Honoring Elijah E. Cummings

Elijah E. Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Maryland who gained national attention for his principled stands on politically charged issues in the House, his calming effect on anti-police riots in Baltimore, and his forceful opposition to the presidency of Donald Trump, died October 17th at a hospice center in Baltimore. He was 68.

Former President Obama remarked, "And true to the giants of progress he followed into public service, Chairman Cummings stood tallest and most resolute when our country needed him the most. May his example inspire more Americans to pick up the baton and carry it forward in a manner worthy of his service."

In a time of heightened partisanship, Cummings was also known for his friendship across the aisle with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), amongst other Republican members in the House.

President Trump tweeted, "My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!"

This past summer, Trump targeted Cummings in a string of explosive tweets and public statements condemned by congressional Democrats as racist. The president denigrated the African American lawmaker online as "a brutal bully," and characterized his predominantly black, Baltimore-based congressional district as "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" where "no human being" would want to live.

Nonetheless, politicians, citizens, and the world are mourning the loss of a staunch advocate of equality, justice, and bipartisanship. 

His widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, chairwoman of Maryland’s Democratic Party, said in an official statement: "He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem."

Rest in peace to not only a great politician and advocate, but an exemplary human being.