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CaliforniaPeggy's Journal
CaliforniaPeggy's Journal
February 29, 2020

This is a lengthy description of the good things accomplished by Pete Buttigieg while he was mayor.

This is my personal post from my wall today. You are welcome to copy and paste, you can state it is from a nurse who works in South Bend.

This week a friend asked me if I could name 15 things that Pete Buttigieg did as Mayor to make the lives of people in South Bend better. This is a fantastic question, because news bites and debates don’t give them time for such questions, and a lot of people are too busy to do the research themselves.

If you are voting in the primaries this upcoming week, and are considering Pete for your vote, please move him to your #1 slot. He is the candidate I believe can unite Americans to win the election in November. He has the smarts, the experience, and the ability to bring people together. Just a sampling of what he brought to South Bend in his 8 years:

1. Began paid Parental Leave for City Employees. 6 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child, with the concept that if we show that it can be done and paid for in our city, it can be done for other municipalities and companies.

2. Increased minimum wage for city employees from $7.25 to $10.10.

3. Began and implemented President Obama’s program “My Brother’s Keeper” in South Bend, designed to pair young at risk men of color with civic leaders to address their challenges and goals, and to serve as positive roll models, decrease gang participation and fill in gaps these young people have in their lives. In South Bend, the partner organization is Beacon Health System (my employer).

4. Began South Bend Youth Task Force designed to let the youth of the community let their voices be part of local government. They are paired with a local leader and work on advocacy in their schools and communities in identifying and working the root causes of conflict at the youth level (think gang violence). As a teen, I was part of something similar in my home community called the Dutchess County Youth Council (in NY) - great experience.

5. Invested in “Shot Spotter” for downtown South Bend, this allows faster response of law enforcement when gunshot sounds are detected, better ability for law enforcement to locate origin of shots, get to the scene faster to help victims, find witnesses and possibly perpetrators.

6. Invested in body cameras for police to both protect the police and offer greater transparency to the community.( It’s too bad the officer this summer didn’t turn his on, as it probably would have vindicated him. However, he didn’t, violated the police policy and that was on him. If you don’t follow policies as a nurse, you can also be found at fault, even if intentions are good. If you don’t chart it it’s not done, etc…I think the local police will use the cameras when directed from now on.)

7. Also to increase transparency between the city and the community and instituted the police “open data hub” database so residents can see crime statistics, case reports, compliments and complaints, etc…

8. Tore down the 1000 homes in 1000 days and was ahead of schedule. Less blight, less places for the bad guys to hide and deal their drugs. Then in the second phase partnered with Notre Dame Law School to offer free legal assistance to residents in those neighborhoods to help them to purchase empty lots next to theirs.

9. For those homes not torn down, created and invested in the Home Repair Program to help low-income residents repair and keep their homes. The program was proposed by a local community leader in direct meetings with Mayor Pete. He was asked for $300K to fund the program, and was able to get the city to commit $650K.

10. Secured funding for the West Side Small Business Resource Center, a grassroots center providing resources for minority entrepreneurs.

11. Smart Streets - South Bend’s downtown was basically a place to drive through to get to somewhere else. Smart Streets was designed to make the city businesses more accessible, and increase foot and bicycle traffic. This is credited with increasing investment and development in downtown with new apartments, new Marriott hotel, new restaurants, etc.. Estimates are $90Million invested after Smart Streets.

12. Smart Sewers - partnered with Notre Dame to develop a new smart sewer system. The city was fined just prior to Mayor Pete’s first term, by the EPA, for violations in wastewater overflow. The Smart Sewer program has reduced overflow by 75%, and is an infrastructure investment to reduce the risk of flooding and of wastewater hitting the river.

13. Invested in the Charles Black Center on the west side. Was asked for $3.5M, but pushed through $4.5M. Part of this was the CLICK Center, aimed at providing the neighborhood with a computer hub and wifi since many low-income homeowners don’t have this for themselves. This is especially important for young people who may have homework assignments etc.. that utilize computers and the internet, allow people to use the internet to search for jobs, etc..

14. West Side Main Streets Plan to revitalize Western Ave and Lincolnway Ave and nearby neighborhood streets, cleaning up the streets, making it pedestrian friendly, bus shelters, new business facades,etc. to make the area pedestrian friendly, safer and increasing traffic to businesses in that area. Great video on Pete’s website from a small business owner in that area, and how this project has increased his business.

15. Parks investment in the city, both on the west and east sides. Safe, clean, and fun city parks promote healthy lifestyles, community involvement and a safer place to live. The new Howard Park Ice Rink was just in the SB Tribune last week as the local businesses in the area are booming with customers going to dinner or shopping before or after their visit to the park. Barnaby’s has a 2 hour wait on weekends!

16. Ignition Park is taking off, revitalizing the area of once abandoned Studebaker Buildings, bringing tech firms and jobs to the area.

17. Had the City apply for federal grant money to assist local homeowners in lead abatement in their homes. The Housing Authority applied and failed to receive such a grant and so the City took over and applied and received the grant the following year. Many of the older homes in South Bend have lead paint and local children are exposed. Income qualified Homeowners can apply for assistance in getting the lead out of their homes.

18. South Bend 3-1-1 was started to help citizens more easily reach out to the government with questions and concerns. This allows citizens quick info and assistance with things like trash pickup, report a pothole, leaf pickup, city job applications, utility bills, etc..

19. Revitalization of the old Studebaker building, bringing in investments and businesses to a building that had been a vacant eyesore for more than 40 years. It’s now a “datahub” and even the South Bend Tribune offices have moved there.

20. Now, to be fair in government and economics, the economy as a whole has been increasing, beginning with President Obama and continuing now (although at a slightly lower rate of growth to be noted). So you are bound to see some good economic numbers. However, I believe the hard work and vision of Mayor Pete has helped to use that growing economy to make a turnaround in South Bend. In prior good economies, the city never saw a rate of growth or improvement like this since Studebaker closed in 1963. There have been over 14,000 new jobs created in South Bend under Mayor Pete with unemployment dropping from over 11% when he took office to 3.9% when he left, median income has increased by almost 30%, and poverty rates have declined. Millions of private dollars have been invested in the city creating new businesses, jobs and apartments. For the first time since 1963 people moved INTO the city rather than OUT. Programs like smart streets, park improvement, small business support and similar programs make South Bend a desirable place to invest and live, and I don’t think this city would have seen these programs and improvements under a different mayor.

21. He has shown up. That’s right, I never ever saw one of our prior mayors in person. Mayor Pete held “Meet the Mayor” events around town where you could go and complain, compliment or share ideas. He showed up and spoke to the South Bend Women’s March (my first ever political rally) in 2017, one of the few mayors in the US to do so, he showed up at the South Bend March for Our Lives after Parkland (first political rally my kids ever attended.) He shows up at baseball games, parades and local events. My husband and I climbed the rock wall right after Pete and Chasten at the Urban Adventure Games, a race run every summer, not started by Pete, but begun during Pete’s term of office, where two team adventurers race off on bikes, (thanks for the bike lanes Mayor Pete!) to local parks and businesses and locations. The race is designed to get you to know your city and highlight places and activities you might not be aware of. He runs the Sunburst Half Marathon, cheers for the Irish, and is an active and visible member of the community!

February 29, 2020

I got an email today from a republican group. Here's my response:

I have no idea where you got my email address. I AM A DEMOCRAT, A LIBERAL ONE. Please go away and leave us honest Americans alone. Ugh.

That felt good.

February 27, 2020

At last, the moon!

February 27, 2020

A YouTube video narrated by Kevin Costner! It's beautiful...


February 23, 2020

Nine year old boy asks Pete's help in coming out! Amazing video.


Profile Information

Name: Peggy
Gender: Female
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Home country: USA
Current location: At home
Member since: Thu Feb 3, 2005, 02:41 PM
Number of posts: 150,211
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