I’m a 75-year-old, lifelong activist citizen. In 2016, I was an enthusiastic Bernie supporter. In April 2019, I was peeling carrots, with my back to a Sunday a.m. cable show. I had already begun a list of the Democratic candidates on a mental grid. Suddenly, I was aware that someone compelling was talking with a talking head. I dried my hands and walked to the screen. I thought, “who is this baby who is speaking truth to me? And why is he talking anyway?”

Then I saw the scroll ... South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, candidate for president of the U.S.

I continued to listen. I can’t remember the exact words Pete said. But I knew then that this brilliant, composed, compassionate person was someone I could support with all the energy I have left. I did my research. I was confirmed. I’ve been working for Pete’s candidacy since May.

I believe Pete Buttigieg has the combination of personal skills, values, intellect and experience that the country needs, especially at this critical time. We in the Pete campaign agree with the values we’re expected to uphold — our candidate falls or stands on his own. We don’t “win” by snarking at others.

Pete is a pragmatic progressive. At a time when our country is openly divided, when we are at a tipping point, I believe in Pete’s position about what will happen the day after Trump is defeated. My heart hugs Bernie and Elizabeth. My soul and my brain connect with Pete. I think this new, young leader has what it takes, and what we need to turn the arc back toward equality and justice.

Yelling doesn’t mean you’re “the Man.” Staying calm doesn’t mean you’re “meek.” Staying “cool” doesn’t mean you lack compassion or emotion. It could very well mean you’re an individual who keeps a clear head and a strong heart.

One of the things that drew me to my candidate is his overall grasp of the big picture and how critical issues are interconnected. I have visions of him sitting with Republicans and Democrats to work out issues, and I have dreams of him making us proud in meetings with world leaders. He doesn’t make promises he can’t keep. His concept of what constitutes a servant leader means he loves every citizen, all humans and the planet.

KATHLEEN M. OLIVER

4 Collins Drive

Marlborough