Biography of Matthew Jerzyk

After graduating magna cum laude from Brown University in 1999, Matthew spent a decade fighting for justice and to advance the common good. As a criminal justice consultant, he advised the Governor’s Commission on Race, Police and Community Relations, briefed the Department of Justice and co-wrote legislation creating a civilian review board in Providence. Matthew then became the founding executive director of Rhode Island Jobs with Justice, a labor and community coalition with over forty organizational members. In that position, Matthew developed strategic initiatives to benefit working families including a reform of government tax stabilization policies to include affordable housing, worker protections, higher wages, increased benefits, local hiring and increased use of minority and women contractors. Matthew also worked as a communications and government relations organizer for District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where he crafted legislation and developed public relations strategies to win collective bargaining rights for home-based child care providers. He also used his community and union organizing skills in the political area. In 2002, he was the campaign manager for Providence City Councilman Miguel Luna and, in 2004, he ran the successful campaign for State Representative Grace Diaz, the first Dominican-American woman elected to state office in the history of the United States.

In 2008, Matthew received his Juris Doctorate from Roger Williams University School of Law. While in the honors program at the law school, Matthew started the law school’s first chapter of the American Constitution Society and received recognition for his efforts to change the name of the law school. In 2008, the student bar association gave him an award as the best student organization president of the year. Throughout law school, Matthew worked as a law clerk at Motley Rice LLC where he focused on litigation against the lead paint industry in Rhode Island and dozens of other jurisdictions in addition to working on complex litigation involving environmental contamination and corporate misconduct.

Matthew is an attorney with a practice in medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, products liability and workers rights at DeLuca and Weizenbaum, Ltd. in Providence, Rhode Island.  He is admitted to practice in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. His professional memberships include the Rhode Island Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the American Association for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Matthew created the Closing Argument legal blog in 2009 after selling the award-winning RIFuture.org political blog which he created and edited from 2005 through 2009.  He has appeared in the Wall St. Journal, the Phoenix, the USA Today, the Providence Business News, the Providence Journal, Newsmakers, NPR’s All Things Considered, the Democratic National Convention, NBC 10 News Conference, Daily Kos, MyDD.com and was named 1 of the most 8 notable Rhode Islanders in 2008.Matt’s law review article “Gentrification’s Third Way” will be published in the 2009 Summer edition of the Harvard Law and Policy Review.  Email Matt here.

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