Series: “Real People Know Matt.”
As supporters of Matt and his campaign for MSU Trustee, we thought it would be great if you could get to know him through unique perspectives. In this series we’re calling “Real People Know Matt,” we’re planning to show you how he has impacted our personal and professional lives. After all, it’s not all about policy and brains. Sometimes it’s best just to get to know the person. We hope you agree!
Matt has done a great job telling you about the policies he’ll promote and advance as a member of MSU’s Board of Trustees. I’d like to share a bit more about Matt—my partner, my husband and the proud father of our children Cecelia and Kenny.
Studies have shown that boys raised in homes with working mothers are more likely to evenly share household responsibilities and parenting duties with their spouses. That could not be more true in our home. Growing up, Matt’s mom worked as a public school teacher and his dad worked as an engineer in the automotive industry. Watching his mother’s dedication to her career and his parents’ shared dedication in raising their family and building a home had a significant influence on the partner and parent that Matt has grown to be.
When it comes to our home, Matt is our head chef, school lunch packer, expert organizer, and attentive floor mopper. When it comes to our children, Matt is our sports coach, warm cuddler, and pep talker. When it comes to our marriage, Matt is the reason I can make easy work of being both a mom and a full-time lawyer and business owner. He’s my favorite travel companion and my biggest supporter.
Matt and I have grown up together from the time we were young college undergrads to middle-aged adulthood. And through it all—advocating for equality and tuition affordability on MSU’s campus, surviving law school and the bar exam, renovating a historic home, advancing careers, raising a family—one thing we’ve learned is that married life means sharing responsibility for building careers, making a home, and raising children. We share in a partnership.
Now that Matt is running for a seat as a MSU Board of Trustee…
Our friends and supporters often ask me how I’m doing with Matt so busy running for office these days. My response is, Matt is only really doing 20 percent more than his normal level of civic engagement and volunteerism, so it hasn’t been so different from the norm. What’s more, Matt is ever more aware of his added nights away from the family and the extra work he’s taken on to win this seat. Between Matt and me, this has meant he’s only increased his encouragement and support for me to take time away from home for personal and professional development.
What does this mean for MSU?
As the University faces the music on failings in Title IV compliance and unfolding campus sexual harassment and violence scandals, Matt asked me whether his particular life experience, background, knowledge, and skills would matter to a diverse audience of voters and the broader university. My visceral response was, that we all—men, women, and all people—have a shared responsibility to put an end to misogyny and rape culture. Just as at home Matt is my partner and shares responsibilities, all men and all fathers bear a responsibility to women and mothers, people and parents to share in the work needed to usher in a post-#MeToo era. We are all responsible for putting an end to the notion of “locker room talk” and “boys will be boys,” requiring more from our policies and culture, and instilling zero tolerance for sexual harassment and abuse within our institutions and society at-large.
Now, will you join me in supporting Matt Clayson’s campaign for MSU Trustee and help advance his policy agenda to restore integrity and pursue excellence at MSU?