Pete Buttigieg on Technology

Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor


Put millions of new electric vehicles on America's roads

Pete Buttigieg called for the use of more electric cars on U.S. roads, giving a preview of his potential agenda as Transportation secretary. "To meet the climate crisis, we must put millions of new electric vehicles on America's roads. It's time to build public charging infrastructure powered by clean energy and make it available in all parts of this country," Buttigieg tweeted on Monday.
Source: The Hill e-zine on 2021 Biden Administration , Dec 22, 2020

Chaired Automation Task Force of Conference of Mayors

During his time as a mayor, he served as Chair of the Conference's Automation Task Force, exploring how new technologies could help solve some of the most difficult municipal problems and deliver better services. His expertise, deep-seated curiosity and understanding of the impact federal policy has on our communities proved to be invaluable to our work, just as it will in his new role.
Source: Press Release from US Conference of Mayors on Biden Cabinet , Dec 15, 2020

National data security policy, don't leave it to companies

We don't have a national policy on data security or on data privacy. Different states have them. We're relying on very outdated legal protections. We need to set a national standard, even when you give your data to a company, on what they can and can't do with it, certain rights that we have over data, especially when companies are making money off of it. We can't just leave it to the companies to regulate themselves.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 with Erin Burnett , Feb 18, 2020

Can't solve problem by air travel ban; focus on fast trains

Q: Air travel is about 2% of greenhouse gas emissions. Your policy on that?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, I'm interested in decarbonizing the fuel that goes into air travel. I also don't believe we're going to abolish air travel. But we do need to do more to provide alternatives to air travel. I think about the train system, in a country that views itself as the greatest, most modern, the most sophisticated in the world. How is it that we have such an inferior train system when trains are a lot easier to power on a green basis because they run on electricity?

I'm not even asking for asking for Japanese-level trains. Just give me like Italian-level trains and we would be way ahead of where we are right now, but that's going to require policy choices and investment. And if anybody says we shouldn't subsidize trains--think about just how many ways we subsidize driving which is among the most carbon intensive things we could be doing.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Mustn't let China lead world on artificial intelligence

The fundamental way to stay ahead of China is to invest in our own competitiveness. If they're investing billions more in artificial intelligence than we are, there is a very strong likelihood that they will be running circles around us by the time I have kids old enough to vote. I don't want to see artificial intelligence being led by China, knowing that their vision is about using technology for the perfection of dictatorship, very different from how these things will work in American hands.
Source: Meet the Press interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 25, 2019

Empower federal regulators to deal with tech giants

Buttigieg on Tech Competition & Antitrust: We need to empower federal regulators first.

Buttigieg has argued that before they can even contemplate break-ups, enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission & Department of Justice need to be better empowered. That may mean more resources, staff or statutory authority. "We're going to need to empower the FTC to be able to intervene, including blocking or reversing mergers in cases where there's anticompetitive behavior by tech companies," Buttigieg said.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

As mayor: major investment in data and technology industries

Pete is in his 8th and final year as Mayor of South Bend. Pete was first elected mayor in 2011 at only 29 years old and re-elected in 2015 with 80% of the vote.

Under his leadership, South Bend has reimagined its role in the global economy, spurring job growth & major investment in advanced industries such as data and technology. At the same time, Pete emphasized building a South Bend community where every resident--regardless of race, religion, gender, or orientation--could feel safe and included.

Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website PeteForAmerica.com , May 2, 2019

Automation is changing the workplace; we need to adapt

We got to be honest about the fact that for every job and manufacturing that has been lost as a consequence of trade, there are several more that have been lost as a result of technology and automation. And that's not going to change. Manufacturing can continue to grow stronger in this country, but it's going to be less labor intensive, less human beings on the floor per dollar of output. And that's why we need policies that can get ahead of the economic shifts to come and recognize that our generation's not going to be able to count as our parents' generation often did on the idea of a single relationship with a single employer or a couple employers across the course of your entire career.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

Infrastructure upgrade of sewer system needed in South Bend

At best, the sewer upgrade that I'm going to have to do is $500 million, so it is literally equivalent to the value of all of the city's assets. We talk about a Green New Deal? There could be, almost, a New Deal-level investment just in mid-western sewer separation. And, by the way, water quality, too, as we learned in Flint.
Source: NYMag.com, "Talk With Buttigieg," on 2020 Democratic primary , Feb 14, 2019

Set up 311 phone system for easier contact to city services

Old-fashioned local government is notoriously full of seat-of-the-pants operations. No one could tell me, when I took office, how much it costs to fill in a pothole, or how many times we missed a trash pickup in a given week. If a problem arose, I would hear about it only when someone contacted a council member to complain, or wrote a letter to the newspaper.

Fresh from a job in management consulting, I had promised during the campaign to set up a 311 system, so residents wouldn't have to figure out the relevant department in order to report a pothole or get a streetlight fixed. When the 311 center opened, we gained something more valuable than a new mechanism for customer service; for the first time, South Bend had a central, constantly updated data set on what people were calling about. Using that data, the city was able to make countless operational improvements, from cutting the time it took to get a pick-up by our trash crews, to simplifying the way residents paid their water bills.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.185-6 , Feb 12, 2019

Created city data map of infrastructure and road assets

My administration created the first objective asset map of the city, cataloging the quantity and quality of streets, fire hydrants, signs, and anything else in a public right-of-way. This work even included an app, to scan the conditions of the road and report cracks, potholes, and other deterioration.

Thinking back to his youth on the street department, one councilman was skeptical. "You have this technology to tell you which streets need repair," he said. "But if your foreman's any good, he ought to already know that off the top of his head!" Admittedly, the councilman had a point. One of the reasons we had qualified, experienced individuals in organizations is to use their intuition and expertise to solve problems.

For all the power that data analysis represents, it also has its limitations, and the potential for mischief. You might spend lots of time and resources gathering data that will never be used, or accumulate data that winds up telling you things you already know.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.188-9 , Feb 12, 2019

Transportation part of solution to greenhouse gas emissions

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Thursday that the U.S. has a "once in a century opportunity" to push forward infrastructure reforms and added that the country is on the verge of an "infrastructure season" that could potentially turn into an "infrastructure decade." Buttigieg spoke Thursday at the virtual South by Southwest festival.

[On the planned infrastructure bill]: "Transportation can be a part of the solution," Buttigieg said. "In fact, it has to be because transportation is the biggest part of the problem. We're the biggest sector when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, which means improving transportation is the biggest thing we can do to get our economy on the right track." According to the EPA, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation account for nearly 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: CBS News on Biden Cabinet , Mar 18, 2013

Other candidates on Technology: Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
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Page last updated: Sep 01, 2021