Sue Ann’s Why

Like many Democrats, I wasn’t expecting to get on board with a candidate so early in the campaign season, especially with over twenty in the race.

Love at First Sight

Like many Democrats, I wasn’t expecting to get on board with a candidate so early in the campaign season, especially with over twenty in the race. Then I stumbled upon the March CNN Town Hall and saw Pete Buttigieg for the first time. In the ten minutes I caught, I was convinced. You may think I’m exaggerating the ten minutes aspect of my decision, but, in reality, it was probably less than that.

In that short time, Pete answered questions and framed them in a context I’d never heard from any other candidate. I sat stock-still with my jaw dropped, thinking – this guy is specialReally special. This guy is going to be our next president. And it really was within the first ten minutes of listening to Pete that I got this strong gut feeling.

There were many things Pete said that resonated with me, that impressed me, but I will tell you the first one that sold me. When answering a question about immigrants, Pete said something like this: “Immigrants are part of our community. We have to take care of our community.” BOOM. No one else was talking about our immigrant population this way.

I hadn’t heard anyone else state the reality that immigrants are well-established in communities across the US. They live among us and have jobs and children in school. They shop at the grocery store and drive on the roads. I know this firsthand because I work with immigrants. I teach advanced level English as a Second Language to adults. Every year, I get to know approximately 50 immigrants. We have group discussions and they write essays for me. Our program has a childcare, so I meet their kids too. I know these immigrants.

Pete understands the complexity of immigration issues on an intellectual level, but it is his compassion that I especially love. Apply these two elements – intellect and compassion – to Pete’s approach to any issue, and you have what makes him extraordinary. It’s why Pete Buttigieg will be the next President of the United States.

About Sue Ann

Sue Ann Rawlins teaches English to adult English Language Learners. In her spare time, she is a world traveler flying around from her home base in Minneapolis as a standby passenger, meeting online friends. Author of Novel Friends, Sue Ann keeps up with her writings on her site, susieyoungatheart.com

How was it to meet Pete Buttigieg in person?

How was it to meet Mayor Pete? Did meeting him change my opinion of him? I had to write down my thoughts on Pete Buttigieg after seeing him in New Orleans the weekend of Essence Festival.

I want to write down my thoughts about my experience meeting Pete Buttigieg before they get too far from my head, yet while I’m not so overcome with emotion that I can’t find the words. Thanks to the support and generosity of #TeamPete, specifically one person whom I thank so much I fear it’s getting annoying, I was able to attend a political fundraiser for Mayor Pete this weekend in New Orleans.

I need you guys to understand, I am not a person who attends political fundraisers. The tickets range from $2000 down to $250. This is basically him trying to earn the money to be in the debates, and run his campaign. On one hand, I really hate it because money was my only barrier. It’s not for lack of enthusiasm. Even though I work hard in an educated, I cannot afford to spend $250 on two hours. That amount of money is school supplies for my kids, our car insurance payments, or groceries for a couple weeks (at most). I don’t have $250 to spend even on a campaign I believe in with all my heart. My donations have been between three and five dollars, except the time I bought my family Boot Edge Edge merchandise and spent $75 in one sitting. And if I’m being honest, that wasn’t the wisest thing for me to do, but at least we got some shirts out of our contributions.


When I arrived at the fundraiser, I had to stop traffic so I can parallel park, and usually when I do that, which is very often living in this city, people get angry at me as if me parking is a direct affront to them. As if I’m trying to prevent them from getting where they are going. But the couple in the car behind me waved me on and smiled politely when they passed. My first thought was, “I bet they are Mayor Pete supporters because mayor Pete supporters are the best people on the planet.” I went to this event completely out of my league as far as financial means go. If you have $2000 to give to a presidential campaign, even if that means you get to meet him and get a picture with him, you’re out of my league. Like I don’t even know what it looks like to have that kind of money to spend on an afternoon. And yet, I belonged there. I belonged because Mayor Pete brings a sense of belonging that transcends age, race, class, sexual orientation; what unifies us is our desire to belong, our desire to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are. And as I wandered the room, I felt comfortable, as if I belonged with those who were different than me in almost every way. I made so many new friends, acquaintances and connections simply because of our shared support for Mayor Pete.

Pete Buttigieg New Orleans
Seriously most of us did not know each other before the event.

Remember, this is just the first part of the fundraiser. He hasn’t even shown up yet. When he did though, the joy in that room was palpable. People feel hopeful when they see him because we think he can heal our nation are deeply broken nation. I have Democrats attacking me, a bleeding heart liberal because I don’t support their candidate.

Mayor Pete’s vision for our country aligns with mine- a country, and a political party, that is united not divided. We are all different, yes. And some of us know far more suffering than others simply because of the gender we were given, our sexual orientation, the color of our skin, or the number in our (or our parent’s) bank account. But we almost all know suffering of some kind. Most of us have been “othered” in one way or another, and he wants to bring all of us “others” together, to allow our differences to unite us instead of divide us. I don’t see this talk, at least not so clearly, from any other candidate, and I admire and respect most of the people running. I know all of their voices are important to this moment, but we can only have one leader, and I believe in my heart of hearts that Mayor Pete is the leader we need. Seeing the way he answered questions and connected with the audience at the fundraiser was a game changer for me. And we haven’t even gotten into his message yet. Stay tuned.

-EmmJay

Maggie’s Why

My faith demands action

I support Mayor Pete because I believe we could have a President who the people love, and one who also loves his people. Since 2016 I have been in a group that considers themselves “politically and religiously homeless,” not finding commonality with our evangelical church members who voted in (and continue to support) President Trump and not feeling any strong pull to one political party. Like Mayor Pete has expressed, my faith demands action, and that’s how a handful of social issues, such as climate change, immigration, and supporting and reforming our education and prison systems, created a chasm in my church. I don’t regret the fault lines being exposed, and for the first time, I have hope of someone who is able to build a bridge across the divide.

Mayor Pete’s commitment to thoughtful policy, people-oriented solutions, and his own religious beliefs make me think there’s not many people with whom he would be unable to find common ground, something our country is desperate for.

About Maggie

Maggie* is a 30 year old content strategist from IL who loves sweet wine and throw pillows. If you’re active on Twitter, you can (and in my opinion, should) follow her at @TheTeaOnPete.

*name changed for privacy

Christine’s Why

It’s his compassion, something that emanates from him in every interview I’ve seen and something that we are utterly lacking in the oval office right now. The answers to tough questions that he gives seemingly not because they poll well, but because it’s what he actually believes. Answers that aren’t meant to be put on a banner, they’re made to make you think and reflect. Also, I’m an atheist, but his perspective on how he and others on the left approach religion, by focusing on helping the needy and downtrodden, is shining a much-needed spotlight on the hypocrisy of the so-called “religious” right, who are filled with such hate, misogyny and greed that it makes me fearful for the future of our country.

I was hooked after I first heard his interview on Preet Bharara’s podcast Stay Tuned with Preet, and everything I’ve heard since then has just reinforced my thinking. He’s what this country needs right now. I think he can appeal to those in the center/center right who might have been out of our reach in recent decades. I’m hopeful that everyone will see what I and other supporters see.

About Christine

Christine is a 48-year-old married mom of two living in the New Jersey area who is registered as a Democrat.

MJ’s Why

Hi. I’m M.J., the owner and author of this site. I’ve been blogging in one way or another for over 10 years. In that time, I’ve told and read thousands of stories to strangers online. I’ve made connections with, and learned from, people, specifically women, and more specifically, moms from all over the country and all walks of life. I’ve met women across all racial, political, economical, educational, generational spectrums, including my favorite group, hot mess express moms. Often, the women I met fell into multiple, sometimes seemingly contradictory categories. Each woman, each person, has a story. An underlying motive that drives them to their beliefs. Most of them are valid, though some are rooted in fear and/or ignorance, but almost everyone is fueled politically by a desire to achieve belonging and satisfaction in this life. I know I am. I’m also a hot mess express.

I want to tell you my why. Why, after spending most of my life, politically apathetic, only bothering to engage in politics after the 2016 election, I am devoting time and energy to spread the gospel of Pete Buttigieg.

The last two years, the highest office in the land has been filled with hateful rhetoric, fearmongering, fake news, bullying and disgrace. And this is all I’ve ever known of politics.

I lived in a bubble of privilege without knowing it. I knew I had white-privilege, but I didn’t know my privilege as a straight, white Christian woman protected me from so many policies hurt fellow Americans, fellow humans. I am ashamed for not realizing it sooner, but I cannot go back. I can only move forward and do my part now. I wish I had used my words more in 2015, to speak truth to the lies being spread by the GOP candidates, Fox News and conservatives on Facebook. I wish I had realized sooner that my silence was complicity. In the words of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, do better.”

I know better now, and I’m doing better.

For the first time in my life, I have hope for the future of the United States. For the first time in years, I can imagine a better tomorrow. I have faith that this country will be better for my children than it has been for me. I imagine a post-school shooting America. One where it won’t matter who has guns because no one will be prone to murder. (I’m not saying I don’t want gun laws, obviously. (I know many of you are thinking I don’t need that disclaimer, trust me, I’ve been on social media since it’s inception, I need that disclaimer)).

Pete Buttigieg transcends politics. He transcends all our groupings because he brings his whole self to the table. A Maltese-American, left-handed millennial, gay, Christian, war veteran, midwestern, mayor cannot be put into a group, yet, he belongs to ever group. To quote Brene Brown who quoted and pays homage to Maya Angelou in her book, Braving the Wilderness, “You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.” Brown goes onto describe her journey from hating that quote, to living by it. She tells her story, which brings us back here.

Storytelling is one of the most vulnerable and powerful things we can do. Our stories have the power to change hearts and minds. Pete Buttigieg is telling us his story, allowing us to know what drives him, and it is clear that the betterment of society for the people of this country, all the people, is his motivation.

Being able to bring your full self to the table takes courage, acceptance, wisdom and humility. I’m here bringing my whole self, to this space, including my overuse of parentheticals, my unadulterated truth and my random humor. Pete brings his whole self to the table when he speaks. He is not speaking to gain votes, he is speaking from his heart.

Pete’s own story is my why. Telling yours is my mission.

Share your why by emailing me at hello@whymayorpete.com or by filling out this form.