About Bill Bloomfield
Born and raised in Southern California
Bill is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in Southern California nearly his entire life; first in Santa Monica Canyon, then in Pacific Palisades, and later in the South Bay. He attended public schools, graduating from Palisades High in 1968. Three years later he received his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, followed by an MBA from Harvard in 1973, when he was 22 years old.
Business owner and Entrepreneur who created Jobs
While at Berkeley, Bill started a refrigerator rental company, which he later sold to his business partner. After college, he took a job in a family-owned commercial laundry equipment company, Web Service Company, which served college dormitories and apartment buildings. He spent 33 years at that company, during which time he guided the company to a 15-fold increase in sales while creating hundreds of jobs.
Bill founded another business, an internet hosting company called Web.com, where he served as President from 1998 until 2005, when the company was sold. He continues to serve on several boards of directors as a valuable advisor.
Community Leader and Philanthropist
Bill gained a strong sense of compassion from watching the example set by his parents. That led him to support a wide variety of charities and non-profits – most of them California-based – to lift up young people, fund healthcare projects & research, discourage crime, protect citizens, and improve education.
Bill has been an active Rotarian for over 30 years and served two terms as club President. Since retiring, he has served on the boards of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center’s Foundation, the Orange County School for the Arts, Junior Achievement of Southern California and the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. He has supported women’s health initiatives in Ethiopia and Guatemala through his board membership and support of Healing Hands of Joy and WINGS. He founded Californians Against Lawsuit Abuse and is a key supporter of People for Community Improvement in South Central Los Angeles.
Bill was the driving force behind the now-famous Santa Monica billboard that tallies smoking deaths in the U.S. …nearly one a minute. He and his father erected the sign to generate awareness of the dangers of smoking and the threat posed by big tobacco companies. The billboard has been up and running since 1987, with a recent refresh just this year. Along similar lines, Bill helped finance a ballot initiative in Washington State in 2005 that enacted what was then the toughest secondhand smoke legislation in any state, anywhere. It would not have been on the ballot without his support, and the voters passed it with over 63% of the vote.
Bill helped Sarah Brady when she was opening her West Coast office for “The Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.” He was incensed that the gun lobby was supporting the right to use and own automatic assault weapons and “cop-killer” bullets. The billboards he put up in Westwood promoting her groups’ work were credited by Mrs. Brady with helping to “…put our new western headquarters on the map.”
Frustrated by the extreme hyper partisanship that has plagued our government, Bill got involved with “No Labels” early, and is listed as one of its original co-founders. No Labels is a national organization dedicated to encouraging and backing politicians who make their priority one of solving problems instead of engaging in political bickering. The goal is to have elected officials who will put country ahead of political party labels and who will focus on our well-being instead of worrying about their next election.
Disturbed by a political process that saw Congressional members manipulating district lines to give themselves a safe seat for a guaranteed re-election, Bill fought hard with other reformers to change the method our state uses to draw district boundaries. Their work culminated in the passage of redistricting reform by California’s voters for state legislative offices and the House of Representatives in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
A leading supporter of the open primary initiative, Bill worked to help enact this reform, which gives all voters the right to vote for any candidate in the primary election regardless of party. The measure, which was also enacted in 2010, is already reducing partisan gridlock in California and should help reduce the level of partisanship in Congress as more states reform their redistricting procedures and enact open primaries.
Bill feels passionately that the root of the problems our country and state face lies in the power of the political parties and the special interests that fund them. These interest groups look to Washington and Sacramento for laws, regulations, bailouts, favors, protection and advocacy to survive and thrive – often at the expense of the average citizen. Wanting to do more to ensure fairness and transparency in elections and increase the accountability of our elected officials to the people (not the special interests), Bill joined the board of Common Cause of California in 2013.
Bill has been a passionate supporter of education and improving the quality of instruction all kids receive, regardless of income, race or circumstance. He recently put an innovative math program into the entire Azusa School District’s elementary schools. He is a major supporter of StudentsFirst, which now has more than a million members fighting for the rights of students via public policy. Together with his wife, Susan, they have lent much time and resources to many groups working to improve education in California, including Students Matter, Educators for Excellence, Parent Revolution and Great Public Schools Los Angeles (GPS:LA.)
Bill had been a member of the Republican Party until 2011, when he registered as an Independent. Prior to that, he had spent many years working to support and reform the party, investing time and money toward that end. Bill was attracted to the ideals of the party that supported small business enterprises to fuel our economy. He also agreed with the party’s focus on maintaining a strong national defense. Today, as an Independent, Bill still believes free market policies and balanced budgets are the best way to create jobs and make our economy (and thus our country) strong. Through his extensive business experience, Bill knows firsthand what does and does not create jobs.
Bill grew up in a household that was not only fiscally conservative but also progressive regarding social issues. Like most Americans, he’s never been totally comfortable with every aspect of either party’s platforms. It depends on the issue for most of us. As such, Bill has supported a number of candidates across the political spectrum.
For the 2008 Presidential election, Bill supported someone he considers to be an American hero, Senator John McCain. He served as the McCain campaign’s National Director of Volunteers. Aside from Senator McCain’s selfless military service to our country, Bill had always been impressed with the Senator’s willingness to tackle the tough issues of the day, regardless of what group was offended. Bill was particularly impressed by Senator McCain’s efforts to limit the influence of special interests’ money in American politics. Unfortunately, the course of the campaign caused the Senator to drift further to the right, ultimately choosing a vice presidential running mate Bill did not think was qualified to be President.
Although Bill had worked for years to try to broaden the Republican Party’s tent, he called it a day in March of 2011 and re-registered as an “Independent.” He felt disenfranchised from a party that continued to send representatives to Washington who let their social agenda and partisan politics interfere with solving our nation’s problems. By then, he believed that both political parties had been hijacked by the special interests that fund them. Having worked to enact open primaries, Bill knew he could now be registered as an Independent and have primary voting rights equal to those of registered Republicans or Democrats.
The final straw for Bill was in 2011 when Senator McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said that his main priority was to ensure the defeat of President Obama in two years. Bill emphatically disagreed that this should be the primary objective of one of the most important members of the U.S. Senate, particularly at a time he believed we needed bi-partisan solutions to strengthen the economy, control government spending and advance education reform.
In 2012, Bill ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, concerned our dysfunctional Congress was threatening our country’s future. He was the first Independent to come in second in a primary despite facing candidates from both of the major political parties, since the system of open primaries has been enacted. Although Bill did not prevail in November, he gained a friend from the process, Congressman Waxman, his opponent. Congressman Waxman paid Bill a high compliment a year after the election at a public meeting when the Congressman introduced Bill and Susan Bloomfield by saying their race had made him a better Congressman. Mr. Waxman also singled Bill out for helping enact redistricting reform, admitting to having been a recent convert to its merits.
Bill continues to seek out and support issues and candidates that put state, country and public interests above political party and special interests.