On October 17th, 2019 U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings passed away in Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Elijah Cummings was the first African American Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Delegates in Maryland. During this time, he tried to create a ban for alcohol and tobacco advertisements on billboards in Baltimore. He participated largely in the Civil Rights Movement. Ever since he was 11 years old, he has worked really hard, fighting for equal rights for African Americans, from standing in picket lines to participating in rallies. When he was in school, his counselor had once told him that Cummings wouldn’t be able to become a lawyer but Cummings not only became a lawyer, he was also one of the most powerful orators. Cummings always made an effort to create peace among people. In 2015, when Baltimore was full of riots from the death of Freddie Gray, Cummings went and told the people on the streets to follow the curfew and stop the riots. But even though he believed in peace, Cummings had strong beliefs about lots of issues and was a very good public speaker. He talked about and brought forth many issues on the conflicts that occurred in the city of Baltimore. He worked very hard and according to CBS News he once stated, ‘”Like I tell my constituents, “Don’t get it twisted. You know, I may – my knee may be hurtin’ a little bit, but my mind is clear. My mission is clear.” And I am prepared and able to do what I have to do. And I will do it to the very best of my ability, so help me God.”’
Cummings also participated in the recent impeachment issues that are occurring. There was a committee under him that investigated parts of the federal government. He even tried to access President Trump’s financial records in order to receive information for the impeachment. But his health was not doing very well, although it is not known exactly what health problem he had, so he was not able to participate too much and unfortunately passed away. Despite President Trump raising so many criticisms about Cummings on Twitter, he 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!”’ according to CBS News.
By Saivarshini Rishi