Adolfo Carrion

Director, Housing and Urban Development Department Region II (since May 2010)

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Why He Matters

In 2008, Carrion backed out of a run for New York City comptroller to jump to Washington as urban policy czar in the Obama administration.

But after a little more than a year on the job, Carrion, reportedly eager to get back into local politics, was transferred to a regional director position at the Department of Housing and Development. It may seem like a demotion, but sources say it's actually strategy - this new job will give Carrion the opportunity to build a long list of tangible accomplishments before he again seeks elected office in New York.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: White House Director of Urban Affairs (February 2009-May 2010)Bronx Borough President (since 2001); President of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (since 2007); City Council member (1998 to 2000)
  • Birthday: March 6, 1961
  • Hometown: Manhattan, N.Y.
  • Alma Mater: Kings College, B.A. (world religions), Hunter College, M.A. (urban planning)
  • Spouse: Linda
  • Religion: Pentecostal
  • Office: Jacob K. Javits Federal Building26 Federal Plaza, Room 3541New York, NY 10278-0068
  • Web site

Path to Power

Carrion was born in Manhattan in 1961. His father, a Protestant minister, inspired his son to go into preaching. His mother, a full-time mom, gave him "a daily dose of the golden rule."

Carrion moved to the Bronx when he was in fourth grade. He earned his undergraduate degree in world religions from Kings College and then became an associate pastor at a Bronx church.

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The Issues

Carrion believes in using businesses and development to improve the quality of life across the Bronx. While in office, he has emphasized bringing big-box stores to the area, redeveloping commercial districts and encouraging large-scale builders to bring their projects to the borough.

"Some people have described what we're going through now as the largest boom since the 1920s," Carrion told the National Real Estate Investor . Since his election, 35,000 housing units were built and $1.6 billion was invested in borough property. Still, the area is struggling - unemployment was at 8.3 percent in 2008, and the number of families living below the poverty line in 2004 was at 28 percent.

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The Network

Carrion's close relationship with Mayor Michael Bloomberg has helped him push his Bronx agenda. He is also friends with New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, who will probably run for mayor. He has said that he does not want to run against him for any elected office.

Carrion endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) early in the2008 presidential contest, as did most other New York politicians. However, once Obama sealed the nomination, Carrion was an active campaigner for the president, travelling across the country to speak on his behalf. He focused particularly on states with large Hispanic populations. Carrion also attended a fundraiser in Chicago. He told the New York Observer that he met Obama 's "friends and supporters, very intimate people with Senator Obama " while there. "We're going to work together," he claimed.


Additional Resources

  1. Allen, Mike. "Obama Sets Record for top Hispanics," Politico, Dec. 16, 2008
  2. Coleman, Chrisena, "We Must Do More for Victims: BEEP Urges Legislature to Pass Bill Expanding Domestic Violence Shields," New York Daily News, April 27, 2007
  3. United States Census Bureau Website
  4. Hicks, Jonathan, "Adolfo Carrion Jr.," New York Times, Dec. 3 2008
  5. Hicks, Jonathan, "In Turnabout, Seeking Job of Comptroller, Not Mayor," New York Times, Dec. 14, 2007
  6. Bronx Borough president official Web site
  7. Kalette, Denise, "The Bronx is Booming," National Real Estate Investor, April 1, 2008
  8. Morris, Betsy, "You have victims working for you. You have batterers working for you too," Fortune, Nov. 24, 2008
  9. Paybarah, Azi, "Carrion Says He's Tapping Into Obama's Network," New York Observer, June 9, 2008
  10. Chan, Sewell, "2006 Election: Off the Trail; A Different Bronx Cheer," New York Times, Oct. 9, 2006
  11. Lipton, Eric, "Sharpton and 3 From Bronx Are Jailed in Vieques Protest," New York Times, May 24, 2001
  12. Smith, Ben, "Model City," Politico, Dec. 13, 2008
  13. Brown, Eliot, "Carrin Out as White House Urban Czar, Moving to HUD," New York Observer, May 3, 2010
  14. Hicks, Jonathan P., "President of Bronx Could Get Cabinet Post," New York Times, Nov. 22, 2008
  15. Hicks, Jonathan, "Adolfo Carrion Jr.," New York Times, Dec. 3 2008
  16. Haberman, Maggie, "Bronx Pol Adolfo Carrion Will Head Urban Policy," New York Post, Dec. 13, 2008
  17. Robbins, Tom, "Five Reasons Why Bronx Beep Adolfo Carrion Will Be a Great HUD Secretary," Village Voice, Dec. 8, 2008
  18. Kamen, Al, "A Self-leaking nominee," Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2008