Why I #PickPete

I have been involved in Democratic Politics since I was 14 years old and served as a volunteer on Bobby Kennedy’s campaign for Senator of New York State. I was in Jr. High School and every day I took the long bus ride from the East side to the West side in Rochester, NY, to stuff and lick envelopes, make phone calls, and give everything I could of my 14 year- old self. He won, and I received a signed letter from him that hangs on a wall in my office today. I was so proud of that experience. That was the beginning of my political activism.

I first went to work for the DNC in 1981, after President Carter had just lost his re-election. Much like today, the Party was going through a difficult transition. Several factions surfaced within the Party, and though we all needed to work together to move our Party forward, the many factions could not agree on how to rebuild, much like today.

While I am no longer a voting DNC Member, I have previously served under five Democratic National Committee Chairs for 21 years. I have worked at the Committee, I have worked ON Committees and Commissions, and I have worked on every Convention since 1984.

I know from first hand experience that in order to rebuild our Party, while dealing with a hostile Republican administration, at this point we need an, energetic, visionary, service–driven, full-time leader. Now is not the time to elevate anyone of any particular faction –now is the time to choose a new leader who can bring transformative change.

I attended the Future Forum in Baltimore this past weekend. I was impressed by all of the candidates who want to serve our party, but it was Pete Buttigieg who really stood out to me. Pete is the mayor of a Midwestern city, South Bend Indiana. The Washington Post has referred to him as the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of. A Rhodes Scholar, he was commissioned as a Navy Intelligence officer in 2009, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counter terrorism work. At 35 years old, he has the experience and knowledge of a seasoned leader. Much like previous chairs Ron Brown and Howard Dean, Mayor Pete has the knowledge, vision, and tenacity that we need to help us move past a turbulent primar y process and general election defeat. I urge DNC members to support his candidacy as we come together as a Party and look towards the future.