News

Alphonso Jackson named acting HUD Secretary

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – President Bush has selected Alphonso Jackson to replace Mel Martinez as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, now the No. 2 person in the department, will become the 13th HUD secretary.

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – President Bush has selected Alphonso Jackson to replace Mel Martinez as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, now the No. 2 person in the department, will become the 13th HUD secretary.

Jackson will direct the $32-billion agency that helps provide affordable housing and promote community and economic development.

He said his department would ‘’guide more families toward home ownership, financial security and the stability that it provides. We will bring new hope to urban communities through revitalization initiatives in conjunction with cities and states.’’

When Bush took office, he selected Jackson as HUD’s second-in-command, the person that serves as the agency’s chief operating officer. He has been a frequent visitor to St. Louis, where he once served as director of public safety.

‘’I’ve known Al Jackson for a long time and I’m sure he will do a great job,’’ Richard Baron, a co-founder and CEO of McCormack Baron said.

Baron’s firm has transformed several city housing projects into mixed-use residential communities with the assistance of HUD Hope VI. Bush has threatened to cut the program in the 2004 budget.

Sen. Christopher ‘’Kit’’ Bond called Jackson, ‘’a good friend" and said, ‘’I am enthusiastically supporting his nomination and I congratulate the president on selecting him.’’

In 1977, Jackson was named director of Public Safety for the City of St. Louis. He is a former executive director for the St. Louis Housing Authority, director of consultant services for the certified public accounting firm of Laventhol and Horwath-St. Louis and was a special assistant to the chancellor and assistant professor at the University of Missouri. Jackson earned his law degree at Washington University.

Jackson said that the Greater St. Louis Empowerment Zone is ‘’a national model.’’

"When we look to see how it is done well, we look to St. Louis,’’ he said.

"I think Al has the background, experience and political savvy to do an excellent job,’’ said Mike Jones, Empowerment Zone director.

Comptroller Darlene Green called Jackson ‘’a visionary throughout his life and career.’’
Sal Martinez has resigned as HUD secretary to vie for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Florida.

Bush and Jackson’s close relationship goes back to Texas.

Jackson was appointed by then-Gov. Bush to serve on Texas Southern University’s board of regents. Before being confirmed unanimously by the Senate to be HUD’s deputy secretary in June 2001, Jackson was Texas president of American Electric Power, an energy and utility company based in Columbus, Ohio.

Federal campaign contribution records show that American Electric Power’s political action committee donated $3,000 to Bush’s 2000 campaign, while Jackson made an individual $500 donation.

Photo on front:
Alphonso Jackson

December 30, 2003
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