December 15, 2020

STATEMENT: Mayor Pete must shed Indiana’s legacy of infrastructure privatization as Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg is expected to be nominated for Transportation Secretary by the incoming Biden administration. As Transportation Secretary, Mayor Buttigieg will be expected to play a large role in critical updates on our nation’s infrastructure that will impact work on climate change, water access, and more.

Too often, privatization is presented as a solution to infrastructure issues. Unfortunately, this was the case in Mayor Buttigieg’s home state of Indiana, where many infrastructure “public-private partnerships” failed. As you may know, the privatization of public services can have disastrous consequences, ranging from rate hikes and job layoffs to lack of investment and dangerous cost cutting that can cost cities millions of dollars and the health of its residents. These risks are even more clear within the water sector, which will need national, concerted federal investment in the next decade. The involvement of the private water industry has even been linked to major public health crises.

Mayor Buttigieg has an opportunity to learn from the failings of privatized infrastructure in his home state and chart a way forward that promotes solutions that maintain strong public control. Please see below for a quote from me, Corporate Accountability Associate Campaign Director, and do let me know if you would like to discuss infrastructure, privatization, or Mayor Buttigieg’s role.

Please see below for a quote from Associate Water Campaign Director Alissa Weinman.

“Mayor Pete’s home state of Indiana has seen firsthand the results of infrastructure privatization. From Indianapolis’ disastrous contract with corporate water giant Veolia that cost the city millions resulted in unaffordable bills to the state’s ruinous Interstate 69 toll road project that is estimated to cost the state millions, privatization time and time again failed the people of Indiana. If confirmed as Transportation Secretary, Mayor Pete must reject the privatization schemes that plagued his home state and instead embrace people-first, public solutions.

Our roads, transit, drinking water, and wastewater systems are in dire need of real investment — not corporate schemes. Mayor Buttigieg, to “Build Back Better”, we must prioritize people, not corporations.”

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