Source: The Westfield News, June 14, 2020
WESTFIELD – City native Matt Garlo has joined the race for Westfield’s state representative, the only Democrat among the four candidates.
Garlo is facing Republicans Dan Allie and Kelly Pease as well as Independent candidate Ethan Flaherty.
Garlo, a 2015 graduate of Westfield High School, said he always had an interest in politics.
“I thought I’d do behind-the-scenes work in voter registration or advocacy, but this opportunity is one I can’t pass up,” he said.
Garlo is a communications professional with experience in the capitol halls of both Albany and Washington, D.C.
In May 2019, he was awarded a Bachelor’s in sociology, pre-law and political science from Siena College. Graduating magna cum laude in the Standish Honors Program, he worked as a paid departmental research assistant and took on a fellowship at Albany public affairs & relations firm Gramercy Communications.
With scholarships awarded by Siena, he also spent a semester at Washington, D.C.’s American University. Garlo said his passion for legislative work began as a legislative intern for the American Bar Association’s Governmental Affairs Office, where he often overlooked House & Senate committees on the Judiciary.
He also worked on the campaign of state Sen. John C. Velis.
“I want to continue what John started here,” he said. “I’m a Democrat, but I will work across the aisle.”
Garlo said he knows what is important to Westfield residents now.
“Westfield needs someone who can stay on their toes here and in Boston,” said Garlo. “In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis at hand, our community is going to need someone who can listen and learn as our priorities shift. We need someone who can continue to move on issues such as getting our share of funding for water safety, but who can also adapt to the struggles of a recovering Westfield once this crisis is behind us. My family and I know these struggles, and we’re facing the same dilemmas people all across Westfield are right now.”
Garlo said his priorities include continued COVID-19 response, including obtaining funding for schools. “My father worked in the public schools his entire career,” he noted. Garlo said he also wants to continue Velis’ efforts to have the state reimburse Westfield residents for money spent treating contaminated water.
Campaigning during a pandemic is not an easy task, Garlo admitted.
“I’d like to be out knocking on doors, but now is not the time,” he said. “I will be using my social media to reach out and I’m happy to host virtual Town Hall meetings if people want that,” he said, adding he could be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as @garlo4westfield.
“Our city’s residents have responded best to high-energy and no-nonsense politics,” he said. “They want to see their officials and representatives working hard for Westfield, and they want to be able to reach out when they have a problem. I am the best candidate to pick up where John left off in the House, and I am ready as ever to fight for Westfield’s future. Others may think they know best for Westfield, but I trust Westfield to tell me what they see best.”