Oppose Ben Carson for HUD Secretary

Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is a large and complex agency that oversees government programs on home ownership, fair housing laws, homelessness, and building safe and thriving neighborhoods for all Americans. Dr. Carson has extreme political positions and opposes many of the important safety net programs that HUD administers, which affect homeowners, those who need housing subsidies, and neighborhoods around the country (in both rural and urban areas). 

In addition to Carson’s extreme political positions, he lacks the experience to run HUD, since he has no government or management experience. Carson is unfit to run such an important organization.

Sample Call Dialogue

Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you tell me the Senator’s position on the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson for HUD Secretary?

OPTION 1: HAS STATED OPPOSITION TO THE NOMINATION

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator Janet opposes Ben Carson’s nomination.

    Caller: That’s great! I’m calling to say that if Senator Janet truly believes, as I do, that we must protect affordable housing and the dream of homeownership that many Americans share, she should do everything she can to encourage her colleagues to vote no on Dr. Carson’s nomination. Will Senator Janet commit to voting no?

    Staffer: Yes, Senator Janet is proud of her work ensuring that all Americans have a safe and affordable place to live. She’ll vote against Dr. Carson’s nomination.

    Caller: Wonderful. This is extremely important to me, and I will be watching closely.  Thank you for your time.

OPTION 2: SUPPORTS CARSON’S NOMINATION

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator Janet will be supporting Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination.

    Caller: That’s terrible. What that means is Senator Janet is choosing to make housing less affordable and fair. Dr. Carson called a rule that requires cities to report racial disparities in housing a “mandated social engineering scheme.” Because he has no experience in government, all we have to go on is Dr. Carson’s past comments. He’s been critical of the LGBTQ fight for equality and says that Muslims can’t be President. Someone who holds beliefs like those will not fight for equality at HUD.

    Staffer: I didn’t know that, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.

    Caller: Here’s my concern: even if we disagree on housing policy, Dr. Carson is not experienced enough to run HUD. He has never worked in policy or government and has no expertise in housing policy. I expect Senator Janet to oppose Ben Carson’s nomination. Will Senator Janet protect her constituents by opposing Dr. Carson?

OPTION 3: DODGES / HAS NO POSITION

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling! I have no idea what the Senator’s position on this is, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.

    Caller: That’s disappointing to hear—HUD is a very important agency, and Dr. Carson has no relevant experience. Without any relevant experience, we have to assume that Dr. Carson will implement policies that reflect his beliefs about minorities. He’s been critical of the LGBTQ fight for equality and says that Muslims can’t be President. Someone who holds beliefs like that will not fight for equality at HUD.

    Staffer: I didn’t know that, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.

    Caller: Here’s my concern: even if we disagree on housing policy, Dr. Carson is not experienced enough to run HUD. He has never worked in policy or government and has no expertise in housing policy. I expect Senator Janet to commit to opposing Ben Carson’s nomination.

    Will Senator Janet protect her constituents by opposing Carson?

    Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the Senator.

    Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information to let me know when the Senator has made up her mind. I’m eager to hear what she decides.

OPTION 4: OPPOSES CARSON’S BELIEFS, BUT PLANS TO VOTE TO CONFIRM HIM

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator Janet is skeptical of Dr. Carson but plans on voting for him given his forthrightness during committee hearings.

    Caller: That’s disappointing to hear—HUD is a very important agency, and Dr. Carson has no relevant experience. Without any relevant experience, we have to assume that Dr. Carson will implement policies that reflect his beliefs about minorities. He’s been critical of the LGBTQ fight for equality and says that Muslims can’t be President. Someone who holds beliefs like that will not fight for equality at HUD.

    Staffer: That may be true, but Senator Janet does not believe that it will be possible to block or defeat Dr. Carson’s nomination.

    Caller: Even so, I hope the Senator will consider the implications of continuing to vote for nominees who have no relevant experience. By continuing to vote yes, she is enabling the Trump Administration and demonstrating to her constituents like me that she doesn’t share our concerns. Someone who has no experience or expertise in housing policy, and who has made disparaging remarks about many groups of Americans, will not ensure that we have access to fair and affordable housing.

    Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the Senator.

    Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information to let me know when the Senator has made up her mind. I’m eager to hear what she decides.