May 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

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Click here to watch Congressman Elijah E. Cummings deliver the Commencement Address at Morgan State University’s 143rd Spring Commencement.

On May 18, I was deeply honored to deliver the Commencement Address at Morgan State University’s 143rd Spring Commencement Ceremony. As I addressed the graduating class of more than 700, I was inspired by all of the hard work and sacrifices that paved their way to the graduation stage. I know that the graduates will use their Morgan education well.

As a member of Morgan’s Board of Regents, I am incredibly proud to be a part of the Morgan community. Through the years, I have witnessed Morgan rise up and transform itself into something great, which should inspire pride in all of us.

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Ms. Katherine Yi (center), the winner of the 2019 Congressional Art Competition for the 7th Congressional District of Maryland.

On May 11, I announced that Ms. Katherine Yi, a Senior at Mt. Hebron High School in Howard County, won the 2019 Congressional Art Competition for the 7th Congressional District of Maryland. Ms. Yi’s painting, entitled “For You, For Me, For Trayvon,” will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year alongside the works of other winners of competitions from across the country. Every year, I am amazed by the talent of the students in my district during the competition. The creativity all the applicants displayed is inspiring, and I expect that they all will create great work in the future.

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Congressman Elijah E. Cummings addresses a Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Brotherhood Breakfast.

On May 5, I spoke at a Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Brotherhood Breakfast.  Established in 1830, the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation aims to provide their congregants with support, friendship, community, meaning, and learning. It was a privilege to speak before the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Brotherhood, and I am impressed by their commitment to being good citizens and role models in their community.

 

In Washington

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A sample design featuring Harriet Tubman on the $20.

Earlier this month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the Administration plans to drag their feet and delay the redesign of the $20 featuring Harriet Tubman until 2028. This decision is unacceptable. During her life, Harriet Tubman fought to make the values enshrined in our Constitution a reality for all Americans—and it is far past time that we recognize her place in history. 

Since I introduced the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act earlier this year, I have been urging my colleagues in the Congress to ensure the Administration cannot continue with their delaying tactics by passing this legislation. The bill would make it clear in statute that the redesign of the $20 must honor Harriet Tubman by the end of 2020. Our currency must reflect the important role women, and especially women of color, have played in our nation’s history.

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Congressman Elijah E. Cummings speaks at a Press Conference hosted by Dr. Leana Wen, the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, about the importance of Sex Ed.

May is “Sex Ed for All Month,” and on May 1, I joined Dr. Leana Wen, the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America to discuss the importance of Sex Ed.  Far too many young people face vast systemic inequities and structural barriers to making sure they can be healthy and stay that way throughout their lives. Access to quality information and education about young people’s sexual health is a critical step toward addressing these barriers and, ultimately, health disparities. When we arm young people with information and education, we give them the tools they need to make the best decisions for themselves.

 

Community Spotlight

Since it was established in February 2018, I have been impressed by the Mayor's Office of African American Male Engagement (MOAAME). Under the direction of Dr. Andrey Bundley, MOAAME has interacted with thousands of African American men and many others throughout Baltimore City, strategically connecting them to positive and constructive opportunities. Though its focus is on African American males, MOAAME is not exclusive in its work, and through its efforts to counteract negative stigmas; oppressive, systemic, and historic barriers; as well as self-demoralizing behavior, MOAAME works to uplift the needs of every man, woman, and child.

Part of the MOAAME’s success lies within their collaboration with local agencies, organizations, programs, and community advocates. Through their CONNECT program, MOAAME works to promote and acknowledge African American male excellence in Baltimore City while connecting young men in our community to the people and the resources they need to become all God meant for them to be. I have been to several CONNECT events, and I will continue to work with MOAAME to help build a better Baltimore for all. Find out more about MOAAME and how to connect with them here.

 

Legislative Update

Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act

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Click here to watch a video on the CARE Act.

This month, I was proud to introduce the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act with Senator Elizabeth Warren. The bill provides the resources and the comprehensive framework to finally begin treating the opioid crisis like the critical public health emergency it is. Families across this nation—in red states, blue states, and purple states, in big cities, suburbs, and rural areas—are struggling with the devastating consequences of this generational crisis that claims 192 lives every single day. The CARE Act would get to the heart of this problem by providing stable and sustained funding for states and local communities to expand access to evidence-based treatment.


Beyond the Box for Higher Education Act of 2019
On May 7, Congressman Cedric Richmond and I introduced the Beyond the Box for Higher Education Act of 2019. The bill provides guidance and training to higher education institutions so that they can remove the barriers that hold many aspiring students back from successfully starting their second chance. I know that education changes lives, and it often keeps individuals off the path that originally led them to incarceration. It is tragic that aspiring students may be barred from educational opportunities because of a criminal or juvenile record. We must look beyond the box to see the person who is attempting to better themselves.


Promoting Reentry through Education in Prisons (PREP) Act
Along with Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, I introduced the Promoting Reentry through Education in Prisons (PREP) Act earlier this month. The legislation would ease the barriers to reentry by ensuring incarcerated individuals receive the educational opportunities they need to successfully reenter their communities upon release from federal prison. Educational programs are proven to reduce recidivism, and it is imperative that every incarcerated individual is provided with the opportunity to better themselves and leave prison ready to fully contribute to their communities.


Parren Mitchell Minority Business Education and Empowerment Act of 2019
Also, this month, I introduced the Parren Mitchell Minority Business Education and Empowerment Act of 2019 to facilitate federal partnerships between the Small Business Administration and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Small businesses power the American economy while creating jobs and opportunities within communities. And, as a proud Howard University graduate and a member of Morgan State University’s Board of Regents, I know the vital role Historically Black Colleges and Universities play in preparing young people to become leaders in their communities.

Parren J. Mitchell represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 until 1987.  During his time in Congress, Congressman Mitchell chaired the House Committee on Small Business, where he advocated heavily for capacity building in business and education as a vehicle to lift a generation. I am proud that this bill will honor Congressman Mitchell's legacy while also bringing together the power of small businesses and HBCUs.

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