Sunday, April 28, 2013
Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx will be nominated by the president to be the next transportation secretary on Monday, a White House official confirms.
From member station WFAE in Charlotte, Ben Bradford reports Foxx has three main transportation credentials.
"As mayor, he's advocated for expansion of the city's light rail and a new streetcar. And one of the nation's busiest airports is in his jurisdiction," Bradford says. "He also works for the hybrid bus company DesignLine -- because mayor is a part-time position in Charlotte."
The White House official said Foxx's projects are "important pieces of a comprehensive plan to meet Charlotte's transportation needs and maintain its position as a leader in high-tech industry and 21st century job creation."
Politico named Foxx one of the "50 politicos to watch" in 2011, when it noted he would get his "introduction to a national audience" as host of the Democratic National Convention.
Here's a video of the speech he gave at the convention in September:
But Foxx is facing some challenges, too. As WFAE has reported, the streetcar initiative has been stalled due to debate among City Council members over its economic impact. Politico reports that former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has criticized the city's plan to use property tax dollars to fund the project.
Foxx has served as mayor since 2009 (he was the first Democratic mayor in 22 years) and was a member of the City Council from 2005 to 2009.
The mayor will be the first African-American nominated to Obama's second-term Cabinet. The Hill notes:
"The president has seen criticism from many allies, including Congressional Black Caucus members who say he has failed to appoint enough women and minorities to top level posts. Attorney General Eric Holder is the only other African American member of the Cabinet."
Foxx would replace Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who said he would step down in January after four years in the position.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.