Rep. Elijah E. Cummings
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will hold a forum in Baltimore next week to explore whether the banking industry is neglecting inner-city neighborhoods, forcing residents to rely on predatory lenders and high-fee check cashing services.

Cummings, who has been widely praised for his visibility on the streets of West Baltimore during last week's unrest, has suggested that the lack of economic opportunity and financial services has harmed urban areas and communities of color, trapping consumers in a "cycle of high fees and debt."

Advertisement

The meeting is the fifth in a series held under the banner of the Middle Class Prosperity Project, which Cummings launched this year with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat will also hear from panelists at the forum, which is set for Monday at the Carey School of Law.

Lawmakers will hear from Maynard Hurd, vice president of lending at Securityplus Federal Credit Union and Robin McKinney, director  of the Maryland CASH Campaign, among others.

Cummings created the task force before Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced her retirement in 2017, creating a flurry of interest in the race. The Baltimore Democrat has said he is seriously considering a run but has not yet made up his mind.

If he decides to run for the seat he would do so at a time when his profile is particularly high. Cummings was frequently seen marching with protesters in Baltimore, repeatedly appeared on national television and had been calling for a deeper, "pattern-or-practice" investigation of police by the Justice Department since early last week.

Cummings, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, will also speak on the Freddie Gray case on Friday at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement