Bernard Fulton, is Director of Government Relations, where he leads ZERO TO THREE’s work advocating for babies and toddlers with Congress and the Administration.
Prior to joining ZERO TO THREE as Director of Government Relations, Bernard was most recently Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under HUD Secretary Julián Castro and President Barack Obama, where he manage HUD’s Congressional Relations team and oversaw legislative strategy, including winning enactment of H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) in a hostile Congress.
Bernard started his career with ACORN, a national coalition of neighborhood civic groups, where he was an organizer and advocate and rose to Legislative Director. His primary responsibility was lobbying to protect the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to encourage lending and banking services in underserved communities. While with ACORN, Bernard also served as ACORN’s representative on the board of the National Neighborhood Coalition. U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky recruited Bernard from ACORN to assist with her work on the House Financial Services Committee. While he rose to be her Legislative Director, Rep. Schakowsky introduced anti-predatory legislation, amended Glass-Steagall reform legislation to study the impact of reform on small business lending, and was named one of Roll Call’s top freshman legislators.
Bernard left Jan Schakowsky’s office for the law firm Reno & Cavanaugh, where he served as Legislative Consultant. His major clients were the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) and the Housing Authority Risk Retention Group (HARRG), and he advocated for federal funding for public housing, reauthorization of HOPE VI, a public housing redevelopment program, and expansion of the Risk Retention Act, which authorizes people and organizations to create federally chartered, membership-owned liability insurance companies.
Bernard joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration in 2005. He served as senior legislation representative in the Washington Office and focused on working with the New York Congressional delegation to meet the goals they shared with the Mayor, including for New York City’s housing, education, and public safety needs. In this capacity, Bernard successfully protected radio spectrum for public safety communication at the FCC, eminent domain for community development, and rental voucher funding reserves for NYC’s Section 8 programs.
Bernard received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA. As a member of the Board of Trustees for the PK3 through 8th grade Lowell School and the father of two girls, he brings a passion for our work conveying to Congress and the Administration the importance of supporting parents and the early learning experiences of very young children.