From the Trail: A Busy Week, plus Reflections on Friday's Historic Ruling

Before I get started on my updates and look ahead to this week, I want to get started by sharing my thoughts on the overturning of Roe v Wade.

In short - I'm disappointed but not surprised. We knew this was most likely coming after the Alito memo leak a few weeks ago but to actually see it released was a gut punch many of us were hoping wouldn't arrive. This speaks to the importance of this election cycle. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas touched on other court cases that could be re-evaluated based on Roe v Wade. These other cases involve some pretty monumental issues such as access to birth control, gay marriage, and even gay relations in general. They will (and may have already) claimed they won't affect rights to marriage or relationships, but let's remember how these Trump-appointed Justices also claimed they wouldn't overturn Roe v Wade.

On a national level, I agree something needs to be done. That said, my focus remains on state level politics as that is what I am running for and I believe it is the more attainable goal short term. We need to elect politicians and promote candidates who support a woman's right to choose. This means across both political parties, because believe it or not - a decent number of conservatives are pro-choice. Candidates like Ann Manary, who I find to be a very reasonable and fair local conservative voice. Now me (and others like Sarah Schulz) signing off on a Republican will probably raise some red flags for conservatives, which is funny to me. I think we need to elect more officials who are willing to eschew some traditional party lines to work together with fellow representatives to help the people of this state. Apparently a willingness and openness to this is a red flag among party loyalists, but I argue party loyalists (on both sides) are more dangerous.

We need to do our part to get the "Reproductive Freedom for All" petition signed and put forward onto the ballot. I have very little doubt that if put in front of the people of Michigan, this ballot measure would be put into law. It's a sad state of affairs when our state government refuses to put to a vote or debate a law when so many in the state want one, and instead focus on trying to levy punishments on abortion providers. But, just as we had to do with recreational cannabis legislation, the people again have to go around their do nothing representatives and get it done themselves. So why are we even paying them?

Long story short - we need to elect politicians who not only will be open to working together but are dedicated to listening to their constituents (read: not just large PAC donors) and getting legislation passed so our state can continue to evolve and grow with the times.

On that note, we are moving on and using this frustration and disappointment to fuel something positive, and that begins with a demonstration today (June 27th) at the Midland Courthouse. I look forward to seeing you all down there.

As for the rest of my week, I have a fundraiser on Thursday, June 30th, at 6pm. It will be located in Plymouth Park, Pavilion H. We will have free food and drinks, as well as a couple cornhole sets in case people want to drown my voice out and instead have some fun in the sun (kidding, of course). I will be asking for donations to help fund my voter registry access and first round of mailers, but don't feel as though you need to donate to attend. I will just be happy to see people show up and support locally minded, progressive, working class ideals.

Last week I secured another endorsement, this one from Equality Michigan Action Network, a leading LGBTQ+ organization dedicated to promote candidates across both parties that promote measures of equality for everyone, regardless of gender and sexuality. I am proud and humble to accept their endorsement, especially in the middle of Pride Month and the same week as a now infamous court ruling.

As for behind the scenes updates - I am currently working on organizing a commercial shoot (I mainly say that to sound fancy, truth is these will likely serve as ads/YouTube videos to introduce myself to people), as well as designing the first round of mailers. These will be sent all over the county based on voting history (as much as I want to send them to everyone, financially it just doesn't work for me to send them to voters who only ever vote for one party). Besides that, I am focusing on nailing our messaging and name recognition headed into the primary. As much as I love my "Matt for Michigan" alliteration, I need to expand it somewhat to include my last name on future ads and mailers so people know that the Matt in question is Matt Dawson.

That's about it for my rambling update. I appreciate all the support and love I've received from you all. Even the hateful messages I've received have been more than erased by the amazing backing from each and every one of you. I say it all the time - this is a grassroots campaign with little funding, no staff, and a whole bunch of help from people like you sharing my name and message. I implore you to keep sharing my posts, keep telling people about the campaign, and (if possible) consider donating to my campaign via ActBlue (shameless plug for I know times are tough for everyone, so do not feel bad at all if you can't donate money - a share is just as valuable and helps get more people plugged into what is going on in local politics.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight.

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