South Bend community reacts to Pete Buttigieg's nomination for U.S. Secretary of Transportation
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- From South Bend, to South Lawn.
President-elect, Joe Biden, confirming former South Bend mayor, and 2020 presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg as his pick to become the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation if confirmed.
“He’s done so many things for south bend already and pushed us into a different direction than what we’ve been in the past. I think it’s great for the country," said South Bend resident, Lauren Gray.
“Just the insight he brings and his knowledge is just amazing. It’s amazing what he’s done here," said South Bend resident, Carlton Smith.
However, the news is not welcomed by everyone.
In a virtual protest Tuesday afternoon, Black Lives Matter leaders from South Bend, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Rhode Island called on the Biden-Harris administration not to appoint Buttigieg to any cabinet position.
“South Bend residents know very well that in addition to our former small town mayor being completely unqualified for a run for cabinet agency. Pete will continue is record in hurting our communities every day in his decision making process," said Black Lives Matter member, Jordan Giger.
The role of transportation secretary is expected to play a central role in Biden's push for a bipartisan infrastructure package.
The transportation secretary serves as principal adviser to the president in all matters relating to federal transportation programs.
The president-elect has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan that would, among other things, rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
A role not too unfamiliar to Buttigieg.
During his time as South Bend mayor, his Smart Streets initiative promised a safer, more accessible, and appealing look to the community.
That project took lots of data, research and policy decisions into consideration.
It’s small-scale experience ABC 57 political expert Jack Colwell believes could be useful if Buttigieg is confirmed.
“I don’t think you can base it on what he did in South Bend. Running transpo here is nothing like the job of transportation throughout the country. He established himself as an executive that can analyze data, get things done and who does things on the basis of research. Finding out what actually works and then getting people together to get things done. That’s the main thing that is needed for the secretary of transportation," said Colwell.
If Buttigieg is confirmed as the newest secretary of transportation, by the U.S. Senate, the length of his term would be four years.
If that does happen, he would also be making history as the first openly LGTBQ+ cabinet secretary ever to be nominated and approved.