PoliticsStacy M. Brown

Tributes Pour in for Elijah Cummings

Elijah Cummings, a warrior for justice, a soldier for equality, and a champion of his people, will soon be laid to rest.

But the longtime Maryland congressman who died Oct. 17 at the age of 68, won’t soon be forgotten, evident by the tributes that continue to pour in from colleagues, presidents and others who were in some ways influenced or encouraged, even on different sides of the political spectrum.

Here’s just a few of those who’ve paid tribute:

Former President Barack Obama:

“As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he showed us all not only the importance of checks and balances within our democracy but also the necessity of good people stewarding it. Steely yet compassionate, principled yet open to new perspectives, Chairman Cummings remained steadfast in his pursuit of truth, justice, and reconciliation. It’s a tribute to his native Baltimore that one of its own brought such character, tact, and resolve into the halls of power every day. 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.”

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.):

“There are no words that are sufficient in describing the immense sorrow she feels because of the loss of Cummings. I have known Chairman Cummings for more than two decades. He considered me a mentor since his time as a freshman member, and I considered him a brother and cherished friend. Elijah Cummings fought the good fight, and his legacy represents an unwavering love for his community and a tireless commitment to public service. He was and always will be remembered as a beacon of truth and light in the face of unprecedented lies and corruption.”

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NACCP:

“As a devoted statesman to Baltimore and the civil rights movement, Cummings was among the most passionate and spirited members of Congress. He demanded justice on every front and never shied away from standing up for the most vulnerable. From his days in the Maryland General Assembly to his key role in the Trump impeachment inquiry as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Congressman Cummings dedicated his life to combating oppression in all its forms — and holding oppressors accountable.”

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.:

“Elijah Cummings possessed broad shoulders, keen intellect, a tough mind, and a tender heart; the attributes of which great leaders are built. A fine public servant.”

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., National Newspaper Publishers Association president and CEO:

“Long live the freedom-fighting spirit of Brother Leader Congressman Elijah Cummings. On behalf of the Black Press of America, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Cummings and to the Cummings family.”

Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall Fund:

“Not only was Elijah Cummings a lion of the U.S. House of Representatives and a consistent champion for all of his constituents in Maryland, but as a proud HBCU graduate, he was a forceful advocate for our institutions and was truly invested in the continued legacy of talented students that our schools produce, of which he was, undoubtedly, one of the most consequential. His is a loss that cannot be understated, and he will be sadly missed by all who had the opportunity to know him.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.):

“At a time of chaos and division, our friend Elijah Cummings stood strong as a man of principle, unity, dignity, and compassion. His insatiable thirst for justice was rooted in his core. Maryland has lost a beloved son and our nation a hero of our times.”

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford:

“He was 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.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.):

“Chairman Elijah E. Cummings and I shared a city, an alma mater, a love of the law and a life of public service. The death of Chairman Cummings leaves an irreplaceable void in our hearts, in our Maryland, and in our Congress. Quite possibly no elected official mattered so much to his constituents. Chairman Cummings guaranteed a voice to so many who would otherwise not have one and stood as a symbol for the heights one could reach if they paid no mind to obstacles, naysayers, and hate. His commitment to his city and country was unwavering, as will be my lasting respect for him.”

Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile:

“Chairman Cummings was the keeper of the nation’s conscious.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.):

“I’m simply devastated and shocked by the loss of Chairman Elijah Cummings. Elijah was a fierce champion of justice, a moral leader in the House, and a wonderful mentor to me as a new member of Congress. Holding his entire family in my heart today.”

Ava DuVernay, filmmaker:

“‘Did you see him? Did you see him? Our children are living messages we send to a future we’ll never see. Now, our children are sending us to a future they’ll never see. Something is wrong.'” — Elijah Cummings at Freddie Gray’s funeral. American patriot. May he journey well.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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