City-Friendly Trail Talk Hasn't Translated

Obama has right ideas, urban activists say, needs more action
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2009 3:37 PM CDT
City-Friendly Trail Talk Hasn't Translated
President Barack Obama attends the Washington Wizards NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls at the Verizon Center, Feb. 27, 2009.   (AP Photo)

Unlike his immediate predecessors, President Obama is a pretty citified guy, and has ignited hope among urban-policy experts. Obama has made promising appointments, tweaked policy in city-friendly ways, created a new White House Office of Urban Affairs. But, advocates tell Salon, how federal government deals with cities is a tough nut to crack. “Hope is there,” says one. “Change is going to be a little bit longer.”

The Urban Affairs office has mainly been silent, and Obama’s proposed programs have been small and, in some cases, pretty traditional. “We’re on the road to wonderful,” the advocate adds. “But that’s where we are—on the road right now. We’re getting there.” (More Obama administration stories.)

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