Pete Buttigieg speaks after being announced as President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of transportation. (NBC News)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on Dec. 15 released this statement on the nomination of Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and former Democratic presidential candidate, as U.S. secretary of transportation:

“The nomination of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay man, as U.S. secretary of transportation is monumental. Never in our history has a member of the LGBTQ+ community served in a Cabinet role – we cannot understate the progress that we have made as a country.

“Decades of activism, predominantly by Black and brown trans and queer people, have led us to this day, and now, we must ensure that we center the needs of these communities in the policymaking process.

“I’m confident that Mayor Buttigieg will fight for equitable policies at the Department of Transportation that will uplift all of our communities and make the necessary investments in our nation’s infrastructure. The Department of Transportation will also play a key role in our fight against climate change and I look forward to seeing how Mayor Buttigieg will help move our country toward a cleaner and healthier future.

“I applaud President-elect Biden for upholding his commitment to diversity and representation in his cabinet and congratulate Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his nomination.”

If confirmed, Buttigieg would be the first openly LGBTQ Cabinet secretary. In 2012, Takano became the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress.

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