Buttigieg Calls for Pay Equity During Visit to Birmingham

 1500049258 
1575466364
Andrew Yeager, WBHM

Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks with Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson following a meeting of community leaders in Birmingham on December 4, 2019.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg spoke about economic and racial inequality at a community leaders meeting in Birmingham Wednesday. Buttigieg fielded questions from government officials and nonprofit leaders at the meeting, only a portion of which was observed by the media.

Buttigieg expressed support for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, paid parental leave policies and increasing union membership. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor says rural areas need investment as well, such as with broadband internet access. He says immigration plays a role, too.

“If we want a population growth strategy in rural America, let’s welcome new Americans,” Buttigieg said.

Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson pressed Buttigieg on how he would ensure his policies would benefit African Americans and not just the white community. Buttigieg proposed increased enforcement against wage discrimination, which he says would help cut the pay gap for black workers. He says more minority-owned businesses need access to loans.

Buttigieg encouraged engagement with those who oppose expanding the social safety net when they invoke religion and politics.

“Instead of ‘I was hungry and you fed me,’ it’s ‘we’re going to cut TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).’ Instead of ‘I was sick and you healed me,’ it’s ‘we’re not going to expand Medicaid,” Buttigieg said. “Let’s talk about the morality behind these decisions that are being made.”

The visit was part of a multi-day campaign swing through Southern states, which included a stop in Montgomery Tuesday. Polls have shown lackluster support for Buttigieg among black voters, a significant constituency in the Alabama Democratic primary.

More Elections 2020 Coverage

2020 Primary Runoff Voter Guide: Your Source Of Information For The July 14 Election

Alabama's Senate primary runoff is July 14. Check out these candidate profiles and what's on the ballot.

Alabama Republican Senate Contest Headed To A Runoff

The race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate is headed to a runoff. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville will face off March 31st.

Alabama Live Election Results

Follow for live election coverage of the Alabama primary elections.

NPR Live Coverage: 2020 Super Tuesday

Follow NPR's live coverage of the 2020 Super Tuesday contests, including results and analysis.

In Comeback Senate Bid, Jeff Sessions Backs Trump — Despite Public Falling-Out

Jeff Sessions is making a play for his old senate seat from Alabama, arguing he's the one who has Trump's back despite the president's disparaging remarks about his former attorney general.

BirminghamWatch 2020 Primary Voter Guide: Republican U.S. Senate Race Headlines March 3 Primaries In Alabama

The Alabama primary election is on Tuesday, March 3. And all seven Senate Republican candidates have shown basic agreement on the topics of immigration, taxes and the economy as well as social issues such as abortion, guns and health care.

More Elections 2020 Coverage