This is part of a series of persuasive essays written by Lancaster Stands Up members in support of their preferred candidates in the lead-up to Lancaster Stands Up’s People’s Caucus (Saturday, February 15 — details and RSVP here) and member endorsement vote. All LSU members are invited to submit a piece advocating for their preferred candidate. Submissions should be no longer than 600 words, should not argue with other members’ essays, and should be respectful. You must be a LSU member. (Become a LSU member here.) Submit your essay to info@lancasterstandsup.org.

Why I’m Supporting Pete for President

by Tori Shank, Lancaster Stands Up member

Our country is torn and divided. Many are losing hope; it feels as though democracy is dead. Now, more than ever we need someone who can heal and unite the country. For this reason, I am supporting Pete Buttigieg for President in 2020. For those of us who’ve been following and supporting Pete’s campaign from the beginning, we’ve seen first-hand his ability to mobilize, unite, and heal. What piqued my interest in his campaign from the beginning was that the Pete events involved a call to action. They pushed me to get into my community to talk to my neighbors, while also putting some good out into this world. From National Park and ocean clean ups, to handing out gloves and hats during the cold winter months, Pete called for us to serve. Through this service, I personally began to see some light shine through the darkness. 

There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. I’ve always tried to remain true to the idea that as voters we should vote for the person who most closely reflects our interests. The following is a very brief sample of the policies Pete brings to the table that appeal to me. 

I believe that climate change is a major threat and that a catastrophe is closer than we probably think. I want a clean and sustainable future for my children. Pete understands the threat of climate change; he wants to build a clean economy and supports The Green New Deal.

As a country we have so much work to do in order to destroy systemic racism. Additionally, our criminal justice system is broken. Pete’s Douglass Plan addresses dismantling racist structures and systems. I believe him when he says he plans to make an “affirmative investment of unprecedented scale in the freedom and self-determination of black Americans.”

Pete is a champion for women’s rights; another cause which I am very passionate about.  He has plans to close the pay and wealth gap. He wants to make sure that working Americans have access to paid family leave and affordable, high quality child care. I went back to work just six weeks after having my son. He was just recovering from meningitis and I was still recovering myself. The company I worked for at the time was not supportive at all and I felt like my job was in jeopardy every day I wasn’t in the office. On top of all that child care was and remains outrageously expensive, Pete’s plan to rectify this issue speaks to me. 

There’s so much I could go on about, from immigration, veterans, LGBTQ+ Rights, gun violence prevention and foreign policy; I listen to what he has to say and I believe in the future he sees for this country. I traveled to New Hampshire to Barnstorm for Pete, I volunteered at countless Pete inspired events over the past year and I’ve met some incredibly passionate and inspiring people along the way. People who are all trying to make this world a little better and a little kinder. People who are trying to live by Pete’s Rules of the Road:

Respect
Belonging
Truth
Teamwork
Boldness
Responsibility
Substance
Discipline
Excellence
Joy

I think these are values we can all stand behind. Don’t you?