Candidate Profile: Matt Johnson for District 3
Welcome to our newest Flip the County Legislature series: Candidate Profiles! On a regular basis, we will be spotlighting each of our 17 Democratic candidates, asking them a series of questions and highlighting their campaign. First up, we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Johnson.
Matt Johnson is the youngest candidate on the Democratic slate for County Legislature, running in District 3 against incumbent Tim Burtis. District 3 includes Cicero, small portions of Minoa and the Town of Manlius, and all of the Town of East Syracuse, except the North Syracuse area. Matt’s presence as a 20-year old in the race represents the optimism of a new generation taking on local leadership roles. His unique experiences will bring fresh, new leadership to the County Legislature to meet the growing energy that our county holds. Read our conversation with Matt below:
What do you love about your neighborhood and community in District 3?
MJ: The people, by far. Whether I am in Bridgeport, Brewerton, Cicero, Minoa, or Kirkville, people always greet me with a smile and are so excited to see someone my age running for public office. I have worked on numerous political campaigns, and to see people so welcoming to me has been truly amazing.
Why are you running? What have been your main sources of inspiration or motivation to run for County Legislator?
MJ: I am running because I feel our county can be doing more for its taxpayers. A point of motivation everyday is knowing that if elected, I would be the youngest county legislator in Onondaga County’s history. That is simply incredible! At a time when young people are leaving our county at alarming rates, it is long past time we elect young people to office. By doing so, we can build a better Onondaga County.
As a leader, what are you most excited to advocate for for members of your district?
MJ: When I go door to door to meet residents, there appears to be a disconnect between people and local government, but specifically the county government. I am very excited to serve as an ambassador between District 3’s many communities, and the county. It is time we fill the void between local government and the people it is meant to serve.
Do you have family life or any other personal biographical information you’d like to share? Does your family live in Onondaga County?
MJ: I am a proud graduate of East Syracuse-Minoa (go Spartans!). There would be no greater honor than representing the community that has made me into the person I am today. My family has lived in this county for generations. My mother and grandmother worked for Onondaga county, and were proud CSEA members. My uncle and grandfather worked for New Process Gear, and were proud UAW members. I love our community, and simply the opportunity to represent our area on the County Legislature makes me beyond proud every day.
What is your favorite local summertime activity?
MJ: I absolutely love our annual school supply giveaway that Tillie’s Touch holds in the village of East Syracuse every August for the past decade. While I am always exhausted by the end of the day from volunteering, it is well worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces when they receive a backpack for the upcoming school year.
If like us, you are impressed and energized to get Matt past the finish line, there are multiple way to get involved with his campaign:
Volunteer! Follow this link to sign up to knock on doors, make calls, host a fundraiser, host a meet & greet or request a yard sign.
Donate! Use this link to donate any amount (anything helps!), via check or ActBlue.
Keep checking our Flip the County Legislature website and social media pages regularly to meet each of the 17 candidates on our Democratic slate running to #FlipTheLeg!
Read more about Matt here:
Matt Johnson is a 20 year old community organizer, medical interpreter, and local nonprofit Vice-President running for Onondaga County Legislature, in District 3. He is running because he believes the county can be doing more for its taxpayers.
Matt is a strong proponent of boosting local economic development and prioritizing the interests of everyday people. Onondaga County desperately requires more transparency, through a proper livestream of meetings, a fair and nonpartisan redistricting process, and legislature sessions scheduled to accommodate working people. With more young people leaving Onondaga County annually, Matt feels strongly that his youthful perspective is invaluable. The county needs to be attracting young people through creating, investing, and promoting opportunities that ensure a thriving economic future. He will also work with representatives at the state and federal levels to improve the county's very outdated infrastructure by pursuing any and every opportunity.
His ultimate belief is that by working together, we can build a better Onondaga County.