Pete may be new to the national scene, but those of us in South Bend have known him for years. The man we know listens — intently — whether that’s to a Councilmember who wants to make sure that the new development lifting her city also lifts longtime residents, or community members scared their children may be touched by gun violence, or a young resident with an idea to improve her community. And the man we know leads.
In 2011, we were considered a dying city. Now, if you come to South Bend, we are vibrant and thriving. More and more people in South Bend have jobs and are buying homes. When I think about the kind of leader it will take on that day after Donald Trump, I think about the person who in eight years worked with all kinds of people to turn around a city left for dead.
Under Pete’s leadership, we have made all kinds of smart and intentional investments in our city. We worked to revitalize downtown, so that all residents of South Bend had access to a vibrant — and growing — urban area. We installed technology and WiFi in low-income neighborhoods, so that residents who might not be able to get around easily can still have access to the Internet and education.
In the middle of a heated presidential campaign, what we have been hearing in the national media is not what I’ve seen as the story of South Bend. Every community has its challenges, but I don’t recognize my city in those stories — and neither does most of the South Bend community. I am proud of the work we’ve done together to strengthen South Bend. I know what my mayor will be able to accomplish nationwide. And as more people across America hear him, I am confident Pete Buttigieg will earn their trust and their vote.