After City Incentives, South Bend Real Estate Executives Donate to Mayor Pete’s Presidential Campaign (Sludge)
Real estate executives benefited from policies of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s administration that some criticize as reckless gentrification. Now they’re returning the favor.
Rising Democratic star Pete Buttigieg has had quite the start to 2019. Due to a successful CNN town hall event, numerous eloquent interviews, and what seems like an answer to every question, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s presidential campaign took in $7 million since it officially launched on Jan. 23.
But in addition to the many new friends Buttigieg has made recently are several old ones, including South Bend-based real estate executives whose companies have benefited from government subsidies initiated by Buttigieg, who have already donated to his nascent presidential campaign.
One of Buttigieg’s major initiatives as mayor was a redevelopment program that knocked down hundreds of homes in majority black and Latino neighborhoods and replaced some of them with new developments, as described in a recent article from Buzzfeed News. The initiative has often been cast as a success, yet some residents of color lost valuable financial assets. Some would have preferred a rebuilding effort, engaging the neighborhood communities, instead of widespread demolition. The city was also very aggressive with building code enforcement, charging residents for fixes they couldn’t pay for and then demolishing the homes anyway.