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Obama Nominates Charlotte Mayor As New Transportation Secretary

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The Senate will soon begin the process to confirm Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the new Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Foxx's selection brings diversity to President Barack Obama's cabinet, but also, perhaps, a renewed focus on developing mass transit. NY1's Michael Scotto has the story.

During a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama nominated Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to head the Department of Transportation.

The President sees the selection of Foxx as key to his plan to create jobs through investment in infrastructure.

As Mayor of Charlotte, Foxx has put a big emphasis on mass transit and has developed a streetcar system and expanded light rail.

"All of that has not only helped create new jobs, it's helped Charlotte become more attractive to business," Obama said.

Foxx's work is no doubt the reason that his selection was applauded by some mass transit advocates and viewed as a sign that the president is continuing his commitment to building more than just roads.

"I know that every mayor in America is thrilled today because one of theirs will become the Secretary of Transportation," current DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said.

Across the country, mayors have been on the frontlines of repairing infrastructure. Foxx says he will bring his can-do attitude to Washington, D.C.

"There is no such thing as a Democratic or Republican road, bridge, port, air field or rail system," Foxx said.

But working in the nation's capital is different than governing a city.

Despite reports showing that the U.S. needs trillions of dollars in infrastructure repairs and upgrades, budget problems and partisan gridlock have prevented Republicans and Democrats from reaching an agreement on how to pay for it all.

Meanwhile, the selection of Foxx does ease one issue that had been troubling the president -- diversity in his cabinet.

“He will not only bring a full range of leadership and experience to the office, but also much-needed diversity to the Executive Cabinet," Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said in a statement.

Foxx still needs to go through the Senate Confirmation Process, which is likely to begin next month.

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