President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge for the role of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Fudge is the first Black woman named to Biden’s cabinet and had recently launched a bid to become the first Black female Agriculture Secretary. In interviews with CNN, Fudge emphasized she would be happy to serve in any role. Biden has chosen former Obama agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the USDA job.
Fudge has represented Ohio’s 11th congressional district, covering parts of the Cleveland and Akron metro areas. She had previously chaired the Congressional Black Caucus and served on the House Agriculture, Education and Labor committees, among others.
HUD will play a critical role in Biden’s plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout as millions of Americans have fallen behind on rent or mortgage payments. According to Politico the new HUD Secretary will likely restore the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which was revoked by outgoing HUD Secretary Ben Carson this summer. The rule had required local governments to track segregation patterns with a 92-question checklist in order to access federal funding.
In past interviews Fudge, who is the second Black person nominated to Biden’s cabinet, had called for greater diversity in roles beyond HUD secretary.
“As this country becomes more and more diverse, we're going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me fit in,” she said in an interview with Politico. “You know, it's always ‘we want to put the Black person in Labor or HUD.’”