Office of Urban Policy

From Obama transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett (via the Washington Post), plans are underway to establish a White House Office of Urban Policy in order to better coordinate federal efforts to help America's cities.

I have blogged about this before. I am excited that president-elect Barack Obama has such a clear understanding of urban issues and a demonstrated intent to deal with them in a comprehensive and straightforward manner.

Seventy percent of Americans live in urban areas, and more than 40 percent are in areas of 1 million people or more (though I suspect that the State Department includes what I would define as suburban areas in that calculation). Either way, that's a lot of people.

Cities in particular face a set of daunting and interconnected problems that range from disinvestment, crime, and segregation to brownfields, poverty, and pollution. Obama will be the first modern president to attempt to tackle these issues in a coordinated manner, and we must be prepared to do everything we can to help.

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