Mark Zuckerberg, the renowned founder of Facebook, has set himself a challenge to visit local towns throughout the United States to see how different communities operate. On the 29th of April, Zuckerberg made a surprise stop in South Bend, Indiana. He met up with Mayor Pete Buttigieg for a tour of his hometown.
Buttigieg is one of the youngest mayors in the United States. As the 32nd Mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg’s office represents an opportunity to swing a relatively red state towards a more democratic philosophy. Upon Zuckerberg’s surprise visit in South Bend, Buttigieg offered to drive Zuckerberg around the small town.
Zuckerberg live streamed the ride so his followers on Facebook could follow along. Buttigieg began the stream by explaining his experiences studying at Harvard and then abroad in the UK. When he returned to South Bend, Buttigieg began preparations to run for office. He received help from many members of his generation as well as support from older residents.
Buttigieg drove Zuckerberg around to several different neighborhoods and local sites within the South Bend area. As the founding location of the famous Studebaker car company, South Bend began struggling financially when the company was shut down in 1967. When Buttigieg took office, there were 13,000 abandoned houses in the area. He implemented a strategy to combat this epidemic and has had great success. During the tour Buttigieg also mentioned the opioid issues in South Bend. After stopping at a local cafe and visiting the old Studebaker factories, Zuckerberg and the mayor parted ways.