February Newsletter

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to share with you updates from the past month.

Sincerely,

Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress 

In the District

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings speaks at the Opportunity Zones Forum he co-hosted with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Congressman Cummings and Mayor Pugh were joined by Veronica Tubman with the Internal Revenue Service, Ben Seigel with the Baltimore Development Corporation, and Paul Taylor with the Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Development.

On February 19, Mayor Pugh and I hosted an Opportunity Zones Forum where community members in attendance learned how to best leverage Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones were created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to provide tax incentives for investment in businesses and real estate located in underserved areas. Currently, there are 42 Census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones in Baltimore City. These investments can create thousands of jobs, eliminate blight, attract visitors from neighboring communities, and encourage more affordable housing. Through working together as a community, we can make sure all stakeholders —including residents and investors— are lifted up through these investments.

If you missed the event and are interested in learning about Opportunity Zones you can call my office at (410)-685-9199 to find out more. I encourage everyone to take full advantage of every opportunity available to them.

 

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings with students from Maryland’s 7th Congressional District he nominated to U.S. Service Academies. 

On February 16, I had the honor to nominate 29 outstanding students from Maryland’s 7th Congressional District to U.S. Service Academies. The nominees represented each area of my Congressional District; and each nominee demonstrated academic aptitude, physical fitness, service to their community, and strong moral character.

If you are interested in attending a Service Academy, please visit my website or call my office at (410)-719-8777.  

 

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings with Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, Congressman John Sarbanes, Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) President James Johnson, and BCCC Students pose for a picture after the reintroduction of the FAFSA Fairness Act. 

Earlier this month, I was joined by members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation at Baltimore City Community College to reintroduce the FAFSA Fairness Act. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process ensures that students are taking advantage of all of the financial aid options available to them, including grants, student loans, and work-study assistance. However, the FAFSA process is especially challenging for students whose parents are absent from their lives. The bill would provide more equitable access to federal student aid for students with uniquely challenging financial circumstances by breaking down barriers that prevent some students from accessing aid.
 
 

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings Speaks at a press conference announcing the West Baltimore Mobile Integrated Health Community Paramedicine program.

On February 5, I spoke at a press conference announcing the West Baltimore Mobile Integrated Health Community Paramedicine program, a two-year public-private partnership between the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) to provide health services to residents of West Baltimore. Through a partnership between UMMC medical providers and BCFD personnel, the paramedicine program will provide follow-up health services to patients transitioning back home from hospital care, as well as provide immediate emergency room level medical assessment and care to patients in the field, avoiding a trip to the emergency room. 

 

Second Most Effective Democratic Lawmaker in the House

I was recently informed that the Center for Effective Lawmaking ranked me as the second most effective Democratic lawmaker in the House of Representatives last Congress. Specifically, I was recognized for "lawmaking success both in legislation modernizing use of the Thrift Savings Plan program and in an act expanding whistle-blower protections."

This recognition truly humbles me, and I will continue to legislate in a manner that improves the day-to-day lives of all Americans.  

You can find out more about this recognition on the Center for Effective Lawmaking's website

 

Legislative Update

The Harriet Tubman Tribute Act

Too often, our nation does not do enough to honor the contributions of women in American history, especially women of color. That is why earlier this month, I joined with Congressman John Katko (R-NY) to reintroduce the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act. This bipartisan legislation directs the Secretary of the Treasury to place the likeness of Harriet Tubman on $20 Federal Reserve notes printed after December 31, 2020.

Harriet Tubman was called the Moses of her people because after she escaped slavery, she courageously made 19 trips to the South to free more than 300 enslaved African Americans. Her courage, conviction, and commitment to equality represent the best of America, and it is long past time that we recognize her place in history. I am proud to reintroduce this bill to honor Harriet Tubman’s role in making America a more free and more equal society.

The Fair Chance Act

Also, this month, I was proud to join with a bipartisan group of Members of both the House and the Senate to introduce the Fair Chance Act, legislation to expand ‘ban-the-box’ policies to the federal government. These policies are commonsense criminal justice reforms that have shown potential for reducing recidivism and breaking cycles of crime in many states, including Maryland. The bill would give individuals who are reentering society from prison a fair chance at truly achieving the American dream and becoming contributing members of our communities. 

 

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