Matt Erard was born January 11th 1985 in Royal Oak
Michigan and has been a life-long Michigan resident, living in the cities of Troy, Detroit, and Ann Arbor. A political activist since early childhood, Matt began campaigning for candidates both
door-to-door and at
the polls in the 1992 Presidential election at the age of eight.
Realizing at a
very young age that the rights guaranteed to all in the U.S.
so often violated by those in power sworn to uphold them, Matt
strong commitment to civil liberties which has remained with
him to the present day. In 1997, at the age of 12, Matt put together a
on censorship issues and subsequently founded an online civil liberties and media watchdog
group with state and international chapters,
which he ran until he began high school. In 1997 Matt also began
exploring various political theories and third parties on the internet,
to find one that matched his own views. It didn't take him long to
that democratic socialism was the movement to which he belonged.
In 2000, at the age of 15, Matt became the youngest intern ever at the Detroit office of the American Civil Liberties Union. That same year, he finally joined the Socialist Party and actively campaigned for its candidate, David McReynolds, in the 2000 Presidential election. The following year, Matt was elected State Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Michigan, a position he maintains to the present day. In 2003, Matt was one of fourteen winners nationwide of a $4000 college scholarship from the ACLU for his work in civil liberties.
Having worked on numerous other Socialist Party campaigns for the past six years, Matt ran as a Socialist candidate for the first time himself when he entered the race for 53rd District State Representative. Matt was the first candidate to qualify for the general election ballot by petition for that office since 1984 and won the votes of eight-hundred and forty-seven Ann Arbor voters. During the course of his work in the Socialist Party campaigns, Matt founded the Michigan Third Parties Coalition in 2007, which now represents Michigan's Green, Libertarian, Reform, Socialist, and U.S. Taxpayers' parties and serves as an instrument for Michigan's minor parties to collectively lobby and advocate for non-discriminatory election laws and equal access for candidates to the media and debates.
While continuing to serve as the State Chairperson for the Socialist Party of Michigan and an organizer for The Michigan Third Parties Coalition, in 2007, Matt graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology. He subsequently returned to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2008 to pursue a master's program in social work with a concentration in community organizing and social policy. Having previously worked in fast food, pizza delivery, retail, and canvassing, Matt is currently employed as a telecommunications contractor. In addition to his other political, educational, and occupational tasks, Matt is currently serving as the Midwest Coordinator for the Socialist Party's 2008 presidential campaign.
Matt looks forward to speaking to as many 53rd District residents as possible about his campaign and can be contacted at VoteErard@yahoo.com