Meet the 37-Year-Old Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
January 10, 2020 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Can young Mayor James make a difference in his hometown? The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is known for keeping a low profile. James Mueller was sworn into office on New Year’s Day at the age of 37, making him much younger than the mayors of other, comparably sized cities in his state. But he’s already familiar with City Hall, having spent four years in the previous administration as the mayor’s chief of staff and the city’s director of community investment...Jorden Giger, an activist with Black Lives Matter South Bend, worked with Mueller in his earlier official roles. “He has an opportunity right now to really make a change and do something different,” said Giger. Giger said Mueller told him his administration will pay attention to “addressing existing disparities along the line of race and class—so we’ll see.”

A lot is changing in South Bend, for the first time the city council is majority women. But there are lingering tensions in the city, as under the last mayor's run for office in 2011, and during his tenure, a racist conspiracy to remove black cops from the police force was discovered, and was found to have been aided by the last mayor's donors. The lawsuits are ongoing, but all but one of the white officers who's racist comments were on tape still have jobs, and the one that doesn't retired. This shows a pervasive amount of anti-black racism in South Bend. One can only hope a new mayor might help the situation.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (11 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Unusually young mayor of South Bend is going to shake things up, eh? It feels like I've heard this one before. Should we be expecting him in the 2024 presidential primary?

It seems very odd to me that Slate doesn't see fit to mention Pete Buttgeig by name here, given that James was his high school classmate and chief of staff.
posted by jordemort at 9:31 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]

Sometimes absence says as much as presence...
posted by eagles123 at 10:39 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]

Yo Pete is racist.
posted by Uncle at 11:50 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]

Nicely played, Slate.
posted by octothorpe at 5:06 AM on January 11

South Bend, population 100,000...

I'm only reading this if the climactic scene involves Mayor James hanging off a railing while Robert Mueller says "James! I am your father!".
posted by heatherlogan at 6:05 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

It seems very odd to me that Slate doesn't see fit to mention Pete Buttgeig by name here

posted by kenko at 7:08 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

I bet Mayor Pete has an assistant print this sorta shit out and leave it for him to read while falling asleep so he can draw psychic fuel from the seething hatred of young content producers.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:44 AM on January 11

If I may suggest, the last link is the crucial one to read.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:47 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]

Michael Harriot is amazing.
posted by flamk at 9:42 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I mean, based on the comments at Slate it seems to be intended as some sort of satirical piece? I might be too Midwestern to get the joke.
posted by jordemort at 4:50 PM on January 11

Yeah, that Michael Harrington link at The Root is so, so damning about Buttigieg's awful enabling of racist crap in the South Bend police department. It's disqualifying stuff.
posted by mediareport at 7:39 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]

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