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Professor Orfield on Office of Urban Affairs Task Force

Orfield Photo

Professor Orfield


Read more about Professor Orfield’s work in the spring issue of UMAA magazine


Professor Myron Orfield, Executive Director of the Law School's Institute on Race & Poverty (www.irpumn.org), has been working with a new White House–level agency in Washington, D.C.: the Office of Urban Affairs. Together, the Office of Urban Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation have created a task force to encourage sustainable communities.

Orfield and several other professors have been advising this task force. According to Orfield, their work has helped create the Livable Communities Act and has generated significant proposed reforms in the Surface Transportation Act.

Orfield has also been working on the Waxman-Markey Bill and a number of housing bills. The Waxman-Markey Bill (also known as President Obama's global climate change initiative) seeks to create clean-energy jobs, achieve energy independence, and reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean-energy economy, according to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Overall, the sustainable-communities initiative aims to reduce racial and economic segregation by encouraging affordable housing and access to local jobs for low-income people. In addition, it seeks to cluster jobs and help metropolitan areas connect with local transit, thereby helping reduce the number of vehicle miles each individual travels.

Orfield is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and an affiliate faculty member at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.