We here at the SD64 DFL thought that our dear readers (that’s you) might be interested in meeting some of the candidates for the 64B DFL endorsement. We’ve asked all the candidates to answer some questions, and we’ll be posting their answers here all week for your reading pleasure. Let’s meet Matt Freeman.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you lived in District 64B?
I have lived in Saint Paul for the past 4 years and in this district for the past 3 years – both in the Macalester Groveland neighborhood and in my current home in Highland Park. I was born in Richfield, MN, and am a proud product of our public schools. I am a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Professionally, I worked in an early childhood special education classroom and taught civics education to middle and high school students. I also was a progressive organizer, advocating on behalf of our troops to bring an end to the war in Iraq, working to elect President Obama in northern Minnesota, and campaigning in Maine for marriage equality.
Minnesota is home. When I moved back, I chose this community because I love Saint Paul – the unique character of the neighborhoods and the civic engagement of the residents. My girlfriend Nicole and I love being a part of this community.
What is your community involvement? What is your current job and other volunteer commitments?
I work in the Office of Mayor Chris Coleman as the Director of Outreach and Labor Relations and served as Campaign Manager during his successful re-election. Previously, I was the Field and Political Director for US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s re-election, worked in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and served as a legislative aide in the Minnesota State Senate.
I have been active in the DFL and progressive causes all my life, working to elect progressive leaders across the state. I was a delegate to the DFL State Convention from SD64 in 2012 and served on the committee to amend CD4’s constitution. Locally, I am proud of my work to help elect Councilmember Chris Tolbert to the City Council.
I volunteer with a variety of organizations including Serving Our Troops, Loaves and Fishes, and Feed My Starving Children. I also work with Georgetown University’s Alumni Admissions Program, interviewing and acting as a liaison for local students interested in attending Georgetown.
Why are you running for office? What is the most pressing issue that you would like to tackle in the 2015 Legislative Session?
Governor Dayton and the DFL Legislature made great progress in 2013 in passing marriage equality, all-day kindergarten, and paying back the money borrowed from schools, but there is important work to still do. We must raise the minimum wage and make it a livable wage. We must address the achievement and opportunity gap in our schools. College is unaffordable for too many in our state. We must change that to ensure it is accessible to all. And we need to carry on the important work of Representative Paymar, especially regarding gun violence and public safety issues.
Mostly, I am excited to hear more from you about what issues you are most passionate about. Nobody is going to work harder than me to listen to and act on behalf of our neighbors.
Would you be willing to abide by the endorsement of the DFL Senate District?
I plan to abide by the endorsement of HD64B and work to earn the support of DFLers who participate in the precinct caucus and the convention.
What is your favorite thing to during a weekend in St. Paul?
When the weather cooperates, Saint Paul is an amazing place to be outside. I enjoy grilling in the backyard with friends and family, hiking by the river, or walking through the neighborhood nearby my home. Taking advantage of our green spaces, I love playing football with friends or volleyball with my sisters– although those activities usually mean I am sore for a couple of days.
I also love eating my way through Saint Paul on the weekend. Close to home, I indulge in the Steak and Pirogues at Highland Grill, Punchinello Salad at Punch Pizza, or a Nookie Supreme at the Nook. When I feel like exploring across the city, I can be found snacking at Hickory Hut, Flamingo Ethiopian Restaurant, Raum Mit Thai, Hmong Village, or El Burrito Mercado. We have so many delicious restaurants and gathering places across our city, I struggle with balancing my old favorites with the new places I still want to try.
Got your own questions for Matt Freeman? Ask him at firstname.lastname@example.org.