructure. Matthew has been endorsed by Cleveland Heights City Councillor Mary Dunbar.

1. Why did you decide to run for Congress?

“Because as a teacher I found that I wasn’t able to help my students in the way they needed. They need stable homes. They need parents who don’t have the boot of the economy on their necks. And I found the best way to make that change is to lead a movement to create the cultural and policy changes that my students need.”

2. How has your campaign adapted to the new realities of the COVID-19 pandemic?

“There are so many Americans who are going through incredible suffering, and we send our thoughts and prayers to those families.

As for our campaign, we have always been committed to serving those who are suffering in our community. COVID-19 just makes that suffering worse, which we are doing everything in our power to address. If you have people in your network who can support us in that effort, please let us know.”

3. What experiences and qualities do you have that separate yourself from the other candidates in the race?

“It’s not quite clear to me why we keep electing lawyers, businessmen, and career politicians to office when the approval ratings of Congress continue to tank. If we want people who represent us and the issues we care about, then we need to elect people into office who represent us and the issues we care about – not yet another lawyer.

Our country not only needs serious revisions to our policy, but we also need significant changes to our American culture. This means we need community organizers in office to empower the community to come together to fight for these changes. It’s not going to happen through just ink and paper. We need a revolution.”

4. What do you think is the most important issue facing the country today and how do we address it?

“The greatest challenges our country faces is our deep culture of putting our personal interests above others – not only strangers, but our community and our own family. We need a movement to put community first, and that starts with the family. We need a movement to ensure parents' number one priority is to spend time with their children, to give them the love and support they need, and not work 70-hour weeks. This requires paid family leave and universal childcare to create this stability.”

5. What is one of your favorite features of MA04 District?

“I love the POTENTIAL of CD4 to uplift those in greatest need. Between the very rich north, and the much poorer south, there’s so much incredible potential to come together as a district to serve those who need help. Those who need support. We’re not maximizing that potential right now, and my team and I intend to change that.”

To learn more about Matthew’s campaign visit nickmatthew2020.com.

Marcus Ferro is an attorney practicing in New Bedford and a weekly contributor to The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM. Contact him at marcusferrolaw@gmail.com. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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