Prepared Statement of Alphonso Jackson
before the Senate Committee on
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
May 15, 2001
Chairman, Senator Sarbanes, and distinguished Members of the Committee,
thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I would
also like to thank Senators Hutchison and Bond for their generous
me express my thanks to President Bush and Secretary Martinez for
selecting me for this important job. I am deeply honored by the
trust and confidence they have placed in me by nominating me as
Deputy Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Chairman, I was born and raised in Texas, the youngest of twelve
children. Although my father had only a 5th grade education and
my mother an 11th grade education, they made sure that all of their
children received a good education. I am here because of my parents�
love and devotion and the lessons that they taught my siblings and
me. They stressed to us that with a good education and a strong
work ethic, there was nothing that we could not accomplish in this
world. No mountain would be too steep and no road too long.
is one reason why I spent 6 years of my early career as a public
school administrator and a university professor, helping to educate
interest and expertise in urban law and housing issues led me to
a career in public service. I have been told that I am the first
candidate for Deputy Secretary of HUD who has experience both in
the field of public housing and in the field of community development.
have run three major urban public housing authorities: St. Louis,
Washington, and most recently, Dallas. This experience has given
me insight into the needs of public housing authorities and how
HUD relates to them. It has also given me ideas about how to improve
HUD�s oversight of these authorities so that they can provide better
services to those families living in public housing.
chaired two community development block grant agencies � one in
St. Louis and the other here in Washington, DC � I have also had
extensive experience with that side of HUD�s mission. I have been
able to see HUD grants go to these urban areas. HUD has played an
important role in the recent rejuvenation of American cities and
I look forward to seeing HUD continue working in partnership with
local governments to improve the quality of life for American families.
private sector experience has taught me about the importance of
management to a successful enterprise. I have spent the last five
years working in the private sector in Texas, most recently as the
President of American Electric Power-TEXAS, where I was responsible
for the management and operations of a nearly 11-billion-dollar
company with 2,800 employees and over 900,000 customers.
management style emphasized professionalism at all levels of the
company. I believe in setting high expectations and holding managers
and workers accountable. This is the kind of environment that I
have sought to create in the private sector and I see no reason
why we should not expect the same high standards from the employees
at HUD. The taxpayers deserve such standards from their public servants,
as do those who rely upon HUD�s services.
HUD has a long history as a troubled agency. Although the Department
has been taken off the General Accounting Office�s "high-risk" list,
many of its individual programs are still designated as "high-risk."
My top priority as Deputy Secretary will be to assist Secretary
Martinez in restoring complete credibility and accountability to
HUD. Congress has repeatedly told HUD that it must get its house
in order. This administration is listening.
am aware of the concerns of the GAO and HUD�s Inspector General
and have studied their reports. If confirmed, I will insist that
this agency work in tandem with the GAO and the IG�s office to correct
the Department�s problems. We will avoid the adversarial stance
that has too often marked HUD�s relationship with these offices
in the past.
conclusion, I realize that we have much work ahead of us. HUD has
an important mission to accomplish. Many of America�s neediest families
rely on our services. We owe it to them to provide the best possible
programs we can in the most effective manner. And we owe it to the
American taxpayers to make sure that their tax dollars are being
spent efficiently and wisely.
I am a man of optimism. When I see HUD, I see a Department with
lots of opportunities to do great things. I see this as a historic
opportunity to improve the way HUD manages its programs. The Deputy
Secretary functions as the Chief Operating Officer. I see one of
the top duties of the Deputy Secretary as helping solve the management
problems that have plagued HUD for too long.
confirmed, I look forward to working with Secretary Martinez and
the rest of his team at HUD as we implement this administration�s
mission. I also look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with
Members of Congress as we meet the challenges before us. As Secretary
Martinez said at his confirmation hearing, "our mission at HUD is
not a Republican or Democrat mission, but rather an American mission."
Last modified: June 27, 2001
Content Archived: March 17, 2010