My name is Matt Garlo, and I was born and raised in Westfield. In fact, I grew up in the same house my father did on Montgomery Road. I’m from an average working family in Westfield- one that has benefitted from our strong unions but has never stepped into the arena of politics before. Many of the political values I hold were instilled by my grandpa Bud, a Bronze Star recipient in WWII and twice a Purple Heart recipient.Represented by military members on each side of my family, his influence was the one I got to absorb most as I grew older. As a war hero, a union member, Democratic party supporter, and a public servant in the Postal Service long after his return from serving overseas, I still can not imagine someone better to look up to.
As I gained an understanding of how politics effect our lives, I saw my family fighting struggles Westfield residents face day in and day out. With roots in Westfield that extend for generations, I’m ready to be the fresh face with fresh solutions that Westfield needs in their representation. This November 3rd, I’m running for State Rep because I know Westfield best and I brought my skills back home to serve it.
From my first job at Price Rite in the shops, to washing dishes at the Shortstop Bar & Grill, I’ve gotten to know every corner of Westfield over the years. After my years at Southampton Road, North Middle, and Westfield High, I can’t be thankful enough for all the friends, classmates and teammates who have showed their support. It’s time to see a new side of Westfield. With my nephews set to go through our public schools just as I did, I’ve already taken on this different mindset as a candidate.
As I graduated magna cum laude from Siena College in Albany, NY, I was already looking for my next steppingstone to change. With a degree in sociology, pre-law, and political science, setting off to achieve progress in our politics and our own communities was a route that just felt right. My work at the American Bar Association’s Governmental Affairs Office proved I was comfortable and passionate in one specific place – our legislature in Congress. During a semester at Washington, D.C.’s American University, I was immersed in the work of our Senate Judiciary Committee on criminal justice reform and protecting the independence of our Judiciary. As I left back for Albany after the greatest semester of my college career, I knew what more was in store.
As I continued research for sociology and political science departments at Siena, I expanded my horizons with an internship at Gramercy Communications in Albany my senior year. This kept me close to the capital, but also padded my skillset with a marketing and media relations focus on client work. Not only was I able to see the way legislators, nonprofits, advocacy groups and more spread their messages, but I was able to see the system work in a capital city. After graduating from Siena, I returned to Gramercy for a fellowship serving clients in the political & social sphere across New York State.
Seeing my family fight too many battles without me, I returned to Westfield because I knew I needed them, and they needed me. There was no waste of time getting comfortable in my hometown, as I set out to volunteer with the Velis for Senate campaign and ran freelance social media accounts while looking for a career in my backyard. As it turns out, I felt at home talking to people about their similar struggles in Westfield. Just like my grandpa said one of the last times I visited him at the Holyoke Soldier’s Home before the COVID-19 outbreak, “We’ve got to help the party that helps us.”
Now, I’m ready to work to solve as many of these struggles as I can for Westfield. With me as our State Representative, Westfield will never lose their seat at the table in Boston.