Urban Fold

Obama's Urban Issues Team

Barack Obama has announced the three members of the "urban issues" arm of his incoming cabinet. Grist's Ryan Avent takes a look at Shaun Donovan, Ray LaHood and Adolfo Carrion and what they may mean for urban policy.

"A man of the city himself -- raised in Honolulu and for decades a Chicagoan -- Obama has been called the metropolitan candidate. He ran on an "Amtrak ticket" with a man who took the train to work every day, and he's even riding the rails to Washington for his inauguration. This has raised expectations among urbanists (your author included), and the president-elect has done little to discourage that enthusiasm. He paid homage to rail and transit during the campaign (in a landmark metropolitan speech, for instance) and since his election. And he has even gone so far as to create a cabinet-level Office of Urban Policy."

"But now the rubber hits the road. While Obama's commitment to better metropolitan policy is clear, he will need capable lieutenants who can hone policy details and push matters forward. His urban personnel -- his secretaries of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, along with the head of the new Urban Policy office -- will carry the metropolitan torch for the administration. So who are they, and what do they say about an Obama urban policy?"

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