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Daniel Cahill | The economic development of nations based on the defense of human rights and Mother Earth
Well, I’ve never had an introduction like that before. I appreciate it very much, the joke was terrible and I hope you don’t expect my speech to be as bad, but you never know.
I want to start out first and thank you very much commissioner Calvert. To be all honest I’m going to first start with an introduction: Hola me llamo Daniel Cahill, soy un representante estatal del Estado de Massachusetts en los Estados Unidos.
Now so that’s the only Spanish I was allowed to speak because they were worried that I was going to cause an international incident. So I’m going to stick to that, although I have a few words sprinkled in here
I want to start off by thanking a lot of people, that’s how I like to start my discussions because none of us, either on this side or on that side of the DS gets here without a lot of help and its importance to thank people each and every day for the help that they give you to advance your life.
So first off I want to thank the Global Embassy for Peace Activists and especially Dr. William Soto Santiago for having us all here today.
I have a new love and I want to thank the people of Guatemala for opening their hearts and their homes to us during this long week. I have a large population of Guatemalan-Americans that I represent and you are a perfect example of how a people collectively are kind, they’re courteous, they’re hard-working; that’s what I see every day in Massachusetts with my Guatemalan-American population. And I’m very happy that I’m going to be able to report that all is well down here down in Guatemala as well. So thank you.
My friends who are in my city that are the leaders of the Global Embassy for the city of Lynn, Juan and Dulce Gonzalez: I want to thank them, they are a tremendous advocate again on behalf of the Global Embassy. And so much dedication to public service, blood drives, Holocaust Memorial observations and other activities in the community. They’ve really added to the fabric of Lynn and I know they’re very proud for me to be here today and on behalf of my colleague, Senator Brendan Crighton, I want to thank a very special young lady who is very talented, if anyone is looking for a young, bright, talented woman to hire I would hire her, and that’s Nelly Hernandez over there in the front, she’s very upset that I’m going to point her out; but she’s been interpreting all this week and she’s been putting up with two pretty good size of Americans that don’t always follow the rules.
All the Global Embassy volunteers: I am blown away at the amount of dedication that each and every one of you have. I was joking earlier with my senator colleague again, I said: “We should only hire Global Embassy volunteers. They’re unbelievable employees”, and my understanding is that you’re not even getting paid. So thank you for this week, you’ve made this trip tremendous.
And my final thanks are to the workers because we always have to remember the workers, the men and women that are working in these hotels that have made this a beautiful stay for us, that work long hours and do tireless amounts of work and don’t get the recognition they deserve. I want to thank every single worker in this hotel for their good work this week as well, they deserve a round of applause.
So I have to… When you thank people you have to also apologize to people. I have to apologize to the interpreter. Who is the interpreter for me today? Can you raise your hand?
Alright so you know this speech… Yeah I’m not going to use it. So I’m sorry, lo siento, but I’ve been inspired by my colleagues in government to be a little bit more open and free on my comments and I’m glad the ambassador approved. It’s always nice to follow an ambassador, caliente. So I have to admit I feel like I’ve been tricked, I’ve been tricked by my friend Juan Gonzalez to come here to CUMIPAZ. I got very little information of what CUMIPAZ was. He said: “Dan, you want to go to Guatemala?” I said: “Of course I want to go to Guatemala, Juan.” I said: “What am I gonna do there?” He goes: “You’re going to attend a great conference and you’ll have a great time.” “Great! Anything else I need to know?” “Nope.”
I literally had no idea how large this organization was and how important CUMIPAZ is. But I gotta tell you I am so excited and happy that Juan tricked me because this is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my professional life. And I want to thank Juan for tricking me to come see all of you today.
I was interested and moved by Chris* ⏤for those who weren’t here earlier, I hope you all were⏤ Chris had a very important message to send to elected officials and politicians. Chris said earlier when asked about what makes a good politician, you mentioned the word ‘listening’. A politician that listens to the people. You and my wife would get along very well. Let me tell you why: my wife Angela, the mother my two children, who eagerly await my arrival home; she reminds me, she keeps me grounded. She reminds me almost daily, she said: “Dan, just don’t forget God created you with two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak.” And that is a very important message especially for folks at the elected office and especially today. And that’s why I have found this experience of CUMIPAZ so enlightening.
The reason why I don’t have a speech is because the speech that was written Monday and then re-written Tuesday and then re-written Wednesday, it’s expired. Every day I come here I’m learning something new and I’m learning something new because well I guess I’m a little bit of an introvert, not in public settings, I mean as a politician.
Let me tell you a little something about why I’m here to talk about economic development and why I come from the great commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. So there is a stereotype out there that some people that Americans think that we’re the best at everything, right. Well there’s a stereotype among Americans and I think my colleagues and government would agree that Massachusetts people think that we’re the best of everything, even in America. So it gets a little bit difficult to dispel that rumor and I’m going to tell you why, because I think Massachusetts is doing a lot of great things for economic development.
We are a leader in the globe, in the nation, in a number of sectors. But let me tell you first a little bit about my state. It’s a tiny state, land-wise it’s only the seventh, it’s the seventh smallest state in the United States out of fifty states. We have under 7 million people but we have a GDP of over 500 billion dollars. Now you may be saying to yourself: “You must have oil.” None. “You must have been in minerals.” Zero. “Forestry?” You could not cut down a tree in Massachusetts without going to jail.
So what do we have? Well we have fish but now we’re over fishing and because of global warming the fish are leaving. So that’s not really going to do it for us. And anyone here ever had a cranberry? It’s a little berry called a ‘cranberry’, most people in the world don’t know cranberries, right? Well the majority of cranberries are growing in Massachusetts. So if I was going to tell you that we’re a surplus of you know, 500 billion dollars in GDP a year and it’s because of a cranberry you’d probably think that I’m insane. But it’s not because of what we produce as far as tangible goods in Massachusetts that makes us a state, that’s innovative and a leader. We made a conscious decision decades ago ⏤and what’s often called The Massachusetts miracle⏤ to invest in the greatest commodity that we have and that is: ourselves, people.
We are a leader in education, number one in the nation and I’m sorry to my colleagues to the left, but we are number one in education and we’re also in the top 10 when you talk about healthcare, economics, crime rates. How do we get there? How do we do that? It’s very simple, it’s hard but it’s simple. If you educate your people, if you enlighten your people, if you offer an opportunity for your people to grow, to work and do well, raise families, it sounds simple but generally society gets better. And it’s disheartening when you see governments from around the world that think that’s a bad idea, that somehow when people get organized and people start to think for themselves that that’s a threat to their power or a threat to their way of living, and it’s not and it’s not okay. And I wish prior to me coming to CUMIPAZ, I thought more about that but I didn’t.
We’re incredibly competitive in the United States but we’re more competitive with each other than we are globally. Rarely do I ever talk about how the impacts of my environmental policies, the impacts of my financial or healthcare policies impacts people and other nations. And for that that is a character flaw and something I hope to fix, and something I hope to bring back to my legislature, to my governor and say: “When we talk about economic development and we talk about MG* policy, we want cleaner for ourselves, we want cleaner air for our children, we want cleaner water for ourselves and our children. But what are some of the things we’re doing policy wise that have a negative effect on people throughout the world.” We’re not asking those questions and that’s a mistake.
I’ll give you an example, couple of examples, that now because of CUMIPAZ I decided that I need to go back to the drawing board.
Renewable energy, people love renewable energy. We’re purchasing large amounts of megawatt hours from Canada from Hydro-power. We are going to significantly reduce Massachusetts, our carbon emission, reduction. We have certain goals we need to hit between 2020 and 2050 and we are on pace, we are a leader in the country on energy efficiency. We’re doing pretty well and we’re trying to improve our own environment. But what about that plant Canada? And I’m probably going to get myself in trouble, by the way I love Canadians and I support the project, but there are always ways we can question our own decisions. It’s going to be a large hydro-power plant and they’re going to have to dam and flood thousands of acres of land, pristine land, probably displace people, so they could provide clean air from Canada, clean energy from Canada to the United States. We have to get that energy here, so we’re probably end up tearing down thousands of acres of pristine forestry to get the transmission lines from Canada to the United States. And then there is the fear that: Will Americans buy expensive energy? So what the Canadians rather sell us, their expensive energy than take it themselves? Probably. So they probably may end up building gas power plants to meet their needs up in Canada. So you see as something that we thought would be good for our economy, good for our environment, may have some unintended consequences.
I’ve also noted that in the business community and just in general as a politician (I was a local politician for many years too)... Pollution and waste, and I know that there was a discussion earlier about this, about trash the problem of this world being suffocated by trash in our oceans, trash in our rivers, trash in our just strewn throughout the world. So there’s no difference here in the United States too. There’s always a discussion of where we put the trash. Environmentally in my state we fight vigorously against landfill expansions, we do not allow the... we have few trash burning facilities (we’re not allowing those anymore) but then you have to ask yourself: So where are we going to put our trash? I’ll tell you what tends to happen, especially if you see recently with recycling and the Chinese government not taking as many recyclables anymore from U.S. cities and towns, which is going to have a tremendous impact on waste. Where is that trash going because it needs to go somewhere. So we’ve heard that some of this trash is being trucked to other states, out of Massachusetts and New York, they’re being trucked to the Midwest where there are fewer environmental standards or they’re being put on barges and sent to underdeveloped or developing countries. So again policies that that we may be putting in place to benefit our people and benefit our constituents may have been much broader negative effect on the rest of the world and that’s something that we we need to correct.
But as far as a economic development is, and again I’m going to go back to being competitive, Mr. Ambassador, because we are in competition with everybody here in a good way. We do do a lot of innovative things with trying to attract other businesses from around the world. We have some of the top universities in the entire planet: Harvard University, MIT, which is Massachusetts Technical Institute; actually in Tufts University, which I have to plug because Tom here went to Tufts as well. What we are seeing now is those universities are opening up satellite campuses around the world to provide a higher education, quality higher education to people in other countries. We also have something called MassChallenge and that is a state funded entrepreneurial program where we have offices in Israel (which I’ve been to), Mexico… Texas (sorry) and Switzerland. We’re trying to pillage their entrepreneurs and fund them and then hopefully get a piece of their inventions. (Yeah, I’m sorry I’m doing that to you right now). And in Israel too, you know if we had just done this in 2008 Waze would be paying me right now instead of Israel. But those are some of the things that we’re doing as a small state.
Again remember: We are a small state in size but those are some of the innovative things that we’re doing to try to cross borders, going to other countries because we understand (again in Massachusetts and throughout America), you invest in people. I will invest in any person on the planet if there is a dividend to be paid and if they are willing to work hard and if they have a great idea, and I am hopeful that more policymakers and politicians and decision makers see that that’s the way of the future; with technology and a global society that we’re becoming it’s less about us… less about me, more about us and I think with that we will all begin to prosper. But how do we do that? I was told that I had to have proposals, right? Proposals, how do we do that?
(Am I over my 10 minutes? Tom said I had 10 minutes. The Ambassador gets 20 minutes, I get 10, which I get. I’m actually supportive of that.)
So CUMIPAZ is a great organization. How do you effectuate change? It’s people power, alright.
Folks in this room: Go back to your countries, run for office, call your elected officials, tell them you want to talk to them, tell them that you feel as though their policy decisions are non-beneficial to you. Maybe you can enlighten them like I’ve been enlightened. Hey, these are some of the things that as people we need to focus on and you need to take back your governments, you need to talk to people like somebody talked about communication; communication is key. I’m a direct benefit of that today. Utilize your networks too.
I am so surprised of how many nations CUMIPAZ, this Global Embassy is in. I mean, I’ve been involved in my local group, I can only imagine how many more groups there are; like, energize that, get together, share messaging and demand action and if you don’t see the action well then make sure that all of you get together and advocate and put pressure on people who are decision-makers.
And the last one… well that’s redundant, so I’m going to cut that one. I’ve only gotten two proposals, I apologize for that.
I hope you have enjoyed my conversation here. I feel like I cheated you, I’ve gotten way more out of this conference than you will get out of me. And again I think that’s what Juan Gonzalez wanted and for that I appreciate it. I will always work with the Global Embassy for Peace Activists. I think what you’re doing here is important, I think your message is spot on, I think more people in the globe need to hear this and I generally just find you to be some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my entire life.
So I want to thank you for sharing your time with me, for listening to me. I’ll be here afterwards, here’s the pitch, thank you. If anyone has a business that wants to come to Massachusetts, meet me afterwards and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.
And again thank you so much and enjoy the rest of the conference.
access_time Thu, 10/04/2018 - 14:40