The NAACP Supports the Confirmation of Congressman Mel Watt to Serve as Director of the FHFA

(Washington, D.C.)  -- Today the NAACP released the following statements calling for the confirmation of Congressman Melvin “Mel” Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency(FHFA).   

From NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous:

“Congressman Mel Watt is a champion of champions who will hold banks accountable and will move our country forward,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.  “In a time when we are stuck in too many ways, Congressman Watt will work to ensure all families have access to the dream that defines our country.  He is poised to be a strong and fearless voice for struggling homeowners crippled by the recession and a force against predatory lenders who prey on black and brown communities. We are confident he can make change for families who need real change.”

From Lorraine C. Miller, Interim NAACP President and CEO:

"Congressman Mel Watt is a fierce advocate for homeowners," stated interim NAACP President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller, who served as the 35th Clerk of the House of Representative. "I have known Congressman Watt and observed his effectiveness on the House Financial Services Committee for over a decade. I am confident that he is the right person for this critical position.  He was among the first to speak against the predatory lending crisis that lead to the collapse of the housing market and massive loss of wealth particularly in communities of color.  We urge the Senate to confirm his nomination as his leadership and vision are needed to ensure that homeownership is accessible and affordable for all Americans."

Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and Sr. VP of Policy and Advocacy:

“The NAACP strongly supports the nomination of Congressman Mel Watt to serve as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. With 40 years overall experience in housing and finance, Congressman Watt has spent the last 20 years of his career as a stalwart supporter of civil rights, human rights and economic justice in the U.S. Congress,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. “Congressman Watt has served admirably on the House Financial Services Committee and on the House Judiciary Committee. As chair the Congressional Black Caucus in 2005 and 2006, he led the effort to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. Congressman Watt is a thoughtful and gifted lawmaker, who is eminently qualified to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”

On May 1, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated North Carolina to serve as Director of the FHFA. The NAACP fully supports the president’s nomination of Congressman Watt to serve as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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