Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We join in mourning the death of Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias. His brand of Republicanism is a lot different from what we are witnessing during this era. He was a moderate who championed causes that improved the quality of life of all people. I fondly remember him using his considerable political clout with then President Ronald Reagan to press him to sign legislation named, "Nehemiah Housing Bill." Congressman Parren J. Mitchell pushed the bill through the House of Representatives and Senator Mathias pushed the bill through the Senate. Against President Reagan's wishes, Senator Mathias used his political capital on Reagan to get him to sign the legislation into law. For 10 years Nehemiah Housing Bill provided moderate income buyers an opportunity to purchase a brand new house.


This bill created affordable housing all over America. Particularly within the City of Baltimore more than 600 units of affordable housing for first time buyers was built.

In our present era there is no one championing the cause of affordable housing. The tricks and traps of our banking system has created some of the highest foreclosure rates in the county because the mortgage industry and banking interest sought to enrich themselves off of the back of the least able to afford their enriching schemes.

Not so with Senator Mathias, he understood that the federal government had a moral responsibility for insuring that the American dream was available to everyone.

May this giant of a man rest eternally in peace!

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