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They said it: Reactions to the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings

Daily Record Staff//October 17, 2019

They said it: Reactions to the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings

By Daily Record Staff

//October 17, 2019

The following statements about Rep. Elijah Cummings were sent to or found by staff members of The Daily Record. We will be updating this page as more arrive:

“Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. 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. I’t been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”

— Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Maryland Democractic Party Chair and wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings, who was a fierce advocate for civil rights and for Maryland for more than three decades.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings speaks during a East Baltimore Development Initiative Business Opportunity Meeting held at Morgan State University Tuesday Feb. 08, 2011. (The Daily Record/Rich Dennison)
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings speaks during a East Baltimore Development Initiative Business Opportunity Meeting held at Morgan State University Tuesday Feb. 08, 2011. (The Daily Record/Rich Dennison)

“Congressman Cummings leaves behind an incredible legacy of fighting for Baltimore City and working to improve people’s lives. He was a passionate and dedicated public servant whose countless contributions made our state and our country better.

“Maryland’s First Lady and I ask Marylanders to join us in praying for his loved ones, his constituents, and his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

— Gov. Larry Hogan

“Congressman Elijah Cummings was a dedicated public servant for 36 years, a trailblazer who was unafraid to speak up for what he believed in and the people he represented. His passing will undoubtedly be felt by the people of Baltimore and by people all across our state and nation.

“It is times like these that we put politics aside and remember a man who deeply cared for the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland. My wife Monica and I, and our entire family, join with many others in praying for Rep. Cummings’ friends and family, especially his wife Maya, that they find comfort in his legacy during this difficult time. May he Rest In Peace.”

— Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford

“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!”

— President Donald J. Trump

“Karmen and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Congressman Elijah Cummings. For nearly four decades, Maryland and our nation has been shaped by his efforts to advance civil rights and tackle injustice, promote economic well being and uplift those left behind. Elijah was a force of nature and lived a courageous life of purpose. He saw our country as a place where anything is possible and strived to make a better world. Elijah was never afraid to stand for his beliefs and he never lost sight of those he served – especially the people of Baltimore.

“I always valued his wise counsel and benefited from his encouragement and wisdom. He was a tower of strength through both good times and bad. There will simply never be another like him.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings share a moment in 2002 outside the Baltimore World Trade center. (The Daily Record file)
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings share a moment in 2002 outside the Baltimore World Trade center. (The Daily Record file)

“Baltimore and America will miss Elijah Cummings. And I will miss him dearly.”

— Rep. Anthony Brown

“We have lost a giant.

“Elijah Cummings was a fighter, a committed public servant and a patriot in every sense of the word. He represented the best of our nation.

“Throughout his time in the public arena, Elijah worked tirelessly to bring better education, economic opportunity, health care and hope to the City of Baltimore, to Maryland and to the entire country. In Congress, he fought to uphold the Constitution, safeguard our democracy, protect the sacred right to vote, and hold the powerful accountable to the American people.

“I am heartbroken by Elijah‘s passing. He was a dear friend and a trusted mentor. I want to extend my deepest condolences to Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the entire Cummings family and all those fortunate enough to have known Elijah and be touched by his public service.

“We will miss him deeply, but we can keep his memory alive and follow the example he set by continuing to fight for justice and by working every single day to make life better for our fellow Americans.”

— Rep. John Sarbanes

“We join Maryland and all of America in mourning the loss of Congressman Cummings. We extend our condolences and sympathies to his family and loved ones during this time.

“America has lost a giant, the 7th Congressional District has lost a champion, and I, along with so many others, have lost a friend.

“The Maryland Delegation calls itself Team MD, he certainly was our MVP.

“From distinguishing himself in the halls of Congress to working the streets and neighborhoods of the 7th Congressional District, it was always about jobs and justice.

“We worked on many things together from President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act to empowerment legislation; he was always there when you needed him. He could investigate, he could legislate, and if necessary, he could agitate.

“Congressman Cummings always had a place in his heart for young people. He was always telling us, not to worry about the next election but the next generation.

“He will be missed.”

— Barbara A. Mikulski, Retired U.S. senator and professor at Johns Hopkins University


“April and I are heartbroken about the loss of our good friend Elijah Cummings. We loved everything about him – he was a man of character, intelligence, kindness and grace. Our nation has lost one of our truly great leaders. We pray for him, for the wonderful Maya and his family.”

— John Delaney, former congressman

“No one was more dedicated to the youth of Baltimore than Rep. Elijah Cummings. No one. He worked every single day to ensure equity and opportunity for the city’s children. Despite weighty responsibilities as a leader in Congress, he was a constant presence at UMB and in his district, pushing for programs that would develop the talents of young people and show them a future beyond their city block. And children knew that—they were drawn to him; they were drawn to his personal story of challenge and triumph; they were drawn to his long fight for racial, social, and economic justice. We have lost one of the nation’s greatest leaders certainly, and we have lost a hero to generations of children whose lives are better because of Elijah Cummings.”

— Dr. Jay A. Perman, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, speaks at a news conference June 18, 2019, announcing a program to help Baltimore homebuyers with their down payments. At left is Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott. (The Daily Record/Adam Bednar)
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, speaks at a news conference June 18, 2019, announcing a program to help Baltimore homebuyers with their down payments. At left is Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott. (The Daily Record/Adam Bednar)

“Congressman Cummings reflected what it truly meant to be a Baltimorean. His work ethic was only eclipsed by his passion for the citizens of Maryland, and more specifically, his neighborhood of West Baltimore. As an anchor institution in Baltimore, we frequently partnered and looked to Congressman Cummings to help champion key health and wellness initiatives. He recognized the power behind the social determinants of health and worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of our community. Our collective responsibility as a community is to strive to live up to his ideals and standards. Today marks the loss of a champion of our community and we will be forever grateful for his support.”

— Dr. Mohan Suntha, MBA, president and CEO, University of Maryland Medical Center

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Rep. Cummings’ passing. He was a dedicated public servant and man of deep moral integrity. Our hearts go out to his wife, family and colleagues. He worked tirelessly for Baltimore and leaves a legacy of making this fine city a better place to live, work, worship, and call home. Our world lost an inspiring leader today.”

— Jodi Rose, executive director, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake

“No one has done more to advance public health and health care coverage for Marylanders and all Americans than Representative Elijah Cummings. We will do our best to learn from what he taught us and achieve his goal of quality, affordable health care for all.”

— Vincent DeMarco, President of Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of a great humanitarian. In this difficult time, my deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Maya, their family, friends, and the millions of others whose lives he impacted through his decades of selfless and indefatigable civil service. This is a tremendous loss for our state and the nation.”

— Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich

“Representative Cummings was a powerful and principled advocate for justice and political integrity. He will be dearly missed. We offer condolences to Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and to all those who loved and respected this great man.”

— Nihad Awad, Council on American-Islamic Relations national executive director

“Chairman Cummings was an American hero. He used his power for good and fought for the voices of everyday Americans. He recognized that the right to vote was sacred and fiercely decried efforts to suppress the vote. He was a humble statesman who called out injustice and sought to make the world a better place for his constituents and for all Americans. He will be dearly missed by Common Cause and our 1.2 million supporters.”

— Karen Hobert Flynn, president, Common Cause

“Our hearts are quite heavy this morning as we awaken to the news of the passing of The Honorable U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings. We mourn the loss of such an authentic, passionate and revered leader. The City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and our nation, will forever be indebted to the legacy of this great public servant.
“Morgan State University is deeply saddened by the loss of one our fiercest advocates and supporters. Beyond serving on the University’s Board of Regents, Rep. Cummings was not only a dear friend to Morgan, he was family. His wisdom, wise counsel and superb leadership will be greatly missed. I will miss him personally.
“On behalf of the entire Morgan State University Family, I extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to his wife, Maya, and to the entire Cummings family and to his dedicated staff.
“Rest In Peace, Congressman Cummings, Rest In Peace!”
— David Wilson, president, Morgan State University

“I am profoundly saddened by the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings, an extraordinary and dear friend and an unflinching champion for the people of Baltimore, our state, and our nation.  A proud son of this great city, Elijah Cummings held all of us — individually and collectively — to the highest of standards.  He confronted us with our failings and demanded of us our potential. With a sharp wit, kind heart, and towering wisdom, Elijah Cummings has been a singular force for justice and a fierce advocate for those whose voices he knew must be heard in order for our country to deliver on its promise. And his love and loyalty to his family, our city, and the West Baltimore community he faithfully returned home to every night, knew no bounds. Elijah Cummings’ life and leadership stand as a shining example of the values of we hold most dear. My heart goes out to his wife, Maya, and to the rest of his family.”

— Ronald J. Daniels, president, Johns Hopkins University

“I am devastated by the loss of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who was a fierce advocate for the City of Baltimore and a tireless champion for our community. I recently had the honor of meeting with Rep. Cummings and was inspired by his authentic, kind, and transparent leadership style; which will serve as a powerful example for leaders of today and future generations. He has left an incredible legacy in the United States and may we all keep his spirit alive by seeking truth, fighting for equality and believing in the great City of Baltimore.”

– Al Hutchinson, President & CEO of Visit Baltimore

“We were deeply saddened to learn early this morning of the passing of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings—this is a tremendous loss for the City of Baltimore, the citizens of Maryland and the entire nation.

“Congressman Cummings was a determined and passionate advocate for higher education. In Maryland, that advocacy included his legacy as an alumnus of the University of Maryland School of Law and his service on the University of Maryland School of Law Board of Advisors and the Morgan State University governing board. At the University of Maryland, College Park, Rep. Cummings was the December 2017 commencement speaker and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service in recognition of his distinguished public career of empowering the community he served and his tireless work on such causes as education, health care, housing, and civil rights. It is fitting that today, during our annual Board of Regents retreat, we can remember Mr. Cummings with such deep fondness and an awareness of the transformative power of public higher education.

“Congressman Cummings dedicated his public life to seeing that others had access to quality schools and affordable colleges and universities.  The University System of Maryland—our board, our presidents, our faculty, and especially our students—are the beneficiaries of this life so well-lived. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”

— Linda Gooden, University System of Maryland board chair and Robert L. Caret, chancellor

“I was sad to learn of the death of my former colleague, Congressman Elijah Cummings. When I was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, I served with then-State Delegate Cummings before he was elected to Congress. As a young Delegate, I was struck by his passionate speeches on the House floor that captured the attention and focus of every Member. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Elijah on any specific issue, you never doubted his commitment to the citizens that he represented. I would like to offer my sympathy to Mrs. Rockeymoore Cummings and the entire Cummings family.”

— Al Redmer Jr., Maryland insurance commissioner

“The Greater Baltimore Committee’s Board of Directors and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Cummings. I had the great pleasure and honor of serving with Representative Cummings in the Maryland House of Delegates and found him to not only be an inspiring colleague to work with on issues, but a man of enormous integrity. I have
never known a more passionate legislator.

“He fought tirelessly on issues that were important to his constituents and to himself, always with a focus on ensuring that fairness and equity prevailed. He was a man of enormous integrity who made a lasting mark on his district, Maryland, in the halls of Congress and beyond.”

— Donald C. Fry, president and CEO, Greater Baltimore Committee

“The passing of Representative Elijah Cummings is a devastating loss for the people of Maryland and our country. He was an outstanding leader who understood the responsibilities of his office. Rep. Cummings was a beacon of morality in Congress and for decades he worked tirelessly for civil rights and those who were underrepresented in government. He will be missed.”

Tom Steyer, candidate for president

“Under Chairman Cummings’ leadership, the Committee on Oversight and Reform returned to its critical role of shining light on both government malfeasance and corporate wrongdoing.”

— Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of US PIRG’s Federal Consumer Program

“Whether he was defending our democracy or standing up for consumers, Rep. Cummings’ constituents and Baltimore were always his priority. We offer our sincere condolences and sympathy to the friends and family of Rep. Cummings.”

— Emily Scarr, director of Maryland PIRG

“On issues close to our heart, from detention conditions to family separation to medical deferred action and more, Rep. Cummings was a powerful ally and champion. A forceful opponent of Trump’s cruel immigration strategies, Chairman Cummings used his position of authority to stand up for our values, for our democracy and for the vulnerable.
“Chairman Cummings embodied the best of America. He rose from poverty to serve the country. His was a voice of moral clarity in a time when morality is under attack. He spoke for decency in a time when decency is threatened. He believed government can and should be a force for good.”
“He will be missed by his constituents, colleagues and all Americans committed to fully realizing the promise of our nation — an inclusive America where all of us are created equal; where all of us deserve justice; and all of us are destined to be free.”

— Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice


“Elijah Cummings was a legendary civil rights leader, a friend of labor and a tremendously powerful voice, fighting tooth-and-nail for the people of Baltimore, including 1,500 32BJ SEIU cleaners and security officers. The loss of his voice in Washington could not have come at a more tragic time when we need leaders that demonstrate the kind of bravery, integrity, power and acumen that Rep. Cummings personified. Today we have lost one of the most important crusaders for justice that the world has ever seen. May his memory be an inspiration to current and future social justice movements.”

Jaime Contreras, 32BJ SEIU vice president

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