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Abramson Returns From Meeting With Obama, Jarrett

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson says the incoming presidential administration understands urban issues.Abramson returned Thursday from a meeting with President-Elect Barack Obama and his transition team co-chair Valerie Jarrett. Abramson was one of a dozen mayors called to Chicago to discuss metropolitan issues.One of the topics the mayors discussed was whom Obama should appoint to head his proposed Urban Policy Office.“It is a policy thinker, it is an individual who understands how to put the pieces of the puzzle together in a more efficient way to be able to carry the message in it and create the investment," says Abramson.Abramson said the group also discussed the need for a federal stimulus package for infrastructure improvements. The President-Elect asked the mayors for a list of municipal projects that could be started in one or two months if stimulus package is passed, but there wasn't talk about how big such a package would be.“Neither the President-Elect nor Valerie Jarrett gave any specific numbers," says Abramson. "They just said that it was going to be a specific number.”Louisville’s wish list involves some $600 million in projects, including road and school improvements. He says he’s not sure when, or if, those projects would be completed without federal assistance.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.