Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx Confirmed As New Transportation Secretary
The mayor of Charlotte, N.C., 42-year-old Anthony Foxx has been confirmed as the next Transportation Secretary. A political ally of President Barack Obama, Foxx was unanimously confirmed by the Senate 100-0, reports The Huffington Post.
Foxx, who replaces outgoing secretary Ray LaHood, will oversee the agencies within the department that regulate the country’s aviation, rail, transit and highway systems, along with auto safety.
During his tenure as mayor, Foxx pushed for expanded use of streetcars and a light rail extension, helped build a new runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and helped create a new regional freight distribution center that will link planes, trains and trucks to East Coast ports, reports HuffPo. While mayor, he has also unveiled a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations.
He was also mayor during the Democratic National Convention’s visit to Charlotte.
Foxx will have many challenges ahead of him. He will working under a tighter budget at a time when the nation’s strained transportation system needs major improvement to its roads, airports, air traffic control systems, rails and ports. Meanwhile inflation and increases in the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks have reduced revenues and threaten to bankrupt the federal Highway Trust Fund.
The government is also in the midst of replacing the nation’s air traffic control system, shifting to a system based on satellite technology instead of the current radar technology. These are just some of the problems waiting for Foxx. But most are optimistic about his confirmation, including anti-poverty/environmental organization Green For All, which was founded by another for Obama appointment (albeit a controversial one), Van Jones who was Special Advisor for Green Jobs.
“We are pleased to see Anthony Foxx take the reigns of this important agency. As mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Secretary Foxx has worked to promote eco-friendly hybrid buses and community transit projects, including light rail and streetcar networks. Foxx has experienced first-hand how the right kind of transportation can help create healthy, thriving communities,” said Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins in a press statement.