President Obama made it official Monday afternoon: he's nominating Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to become the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
With Foxx standing by his side at a White House press conference, the president said that the mayor will be an "outstanding" transportation secretary, and that Foxx's focus on transit has helped to create jobs and attract new businesses to Charlotte.
"When Anthony became mayor in 2009, Charlotte, like the rest of the country, was going through a bruising economic crisis," Mr. Obama said. "But the city has managed to turn things around. The economy is growing. There's more jobs, more opportunities. And if you ask Anthony how that happened, he'll tell you that one of the reasons is that Charlotte made one of the largest investments in transportation in the city's history."
President Obama said those investments included securing funding to expand the city's light rail system and starting a streetcar project that now stands at a mile and a half. However, that project has stalled because the city council hasn't agreed on additional funding for it. Still, Foxx touted his accomplishments as mayor.
"I know well the opportunities and the challenges of maintaining and improving infrastructure and providing good transportation choices," Foxx said. "And throughout my service in Charlotte, I have worked to use infrastructure to put Charlotte, and therefore our country, on the path of job growth today and tomorrow."
Foxx was joined by some of his family at the White House, and President Obama noted it was a return trip for Foxx's grandmother. She told the president she worked in the White House during the Truman administration. Her grandson's nomination to lead the Department of Transportation now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.