The news is that Barack Obama is still committed to creating a White House Office of Urban Policy. He had committed to do so on the campaign trail, but with new fires breaking out daily in the economy, this wasn’t thought to be a priority.
This is what cities need. A commitment to ramping up funding for Community Development Block Grants, as well as someone able to argue for urban interests across the spectrum of agencies: housing, education, agriculture, environment, commerce etc.
As Errol Lewis noted in an editorial column in the NY Daily News:
Properly done, an urban-affairs office could be the perfect place to mount a coordinated, all-out attack on the four horsemen of the inner-city apocalypse: street violence, poverty, poor housing and broken schools.