Rep. Marcia Fudge’s nomination to become the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development connects so many historical and civil rights dots that even the Biden transition team likely is unaware of its masterstroke. Rep. Fudge, Democrat of Ohio, can play a vital role in collapsing a half a century of neglect of our urban areas—a time that can be traced back to 1968, when then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey, running for president, visited Cleveland to advocate for a Marshall Plan for America’s cities.
It was only a few weeks ago that eight mayors of cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky penned an op-ed in The Washington Post calling for a “Marshall Plan for Middle America,” though odds are that even these mayors were unconscious of the deep history into which they were tapping. The reference to a Marshall Plan, of course, was to the Truman Administration’s immense investment in rebuilding Europe after World War II.
Fudge comes from Ohio’s 11th congressional district (redistricted from the 21st congressional district), which consists of the largely Black east side neighborhoods and suburbs of Cleveland.