by Melanie Harris
After We Ask America’s Indiana polling results, I was surprised to see that the majority of Hoosiers, while having a favorable opinion of Mayor Pete, would still vote for Biden or Sanders for the Democratic Primary. This poll did take place before the Fox News Town Hall, which was likely widely viewed by many Hoosiers. I’d like to think that he got some of his message across during that very risky move. As a Hoosier who has followed Mayor Pete for years, I’d like to point out some of his policy positions that I think all Hoosiers can agree would improve life here in Indiana.
Health Care: It’s always on our minds. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who have great, employer-sponsored health insurance, it only takes a few whispers from management about lowering costs to send you into worry-mode about your plan. If you’re relying on insurance from the marketplace provided by the Affordable Care Act, you’re just waiting for Washington D.C. to announce that the marketplace is no more. The bottom line is that Pete believes in Medicare For All…who want it. He thinks the best way to get there is to offer a Medicare plan on the marketplace and see if it prompts private insurance companies to get their acts together, reduce the large amount of waste, and find a good way to lower the price of their product to compete. If they can’t do it, and Medicare is the best option, then let the American public decide by choosing Medicare over private companies.
Climate Change: Whether you’re a staunch believer that all this climate change talk is crazy or you’re a green supporter of anything that will help us save the planet for future generations, it’s an important topic according to any scientist and for those of us who plan to live on this planet for another 40-50 years. Pete has a solid plan for addressing climate change and disruption and he believes the plan is a way to ensure that we have security in our communities. We need clean air and water and energy, and his plan is practical. A carbon tax-and-dividend would allow for new jobs and contribute to a new way of living for Americans with 100% clean energy.
Gun Laws: Unlike many politicians, Pete has carried a gun during his service in Afghanistan and with the Naval Reserves. He believes in protecting the 2ndAmendment and making sensible gun laws that the large majority of Americans already support. We all want safety for our children and for our communities. Universal background checks are a must but so are laws that prevent suicide gun deaths with Extreme Risk Protection Orders and waiting periods, a nationwide gun licensing system, and investing in urban gun violence intervention programs that have been proven to work.
Yes, Pete has many other policies and they’re all available to read in depth at peteforamerica.com/issues. But I haven’t spoken about what I think Hoosiers will appreciate the most about Mayor Pete if they haven’t watched a few interviews or seen any of his speeches. Mayor Pete is a lot like you and me. He has a lot of student debt which requires that he have a pretty low mortgage payment on a house in the neighborhood he grew up in. It’s a fixer-upper. His spouse is a kind-hearted, hilarious teacher who is strict about expiration dates on food. He has two dogs, one is on a weight loss journey and one is a bit shy. Pete says his marriage is the part of his life that keeps him grounded. Yes, he speaks a few languages and is, frankly, brilliant. I think we Hoosiers should be proud to show off Pete Buttigieg as a product of our proud state. He’s a person who I think will fall in with names like Richard Lugar and Birch Bayh in the history books. He’s a politician, but more than that, he’s a person who is compassionate and compelling and desires to lead with a servant’s heart. If he’s an option, I think we should all choose him.
Melanie Harris is a communications program assistant who is a political junkie while being a mom to three brilliant teenage boys and two dogs. She is not affiliated with Buttigieg’s Presidential campaign.