L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa to serve on President-Elect Obama's powerful Transition Economic Advisory Board


Among the powerful members of President-Elect Barack Obama's recently appointed Transition Economic Advisory Board assembled in Chicago during Obama's first press conference after an electorate mandate was  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Villaraigosa flew to Chicago to join the Obama with the like of  the world's richest man and most beloved investor Warren Buffet and  former Fed Chairman and one of the most respected figures on the economy Paul Volcker.

Villaraigosa who co-chaired Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton's campaign then cast his support behind Obama when he became the Democratic Presidential candidate.

It was immediate that Villaraigosa's strong influence among Latino voters was persuasive in an election that registered nearly 11 million Latino voters. An estimated 57 percent of them voted for Obama leading to his victory over Republican John McCain.

Villaraigosa's involvement on Obama's economic board will provide the Mayor with a unique opportunity to push for federal dollars that Los Angeles failed to receive during the Bush administration.

Echoing Obama's call for new federal spending on roads and other infrastructure projects, Villaraigosa said, "Over the last eight years, aid to cities and counties has been abysmal."

After meeting with President-Elect Obama in the windy city he added, "What I heard today was a president who is going to rectify that and make sure we're doing everything we can to invest in cities."

While many have speculated that the mayor of the nation's second largest city  has higher political aspirations he has denied seeking both an Obama cabinet position or a run for Governor of California in 2010.

He says that he is happy with being mayor and looks forward to reelection when voters decide  on March 3, 2009.