March 09, 2021

Brown Takes to Senate Floor to Urge Colleagues to Support Congresswoman Marcia Fudge’s Nomination to Lead HUD

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – took to the Senate Floor to urge his colleagues to confirm Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Video of the remarks can be found here.

Brown’s remarks on the Senate Floor, as prepared for delivery, are below:

Mr./Mdme. President,

Today I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting another dedicated and talented public servant, and a great Ohioan – my Congresswoman for the last 12 years, Marcia Fudge, to be our next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Congresswoman Fudge is a proud daughter of Ohio. She was born in Cleveland, grew up in Ohio, and graduated from the Ohio State University and Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Congresswoman Fudge has a long and distinguished career serving Ohioans – in the Cleveland and Cuyahoga courts, in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office, as Chief of Staff to the trailblazing Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and as a Mayor of Warrensville Heights.

At HUD, Congresswoman Fudge will work to help protect our kids from lead poisoning, to restore the promise of fair housing, and to give communities the help and resources they need to thrive.

It’s a tall order – but it’s one she is poised to meet.

And she brings to the job the unique and critical experience of serving as mayor for the kind of community that is either overlooked, or outright preyed upon, by Wall Street and big investors.

We cannot write off entire swaths of the country – whether it’s a coal town or an historic industrial city, whether it’s farm country or an urban neighborhood.

This champion of Cleveland understands that.

She saw up close how lenders preyed on families, and the foreclosure crisis that followed. My colleagues have probably heard me talk about my zip code, 44105, which had more foreclosures in the first half of 2007 than anywhere in the country.

At the time, Congresswoman Fudge was serving as mayor less than 20 miles away, and today she represents that zip code in Congress.

Those families are more than just a statistic to her – they’re her constituents, her neighbors, her friends.

She knows their stories. She knows how for decades, communities have watched as factories closed, investment dried up, and storefronts were boarded over.

And she knows how many neighborhoods and towns have never had the investment they should – because of discrimination, because of redlining, because of decades of policy that funneled resources and jobs away from Black and brown communities.

A few years ago I was talking with local health department officials, and I asked them what percentage of the older homes that make up the bulk of Cleveland housing have dangerous levels of lead?

They said 99 percent.

The families in those homes are Marcia Fudge’s constituents. She knows what lead poisoning does to kids. And she knows the local efforts that Ohioans are leading in Cleveland to take this on.

She will lift up these voices that have been drowned out or silenced for too long.

And she will be a champion for families all over the country who want to be able to afford a home without crippling stress every single month, and to be able to build wealth through homeownership to pass on to their children and grandchildren.

Congresswoman Fudge has dedicated her career to fighting for Ohioans, and I’m excited that she is now going to use all of her talent and passion and empathy to fight for the whole country.