Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Sharing a Letter from Mayor Pete

If you haven't taken a look at Pete Buttigieg I suggest you do so.  I think he's the best one right now for all of us.

Good morning,

My time as mayor in South Bend is almost over. Earlier this week, I attended my final city council meeting -- and reflected on how far South Bend has come.

When I took office in January 2012, it had been just over 47 years since the last Studebaker rolled off the line in a South Bend factory. It was only one year since we had been named a “dying city” by Newsweek magazine.

Every administration in the previous fifty years had to undertake heroic work simply to keep the city afloat. The 2010 Census told us our population was in decline, and the blows we had faced as an economy were everywhere in the crumbling, vacant houses dragging down our neighborhoods.

South Bend’s wounded psyche loomed over us in those first months I was mayor. But today, thanks to the resilience of our community, South Bend’s trajectory has been changed beyond recognition. Our population has seen a fragile but steady increase, while our unemployment rate has fallen drastically -- from 11.8 percent to 3.9 percent. City partnerships have brought in over $900 million in private investment, representing over 7,500 jobs.

We are no longer known as a dying city. Instead, we’re a beta city -- a national model for innovative ideas and practices.

We are on the cutting edge of urban mobility, and are pioneering systems of lifelong learning. Last year South Bend was named a top Race-Informed City by Governing Magazine thanks to efforts to recognize and remove barriers to inclusive economic development.

The challenges and opportunities ahead for our city are enormous, but we know this much: South Bend is back. And now we need a new approach for our country, too. We need solutions big enough to meet this moment and unifying enough to actually get things done.

The crises we face have been years in the making, and politicians in Washington have seemed more interested in fighting with each other than in actually fighting to make our lives better. Americans are so fed up with the dysfunction and division -- especially from this president -- that many of us have completely given up on the idea that government can do anything for them.

But America has overcome tremendous challenges before and we can do it again. If we can summon the courage to break with the past, and if we can enlist the energies of every American, then we can be proud to tell our kids what we did to leave them a better future.

I am running for president because America is running out of time, and I am profoundly grateful for your support and partnership.