Pete Buttigieg speaks to the crowd at a rally at Sparks High School.

Pete Buttigieg speaks to the crowd at a rally at Sparks High School.

Photo/Matt Bieker

On Saturday, Sept. 28, South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate hopeful, Pete Buttigieg spent the day in Reno as part of his campaign to raise his political profile in Nevada, where our status as an early caucus state is increasingly seen as a bellwether for the crowded Democratic candidate field.

Buttigieg addressed the current progressive checklist of woes in the city, beginning with a tour of downtown Reno’s recently razed motels led by local social justice organization ACTIONN, speaking with displaced and low-income residents while proposing solutions like greater access to Section 8 housing vouchers, and the larger picture of closing the country’s wage gap.

He then traveled to the GM parts distribution center in Stead to meet with striking United Auto Workers before attending a rally at Sparks High School, where approximately 700 attendees heard introductory remarks from campaign staff and volunteers before Buttigieg took the stage.

Touching on various issues like mental health care, energy independence and white nationalist violence, Buttigieg also proposed more specific ideas about government reform at the democratic level, calling for an end to gerrymandering, Citizens United and unnecessarily complex voter registration laws. He also showed support for a more streamlined immigration and citizenship process, at one point saying, “Immigration is how our country runs,” and invoking biblical scripture, “What ever happened to, ‘I was a stranger in a foreign land?’”

“Mayor Pete,” as he is known to his supporters, is one of two combat veterans pursuing the 2020 nomination and has said that he will not seek another term as mayor in order to focus on his presidential campaign.