Charlotte mayor and others meet with Obama

 
Loading...

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Less than two weeks after being sworn in as mayor of Charlotte, Patrick Cannon made his first trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama.

The city’s new chief executive was one of a contingent of newly elected mayors, including New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, invited to the White House to meet with the president, Vice President Joe Biden and their staffs.

The White House said the Obama wanted to learn about the mayors’ needs and to see how the administration could partner with them to create jobs and assist middle class families.

The 16 mayors met in the Roosevelt Room, joined by Valerie Jarrett, a senior presidential advisor, and David Agnew, White House director for Intergovernmental Affairs.

Cannon said he shared with Obama his goals for job growth, extending the light rail line and building a bigger transportation hub that could help process goods coming through an expanded Panama Canal.

He sought the administration’s ideas and assistance for improving the city’s manufacturing base. He said job growth needed to include blue collar, not just white-collar, jobs. He specifically asked Obama for help acquiring federal grants to help pay for new projects like the distribution hub and an expansion of transportation services.

“It went well,” Cannon said in an interview afterword outside the White House. “The president was very in tune to the message I delivered.”

Obama shared his own goals about improving early education, raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.

“How we make sure that there’s a strong social safety net there that is not a place where people stay over the long term, but rather is a mechanism whereby people who have had some bad luck can get back on their feet and get back into the workforce,” he said.

Cannon was sworn into office on Dec. 2 after winning an election for the mayoral seat left open by Anthony Foxx, who Obama plucked to become the newest U.S. transportation secretary.

This was not the first time Cannon has met Obama. He has attended fundraisers and spoken with him briefly in the past. But this was the first time Cannon said that he was able to sit down with the president and talk about the issues facing Charlotte.

Email: fordonez@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @francoordonez

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category