At Saturday night's 99th Annual White House Correspondent Dinner, featured speaker and late night talk show host Conan O'Brien joked "Mr. President, your hair is so white, it could be a member of your Cabinet." Well apparently Obama was listening, because according to a White House official, Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx will be named the next Secretary of Transportation. Foxx is the only African-American nominated for a Cabinet position in Obama’s second term.
Obama has taken plenty of heat from his constituency about the makeup of his second term cabinet. Representative Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) expressed the sentiments of many by saying "The people you have chosen to appoint in this new term have hardly been reflective of this country’s diversity." However with the nomination of Foxx, Obama confirms his commitment to diversity in building his administration.
Foxx led last year's Democratic National Convention. In 2009 he was elected as the youngest mayor in Charlotte history and the first Democrat since 1987. He was re-elected in 2011 with 70% of the vote. He is a graduate of Davidson College, where he was the first African-American student body president. Foxx received his JD from New York University School of Law in 1996, and has since worked for the Department of Justice, the House Judiciary Committee, and was a law clerk for Judge Nathaniel Jones of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
The Charlotte Observer notes that as mayor of Charlotte, Foxx led various transportation projects including "breaking ground on a Charlotte streetcar project that would bring an electric tram service through the center of town, leading the expansion of the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and plans to extend the city’s light rail system north of the city to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte."
The Department of Transportation was created in 1996 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The department oversees 11 agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, employs 60,000 people and has a budget of $100 billion.
The Charlotte Observer reported that the 42-year old Foxx had announced that he would not be seeking re-election and was planning to leave office at the end of the year.AAAAAAA