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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
2/20/2009  12:53:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Nick Licata (206) 684-8803 Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Councilmember Nick Licata

PRESIDENT OBAMA RESPONDS TO CALL FOR ADVISORY GROUP TO URBAN AFFAIRS OFFICE

SEATTLE President Barack Obama announced today that he will be asking Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs to set up an advisory council with mayors and other urban leaders so that we can develop a new metropolitan strategy.

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, who originated the effort for an advisory group and worked to have his colleagues in thirteen other cities pass their own similar resolutions, thanked President Obama, saying, I am gratified to learn that the administration heeded the call of our cities. I will continue to urge that such an advisory group involve a diverse group of elected officials, academics, planners, and community leaders. President Obama said today that if a local government proposes a project that will waste stimulus money, he will call them out on it and use the full power of my office and our administration to stop it. Working together we will better be able to fulfill our obligations to spend that money wisely as the President calls on us to do -- free from politics and free from personal agendas.

Obamas remarks were given at a meeting of the Nations Mayors, several of them representing cities that have City Councils that have recently passed resolutions calling for a nation-wide advisory group to inform the work of the newly formed White House Office of Urban Affairs. Todays speech came on the heels of Obamas announcement that Adolfo Carrion would be named director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs.,

The Seattle City Council was the first of thirteen city councils to pass resolutions calling for the Obama administration to create a nation-wide advisory group to inform the work of the newly formed White House Office of Urban Affairs. Additional cities were poised to pass similar resolutions. The office is expected to focus on investments and development in urban areas that create employment and housing opportunities.

In addition to Seattle, other cities having issued resolutions, proclamations, or letters include Atlanta, Chapel Hill, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wichita, Winston-Salem and Memphis.

Licata formed the National League of Cities Large Cities Council a few years ago.

Archives of previous meetings, news releases and copies of legislation are available on the Councils website at www.seattle.gov/council. Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21 and Webcast live at www.seattlechannel.org/viewer_live.asp. Questions about Council news releases can be directed to Kimberly Reason, Council Communications, at 206-684-8159, or by e-mail at kimberly.reason@seattle.gov.

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