Get Buttigieg on the ballot | Letter

As I was canvassing in Issaquah for signatures to put Pete Buttigieg on our Washington state ballot, a woman told me, with great authority, that Pete Buttigieg will not and cannot be president. Her tone was familiar, like when they told me that girls cannot wear pants to school, or that as a teenager I could not take mechanical drawing, or as a young woman, I could not be a construction inspector. These words, this “cancelation,” strengthen my resolve.

At his book signing, I was impressed by this obscure, smart “data-driven,” governance nerd who talked about grace and compassion like he was my grandmother. While he seems like a relatable guy — a Midwest mayor living in a middle-class neighborhood with his mortgage, rescue dogs, and well-grounded marriage — he also brings a brilliant, tactical mind. He is fluent in the needs and realities of our emerging generations, has the humility and commitment of a servant leader, and the temperament to guide a nation beyond division, onto a path of reconciliation and back to global leadership.

I appreciate Pete’s observation that we have “a crisis of belonging.” He addresses this crisis in his plans for mental health, supporting those with disabilities, ending systemic racism, ensuring women have power, and advancing the workers’ rights. His plans are comprehensive and interwoven. I have met lots of Pete supporters. I have been waiting for this historic day when Pete Buttigieg, who could be the youngest and first openly gay president, is officially on our Washington state primary ballot. He is committed to strengthening this country through democracy, security and freedom.

Next year, in the general election, I will “vote blue no matter who.” But on March 10, Pete Buttigieg will get my vote because he can and maybe should be president.

Jeanne Acutanza