In terms of urban policy, the Obama administration certainly will not be lacking input from New Yorkers. With the new appointments announced today in Washington, the three voices with arguably the most influence on urban affairs nationally are officials from New York.
The Obama administration has repeatedly made clear that urban areas will get fresh attention. On everything from transportation policy to housing laws and incentives, cities have long complained about receiving the short end of the stick from Washington, with suburbs grabbing the spotlight. At least among urban affairs wonks, there is a feeling that the Obama administration will change that, given his rhetoric in the campaign and early appointments (as well as the president's own big-city background).
Urban policy appointees from New York, so far:
- Shaun Donovan, the city’s former housing commissioner, has a highly influential seat as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Derek Douglas, the director of New York State’s Washington, D.C., advocacy office under governors Spitzer and Paterson, will be the Special Assistant for Urban Affairs to President Barack Obama.