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The Cities on the HillHow Urban Insitutions Transform National Politics$
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Thomas K. Ogorzalek

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190668877

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190668877.001.0001

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“A Proper National Policy”

“A Proper National Policy”

The Urban Order and Agenda

(p.65) 3 “A Proper National Policy”
The Cities on the Hill

Thomas K. Ogorzalek

Oxford University Press

This chapter chronicles the formative moments of the national urban alliance in American politics: when city leaders created the U.S. Conference of Mayors and petitioned Congress to develop a national urban policy in response to the massive crisis of the Great Depression. These leaders’ lobbying efforts led to a new kind of politics in which cities saw each other not only as rivals but as allies. This coalition lobbied for new urban policies—intergovernmental aid, relief work, affordable housing, and infrastructure development—that have remained the core of national urban policy and were ultimately institutionalized with the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1965. Though the city leaders who created the USCM were from both parties, by the end of the 1940s, differences between the parties’ coalitions and elites meant that the urban political order had found a more comfortable home in the Democratic Party.

Keywords:   U.S. Conference of Mayors, federalism, national urban policy, urban political order, housing policy, Department of Housing and Urban Development

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