By Chase Hensing
On October 17th 2019, Elijah Cummings, the representative for Maryland’s seventh congressional district died at the age of 68. Cummings’ spokeswoman stated his death was due to “complications concerning long standing health challenges.” It was later announced that this health challenge was a form of cancer called thymic carcinoma. Viewings and celebrations began on Wednesday the 23rd and continued throughout the week in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol building.
After Cummings was laid to rest on October 26th, focus shifted to who was going to fill his role as a state representative. As for his position in the House of Representatives, Governor Larry Hogan has yet to set a date for a special election to fill his position. Cummings was also the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which has allowed representative Carolyn Maloney of New York to serve as acting chair. A permanent leader for the committee, which is making an effort to impeach Donald Trump, will be elected later. Glenelg Junior, T.J. Ringer, said, “I don’t know much about who he is, but it's crazy how much change he made.” As seen with Ringer, despite having such a large impact in , Cummings is not well known with a lot of high school students.
Cummings was a black male democrat who was a large voice for the low income areas in Baltimore. Glenelg Junior, Kevin Miller, said, “I had to do a research project on Elijah Cummings last year in government class and I was familiar with the work that he was doing to help people. His passing is definitely a big deal.” Cummings legacy was built on trying to improve his hometown of Baltimore. A large example of this is the role he played in the Freddie Gray riots in 2015, in which Cummings took to the streets with a megaphone in his hand and calmed people over many nights in an attempt to diffuse the situation. Glenelg Junior, Dylan Jock, said, “I never knew that he did that, that is a dangerous situation to put himself in and I think that shows courage and passion for his job.” Cummings also assisted the city of Baltimore by passing legislation such as the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2019 helping children in need.
Although his passing is truly tragic, it is important to keep Cumming’s legacy alive and make sure he isn’t forgotten. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, stated that members of Congress decided to name their prescription drug price legislation after Cummings because he was an advocate for families who need low health care costs. Glenelg Junior, Maya Patel, said, “I think that is a great idea, it sounds like something he would really want and I think people would remember it.” The act is titled The Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which honors Cummings well because he was the type of person who wanted to make a lasting impact on the prosperity of our country. Cummings once said, “Children are the living messengers we send to a future we will never see.” The act will provide aid to people in need and indeed keep his legacy alive.
Cummings was a beacon of hope for the damaged city of Baltimore for 20 years, working to create a better tomorrow his entire life day in and day out. His legacy will surely live on in our hearts due to his vast dedication to brighten the future of America. Although the nation is in a state of mourning, it is important to focus on the great things Cummings did while he was alive, such as enact legislation helping the city of Baltimore.