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"The best way to fight what’s wrong is to stand up for what’s right." - Matt Haggman

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Dear Friend,

I’ve never run for public office, but I’ve been deeply involved in our community for many years. I’ve been a reporter, a civic leader, a mentor and a husband. Now, I’m asking you to join my campaign for Congress, because Miami—and our country—stand at a crossroads.

Over the past few years, the doors of opportunity have slammed shut for too many. Global challenges—like sea level rise—have gone ignored. Bedrock American values, from our proud tradition of welcoming immigrants with open arms to the freedom of the press guaranteed by our Constitution, hang in the balance. Every day we watch the news and wonder where our country is headed.

It’s time for new leadership and fresh ideas. We can chart a new, progressive path to a brighter future. We can harness Miami’s entrepreneurship and dynamism to create next-generation jobs. We can dispense with politics-as-usual and bring an innovative approach to solving problems that is grounded in common sense, the strength of our diversity, and the ideas of people like you. We can reinvigorate the values that have made America the envy of the world.

My grandfathers fought in World War II. I remember them telling me that true leadership is about vision, the courage to see things through, and values that elevate what is right ahead of what is easy or personally beneficial. We don't see that in our politics today.

But I do see that possibility every day when I look into the eyes of people like you. I see it in my wife, Danet, and the path her family took to build their American Dream in Miami.

Danet was born here not long after her parents arrived from Cuba. They came through the Freedom Tower with nothing but their clothes. America offered them a new life. Danet’s family made good on the American Dream; they mustered the same energy and drive that I see in our neighborhoods today. It’s time we saw that in Washington.

The best way to fight what's wrong is to stand up for what's right. That's why I recently stepped down from my job at Knight Foundation—the best job I've ever had—to be your candidate for the Democratic nomination for Miami's 27th Congressional District.

I stand fervently against Donald Trump and the politics of distraction and destruction. But this election is about so much more. A dramatically different economic future is taking shape, where many of the jobs today won’t be there tomorrow. Yet we are not providing the tools people need for a changing economy. Politicians are neglecting the dreams of our children and their hopes for a brighter future.

Embracing the economy of the future doesn't mean abandoning the progressive programs and values that remain key to our prosperity. This includes protecting Medicare and Social Security. Making health care affordable for all. Standing up for women's rights. Fighting for equal pay for equal work. Raising the minimum wage. Lowering prescription drug costs. Ending crippling student loan debt.

Most of all, the approach I’ll take starts with you. It’s an approach that engages the entire community and is focused on solving problems that matter— while having the courage to embrace ideas wherever they arise. Not political posturing or point-scoring, just results. It's an approach I've taken in every chapter of my life.

For nearly a decade, I worked as a journalist, much of that time at The Miami Herald, shining a light on what is good in our community but also what is bad. This included stories illuminating self-dealing by politicians and exposing how authorities looked the other way when rampant mortgage fraud schemes were exploiting hardworking homeowners.

Most recently, I led the Knight Foundation's work in Miami, funding programs that sparked a wave of innovation and entrepreneurship across the community. Dozens of initiatives were launched, from The Idea Center at Miami Dade College to eMerge Americas. I even brought Miami entrepreneurs to Tel Aviv the past two years to connect with Israel's cutting-edge tech community.

My time at Knight taught me that when you believe in the power of good ideas, when you engage the entire community, and when you provide the tools for people to pursue their own dreams, anything is possible.

Together, we can meet the challenge of this moment.

During this campaign, I will be asking you for your best ideas. I will be asking you to think hard about ways to make our amazing community even better. Together, we can map a brighter future. We can reject the failed politics of our past and drive change, from the ground up.

#LetsBuildTogether

- Matt

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