In a recent interview with WNYC news in New York, Adolfo Carrión, director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, revealed some more details on the work of the White House interagency urban policy working group. In the interview, Carrión said:
“All of that is coming back to an interagency process with 16 agencies that are working on the next budget cycle which is the 2011 budget. In that 2011 budget we are going to concentrate on several major areas affecting urban America.
One is the regional economies and how they operate and how best to position them and how we should operate as a national government to support research and development and development of jobs and positioning of industries in certain regions of the country.
The other is the sustainable community development strategy, which is aligning transportation investments with land use and ensuring that we reduce carbon footprint, get people out walking in their communities.
And the third is that at the end of the day, every American lives in a neighborhood, and we have to make sure we have strong, vital, robust neighborhoods that help ensure good housing, that we are able to educate our kids, that you can have a good, small business in a robust area. This is real stuff that touches real people.”
This is consistent with guidance released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in August. Carrión went on to describe the process:
"We have an interagency working group that meets twice a month formally as a large group with all of the key policy people. Then there are working groups on regional economies, there is a working group on sustainable community development. There is a working group on the neighborhood level investments that we make.”
Carrión did not say this, but it seems a safe bet that we are going to see more details on Promise Neighborhoods from the administration in two key documents in the coming months: (1) the Notice of Proposed Priorities for Promise Neighborhoods, which we will see coming from the Department of Education after Congress enacts the appropriations bill for the Department, likely later this month; and (2) the president's budget, which will be released in early February.
For now, it appears that the Department of Education remains the lead on Promise Neighborhoods, but this White House working group (especially the subgroup on neighborhood-level investments) may be a place where some of the cross-departmental conversations (with HUD and the Administration for Children and Families) are taking place.