Out of nowhere, a little known mayor of a small town in Indiana with barely 100,000 residents is now a serious contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination. With no real record beyond a short tenure in local politics, Mayor Pete Buttigieg lacks the dirt, baggage, and controversy most national candidates carry.
Buttigieg served as mayor of South Bend since 2012, but without a voting record on non-local issues, all we have to go on are his promises, and the little bits of performance seen from his current position.
A 2018 Community Survey of the residents of South Bend Indiana show Mayor Buttigieg is not the perfect politician many made him out to be. There is a large consensus among his constituents that South Bend did not improve, or it got worse during his time in office. The survey polled 761 residents about their thoughts on various aspects of the community and functionality of the city government.
While 52% of respondents thought the city had “thriving public spaces and culture,” a mere 30% thought South Bend was a welcoming community.
Overall approval of the government was no better with only 42% of residents expressing satisfaction with the local officials and their performance in office. An equal amount were satisfied with the quality of public services.
Residents on the whole are split on whether the town is a better place to live today with 52% saying they did not think the town improved in the last 5-years. For a person running for presidency, we would hope that he’d be able to improve the small area he was entrusted by voters with. This posses a potential problem for national voters because if they were to see Buttigieg could not improve South Bend, some may worry he could not improve the nation.
Only 13% feel the city is a safe place to live, and 44% disagree with the statement: “all residents are empowered with education, mobility, and technology.”
Despite the uneasiness with safety and long term improvement, almost 6 in 10 people view South Bend as a great place to live.
Categories: U.S. News