Bill Cimbrelo is running as a Democrat in the 9th Congressional District of Massachusetts. He was interviewed on #WeThePeople on February 21st, 2018.
Bill is a Progressive - who is running on a platform of sustainability, and has signed The People’s Platform and the Off fossil fuels for a Better Future Act. He is a very well-researched candidate who brought some great slides to share with everyone.
It appears that the Democratic Incumbent - Representative Bill Keating, is far more visible now that he knows he has a Primary opponent. It is the first time Representative Keating - who is almost 60% funded by PACs (military, pharmaceutical…) has had a Democratic challenger. Bill Cimbrelo - for his part, only accepts small dollar donations. «I’m not running against an Incumbent Democrat. I’m really running against the Corporate Status Quo.» Bill continues: «A lot of people felt betrayed by the system and I’m pleading with (those) people. If you do that; if you just roll up in a ball and die; (if) you don’t participate; (then) you’re letting the Status Quo win! We cannot afford to let the Status Quo win ... I own a remodeling business … In remodeling when you build a house where do you start with? You have to start with a solid foundation. (None of) the other issues that we’re talking about - whatever they are, not one of them can be addressed unless we have a solid foundation. And that solid foundation in my mind is getting rid of the corporate control that we have going on in this country».
Bill is for Single-Payer healthcare. Given everything else we can afford, we should be able to afford free healthcare - he says. He is in favor of free in-state college tuition, free in-state vocational-school tuition, and he tells us that we (also) need to have a robust pre-school system. $1.43 trillion in student loans! If not for that, people could use their money to invest in and strengthen the economy - to the benefit of all. Speaking of the Republican budget and the massive budget deficit which it will bring about – he says: «What they’re conservative about (isn’t a balanced budget, it) is conserving their own wealth».
What of the concerns of District 9 in Massachusetts? Cape Cod alone has 500 miles of coastline, when you add in the estuaries - Bill says. Environmental issues are a big concern here. The fishing industry and tourism require a healthy ecosystem. Bill has a degree in chemistry and used to work in environmental chemistry … dealing with rinse waters that contained copper and lead and various other regulated metals, that had to be removed before the water could be discharged to the local treatment facility. He designed some systems both chemically and mechanically to do that - he tells us. He also designed some systems down the road to recycle that water, to actually take out those contaminants and recycle clean water back into the process so that there was no discharge at all. Impressive! John mentions Arctic sea ice. The temperatures are 45 degrees above normal. It’s Midwinter (02/21/2018) and the sun has been gone since October! Bill’s reply is that: «The data that’s coming in now … is not conducive to sitting down and waiting, and so we need to get off fossil fuels. We need to do everything possible. I support the Green New Deal … reducing carbon footprints and trying to see what we can do to first stop what’s happening, and then reverse it if possible».
Bill is a big believer in worker-owned co-operatives. They promote worker democracy and pride in one’s work. «One of the things I intend to do if elected is to enact laws that will promote worker-owned co-ops in every industry» he says. Lending industries (deliberately or otherwise) hamper the expansion of co-ops. We have to have a mechanism in place that allows us to find a way forward. Mondragon in Spain is an amazing example to follow. John adds that Trader Joe’s and WinCo Foods have happy employees, who feel like they’re not only earning a living, but investing in their own futures too.
While Bill Cimbrelo has a preference for co-ops, he is also interested in UBI: «We need to move toward an unconditional Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all American citizens and legal residents. This would provide a minimum threshold income of 10% above the current U.S. poverty limit guidelines, ensuring a financial safety net to allow all Americans to provide for themselves and their families». More and more stores are closing he explains. Automation is swallowing up jobs. Out-sourcing is taking up these jobs and at some point UBI is going to be a requirement to keep this economy going. We’re going to have to have money to survive, and to do more than survive. I see it as a way forward. Interestingly, Bill proposes Mentoring as a component with UBI … trained individuals helping people receiving UBI funds for the first time.
Regarding divestment from the banks … Bill wonders whether individuals would really be able to make a significant difference. People should try to deposit into co-operative banks he says. John adds that those who are employed by corporations, big companies that have 401ks and pension plans, can talk to the managers and put pressure on those corporations to divest those pension plans from fossil fuels, and then «we’re talking a big ass chunk of money». Bill agrees that it could be very effective if large numbers of people were to do this.
The Internet «should absolutely be free … We’ve got to really protect the little we have left right now because … mainstream media is very, very polluted by interests other than our own». The general public doesn’t know what to believe anymore - Bill adds, so that puts that much more pressure on independent media. «I am far more concerned about those that are hell-bent on destroying democracy from within, than ANY foreign threat. Corporate control is undermining the future of America.»
On corruption, Bill tells us that «if we’re going to go after (it) … let’s not stop at the Trump Administration … let’s find out why 21 trillion dollars is missing from the Pentagon budget»! He continues with passion: «I really want people to get fired up this election cycle, because I believe it’s a key election cycle … because the window of opportunity for all of us is closing and it’s closing rapidly … Do your civic duty. Get registered to vote, and vote for the people that are going to actually bring change to this country». John muses: «It really comes down to like a good and evil thing». Bill Cimbrelo answers: «I certainly feel that way».
This is a call out to Progressives in Massachusetts – John says. Bill needs support now. He is challenging someone who has a lot of war machine industry money to run his campaign.
The links are in the video description. Good luck on September 4th, 2018 Bill Cimbrelo!