Urban Policy in the Time of Obama
How presidential policies have served—or failed to serve—America’s cities
Urban Policy in the Time of Obama explores a broad range of policy arenas that shape, both directly and indirectly, metropolitan areas and urbanization processes. It finds that most of the dominant policies and policy regimes of recent years have fallen short of easing the ills of America’s cities, and calls for a more equitable and just urban policy regime.
With his background as a community organizer and as a state legislator representing Chicago’s South Side, Barack Obama became America’s most “urban” president since Teddy Roosevelt. But what has been his record in dealing with the issues most impacting our metropolitan areas today? Looking past the current administration, what are the future prospects of the nation’s cities, and how have they been shaped by our policies in this century? Seeking to answer these questions, the contributors to Urban Policy in the Time of Obama explore a broad range of policy arenas that shape, both directly and indirectly, metropolitan areas and urbanization processes.
This volume reveals the Obama administration’s surprisingly limited impact on cities, through direct policy initiatives such as Strong Cities, Strong Communities, Promise Neighborhoods, and Choice Neighborhood Initiatives. There has been greater impact with broader policies that shape urban life and governance, including immigration reform, education, and health care.
Closing with Cedric Johnson’s afterword illuminating the Black Lives Matter movement and what its broader social context says about city governance in our times, Urban Policy in the Time of Obama finds that most of the dominant policies and policy regimes of recent years have fallen short of easing the ills of America’s cities, and calls for a more equitable and just urban policy regime.
Contributors: Rachel G. Bratt, Tufts University; Christine Thurlow Brenner, University of Massachusetts Boston; Karen Chapple, University of California, Berkeley; James Fraser, Vanderbilt University; Edward G. Goetz, University of Minnesota; Dan Immergluck, Georgia Tech; Amy T. Khare, University of Chicago; Robert W. Lake, Rutgers University; Pauline Lipman, University of Illinois at Chicago; Lorraine C. Minnite, Rutgers University–Camden; Kathe Newman, Rutgers University; Deirdre Oakley, Georgia State; Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York; Hilary Silver, Brown University; Janet Smith, University of Illinois at Chicago; Preston H. Smith II, Mount Holyoke College; Todd Swanstrom, University of Missouri–St. Louis; Nik Theodore, University of Illinois at Chicago; J. Phillip Thompson, MIT.
1. National Urban Policy in the Age of Obama
2. The Subordination of Urban Policy in the Time of Financialization
Robert W. Lake
3. Obama, Race, and Urban Policy
Preston H. Smith II
4. Housing Policy and the Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis during the Obama Administration
Rachel G. Bratt and Dan Immergluck
5. Public Housing Policy under Obama (See the Clinton Administration)
6. Immigrants and the Obama Urban Policies: Tarnishing the Golden Door
Christine Thurlow Brenner
7. Obama’s Education Policy: More Markets, More Inequality, New Urban Contestations
8. Unions in the Obama Era: Laboring Under False Pretenses?
9. The Affordable Care Act: A Work Still in Progress. The Achievements and Shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act
J. Phillip Thompson
10. Still Swimming, Tides Rising: Community Change, Spatial Interventions, and the Challenge of Federal Place-based Anti-Poverty Public Policies
Amy T. Khare
11. Community Development in the Age of Obama
12. The Incompleteness of Comprehensive Community Revitalization
13. The Obama Administration’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program: From Foreclosure Crisis to What in Nashville’s Chestnut Hill?
Deirdre Oakley and James Fraser
14. Sustainable Fair Housing? Reconciling the Spatial Goals of Fair Housing and Sustainable Development in the Obama Administration
Edward G. Goetz
15. Regional Policy in the Age of Obama
16. Making Policy in the Streets
Lorraine C. Minnite and Frances Fox Piven
Conclusion. Why Urban Policy? On Social Justice, Urbanization, and Urban Policies
Afterword: Baltimore, the Policing Crisis, and the End of the Obama Era