"Grist: What are you trying to do through the Livable Communities Act?
Rep. Earl Blumenauer: We want the federal government to be a better partner with communities. It has, shall we say, a mixed record over the last 235 years. After World War II, the federal government was jump-starting the housing boom for returning veterans and FHA was perfectly comfortable with segregated communities. It wouldn't loan for integrated communities or for mixed-use development. Lots of money for highways wasn't carefully integrated into the urban fabric, and it created some real damage -- along with strengthening the economy and promoting the movement of goods. We want this federal partnership to be appropriate for our new century. We want it to be sensitive to community context. We want it to be all about giving people more choices, not fewer."
Blumenauer says that the ball is rolling, but contends that his colleagues in congress need to know more about livability issues to start making better policies for urban areas.