“Like anyone who follows politics, I am sometimes mesmerized by the twisted and relentless drama playing out in Washington. But I also know about the price of distraction – the consequences of our attention being diverted from how politics affects daily life.”
Buttigieg served as the 32nd mayor of South Bend, Indiana from January 2012 to January 2020. Once elected mayor, he became the youngest mayor of a city with a population of over 100,000. In 2015, Buttigieg publicly came out as gay and was reelected with over 80% of the vote.
From 2009 to 2017, he served as a naval intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 2014, he was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, attending the latter on a Rhodes Scholarship. From 2007 to 2010, he worked as a consultant at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Before running for office, Buttigieg worked on the political campaigns of Democrats Jill Long Thompson, Joe Donnelly, and John Kerry.
Buttigieg’s Policies, Plans & Commitments in His Own Words
Buttigieg has promised to take the following actions to address Americans’ concerns about affordable healthcare coverage, access to care, prescription drug costs and improvement of the current system.
My plan for Medicare for All Who Want It will make comprehensive health insurance coverage available to all Americans.
- It will add a more affordable, public alternative to the health insurance marketplaces, while also increasing the generosity of financial assistance for lower income people and extending subsidy eligibility to more middle-income people. The more affordable public option will incentivize corporate insurers to compete on price. If corporate insurers don’t lower costs to deliver something dramatically better than what is available today, competition will create the glide path toward Medicare for All.
- To lower drug prices, I support empowering the federal government to negotiate drug prices and capping monthly out-of-pocket costs for drugs.
- My “Healing and Belonging in America” policy is a comprehensive plan for addressing the opioid epidemic and the broader crisis of addiction and mental illness. We will invest $300 billion in mental health, including a $100 billion grant program for communities to create tailored solutions for ending addiction and supporting mental health.To improve long-term mental health and well-being, we will enforce mental health and addiction parity across all private payers, Medicare, and Medicaid so that treatment for mental illness and addiction is as accessible as treatment for other chronic conditions, such as diabetes.
Buttigieg said he would take the following steps to close the racial wealth gap and the pay gap for women and promote economic security for middle- and low-income Americans.
The racial wealth gap is the most visible economic consequence of our long history of discrimination against Black Americans. My Douglass Plan for Black America proposes ways to invest, at an unprecedented scale, in Black Americans and to intentionally dismantle racist systems. We do this through several policies. For example:
- We propose a 21st Century Community Homestead Act to launch a public trust that would purchase abandoned properties and provide them to eligible residents in pilot cities while simultaneously investing in the revitalization of surrounding communities. This plan will attack the racial wealth gap by directly fostering asset ownership among those previously prevented from accumulating capital.
- We plan to pair this with the Walker-Lewis initiative to address the entrepreneurship gap and create jobs in minority communities.
- Our nation’s pay gap for women, which is worse for women of color, is unacceptable. In my plan for empowering workers, “A New Rising Tide,” we share policies to ensure that women are equally compensated as well as promoted into and retained in the well-paid jobs they deserve. This starts with gender pay transparency. Total pay gap transparency would be a down payment on more granular reporting requirements, such as by gender, race, and job within companies, building on the Obama Administration’s Equal Opportunity Office compensation data collection.
- We will also pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, raise a $15 federal minimum wage that is indexed to wage growth, end the tipped minimum wage that disproportionately affects women, and end the sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities.
Criminal Justice Reform/Gun Violence/Judiciary
Buttigieg would address criminal justice reforms, including over-policing, sentencing reforms and help with full and productive reentry into society by pursuing the following policies.
- I will work to ensure more people are free by reducing the number of people incarcerated in the United States at both the federal and state level by 50%.
- I will double funding for federal grants for states that commit to criminal justice reform and prioritize funding for programs aimed at pretrial reforms, decarceration, and expansion of alternative to incarceration (ATI) programs.
- On the federal level, I will eliminate incarceration for drug possession, reduce sentences for other drug offenses and apply these reductions retroactively, and legalize marijuana.
- I will also eliminate mandatory minimums.
- I will establish comprehensive measures to hold police accountable to their communities. My Administration will create a federal database both documenting use of force and tracking officers who are fired from their duties. I will support the use of body cams, policies that limit use of force to when it is absolutely necessary, and programs that end discriminatory and unfair policing practices.
- To help returning citizens reintegrate, I will support ban-the-box initiatives, work with the Department of Labor to set guidelines to reduce implicit bias, increase the availability of tax credits and bond insurance for employers who hire formerly incarcerated people, and allow returning citizens to access housing credits and SNAP.
Buttigieg proposes to improve pre-K through 12 education and post-secondary education opportunities (including apprenticeships and trade training) through the following actions.
All students deserve to reach their potential, regardless of background. To do so, we must ensure that all public schools are equipped with the resources, capacity, and workforce to become the best places to teach and to learn.
- I will do this by investing in an equitable public education system through a massive increase in federal resources for students at Title I schools.
- I will focus federal resources on increasing educator pay in Title I schools so that we are paying teachers in a way that reflects their value in our society.
- I will also implement new transparency policies to build a teaching workforce that reflects the diversity of the student body and our country as a whole.
- In addition, I will expand access to high-quality job training and post-secondary educational opportunities, including certificate and associate degree programs.
- I will invest up to $5 billion over the next decade to create a national network to double the number of apprenticeships and increase access to other earn-and-learn opportunities.