Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Becomes First Black Woman to Lead HUD – BOTWC

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Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Becomes First Black Woman to Lead HUD In More Than 40 Years

Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Becomes First Black Woman to Lead HUD In More Than 40 Years

Let’s keep taking up space!

Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge was confirmed by the Senate 66-34 as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday. She will be the first Black woman to lead HUD since Patricia R. Harris left the position in 1979. Fudge said at her confirmation hearing in January that protecting the millions of people who have fallen behind on rent or mortgages due to loss of income over this past year is her first priority. The new secretary told senators that “we cannot afford to allow people in the midst of a pandemic to be put in the streets.”

Following her confirmation - and moments before her resignation - Fudge took the last vote of her House career supporting the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which would provide low-income households with billions of dollars in housing assistance.

Fudge began her career in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, making history as the first Black woman to be elected mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio where she served as mayor from 2000 to 2008. Since then, she has represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, serving on a number of committees including, the House Administration, Agriculture, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Education and Labor committees. 

“If I were to be named, certainly it’s an honor and a privilege to be asked to be in a President’s Cabinet. It is something that probably in my wildest dreams I never would have thought about. So if I can help this President in any way possible, I’m more than happy to do it. It’s a great honor and a privilege to be part of something so good,” Fudge told reporters Tuesday.

The Ohio native also chairs the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Elections and the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations. 

Biden hasn’t chosen many Democratic members of Congress as a result of the party’s narrow margin in the House and instability in the Senate but Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, is considered a safe seat and thus, an exception. Under Ohio state law, a vacancy in the US House of Representatives would spark a special election designated by the governor to fill the seat. 

The President-elect has pledged to choose a Cabinet that reflects America’s diversity, already boasting an extremely diverse transitioning team and recently meeting with NAACP leaders to consider creating the role of civil rights czar. Biden has already made history in a number of his nominations, chief of those being Kamala Harris as Vice President. 

Congratulations Rep. Marcia! 

Photo Courtesy of US House of Representatives