(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation, May 4) Since leaving his office as Bronx Borough President, Adolfo Carrion has been Obama's Urban Czar, logging lots of frequent flyer miles but not scoring much ink. (Except maybe, for this profile on WNYC News last December.)
But while Carrion has been busy promoting dense development, sustainable transit, and urban gardens, to New Yorkers, well, if he isn't doing it here, he isn't doing it all. Behind the scenes, high-profile New Yorkers, knowing I've been covering Carrion, have asked, not entirely nicely, "what's he doing?" (It sounds like, "what's he doing?")
In recent appearances in New York, Carrion has been not ruling out running for Mayor ever more strenuously.
Now Carrion has a new job, the New York-New Jersey regional director of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. It's arguably somewhat less high-profile than Bronx Borough President, and does not come with an elected base, but it does allow Carrion to interact with all kinds of New York elected officials, doing things like bringing affordable housing to their districts, always a good chit to call in later.
His new boss is his old friend Shaun Donovan, Mayor Bloomberg's former Housing Director. The two share genuine affection, and the job gives Carrion a chance to answer critics who ask: what has he accomplished? Accomplished.?