by Abigail DeSantiago – Oct 6, 2019 (NonPareilOnline.com)
As a lifelong Iowan, I have seen my fair share of presidential campaigns, but I have never had a candidate give me as much hope or mobilize me to action like Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced BOOT-EDGE-EDGE for the uninitiated).
Earlier this month, Pete’s Council Bluffs office opened in the downtown area, just a leisurely walk north from the library. The office was honored to host another wonderful mayor, Christine Hunschofsky of Parkland, Florida. As over 100 people gathered there was standing room only, and we listened intently to hear about Pete through Mayor Christine’s eyes. The energy in the room was electric.
Pete sees all Americans as having the power to be part of solutions that heal our communities and our country. One of Pete’s unifying ideas is his national service plan, “A New Call to Service.” As a veteran, Pete knows first-hand that service is one of the best ways to build a stronger bond with your fellow Americans while making a positive impact on the world. But he believes you should be able to have that experience without going to war, which is why his plan would expand Americorps and add 1 million paid service opportunities for high school graduates by 2026.
His service plan would also create new programs to help our nation tackle our most pressing challenges together. For example, a “Community Health Corps” would focus on community well-being and issues like mental health and addiction. “Intergenerational Corps” would provide caregiving services to our nation’s seniors, as well as open opportunity for cross-generational mentorship. And the “Climate Corps” would aid in building community resiliency and sustainability against climate disruption, like the devastating flooding so many families in our area have been impacted by.
But Pete’s campaign is about more than just policy. It is about building bridges between people, to unite around our shared values and move us forward together. It’s about your family and community, and the actual solutions that can make our country better. That’s why it’s exciting, and electric. It’s about possibility and hope. It’s why 100 people convened on a busy Sunday night in September for an office opening. It’s why over 300 people gathered inside a barn in Shenandoah, in July on arguably the hottest day of the year. Pete gives you something to believe in again. And it’s why I will be honored to caucus for him this February.