A Positive First Step?
Barack Obama has announced that his Transition Economic Advisory Board will include Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. This suggests that Obama is already getting serious about his campaign promise – now part of his transition promise – to forge a partnership between the federal government and the nation’s cities.
Villaraigosa chairs the U.S. Conference of Mayors Poverty, Work, and Opportunity Task Force and is a voice for cities on the national level, campaigning first for Hillary Clinton and then for Obama. Earlier this year, the task force recommended a national redefinition of poverty, reinvestment in workforce training programs, and increased investment in the Community Development Block Grant program, a flexible federal grant to cities and other localities that has been neglected by President Bush. Villaraigosa's Director of Economic Development Sean Arian spoke at a DMI Marketplace of Ideas event on L.A.’s clean air action plan last month.
The Transition Economic Advisory Board will meet later today. While Obama will most likely not attend a global economic summit arranged for next week by President Bush, members of the board will observe.
MayorTV interviewed Mayor Villaraigosa late last year.