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Q&A: Ming Cabrera, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 02

Ming Cabrera

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.

What is your full name as it will appear on ballots? 

Ming Cabrera

What is your age? 

66 years old

Where do you live? 

Billings, I grew up on the Huntley Project Ballantine, Montana.

What is your education background? 

Huntley Project High School, Creighton University Bachelor of Science Biology, Manila Central University School of Medicine – completed 3 years

Please list your current and previous occupations. 

Part-time jobs Mud logger, Physician Assistant, Gas Station Attendant, Speech Coach, Teacher, Hospital and Pharmaceutical Sales 30 years, Owner Chinese Restaurant, Owner Apartments, Office Buildings, Manager

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S. House? 

As a proud lifelong Montanan, I understand what matters to our state because my values are Montana values. We all know what happens when out of state, out of touch politicians speak for us; it’s time that a voice in Congress belongs to a real Montanan, who understands our way of life and knows what matters most to us. I am dedicated to fiercely championing the interests of Montanans in Washington DC – from the preservation of our cherished public lands and the fortification of our agricultural sector to defending public education and improving access to affordable healthcare.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ease impacts of inflation and cost of living in Montana? 

The impacts of inflation and the cost of living began with the rise of Covid. We need to continue find solutions to the rise in the cost of living. We need to protect Medicare, lower prescription drug pricing, find ways the private sector can address affordable housing and make sure that wages and Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) keep up with the demands of the changes that follow. I will work to make sure the 2025 Farm Bill is passed so our small communities can plan their crops and know what products they can produce. It's going to take someone with a strong backbone and a proven ability to reach across the aisle to serve as a voice for Montana. I’m ready to be that voice, and I ask for your support in making it happen.

Yes, or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion?  

No, I do not support a federal ban on abortion. As a degree-holder in biology with years of experience in the medical field, my stance on reproductive rights is shaped by both academic and professional knowledge and compassionate humanity. Working in a hospital in the Philippines, I witnessed the devastating consequences of restrictive abortion laws, where women faced life-threatening situations and the loss of both maternal and fetal lives. Reflecting on this experience, I echo the words of Pope Francis, who wisely asked, ‘Who am I to judge?’ It is not the government’s role to pry into our private medical records or to make moral decisions about women’s healthcare. I firmly believe that women are perfectly capable of making these deeply personal decisions for themselves, and as a candidate for public office, I am committed to opposing legislation that would limit a woman’s right to choose and actively supporting measures that codify this fundamental right once and for all. Everyone deserves the autonomy to make decisions about our own bodies, and it is my pledge to stand firm in ensuring that this right is protected and upheld.

What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded?  

The cost of a campaign makes it hard for someone to want to serve our country. We need to find limits to Citizens United and the introduction to PAC money to limit these costs.

What, if anything, should Congress do to improve the nation’s immigration laws and security at the southern border? 

Immigrant enforcement policies often serve as the starting point for systemic racial discrimination and profiling within our society. We must recognize and address the harmful effects of such policies, which disproportionately target individuals based on their race, ethnicity, or immigration status. Instead, we must create inclusive and welcoming environments for immigrants within our workplaces and communities. By embracing diversity and advocating for fair and just immigration policies, we can build stronger communities that value the contributions of all individuals as important, valuable, and worthy of admiration, regardless of their background or origin.We need to vet those coming across the border and adopt the legislation that was put before Congress last month and make sure that this does not become a partisan divide.

What should be the top priorities when managing public land?  

I am dedicated to safeguarding Montana’s public lands as an essential part of our unique way of life. Montana’s identity is tightly linked to our pristine landscapes, crucial for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Whether you’re a hiker or a camper, a hunter or an angler, a wildlife photographer or an outfitter, these spaces hold value for everyone. Our outdoor traditions contribute not only to our cultural heritage but also significantly to our economy. I am committed to advocating for policies that protect our public lands, ensuring access for all outdoor enthusiasts, while recognizing the diverse ways these spaces enrich our lives and contribute to our state’s prosperity.

As the old Greek proverb goes, “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.” As your representative, I promise to honor that proverb though my commitment to preserving Montana’s public lands for generations to come.

What, if anything, should Congress do to address climate change?

As a man with the privilege of experience both in the oil fields of Eastern Montana and the lecture halls of medical school, I have developed a strong preference for no-nonsense, scientific, evidence-based decision making. I believe in realistic and actionable solutions that benefit us all and are rooted in reliable science. I am deeply committed to preserving our planet for future generations and ensuring a sustainable way of life for our children and grandchildren. I advocate for investment in renewable energy to ensure Montana remains at the forefront of innovation and isn’t left behind in the transition to cleaner sources of power, I commend the brave young people who took their case for better environmental stewardship all the way to the Montana Supreme Court and won, and I support incentivizing lower emissions and promoting environmentally friendly practices to reduce our carbon footprint and safeguard our planet for future generations.

Additionally, I recognize the significance of supporting and listening to communities reliant on fossil fuels, whose labor has contributed to Montana’s economic strength and made discussions about a clean, sustainable future financially feasible. Having grown up in one of those small towns, I know firsthand how very real their concerns are and how important it is to offer them a seat at the table for these conversations. It is essential to balance environmental conservation with the well-being of the communities most impacted by these policies, striving for solutions that benefit all parties while addressing the challenges of climate change. We cannot make decisions about our collective future without affording all parties a voice in the conversation.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults? 

As an advocate for affordable and high-quality healthcare with years of experience working in the medical field, I strongly support policies that prioritize both affordability and excellence in Montana’s healthcare system. The worrying closures of nursing homes, rural hospitals, and the lack of mental healthcare access across the state highlight the critical need for immediate action. We can no longer afford to procrastinate on this issue; we must work together to ensure access to essential services in underserved areas and to expand Medicare prescription drug coverage right now. These actions are essential to alleviate financial burdens on our elderly and at-risk populations, and on the taxpayers who are footing the bill for expensive and preventable emergency services in the absence of preventative care.

Furthermore, it is important that we untie the hands of healthcare providers and finally empower them to make diagnostic decisions in the best interest of their patients, instead of asking them to spend their precious time negotiating with bureaucrats who hold the purses strings. Upholding these principles requires concrete policy initiatives aimed at improving access, affordability, and quality of care statewide, and a candidate with the background to be able to make sense of it all. I am that candidate, and I can’t wait to advocate for you.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to address law enforcement challenges on American Indian reservations? Should Congress increase/decrease/leave unchanged funding for law enforcement in tribal communities?

In the last Legislative session of Montana started to debate the removal of reservations and sovereignty of tribal land. The seven reservations have a right to exist and never consider taking away their right to govern. The Department of Interior is the Federal arm of the government that provides the relationship between the reservation system. The department of Interior needs to consider a more efficient way to assess the relationship between the reservation system and federal government. I will support the tribal nations to exist but will learn more and be cautious about the failings of the Department of Interior.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in Congress?

In an increasingly divided nation, I have a talent for reaching across the aisle to bridge the gap between political parties that has never been more crucial. I am a family man. In my professional and academic life, I am not afraid get my hands dirty or take on a big challenge, having spent time both working as a mud logger in the oil fields and attending medical school in Manila, eventually graduating from Creighton University with a degree in Biology. My ability to dive into the thick of things and come out energized and smiling extends beyond his professional and academic life and into his commitment to serving his community. I have a track record in civil service. I have dedicated countless hours to promoting economic growth and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in Billings, all with the goal of advancing the well-being of Montana’s economy both now and in the future. His leadership roles as past chair of the Yellowstone Democrats, the Billings Heights Task Force, and the Billings Heights Water Board underscore his unwavering commitment to proactive leadership and community engagement.