Obama to Nominate Charlotte Mayor as Transportation Secretary

News broke Sunday that Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will be President Obama's choice to succeed Ray LaHood as transportation secretary. Although he does not have a transportation background, Foxx has been an advocate for mass transit and TOD.
April 29, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Although his nomination is being framed by some as a nod to those who've criticized a lack of diversity among Obama's second term cabinet picks, the White House was quick to defend Mayor Foxx's qualifications and record of experience, reports Franco Ordoñez. "As mayor of what it called one of America’s most vibrant cities, the White House said Foxx has the firsthand knowledge needed to create jobs and compete in a global economy. The White House praised Foxx’s ability to integrate local, state and federal resources to meet transportation challenges."

"Federal officials cited his efforts to bring a streetcar line through the center of the city, expand Charlotte Douglas International Airport and extend the city’s light-rail system north to UNC Charlotte."

"Foxx is interested in how transit can shape urban development," adds Ordoñez, "and he shares the Obama administration’s support for high-speed rail and creating walkable cities with development clustered around transit stops."

LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Peoria who was beloved by many progressive advocates for his outspoken advocacy for alternative transportation modes, will be a tough act to follow. 

Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman had been mentioned as potential nominees. 
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Published on Sunday, April 28, 2013 in The Charlotte Observer
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