WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple recently had the opportunity to ask State Rep. Jim Miceli (D-Wilmington) five questions.
Q1: Are You Running For Re-Election?
Yes, I’m running for re-election.
People sometimes refer to politicians as “career politicians” or “long-term legislators.” Look, I shined shoes as a kid. I sold newspapers as a young guy. I owned my own insurance agency for over 40 years. My business was probably the most competitive agency in the area until I sold and retired in 2000. We were very successful, met payroll, and had 16 employees. I carried that work ethic and business acumen into my current position. Another politician might say “he’s been in office for years,” but that’s disregarding all my time in the private sector. I did a lot of business in both Wilmington and Tewksbury for many years.
I graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in business administration. I’m married with three children and six grandchildren. We’ve stayed involved in the community. My kids went to local schools. They all did well and their children are doing well too.
I like to think I’ve been a successful politician. I continue to make myself available to constituents. People have re-elected me time and time again, and I really appreciate that. I represent them on a full-time basis. Most people can get me whenever they call, whether it’s late at night or early in the morning. I don’t forget where I come from. And I get involved in a lot of the local issues and see things through to their fruition.
I’m not someone who just shows up on Election Day. I have no problem getting amendments in the state budget for the district. Recently, I successfully filed amendments to maintain staffing levels at the Tewksbury State Hospital, provide funds for Into Action Recovery, and support repairs at the North Street School in Tewksbury. I’m very involved on the legislative end. I also hold office hours every month. I give a scholarship every year to students in Wilmington and Tewksbury. And I contribute generously to a lot of fundraisers in both communities. I was sponsor of last week’s Tewksbury Lions Club’s Spaghetti Supper, for example. Every year, I’ve host youngsters at the State House, including students from the Shawsheen and Woburn schools in Wilmington, plus Strings Attached students.
I’ve also felt the proof in the pudding is how you do at the polls. I’ve always done very well at the polls. When people call, they don’t want to hear “I’ll get back to you in two days,” they want to know what you can do for them right now. My staff and I are in the “yes” business, not the “no” business.
Q2: What’s The Biggest Issue Currently Facing Wilmington & Tewksbury?
The most serious problem today is the opioid problem. And I haven’t just started focusing on this problem; I’ve been involved since the beginning. Having enough facilities and beds has always been a priority of mine. The Into Action Recovery proposal I’ve helped bring funding to will keep patients longer than does a typical detox or rehab. I’m always fighting to maintain funding for Tewksbury Hospital so there are beds for folks who have more long-term problems. It’s really a fantastic facility and well-run hospital.
Roads/infrastructure projects and schools are also important issues and I’m involved in every one of them. In fact, Tewksbury Selectman Chair Mark Kratman mentioned my help with the road project in town at his Campaign Kickoff event last week.
Q3: What Do You Know About The Only Other Declared Candidate In The Race, Tewksbury Republican Pina Prinzivalli?
At the recent Town Meeting in Tewksbury, she walked over to me and asked if she could have a picture taken with me. I knew she was affiliated with the Tewksbury Republican Committee. (Some of their members are some of my best friends.) She acted very innocent and nice and we took the picture. She never told me she was running against me. She never told me what she believed in or stood for. That’s fine, but I found it a bit deceitful. I had started working that morning at 5am, had been out all day, was at the Town Meeting, and still always try to oblige any requests, including hers. To the best of my knowledge, that’s been my only contact with her.
Honestly, I don’t know much about her, but I assure you I will know a lot about her before this election is over. I believe she hasn’t lived in town very long, only a couple of years.
Q4: How Would You Define Your Political Philosophy? Folks Often Refer To You As Moderate, Sometimes Even Conservative.
Paul Tsongas used to call me a moderate Democrat. I think “moderate” is good terminology, with a tendency towards conservatism on some issues. I always have an open mind. People in my district come up to me all the time to tell me they’d vote the same. I think I reflect my district — both Wilmington and Tewksbury. I’m in line with most of the folks that are active in those two communities. I’m always listening to the public and fielding lots of calls. I’m a moderate Democrat — a Harry Truman Democrat.
Q5: Do You Have A Quick Message To Your Constituents As Election Season Draws Near?
When you’re voting for someone, you have to look at their background and what they’ve actually done. How active have they been? Are they accessible? I always tell my constituents — look at my history. Judge me on what I’ve done for this district.
(NOTE: 5 QUESTIONS is a new recurring feature on Wilmington Apple. Know someone in Wilmington you think I should interview? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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