On February 11, the Washington Post ran a cover on their daily commuter paper The Express that read All the President’s White Men. Below the headline was a photo of President Obama and four recent cabinet nominees, all of whom were white males.
A month later on March 11, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) wrote the President on the lack of diversity in his cabinet. On Monday, the President will nominate Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, 41, to be Secretary of Transportation. Foxx is the first African American to be nominated to the President’s cabinet in his second term after 10 nominations.
“Congressional Black Caucus offices have had numerous phone calls from constituents questioning why none of the new appointees will be able to speak to the unique needs of African Americans. Their ire is compounded by the overwhelming support you’ve received from the African American community,” Fudge wrote to President Obama. Now, with the nomination of Foxx, perhaps there may be renewed attention on the many infrastructure issues often focused on by congressional Democrats. In the current budgetary climate that includes a Republican party in the House set on stopping the President’s agenda, only time will tell.
“I am especially pleased the President has appointed Anthony Foxx as Secretary of Transportation. Through his work as mayor and as a city councilman in Charlotte, Anthony addressed the needs of an area that experienced tremendous growth within the past decade. Anthony will surely be an asset to the President’s cabinet and to this nation and I look forward to working with him to ensure the needs of our country’s transportation system are adequately met,” Fudge said in a statement on Monday.
Foxx had already announced he would not be running for another term as Mayor of Charlotte where he advocated for light rail. Foxx would take over for former Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood who has been the Secretary of Transportation since the start of Obama’s first term.