Mayor Pete focuses on inclusion during campaign stop in West Sacramento

Buttigieg calls for gun control, election reforms

Pete Buttigieg addressed a crowd of thousands about gun control, education, democratic reform and cultural acceptance in West Sacramento Sunday as part of his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.

When the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana took the outdoor stage at Drake’s: The Barn, he laid out why he believes he’s the one to beat President Donald Trump in 2020.

“Think about how we win,” Buttigieg said. “Especially in the Democratic party, every time we have won, at least in the last 50 to 60 years, it’s been with a candidate that called the country to a higher vision of itself, who hadn’t been in Washington for too long and who spoke for a new generation. That’s what works for us as the Democratic party.”

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Amanda Croteau, a Sacramento State earth science major, said she came to hear Buttigieg and scope out her options in the 2020 presidential election.

“I’m kind of window shopping,” Croteau said. “I think I will vote for Pete based on what I’ve seen so far, but I’m not 100 percent so I’m here for what he has to say. I don’t think college should be free. I don’t think Medicare-for-all should be an option. That’s why I’m out here, because he does align with my political views in that sense.”

Croteau said that Buttigieg’s youth and articulate way of speaking also attracted her to him as a candidate.

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Buttigieg was introduced to the stage by West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, a professor of public policy and administration at Sac State.

“You heard already the value of not making America into a bloodsport of democracy where we try to kill all of our enemies,” Cabaldon said. “We got to live tomorrow in a democracy, it’s not about destroying others, it’s about rallying together, learning together, growing together to be a better community, a better state and a better country.”

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Yesenia Valencia, a history and political science major at UC Davis, said she started following Buttigieg because of the way he speaks.

“I’ve been following Mayor Pete since March,” Valencia said. “The way that he spoke really resonated with me and it was really different from how other candidates have portrayed themselves in this campaign.”

Valencia said that Buttigieg’s stance on gun control has made her a supporter of the candidate.

“There’s still always a chance that somebody could come into one of our college classes and shoot the place up,” Valencia said. “The fact that he was so quick to say yes, that he’d ban assault weapons, it made me feel good and made me feel proud that I am supporting him.”

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Buttigieg spoke on how the president has an obligation to make sure their words do not make any American feel like they don’t belong. He then shared the story of a teenager he met in Iowa.

“She had come to an event and said that our campaign let her know that she could be herself, that she felt that she could go to school, talk about what she believed in, stand up straight, and not be ashamed,” Buttigieg said. “I thought that I knew exactly what she was about to tell me, cause it has moved me to hear so many people let me know that our campaign and me being honest about our marriage has let them know that they’re safe in this country.”

If elected, Buttigieg would become the first openly gay president, having come out in 2015 as he sought reelection as South Bend mayor. 

“So I thought she was there to tell me that, and then she kept explaining herself and said something that I didn’t see coming,” Buttigieg said. “She said, ‘I could be myself when I go to school, I don’t have to be ashamed that I have autism,’ and I thought, ‘Now we’re really getting somewhere in this campaign.’”

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Alexa Sanchez, a Sac State communications major, said she volunteered at the campaign stop for one of her classes and Buttigieg stood out to her.

“I feel like he’s very passionate and I really like that, he’s really striving for change and change is something that we really need,” Sanchez said. “I feel like he’s a really great individual. I actually got to meet him and he makes the whole experience very personal with the whole eye-contact.”

Following Buttigieg’s speech, Croteau said she felt firm in her support of his candidacy.

“I think my opinions were just strengthened, he’s very well-spoken and he’s very authentic,” Croteau said. “He allowed us to ask questions. He answered them very truthfully and he stuck to his gut in his answers and he was specific all the way through. I’ll be voting for him in the 2020 election.”

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