In February, the White House named Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. as director of the new White House Office of Urban Affairs. And then, there was…not much.
For the last few months, Carrión has stayed out of the spotlight, prompting a Politico article entitled “Is urban policy on the back burner?” with a lot of slightly peeved statements from city planning wonks.
But yesterday President Barack Obama finally held an urban policy roundtable with cabinet members and local leaders alike. Obama discussed the Urban Affairs office’s main agenda, which includes plans to:
“Conduct the first comprehensive interagency review in 30 years of how the federal government approaches and funds urban and metropolitan areas so that we can start having a concentrated, focused, strategic approach to federal efforts to revitalize our metropolitan areas.”
Meanwhile, the listening tour is to begin this month, said Carrión, and continue through the fall, reaching public school auditoriums and factory plants, and including developers, housing and environmental advocates, educators, health care providers, public safety officials, and local elected officials.