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Statement from Voto Latino President & CEO María Teresa Kumar on the Passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings

Yesterday, my heart was broken upon hearing the news that Congressman Elijah Cummings had passed away at the age of 68. I had the honor to meet and personally know the Congressman, and truly, he was a rare find.

Congressman Cummings was the model of a public servant, leaving behind a lasting legacy on the people he served in Baltimore, the state of Maryland, and the entire country. He was a member of the civil rights movement, a statesman respected by all, and a devoted advocate for communities of color, immigrants, children, the poor, and the marginalized.

He knew the stakes and what we were up against, but also our potential collective power through our participation. It’s why he was an avid fighter for voting rights and ensuring every person’s voice had the chance to be heard.

Not even illness could stop Congressman Cummings’ dedication to our democracy. Astonishingly, he kept up his fight for others until his final moments: hours before his passing, the Congressman signed two subpoenas for ICE and CIS requiring documents related to the two agencies’ anti-immigrant policies, as he kept up the fight for migrant children and families.

As he stated just a few months ago, “I’m begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on. Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children, and your children’s children and generations yet unborn we’ve got to guard this moment…this is our watch.”

This is our watch. The stakes are high, but as Congressman Cummings always made clear, they are worth the fight.

Let’s honor the Congressman and his legacy by keeping up the fight for our democracy, our representation, and our people.

Together, Somos Más,

María Teresa Kumar
President & CEO, Voto Latino

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