The New York Post reports that Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión will head President-Elect Barack Obama’s Office for Urban Policy. This is the second New Yorker picked for a big cabinet position related to urban policy, after the announcement of Shaun Donovan for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Saturday.
The Office for Urban Policy will serve as a clearinghouse in the administration for working on city issues, and seems likely to be positioned to work closely with HUD and with the Department of Transportation (whose Secretary-designate has not yet been named). As a result, Mr. Carrión will play an important role in coordinating policy related to transit-oriented development, for instance.
Mr. Carrión’s record on transportation has been good. Even though he represents the Bronx, he strongly supported Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan last year, which if it had been passed by the New York Assembly, would have dramatically increased transit funding by enforcing a toll in Manhattan below 60th Street. This position demonstrates Mr. Carrión’s interest in advancing the interests of transit users above automobile drivers, and suggests he’ll be a good proponent of non-automobile transportation in the administration.
Of course, his position as the president of the Bronx, one of the nation’s most transit-dependent counties, automatically puts Mr. Carrión into the category of politicians-who-are-likely-to-do-good.