“We haven’t had a silver bullet of any kind, but what we have done is, day by day, week by week and month by month, identify individual problems and individual solutions,” said Nate Loewentheil, special assistant to the president at the National Economic Council and the director of the Baltimore task force. “Cumulatively, that’s made a real difference in thousands of lives.”
“The Port of Baltimore can be a driver for the City and the region even while we’re trying to improve the parks and wildlife habitat around the port,” said Nate Loewentheil of the National Economic Council.
Baltimore-native Nate Loewentheil, a senior policy advisor at the National Economic Council, is heading up task force, which largely has focused on more purely economic issues thus far, such as jobs, housing, and youth employment. “You can’t cleanup the harbor without cleaning up the surrounding city,” says Loewentheil, explaining the White House’s interest in Baltimore’s steep environmental challenges. “And, in order to attract new economic activity and investment,” he adds, “the city needs livable, sustainable, healthy neighborhoods.”
Working on the idea that access to green space can transform city neighborhoods and improve local economies, the Obama administration is set to announce a series of measures in Baltimore aimed at increasing the number of community parks, outdoor classrooms and gardens in the city … Loewentheil’s task force has been working largely under the radar for more than a year to cut through federal bureaucracy, encourage development and identify funding for the city.
The Baltimore task force is led by Nate Loewentheil, a senior policy adviser at the National Economic Council who was born in Baltimore and whose father co-owned Mencken’s Cultured Pearl restaurant near Hollins Market.
The group includes senior officials at more than a dozen federal agencies who meet regularly with representatives of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration.
The task force is similar to another program the White House rolled out in 2011 in which communities receive technical assistance from federal agencies. Both programs are part of a broader focus by the Obama administration to engage more directly with local governments.