by Sydney Wiser ‘23
Former Student Member of the Board (SMOB) and Sherwood alum Matt Post (‘18) is running in a special election for Maryland state delegate, one of the two houses in the Maryland legislature. Post is running for the open Democratic District 14 seat which represents Olney, Damascus, Burtonsville, and east Montgomery county. The seat opened up when the current representative, Democrat Eric Luedtke, stepped down to take a job in Gov-elect Wes Moore’s administration.
Post’s belief in the power of public institutions to level the playing field in Maryland inspired his run for office. He hopes to bring a new generation’s voice into the Maryland House of Delegates. If elected, he will join only a handful of other Gen-Z delegates elected for the first time in this election cycle.
“What I think sometimes we don’t have [in Maryland] is a sense of urgency and energy. I think anyone from our generation has that urgency,” explained Post. “We’re staring down a climate apocalypse in our lifetime. We have grown up under the shadow of mass shootings and the prospect of being slaughtered in our own classrooms and so, for us, there’s not time to mull or study solutions to those pressing issues. We have to act. I want to bring our perspective on the urgency of those threats to the legislature.”
Being one of the only youth voices in the room is not a situation that Post is unfamiliar with. Post got his start in politics as the 2017-2018 SMOB. As the descendant of Jewish immigrants, he was taught early that education and public institutions have the possibility to be “great equalizers,” for those in poverty. His own family rose from poverty thanks to their education, and later, many of them went back to work as teachers and principals in the field that gave them their start. As SMOB, Post followed in his family’s footsteps by working to reform the institutions that gave his family opportunities.
During Post’s time as SMOB, he learned valuable lessons about policy-making and gained experience in public office before even graduating high school. Post prioritized compromise and managed to have a good working relationship with board members across the spectrum of political ideologies while still advocating for big progressive legislation. While in office, Post successfully argued for equity for all MCPS students including making the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr a day off from school and allocating $75,000 for non-English speaking students’ mental health support by providing counselors who speak their same languages. Post also fought for more inclusive school curricula, voted to expand pre-K, and encouraged MCPS to include a student in their budget steering committee.
In addition to his work as a SMOB, Post served as a field strategist for the March for our Lives (MFOL), a student-run organization against gun violence founded by the survivors of the 2018 Parkland school shooting. Post spoke at the 2018 MFOL protest in D.C. in front of an estimated 200,000-person crowd. During his three years with the organization, Post worked to mobilize young people across the country. He encouraged them to start local MFOL chapters and helped them register to vote. Post hopes to bring his experience as an organizer to his work as a delegate.
“Something that I want to do uniquely as a state delegate is try to bring as many young people and disaffected voters into the political process,” said Post. “I want to be working not only on passing big progressive legislation but, particularly when session is [out], knocking on every door in our community, not just the voters, not just the Democrats, but talking to people about what they need, making sure their voices are heard and bringing them into this process.”
After graduating from Yale in 2022, Post began the Ready for School Initiative. The organization’s goal is to ensure that families in need fill out their Free and Reduced Meals (FARM) form so their children have enough to eat at school and MCPS’ poverty rates are accurately measured. Schools with high poverty rates (40 percent or higher) get additional funding from the state government.
The special election will be decided by the Democratic Committee on January 3. For those who want to support Post and his campaign, letters of interest can be sent to the committee by December 29. Post supplies templates for interested constituents on his website https://www.mattformd.com/.