U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume has introduced a congressional resolution seeking to honor late civil rights leader and fellow District 7 Rep. Elijah Cummings with a commemorative postage stamp.
Mfume announced the resolution in a news release Tuesday evening, hours before Cummings’ Jan. 18 birthday. If passed, the resolution would ask the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp honoring Cummings, whose district encompassed much of Baltimore and parts of Baltimore County and Howard County.
A fellow Democrat, Cummings succeeded Mfume in Maryland’s 7th congressional district seat in 1996 after Mfume stepped down to serve as president and CEO of the NAACP. While still in office and serving as chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee in 2019, Cummings died of complications from a rare form of cancer called thymic carcinoma. He was 68.
Mfume won the seat back in a 2020 special election held after Cummings’ death in 2019.
“I wanted to make sure that Elijah would be remembered and his work would not be forgotten,” Mfume said in a statement. “I am encouraged by the vast amount of support this effort has already received from those who knew Elijah or appreciate his legacy.”
The bill has 49 original co-sponsors, according to the release.
“While our family remains heartbroken he is no longer here with us, we have great pride in his congressional leadership, strong advocacy on behalf of the American people and efforts toward bipartisan consensus whenever agreement could be achieved,” said Cummings’ daughters, Jennifer and Adia Cummings, in the release, calling their father’s efforts “exemplary and legendary.”
Born in Baltimore to former sharecroppers in 1951, Cummings was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1982. There, he served as the youngest chair of the Legislative Black Caucus until he was elected to the House of Representatives. His tenure in Congress was remembered as one of fierce devotion to Baltimore and civil rights, and culminated shortly before his death with him leading the first impeachment inquiry of former President Donald Trump.