|Detroit’s Downtown District Citizens’ District Council|
May 1, 2011
|State Secretary of the Socialist Party of Michigan|
March 12, 2011
|Chairman of the Socialist Party of Michigan|
2001 – March 12, 2011
|Succeeded by||James Arnoldi|
January 11, 1985 |
Royal Oak, Michigan, US
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Website||2008 State House campaign site
2011 Detroit CDC campaign site
Matt Erard (January 11, 1985 –) is an American socialist politician on the city of Detroit’s Downtown District Citizens’ District Council  and a former candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives' 53rd District. He is also the current State Secretary and former State Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Michigan.
Life and career
Erard was born on 11 January 1985 in Royal Oak, Michigan. He has been active in political activities since childhood, going door-to-door and working the polls in support of candidates in the 1992 United States presidential election at the age of seven. In 1997, at the age of twelve, Erard decided that he was a socialist after doing research on various third parties on the internet. At the age 15, Erard became the youngest ever intern at the Detroit office of the American Civil Liberties Union and also joined the Socialist Party.
Erard was the initial founding organizer of the Michigan Third Parties Coalition, which consists of the Michigan state party branches of the Socialist Party, Constitution Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, and the Reform Party. Erard was also a founding member of the Washtenaw Reds, a local Washtenaw County, MI political group consisting of members from several different socialist organizations.
In 2006, Erard who at the time was the State Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Michigan ran as a No Party Affiliation candidate (Michigan Secretary of State does not recognize the Socialist Party's ballot status) for the Michigan House of Representative's 53rd District, during which he campaigned under the Socialist Party's nomination and banner. His campaign received 847 votes, meaning 2.51% of the vote. Two years later, he ran as a Green Party candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives 53rd district, during which he campaigned as a dually nominated candidate of both the Socialist Party and Green Party. Erard received 2,199 (4.6%) of the votes, finishing 3rd in a 3 candidate field. In 2011 Erard was elected to a three year term on the City of Detroit Downtown District Citizens District Council in the municipal election held for that office on April 5 of that year.
During the 2008 campaign, Erard stated in a forum for students that he would work to abolish tuition and forgive student loans. He said, "I believe education is a right, not a privilege". On economic issues he stated, "Unlike my Democratic opponent's campaign which is behold to the corporate financial interests that have bankroll it, my campaign is beholden to no one but the working people of the 53rd district. I seek to present the challenge we need to restore Michigan's vitality - one based on breaking the stranglehold of private capital over our state's economy and government and empowering every Michigan resident who works for a living to take control of our own political system, economy, and workplaces."
- "Local candidates say students should get engaged with city government". The Detroit News. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "SOCIALIST CANDIDATE ELECTED TO CITY OF DETROIT DOWNTOWN CITIZENS DISTRICT COUNCIL". Detroit's Downtown District Citizens’ District Council. April 16, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- "Bio - Matt Erard for State Representative (Ann Arbor)".
- Bowman, Scotty (September 8, 2008). "Thank You Ron!". Bowman 08 Blog. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "Socialist National Committee Press Release". Socialist Party Campaign Clearinghouse. April 21, 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Grossman, Andrew (September 14, 2006). "Student to run as a socialist". Michigan Daily. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "Official Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. May 10, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- erard2008.org "Matt Erard for State Representative (Ann Arbor)". Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "State House - Michigan". USA Today. November 10, 2008. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "53rd District State Representative 2 Year Term (1) Position Files In Washtenaw County". Department of State. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Winger, Richard (April 17, 2011). "Socialist Party Member Elected to Detroit Citizens’ District Council". Ballot Access News. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Lafay, Elaine (October 30, 2008). "Local candidates say students should get engaged with city government". Michigan Daily. Retrieved February 9, 2010.