Elizabeth K. Julian named Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary at HUD

HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros has named Elizabeth K. Julian as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Initiative. Ms. Julian will replace Roberta Achtenberg, who resigned in April as Assistant Secretary for FHEO to run for mayor of San Francisco.

According to a spokesman at HUD, Ms. Julian had served as Deputy General Counsel under Nelson Diazsince since January 1994. In that position she was a key policy maker in the revitalized FHEO department at HUD.

Ms. Julian was a 1973 graduate of University of Texas law school. She began her legal career at North Texas(Dallas) Legal Services, which initially involved consumer law. However, according to her former law partner Mike Daniel, her ongoing interest in civil rights led her to shift her concentration to voting rights cases. She initiated litigation that challenged at-large representation and fought for single-member districts that increased minority participation on the Dallas City Council. Ms. Julian also pursued fair lending cases. In 1978 she successfully challenged Dallas Federal Savings and Loan on behalf of ACORN.

Following her work at Dallas Legal Services, Ms. Julian went to work for East Texas Legal Service in Nacogdoches, Texas. Here she continued her work on cases involving voting rights, public housing segregation, and municipal service discrimination. In 1981 she filed Young vs. Pierce, which is the largest housing desegregation case in American history, covering 36 counties in east Texas. The most infamous aspect of the case involved the resistance of the Ku Klux Klan to desegregation in Vidor, Texas.

During the early 80s Ms. Julian established a law firm with Mike Daniel. Much of the work at the firm was contract work with East Texas Legal Services, which focused primarily on civil rights enforcement. During this period, Ms. Julian filed a major fair housing case against the Texarkana, Arkansas Public Housing Authority alleging purposeful segregation of public housing residents. After a prolonged fight the plaintiffs prevailed and were granted substantial relief. Another ongoing case filed by Ms. Julian was Walker vs. HUD, which outlined severe racial segregation in the Dallas housing Authority.

In 1988 Ms. Julian became Director of North Texas Legal Services. She remained there until 1990, when she established her own practice in Dallas and continued her activities in Democratic politics. Ms. Julian's 20-year career challenging the status quo of racial segregation in a southern state easily ranks her as the most qualified individual ever to assume the leadership at the 700-person FHEO division of HUD. "The Secretary could not have made a better choice," declared Avery Friedman, nationally known fair housing attorney. From the June Metro Eye, of the Cleveland Metropolitan Strategy Group.