OZY is pleased to have Julián Castro, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, present this weekend’s Presidential Daily Brief. Previous guest curators include Jeb Bush, Arianna Huffington and Tony Blair, among many others. Secretary Castro shares his views on everything from millennials moving into their own homes to the extreme drought in California. Since moving to Washington to lead what he calls the “Department of Opportunity,” Castro has visited 25 states and 40 cities, keeping up with communities he meets via Twitter and Instagram. The proud son of political activist Rosie Castro, he wishes all moms a very happy Mother’s Day.
The Presidential Daily Brief
More millennials are finding a place to call their own. What’s more, the number of U.S. households grew by 1.48 million in the first quarter of this year, following a 1.66 million increase in the last quarter of 2014. This marks the housing market’s sharpest gains in nearly 10 years and is yet another sign that the sector is re-emerging as an engine of economic growth. At HUD, we are working hard to create more opportunities for millennials — and all Americans — by making homeownership more affordable and expanding the nation’s supply of affordable rental housing.
There is such a thing as getting a leg up. A new study draws on the findings from HUD’s 10-year housing project, Moving to Opportunity, which measured the long-term effects of transitioning families away from neighborhoods with deeply concentrated poverty to low-poverty environments. Evidence shows that strong investment in professional training, infrastructure and education is key to creating opportunities in distressed communities. Through efforts like President Obama’s Promise Zones, we’re working to ensure that no one’s chances are limited based on their zip code.
It’s become the drought of the century. Water shortages have placed huge burdens on families and farmers alike, devastating millions of trees in state forests. It’s estimated that the crisis will cost the state’s economy $3 billion this year alone. But Californians are fighting back: Santa Barbara is just one community drawing on past experience to map a comprehensive plan to cut water usage — and it’s working. Such efforts are sounding an alarm to all Americans that the time to address climate change is now.
Raul Castro says he’ll rejoin church after meeting pope. (USA Today)
Police arrest two in killing of two Mississippi police officers. (ABC)
Clashes that claimed 22 in Macedonia blamed on Kosovans. (BBC)
Man kills four, then self in Swiss domestic shooting. (Reuters)
Former President Jimmy Carter, 90, falls ill, cancels trip. (CNN)
I’ll drink to this. The coffee giant’s College Achievement Plan is an innovative initiative from CEO Howard Schultz — who grew up in public housing — and the head of Arizona State University, Michael Crow. It offers baristas scholarships and tuition reimbursement as they work toward online college degrees. They even get assigned personalized “success coaches” and are under no obligation to stay with the company after finishing their studies. I hope more employers will begin investing in employees to give hardworking Americans a chance at fuller, richer lives.
Every day, I pass Washington’s most popular museums, monuments and memorials. Jan Scruggs played a decisive role in ensuring that fellow veterans, especially those who paid the ultimate price, are forever honored on the Vietnam Memorial. I was interested to learn that its construction was stalled for so long because of its controversial design. The history told by our national landmarks wouldn’t be complete without this treasure. I’m grateful to Scruggs who, even after visiting the monument more than 2,000 times, remains moved by the sight of it — as do I.
This puts a whole new spin on learning the hard way. One of the biggest obstacles facing low-income students nationwide is that they are four times more likely than their peers to have no Wi-Fi access at home. And with seven out of 10 teachers giving assignments that require connectivity, Internet access is now essential to a good education. Access to information is as vital as good schools and safe streets. But connecting classrooms isn’t enough; we must boost home access to help children succeed.
Apple’s CEO demonstrates how an industry pioneer can be both humble and hungry. Cook is a market-focused manager and a forward-thinking leader, carrying on from the company’s past success and ensuring it remains a 21st-century innovator. Such guidance demands vision and decisive action amid crises, which Cook supplies with courage and conviction. And he manages to stay true to the core business of personal computing while expanding products to fit the needs — and wants — of a rapidly evolving global marketplace.
Nothing quenches my thirst like this Southern delight. I may have moved from the Lone Star State to the nation’s capital, but I brought my Texas habits with me — particularly my love of sweet iced tea. Whether it’s a simmering summer afternoon, the start of a workday or a Sunday BBQ, it’s my drink of choice. I’m still on a quest to find the most refreshing option in Washington, but this article lists plenty of variations, and I personally recommend numbers four, nine and 11.