I was shocked to read that Elijah Cummings had died yesterday morning. I pay pretty close attention to politics but didn’t know he was having some acute health problems. That his presence will no longer be seen in Congress is a huge loss.
Rep. Cummings was many things, but for me, I greatly appreciated his passion and work around voting rights. As an example of the fire he brought in his oratory when speaking about this issue, listen to this speech he gave after he became Chairman of the powerful Oversight Committee shortly after the Democrats flipped the House:
Cummings believed that the right to vote was fundamental to American democracy and served as the cornerstone for all other rights. From working to restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act to mercilessly fighting the Trump administration’s attempts to put a citizenship question on the 2020 Census (which has voting rights implications), he could be counted on to protect every American’s right to vote.
You can read more about Cummings legacy of fighting for voting rights and investigating instances of voter suppression at Vox’s article, The importance of Elijah Cummings’s fight for voting rights.
Here are a few of the many tributes that came pouring in from people who saw his work up close:
I’ll end by leaving you with a question he asked often in this last year of his life:
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Such a good man, and so well respected. You know, I’ve noticed several Republicans over the years who respected him. They disagreed with him on nearly everything, but respected him as a human being and patriot. Mark Meadows, one of Trump’s main sycophants, and Cummings were good friends. Hard to believe, but they were. Goes to show you, no matter how vitriolic things get, you can still respect one another at the end of the day. Too bad we’ve gotten away from that. May he rest in peace.