Since President-Elect Barack Obama’s election last week news has been flying fast. Here’s a few items that caught my eye.
Obama quickly launched an official transition website, appropriately called Change.gov. Featuring a blog and an invitation for users to submit their vision about what “America can be” and “where President-Elect Obama should lead this country.” The website briefly featured his campaign platform, which has been removed. The platform was captured on WhiteHouse2.org, a private effort to allow thousands of citizens to set the agenda for the new president’s first 100 days. The website links to this transition guide for Obama’s transition team and various nominees and appointees, which features among other useful information a directory of acronyms and this high-level organizational chart of the federal government. (See full size)
The Change.gov transition website is reminding some of his tech policy, released a year ago, which pledged he would let Americans review and comment on non-emergency legislation online for at least five days before signing it. Here’s a piece from Slate on the possibility the Obama administration’s website would function as a social network:
The sort of Web site the Obama team seems to be envisioning—one in which the president and his citizens hold deep discussions about the controversial issues of the day—will surely be much less focused than My.BarackObama.com, which had a singular goal: to get Barack Obama elected. Obama’s campaign Web site connected disparate people who shared a common passion; the White House social network will connect people who disagree with each other and with the president—and whose goals might be in conflict. So far, the Web hasn’t had a great record of bridging social divisions. If Obama can change that, maybe he really is a different kind of politician.
On another topic, Obama adviser and transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett recently reiterated he plans to create a White House Office of Urban Policy. In addition to the new office, his picks for many other posts will have a profound impact on our cities, including three posts Richard Layman is thinking about: Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Director of the Federal Transit Administration.