Friday, April 17, 2009

Congratulations, Mercedes!

Congratulations to Mercedes Marquez, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department, on her nomination by President Obama to be the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Working with Mercedes has been one of the best experiences of my time in public office. She combines a razor-sharp mind with a forward-looking vision and the ability to get things done. Mercedes and I have worked very closely in my former capacity as Chair of the City Council Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee and as President of the Council on promoting an agenda for better housing for all Angelenos. (In the photo at right, we are speaking on a panel regarding housing and homelessness.)

We were able to tackle issues from foreclosure prevention to building up one of the largest affordable housing trust funds in the nation to build more workforce housing for hard-working Angelenos. I also enjoyed working with her to launch new programs to preserve existing affordable housing, prevent abuses, and build permanent supportive housing to help homeless Angelenos get permanently off the street. She also focused our housing policy to promote green building in the affordable housing sector and to help residents of Los Angeles become first-time homebuyers.

Mercedes has already distinguished herself locally and nationally and she will be joining one of the most talented and committed housing leaders in the country in Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Los Angeles and America are the better for this superb nomination.