By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Marcia Fudge, the Democratic Representative from Ohio and former Congressional Black Caucus Chair, will serve as the Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary under the incoming Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration.
If confirmed, Fudge, 68, would count as only the second Black woman to lead HUD. Patricia Harris served in that role under President Jimmy Carter.
“We are relieved knowing that the same determination Rep. Fudge brought to defending hungry families from cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be brought to tackle one of the biggest looming threats facing Americans during this economic crisis: evictions and housing insecurity,” The CBC offered in a statement.
Fudge, who currently serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, has a long history of championing civil and human rights. Her selection again shows that President-Elect Biden is keeping his campaign promise of a diverse cabinet and staff.
On her December 11 remarks, Rep. Fudge reflected on the responsibilities she would assume as HUD Secretary.
“Our task at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be to stand up for the dignity of all Americans and deliver the promise of our nation to all those left out in the cold… We will fight for housing in every community that is affordable, decent, and safe. We will help more Americans the secure dream of home ownership, to close the gaps of inequity, build wealth and pass it onto their children…But perhaps most importantly of all, we will help people believe once again, that their government cares about them no matter who they are. That we understand their problems.”
Elected to Congress in 2008, Rep. Fudge has represented Ohio’s 11th District that includes 32 cities, suburbs and towns in Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit Counties, including Cleveland, Akron, and Euclid. She is also a past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Prior to her election to Congress, she served in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, and broke racial and gender barriers as the mayor of Warrensville Heights. As its mayor, she focused on revitalizing both a sagging retail base and new residential construction.
A lawyer by training, Congresswoman Fudge is a graduate of Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall School of Law, and earlier earned her bachelor’s degree in business from The Ohio State University. She is a Past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of its Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter.
Numerous housing stakeholders also expressed support for the Fudge nomination including top industry leaders like the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Home Builders. This corporate support is matched by that of lawmakers, consumer and affordable housing advocates as well.
“An unflagging advocate for civil rights, Fudge brings decades of experience as a public servant and a strong commitment to ensuring equitable access to credit, education, healthy food, clean environments and other resources, which go hand-in-hand with access to housing,” noted Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance.
“Having served as mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Fudge will bring a unique understanding of how HUD programs are implemented on the ground locally,” Rice said. “We are further encouraged by the incoming administration’s indication that its Day One priorities for HUD will include reinstating the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and 2013 Disparate Impact rules.”