Nov 9, 2021
Welcome to Activist #MMT candidate interview number three, hosted by Ramona Massachi and co-hosted by me. Today, we talk with Neal Walia, who is running to represent Colorado’s first Congressional district. In his very first quarter as a candidate, in his first time running for office, Neal raised $100,000. It’s both extraordinary, and not nearly enough, paling in comparison to the $2 million expected to be raising each quarter by his incumbent opponent who is, no surprise, a powerful corporate Democrat. Neal, however, raises money from only actual human beings, so beating his opponent’s fundraising numbers is only possible by becoming someone he’s not. Neal is a candidate who cares about all people, and is standing toe-to-toe with a candidate who cares about some people more than others. Neal is dedicated to proving that it’s possible to win a campaign without compromising your soul – or your constituents – in order to inflate your fundraising totals.
(Here’s a list of all MMT candidate interviews.)
Although policy is paramount, Neal also discusses some of the secondary goals of his campaign and once in office. This includes supporting other progressive candidates, educating his constituents on policy, how Congress negotiates, and how bills are actually funded. Neal also mentions how sharing part of his personality with voters and constituents provides important context when evaluating him and his policy platform. As the host of a podcast substantially about providing context through personal stories, I obviously agree this is important.
(A big thanks to Beyond the Spectrum for the "MMT Candidate" logo.)
Finally, Neal indirectly inspired this MMT candidate interview series. Fadhel Kaboub, who I recently interviewed in episodes 91 and 92, asked if I would consider interviewing Neal. Having already worked with Ramona to introduce candidates to a MMT in late 2019 and early 2020, I asked if she would consider hosting. She not only said yes, we decided to create an entire series, as we discuss and EPISODE_96. Since Ramona is in contact with well over 100 candidates, finding interview subjects has not been one of our problems.
You can support Neal’s candidacy by visiting nealwaliaforcongress.com and NealforCD1 on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll also find a link to donate to Neal’s campaign in the show notes. Neal’s Instagram is @neal_k_walia and his YouTube channel is Neal Walia for Congress
There are three goals of this MMT candidate interview series: the first is to support and give a platform to candidates who care about all people, and because of this, are ignored by the so-called news outlets that are, in reality, news of, by, and for the rich. The second goal is to determine what these candidates need to beat corrupt opponents supported by a corrupt party in a corrupt campaign finance system, and especially, once in office, to avoid becoming corrupted themselves. Finally, the third goal is to create a community of like minded, MMT-aware candidates who can support each other through their campaigns, and especially once in office. The latter is in order to remain focused on what really matters, which is all their constituents, in an environment where there is overwhelming pressure to focus only on the needs, favors, promises, and especially money of big donors – both in and out of their district.
If you’re a candidate and would like to be interviewed by Ramona, please contact her directly on Twitter at @RamonaMassachi, or me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there's a candidate you would like to see interviewed by Ramona, please let us know, and please recommend us to them!
If you like what you hear and would like to support this interview series and this podcast, please consider becoming a monthly patron at patreon.com/activistmmt.
And now, onto our conversation with candidate for Colorado’s first congressional district, Neal Walia. Enjoy.