January 21st, 2010
04:21 PM ET
10 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. nathan

    Right right we'll make slums green and then we'll have "strong regional backbones". I feel so much better now.

    January 21, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. arch

    What a joke! He can't even run his own house and now he wants to come into ours! Please stay away. Better yet, go to another country and run them into the ground like you are doing to us!

    January 21, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    I may believe him if he allows those kids in DC to go to good schools like his girls do. Until then no dice, no way, no how!

    January 21, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. all the news that's fit to omit

    For the next pack of lies and things I am going to talk about but FAIL MISERABLY AT we have XXXXXXXX.

    Never held a real job, never ran a business, never ran a city and never ran a state, the lying gutless fraud can only kind of run his mouth.

    What about the heartland Barry or can you only help out the "people" that voted for you (inner cities and unions)?

    My bad, they work and pay taxes in the heartlands, no need to worry about them with all their "guns and religion", eh barry?

    One and done and the worst experiment in history will be over.

    January 21, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. all the news that's fit to omit

    By the way sheep, the party of Obambi, that would be the Democan'ts who with a majority lack the brain matter and fortitude to get anything done.

    IF they went item by item and reached across the aisle we COULD HAVE HC reform NOW, some, but nope, the liar in chief wants FULL POWER and we the people of Mass, NJ and VA told the fraud where he can stuff his HOPENCHANGE.

    What a maroon, eh Bugs?

    January 21, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. greg

    Hey Obama and Joe i know of a town and the area around that will lose 200 jobs by the end of Febuary paying anywhere from 14000 up to 50000 so mister Prez call your Boy Jimmy Doyle D WISCONSIN and just see how good this liberal did come on November.

    January 21, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. LINDA

    Obama is president now. He has been in office ONE year. No more blaming Bush. He has nothing to do with the state the U.S. is in now. If McCain had been elected the economy would be great, we would have zero unemployment, our health care system would be the best in the world, we would have world peace and h1n1 wouldn't exist.

    January 21, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    There he goes again...

    This is just another redistribute-the-wealth scam, siphoning off tax dollars from the majority of Americans who live no where near cities, and generally want nothing to do with cities, to prop up rotting-at-the-core cities.

    January 21, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. Fitz in Texas

    I wouldn't trust Obama and his administration any further than I could throw them. Your know the saying: "screw me once shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me." The American people won't allow Obama and his administration to use us or screw us again.

    January 21, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. lifelong democrat

    Remember what Obama said last year when he was asking for the American people to support his $787 billion PORKULUS BILL; "We MUST spend our way out of this." If you believe Obama then and now, you're a fool. Heck, this lifelong democrat can smell BS my party supported and put into the WH, why can't you?

    January 21, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. Barbara- a Canadian

    Boy,some of you make me so sad. You've made your President the whipping "boy" for all your ills.

    You, as a country, had the sense to elect a truly intelligent, compassionate and thoughtful man as President. He's done so much to change the image of your country for the better throughout the world, however, all the terrible and awful things he has been called in the last eight or so months,by the people he is working his ass for, shows the earlier image was so correct.

    Many of you are, indeed, Ugly Americans!

    January 21, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. southern cousin

    Apparently the president SEIU/ACORN & George Soros installed in the White House thinks that giving money to community organizers and the unions is going to bring back jobs. How ignorant is this idiot and supporters. I suppose he will finance it by all the 401k money that he steals from us with his new regulations on banks and Wall Street. Why doesn;t he clean up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which have been functioning as Barney Franks and Chris Dodds piggy banks and a plush job for democrat insiders.

    January 21, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Independent voter and thinker

    I'm an Independent and I'm totally PO at the democrats, I trusted Obama with my vote and so far he has done nothing. I will not vote for a Republican because they are a bunch of hypocrites but so far after the fiasco with health care and having the 41 getting into to Congress in a few days I don't see how the Obama Administration will move forward any agenda now. Now this talk and picking a fight with the banks is just pure politics. All of the politicians and everyone here know the country is in huge trouble because we were greedy as a nation and we need all to take responsability not just the banks nad Corporations.

    January 21, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. Ridgeway

    More useless rhetoric. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....Listen Hussein. You can hear the crickets chirping when you present your ideas.

    January 21, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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