A Councilman Recalls a Congressman

Pasadena City Councilman John Kennedy Pays Homage to the Late Rep. Elijah Cummings

Published : Thursday, October 17, 2019 | 10:42 AM

Rep. Elijah Cummings addressed the community at the historic Friendship Pasadena Church in Old Pasadena last April. Inset: Pasadena Councilman John Kennedy. Photo of Cummings by James Carbone.


Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a longtime fixture of the Democrats’ House Caucus, died Thursday and City Councilman John Kennedy recalled the man he came to know.

“I considered him a friend and he considered me a friend,” said Kennedy of Cummings. “We were hoping to do even more great things together.”

Kennedy came to know Cummings and his wife Maya through the former’s trips to California and his own to the House power broker’s beloved Baltimore.

“They’ve been to my home several times,” explained the District 3 Councilman. “I dined with them, danced with them and debated issues of the day; all related to somehow improving the lives of the American people.”

Cummings passed through Pasadena earlier this year at the invitation of Kennedy’s sister Lena.

Their relationship went beyond friendship, meandering into the realm of policy, where their interests intersected.

“He took me on a tour of his congressional district, and we had the opportunity to walk the streets of Baltimore and talk to his constituents,” explained Kennedy.

The Councilman said he and the Cummings’ were working to develop a think tank focused on advancing public policy, “for those who are oftentimes at the periphery of society and bringing them into the full constitution of what America is,” said Kennedy.

“What I liked about Elijah most was that he always had a balanced perspective. Even in his role of investigating the President of the United States. He always remained balanced even when the President spewed invective at him.”

Kennedy was referring to a crossing of swords between President Donald Trump and Cummings a month or so ago, when the President blamed the rather chronic troubles of beleaguered Baltimore on the congressman, in whose Seventh Congressional Maryland District the city is located.

Cummings, who was 68, was the son of Maryland sharecroppers. He was a graduate of Howard University and University of Maryland School of Law.

He was chair of the all-important Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has a key role in the House of Representatives’ efforts in investigating actions by President Trump.

“Of course, he left this world too soon and, certainly, our country to soon,” Kennedy concluded. “I don’t know why God calls some of his children home early, but I do know that the struggle doesn’t stop and Congressman Elijah Cummings would want all of us that believe in the work he engaged in to continue that work and to not be distraught and discouraged, but to go forward with all our breath and intelligence and whatever God has left us with to fight the battle for justice, to make life a little bit fairer and to uphold the Constitution of the United States.”

The Congressman suffered from heart ailments.



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