August Newsletter

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to share with you updates and announcements from the 7th District.


Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress

Community Announcements 


This year’s Congressional App Challenge for Maryland’s 7th District is open. The competition is aimed at encouraging students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. 

The App Challenge was created by Members of Congress to encourage student innovation in the world of STEM and is an opportunity for middle and high school students to compete against their peers in both the district and the nation. I encourage eligible students across the district to apply. Students must submit their original app by November 1, 2019.

The winner of the Congressional App Challenge will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website, and their app will be displayed in an exhibit at the U.S. Capitol. If students have any questions, please visit my website or contact my office by phone at (410) 685-9199.

In the District


Congressman Cummings speaking at his forum on preventing, treating, and healing childhood trauma in Baltimore City.

On August 20, I hosted a forum on preventing, treating, and healing childhood trauma in Baltimore City. Traumatic experiences can injure the developing brains of children, create life-long impairments to their ability to manage stress and regulate emotions, and significantly increase the likelihood of negative health outcomes and even death. At the forum, I was joined by federal, state, and city leaders; local experts; service providers; and trauma survivors who shared their experience and expertise. I was struck by the stories of survivors and encouraged by the work being done to address this issue. 


Congressman Cummings speaking at a "Recess Rally" in Baltimore. 

A few weekends ago, I joined advocates in Baltimore at a “Recess Rally” honoring all the lives tragically lost to gun violence. I have heard from my constituents who are begging for more than thoughts and prayers. They want action, and they want it now. In February, I helped the House pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, to require background checks for firearm transfers between private parties. The Senate must consider this legislation immediately. Enough is enough; we must act for our children and future generations.


Congressman Cummings speaking at a JeffMajors and the Network of Doves’ Healing Concert at New Shiloh Baptist Church. 

On August 16, I was honored to listen to and speak at a JeffMajors and the Network of Doves’ Healing Concert at New Shiloh Baptist Church. The concert was the third of six Healing Concerts and sought to bring together the community to address the struggles and plight of substance and opioid users through musical expression. Music can bring life to life and heal our emotional wounds, and I thank everyone involved for bringing light and beauty to this crisis.



Congressman Cummings speaking at AFRO News’ 85th Annual Clean Block Party. 

Earlier this month, I spoke at AFRO News’ 85th Annual Clean Block Party. The AFRO’s Clean Block program was established in 1934 and aims to teach community members to respect the neighborhoods in which they live, keep them clean, cultivate their history, and nurture their growth. I remember participating in the AFRO Clean Block program as a child and was deeply moved to help recognize all the people who have committed themselves to this program and our city over the last 85 years.


Congressman Cummings speaking at the grand opening of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation’s Nature Play Space. 

On August 3, I spoke at the grand opening of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation’s Nature Play Space on McCulloh Street in Baltimore. The space went from a vacant lot used for dumping, to an outdoor area for kids to play and the community to gather. I want to thank the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, the National Wildlife Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the University of Maryland, and all the community organizations and volunteers who made this space possible. Our children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see, and it is so vital they have outdoor places like this to play right here in their community.


Congressman Cummings with graduates of the YouthWorks program. 

At the beginning of the month, I spoke at the YouthWorks Fellowship graduation ceremony. I am consistently amazed by the hard work and dedication of the young men and women who participate in the YouthWorks program. Over the summer, the fellows earned pay while getting firsthand experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. This program would not be possible without the support of Michael Bloomberg, the Bloomberg Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and many other sponsors. I thank them all for believing in this program and helping Baltimore’s youth.

In Washington


On August 7, I spoke at the National Press Club’s Headliners Luncheon. At the event, I discussed the Oversight Committee’s investigations to root out waste, fraud and abuse, and our work addressing the issues that matter most to the American people. Click here to watch my speech.



Voting is our democratic right and allows us to control our destiny. That is why earlier this month, I along with U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone sent a letter to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan requesting information regarding the State of Maryland’s efforts to address problems that occurred during the 2018 elections. We also asked the Governor to work with the Maryland State Board of Elections and other state and federal agencies to make meaningful improvements to voter registration, voter access, and election security to ensure that all eligible Marylanders can exercise their constitutional right to vote in the 2020 elections. To find out more about voting in Maryland and to register to vote, go to the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website.

Community Spotlight


Ms. Bryonna Harris speaks at Congressman Cummings' forum on preventing, treating, and healing childhood trauma in Baltimore City.

At my forum on childhood trauma, I was joined by trauma survivors, experts, service providers, and Baltimore City representatives and officials. With their participation in the event, we all learned valuable lessons and insights into how to prevent, treat, and heal childhood trauma. I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated in the event; a full list of participants can be found here. But, I want to specifically highlight the important story of one of the participants, Ms. Bryonna Harris, a rising senior at Frederick Douglass High School and a member of the African Diaspora Alliance.

When she spoke, Ms. Harris brought the event to a standstill with her story. She recounted how her brother was murdered in 2014, followed by the killing of a close friend in 2015. She continued and told us that her father was then incarcerated and how only three days after his release, she found him dead in their home. Then Ms. Harris told the room about how she was at school when a teacher was shot. 

There is no doubt that Ms. Harris has had more than her fair share of trauma and pain in her life, but I commend her for taking her pain and turning it into her purpose. Earlier this year, she worked with Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen to draft a bill to make Baltimore a “trauma-responsive city” to better help youth deal with trauma. I am deeply appreciative of Ms. Harris for sharing her story. We all listened, and we all learned from her. 



Cadet Daine Van de Wall of West Friendship, MD.

I am proud to recognize Cadet Daine Van de Wall of West Friendship, MD. Three years ago, I was honored to nominate him to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Earlier this month, Cadet Van de Wall was selected First Captain of the U.S. Military Academy’s Corps of Cadets for the 2019-2020 academic year. With this recognition, Cadet Van de Wall has achieved the highest position in the cadet chain of command.

Every year, I am proud to nominate extraordinary students from Maryland’s 7th Congressional District to U.S. Service Academies. Nominees represent each area of my Congressional District; and each nominee must demonstrate academic aptitude, physical fitness, service to their community, and strong moral character. If you are interested in attending a Service Academy, please click here or call my office at (410)-719-8777. 

Federal Funds Awarded in the District

One of my jobs as your Congressional Representative is to secure grant money from the federal government for local organizations, projects, and priorities. I have highlighted some of the funds I helped secure in the last month below.

  • On August 2, the Baltimore Congressional delegation announced $1.9 million in federal funding for Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) from the U.S. Department of Labor. This funding will go toward training CCBC students in healthcare-related apprenticeship programs in conjunction with other colleges, universities, and medical centers throughout the area.
  • On the same day, the Baltimore Congressional Delegation also announced $1.1 million in federal funding for the Canton Railroad Company from the Department of Transportation. These funds will go toward the Canton Railroad Company’s Switch Replacement Project, which will benefit the surrounding communities by bringing about safer and more reliable freight rail service.
  • On August 14, Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen and I announced $150,000 in federal funding for Morgan State University. The funding will create a one-year pilot program that will help increase students’ proficiency and success in programming skills to retain them as computer science majors. It is a part of a continued focus on STEM education in Maryland and across the country, and it was awarded through the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program.
  • On August 19, The Baltimore Congressional Delegation announced $898,750 in federal funding to address lead-based paint in Baltimore. The funding, awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will go to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City for lead-based paint risk assessments, inspections, abatement, interim controls, and clearance examinations.
  • And, on August 26, we also announced $937,700 in federal funding for catastrophic preparedness for the City of Baltimore. The funding, awarded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program, is designed to expand collaboration and build capacity when dealing with disasters.

Also this month, I was pleased when the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Port Administration signed a design agreement for the Mid-Bay Islands. The agreement will allow for a final design to begin on restoring islands in the mid-Chesapeake Bay that have experienced erosion over the past several decades. The work not only will have tremendous environmental benefits, but it will also ensure that the channels leading to and from the Port of Baltimore are maintained for the future.

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