White House Urban Reform agenda being overseen by Ja'Ron Smith


Ja’Ron Smith is the White House’s special domestic policy assistant.

Smith, a Cleveland native noted for contributing to Trump’s criminal justice reforms, received an honor from the Cleveland Urban Revitalization Coalition last December. Prior to the URC event, Cleveland.com reported that “Smith plays a key role in developing policies aimed at helping urban African-Americans, including legislation to promote opportunity zones,” in addition to his justice system work and advocacy for financial aid to historically black colleges and universities.

Although not widely publicized outside of social media, Smith devotes much of his energies promoting urban opportunity zones. Opportunity zones, a bipartisan initiative included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, are mostly lower-income locations granted tax advantages to encourage investments. This appears to be Smith’s primary role in current urban reform policy.

Smith is Trump administration's lead consultant for urban policy that affects millions of African Americans, 

“You know, (Smith) works with us, as he’s actually not — I always say he’s so elegant and so quiet and so nice. But what he does and the job he’s done on outreach and so many other aspects of our lives is incredible,” President Donald Trump said at an October Young Black Leadership Summit,

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has called Smith “the most senior black aide” on staff. 

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