Rep. Matthew S. Dawson (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) was elected
to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in November 2022. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Municipal
Government and Housing Committee.
During his first legislative
session in 2023, Representative Dawson introduced a new law which allows
families affected by childhood lead poisoning to recover up to three times
their actual damages if their landlord is found
to have violated lead safety laws. He
also introduced a bill which would eliminate the requirement of signing with an
"X" on mail ballot applications for voters who cannot sign their name
due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write.
He graduated from East
Providence High School, the University of Rhode Island, earning a degree in
Journalism and Political Science in 1990, and the New England School of Law in
Born on January 12, 1968,
Representative Dawson is a practicing attorney at Lynch & Pine. He is currently a member of the RI Bar
Association, the RI Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the RI
His past public service
includes serving as a prosecutor for the RI Attorney General’s office from
1995-2011 where he served as Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit
and, later, as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. From 2012-2014 he served
as a Probate Judge in East Providence. Representative Dawson was the 2019
Providence Journal’s People’s Choice Attorney of the Year and he served as
President of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys from
2021 to 2022.
He lives in the Riverside
section of East Providence with his wife of 27 years, Bethany, and his two
daughters, Kelsea and Abby.