January 21st, 2010
04:21 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama promises stronger federal focus on cities

The president and vice president addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the White House Thursday.
The president and vice president addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the White House Thursday.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama promised the country's mayors Thursday that his budget for the upcoming fiscal year will include a series of investments meant to spark a long-term economy recovery in metropolitan areas.

"We're working every day to get our economy back on track and put America back to work, because while Wall Street may be recovering, you and I know your main streets have a long way to go," Obama said in a White House address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

"The budget that I'll present next month ... (will reflect) our strategy to build economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, opportunity-rich communities that serve as the backbone for our long-term growth and prosperity."

Noting that unemployment in cities remains "far too high," the president laid out a three-pronged approach for new urban growth.

First, Obama said, the administration will focus on building "strong, regional backbones" for the economy by "coordinating federal investment in economic and workforce development."

Second, the White House will turn its attention to the creation of "more livable" and environmentally friendly communities.

"When it comes to development, it's time to throw out old policies that encourage sprawl and congestion, pollution, and ended up isolating our communities in the process," Obama argued. "We need strategies that encourage smart development linked to quality public transportation that bring our communities together."

Third, the president said, the federal government will focus on creating what he referred to as "neighborhoods of opportunity."

"Many of our neighborhoods have been economically distressed long before this crisis hit," he said. "So we'll invest in innovative and proven strategies that change the odds for our communities."

Obama cited the example of the "Choice Neighborhoods" program, which focuses on alternative affordable housing programs that vary according to a community's specific needs.

The president is scheduled to release his fiscal year 2011 budget in February.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Reagan raised taxes

    Great Job Mr.President,we will defeat the corporate fascists.

    January 21, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Feel good rhetoric, with no substance, whatsoever.

    January 21, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Chuck, Tennessee

    He thinks a bunch of rah-rah speeches/rallies around the country will create jobs? The answer is to give small business owners the financial ability to hire. Remember, "It's the economy, stupid"? Well, with BHO, it is "Here's how the economy works, stupid!"

    January 21, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Jay1975

    This guy is clueless. Each month he goes on TV saying how he has a plan, but none of them work yet he just keeps spending money that we don't have. Maybe it is time to tell people to fend for themselves rather than waiting for a gov't handout.

    January 21, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Sue

    I heard an economist last week..............

    The economist said...............

    In order to get unemployment back down to 5%--–285,000 jobs per month--over the next 5 years will need to be created.

    Obama and the Democrats won't even have unemployment back down to 8% by the time of the 2010 elections--–unless they cook up their own numbers/reports--as it is NOT mathematically possible.

    Obama and the Democrats are going to get clobbered in the 2010 elections!!!!

    January 21, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Just more Obozo spending. "Give a man a fish (welfare) and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish (job) and he eats for a lifetime!

    The creation of jobs is not driven by more government spending but through capitalism on the free markets w/ in the private sector! Stop the wealth-shifting mentality Barry! It doesn't work!!

    January 21, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. Fan of Common Sense

    And guess whose going to be paying for this "urban investment." It's going to be the business owners (the evil rich people) who provide the employment opportunities that make the economies of these cites work and thrive. Or we could just put it on the tab of our children and grandchildren. Either way, Obama creates the ILLUSION of caring for the voters and doing something for the economy, and gets re-elected–and that's all that really matters. Right?

    January 21, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Mike in MN

    Sounds like he is just going to raise he deficit by increase spending and giving more handouts to cities. ACORN will be the first in line to pilfer the tax payers money.

    January 21, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. m smith

    The repo stratigy seems to be hammer at a lie long enough and their base will come to believe it is true. The president is working harder than the previous one and getting no help at all instead the old coger McCaine is getting a petition to seat brown quicker. Quicker than what? The president has nothing to do with that but if we hammer away at it the dummy base will think he does. Working on the economy should be in the interst of both parties but the repos won't be happy unless they can say NO. Who is the nut that thinks the president created more slums and crime in Chicago in this last year. Do they not know the crime rate is actually down .

    January 21, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. petena

    Lets not forget he was dealt the worst set of cards coming in. He was trying to get Health Care done while people were still hot and supossedly favorable poll number. However, the tea party folks have now screwed health care. I believe he will improve the economy this year. He will, he will. As for health care, I really don't think he will make it and we are all going to be in deep dodo. Thanks Republicans.

    January 21, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Sherry N. Calif.

    Gee, I wonder where we would be with a man that said we have a strong economy back on the campaign trail in 08? I bet we would have a financial disaster on our hands globally and unejoyment at 25% not 10%.

    January 21, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. lifelong democrat

    Obama, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.

    January 21, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. MJ

    Americans that bought a home, car, incurred credit card debts, etc., that well exceeded what could be afforded, need to quit blaming everyone beside themselves. Just because someone succeeded and paid the debts they incurred and lived within budget doesn't entitle you to "free insurance and other benefits" at the expense of those who made better choices. These are tough times. Support small businesses, make the right decision in purchasing goods, and stop blaming others for your misfortune.

    January 21, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. jp,michigan

    Obama continues to spent the money we don't have to provide temporary jobs. Michigan has a 14% unemployment rate. The government gave billions to car companies and financial institutions, but did not help the small business that actually hire. Obama is an lecturer and has forgotten he is no longer in a class room. All we own to China, we should be learning chinese, for one day they may own us.

    January 21, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. Carl Mitchell

    Let us as business people work hard pay less taxes and we will do the rest. You will see the economy grow once the Government stays out of what we know best –BUSINESS. The government needs to worry about how to run a business so that you stop spending when you don't have it to spend it's easy just ask the business community US.

    January 21, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Ann

    Don't complain too much people. You could elect a Clinton and you failed. The shame is on you.

    January 21, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. cmoore

    Get jobs back by cutting taxes, not spending the people's money!! Get your hands out of our pockets!!!

    January 21, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Wow, I truly believe dems have no idea how to create jobs. They're so used to whining about poor people, they have no idea how to help the vast middle class!

    Since my community didn't vote for you, Mr. Obama, I guess we're going to be left to twist in the wind, huh?

    January 21, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. CommonSense09

    I think it's really worth a try! People must understand and really understand this man had a mess on his hands before taking his oath to serve....only will time prove all of the negative talkers wrong...Now what's so funny is how everyone wants to voice their opinions and give advice now but didn't say a dam thing when Bush screwed us all, democrats, republicans and independents.....So please allow this man, the President of the United States of America, his time to do his good! Like or not his term does not end for a while....Go Obama!

    January 21, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. From socialist to populist.........

    this man is like a reed in the wind......no conviction.....no leadership ability.....just another Chicago politician....

    January 21, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. JeDien

    Here's an idea: How about our Federal Government focusing on national issues, and state and local governments focusing on state and local (read: city) issues? One reason that the Fed has become so overbearing is the ever-growing reliance on that level of government to fix local problems.

    Go to PTA meetings. Go to city council meetings. Volunteer in your community. Don't rely on the Federal Government, which takes tax dollars from people all over the nation, to fix your local issues.

    January 21, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. MattyJ273

    One year after the recession and people still don't understand its scope. When economists say the recession was the greatest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression, they mean it. Americans should be under no illusions that this will be fixed in one year. No matter who is running the government, they do not have a magic wand to change things, Republican or Democrat. What we can do is make sure it never happens again and finally Obama is working on it.

    January 21, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Gerry NH

    Lets blame the last administration but remember congress has been run by the Democrats for over 3 years. Let the spineless people that can't stand up for what they do gab away.

    January 21, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Mr Joshua

    Don't help New York Obama............

    You have done enough damage.............

    By constantly blaming Wall Street for today's economic woes In which Wall Street did play a part However, Not as large as the Community Reinvestment act, Barney Frank and forcing Banks to lend to those who could not afford the loan (Congress) New York City depends on the taxes generated by Bonuses and the Federal Government get's a slice too. I hope there aer no bonuses this year. New York Going broke on Obama's watch and 2010 is coming up.

    For the record, I work on Wall Street and unlike Obama before he became President, I have a real job.

    Stay away from New York.

    January 21, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. Marty, FL

    Sounds like more empty promises to me. Anything, I suppose, to appear he's on top of things. Has anyone else noticed that everyday he comes out with some new agenda, something new to fix or create? Keeps him in front of the cameras he so loves. And as long as no one remembers all this blah, blah, blah, he feels safe & he can go back home thinking he's run another one by us.

    January 21, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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