Message to Constituents
U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
Representing the 7th U.S. Congressional District of Maryland
2235 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4741 (tel.) (202) 225-3178 (fax)
August 15, 2006
It is both a privilege and an honor to represent you in the United States Congress. While serving you, I will continue my outreach efforts to inform you of my legislative actions. I welcome your advice. Government “by the people” is the cornerstone of my legislative philosophy.
To better serve you closer to home, I invite you to visit or contact any of my three district offices, conveniently located in Baltimore City, Catonsville and Ellicott City.
Please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress
II. Representing the 7th Congressional District
III. Grants to the 7th Congressional District
IV. Office Hours and Locations
Mideast Crisis: Due to ongoing security concerns in Lebanon, on July 27, the U.S. Embassy was granted ordered departure status. Family members and non-emergency American employees have been ordered to depart Lebanon. Essential personnel will remain at the Embassy to facilitate vital political, humanitarian, and consular duties. The Department of State urges American citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon and Americans currently in Lebanon to leave. For more information, log onto to http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_3006.html.
EBDI Business Meeting: On Thursday, August 24, 2006, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Congressman Cummings will host a meeting to discuss how minority businesses can take advantage of business opportunities associated with the East Baltimore Development/Biotechnology Park Initiative. The meeting will be held at the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center on the campus of Morgan State University, located at 2201 Argonne Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21218.
The purpose of this meeting is to provide up-to-date information regarding the East Baltimore Development Initiative and to identify the most recent procurement opportunities related to Phase One of the project. Phase One includes the development of a new Life Sciences and Technology Park, new housing, retail businesses, and parking for the initial 31 acres of the revitalization area.
During the meeting, participants will have the opportunity to dialogue with the master development team for Phase One (Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, LLC), and the general contracting team under subcontract to Forest City, chosen to coordinate construction of the first building of the Life Sciences and Technology Park (Hensel Phelps Construction Company).
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Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 36th Annual Legislative Conference: This annual conference will occur from September 6, 2006 through September 9, 2006 at the Washington Convention Center. Interested participants are encouraged to call (202) 263-2800 for more information. At the annual conference, Congressman Cummings will host two forums:
Auto Safety Issues Forum, Thursday, September 7, 2006, 1 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.: Confirmed panelists include Nicole Nason, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; John Spearman, Vice President, R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland; Andrew Ware, Director of the Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness Lab, General Motors Corporation; and Mary Wilson of the Supremes, a national seat belt safety advocate.
Drug Policy Forum, Friday, September 8, 2006, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Sponsored by the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, (NAADPC), this forum will discuss the nation’s drug policies and its impact on African Americans. Panelists include Kurt Schmoke, Dean of the Howard University School of Law, Chair of the NAADPC and former Baltimore City Mayor; The Honorable Lee Brown, Chair, NAADPC Blue Ribbon Commission on “Racial Disparities in Substance Abuse Policies,” and former City of Houston Mayor; Patricia Jessamy, State’s Attorney, Baltimore City; and other experts who handle drug policy issues.
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Launch of the National Association of Minority and Urban Developers (NAMUD): This historic launch will take place on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at the National Music Center, Carnegie Library Building (formerly known as the City Museum of Washington, DC), 801 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20001. The launch will include a two-hour Round Table Interest Forum from 3:30 5:30 p.m. in the Theater, followed by a four-hour networking event from 6:00 10 p.m. in the Map Room. All real estate developers, professionals, bankers, financiers and interested business persons are invited and welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP to either or both gatherings, or call Gloria Puentes at 7082055346. NAMUD was formed to address issues germane to urban developers, including access to capital, legislation that affects minority business goals, and the overall support of economic development through real estate development in urban America.
II. Representing Maryland's 7th Congressional District in Washington
Cummings Applauds Thwarting of Terrorist Plot, Urges Better Cargo Screening
Congressman Cummings applauded U.S. and British homeland security officials on Aug. 10 for uncovering a terrorist plot that could have risked thousands of lives. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and counterpart authorities in Britain, a group of extremists had planned to smuggle liquid explosive material aboard airplanes in order to bring the planes down in midflight.
"It is clear that we are still threatened by advanced, organized, and determined terror networks and I am pleased that the enormous homeland security infrastructure established after 911 both here and in Britain appears to have successfully prevented a major attack from occurring," Congressman Cummings said.
As a Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that often examines security risks to transportation networks, Congressman Cummings emphasized the need to improve baggage, cargo and passenger screening. For example, even though machines for detecting explosives on passengers have been deployed at several dozen airports, not all passengers at these airports are screened. Further, only a small percentage of air cargo is inspected.
"All bags should be inspected by machines for explosives. We should also increase our rate of air cargo inspection," Congressman Cummings said. "As terrorists try to stay one step ahead of us, we must stay ten steps ahead of them."
Cummings Announces $899,775 Education Grant to Benefit FirstGeneration CollegeBound Students
Congressman Cummings recently announced $899,775 in federal funds for the Maryland Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC). Sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Center helps students to overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.
"One of my priorities is expanding educational opportunities for young people. Every child has tremendous potential, but it is up to the community to nurture this potential," Congressman Cummings said. "With these funds, children will be shown the pathways to a promising future."
The fouryear grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. to provide:
• Academic advice and assistance in college and course selection;
• Assistance to help students complete college admission, training and financial aid applications;
• Guidance regarding secondary school reentry or entry into a General Education Development (GED) program or alternative education program;
• Individual and personal counseling; and
• Career workshops and programs for single parents, exoffenders and other targeted audiences.
The grant will serve 3,020 lowincome residents and will help single parents, veterans, exoffenders, and the physically challenged overcome barriers to college attendance.
"The MEOC program demonstrates a broad role of educational services and is responsive to the needs of the underserved. Students can do so much to reach their goals if given the guidance and opportunity," said Ellen Howard, Executive Director of MEOC.
The Maryland Educational Opportunity Center is one of the federal TRIO programs funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Since 1979, MEOC has served over 78,000 individuals, including approximately 20,000 who have enrolled in postsecondary institutions and received financial aid. For more information on MEOC, please call 4107283400 or www.meoconline.com.
Cummings Advocates Plan to Combat Emergent Prescription Drug Abuse Problem
Following a recent House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources hearing on the growth of prescription drug abuse, Congressman Cummings pushed for a multi-faceted, five-point plan for addressing the nation’s growing prescription drug abuse problem. Congressman Cummings serves as the Ranking Member of the Committee.
Reports show that illicit use of prescription drugs is on the rise, with particularly high levels of abuse among women, young people and the elderly.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that approximately 43 million Americans have used a prescription drug for non-medical purposes. The 2004 National Household Survey on Drugs and Health reported that 6.3 million Americans 12 years of age or older indicated they had used a prescription drug in 2003 for a non-medical purpose.
Further, data suggest that the elderly, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and young women between the ages of 12 and 17 may be particularly at risk of abusing prescription drugs.
“At the hearing, we heard heart-breaking testimony from three mothers of sons whose lives were lost as a result of prescription drug abuse,” Congressman Cummings said. “They represent a tiny fraction of the universe of people who have lost loved ones to prescription drugs and their stories serve as a stark warning to the public that abuse of prescription drugs can be fatal.”
He added that this problem warrants a multi-faceted response and pushed for Congress and the Administration to pursue the following actions:
“Some of these measures may be more complex than they may sound at first blush. But I am confident we can summon the will to overcome whatever obstacles there may be to moving forward on all of these fronts. I look forward to working with my colleagues and organizations that are on the forefront of this issue to ensure that we can combat the pervasive problem of prescription drug abuse.”
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Cummings Introduces Minority Entrepreneurship Bill
Senate Companion Legislation Introduced by Sen. Kerry is Adopted by Senate Committee
As a strong supporter of increasing business opportunities to address economic inequality in this nation, Congressman Cummings recently introduced the Minority Entrepreneurship and Innovation Pilot Program of 2006, H.R. 5878.
The legislation would set up a $24 million, twoyear pilot program to promote small business development in colleges and universities that serve African American, Native American and Latino communities. Through $1 million grants, the institutions would provide students in highlyskilled fields such as engineering, manufacturing and science with the knowledge they need to start their own businesses. The bill would also allow institutions to set up Small Business Development Centers to provide counseling, capacity building and niche marketing development services.
“A great legacy of this country has been the opportunity for ordinary citizens to improve their livelihoods by starting their own businesses,” Congressman Cummings said. “The Minority Entrepreneurship and Innovation Pilot Program of 2006 would give minority communities a chance to share in that dream.”
On August 4, the U.S. Labor Department reported that unemployment rates among African Americans reached a high of 9.5 percent, nearly double that of the general population. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate for African Americans has increased substantially, with the income gap between blacks and whites widening to a ratio of 62 percent. The "wealth gap" separating Native American and Latino communities from white communities is similarly large.
“But the National Urban League, in its 2006 State of Black America Report, indicated that there may be a silver lining to this cloud,” Congressman Cummings said. “The prevalence of blackowned businesses has been on the upswing. And minorityowned businesses provide real opportunity for individuals, families and communities. By supporting their growth, we can begin to reverse the increasing ‘wealth gap’ for good.”
On July 26, Sen. Kerry's companion bill (S.2586) passed out of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in an 18-0 vote as part of the Small Business Administration Reauthorization bill and now awaits a vote before the full Senate.
III. Federal Grants and Contracts to the 7th Congressional District
Congressman Cummings helped secure the following grants to benefit the residents of the 7th Congressional district.
$1,116,964 for Johns Hopkins University: This grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be used for medical research on allergies.
$990,000 for Morgan State University: This grant from the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), under the U.S. Department of Transportation, will help fund the University Transportation Center (UTC). The UTC program was established in 1987 to advance the Nation's transportation system through research, education and technology transfer at university-based centers of excellence across the country. Congressman Cummings secured this funding through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEALU), H.R. 3, which authorized more than $286 billion in federal funding for highway and transit construction and maintenance projects through 2009.
$98,723 Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Grant: These funds from the U.S. Department of Justice have been awarded to the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks to administer after school programs and provide children safe and productive activities in order to curb juvenile delinquency.
$18,996 for the University of Baltimore:
This grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission
was awarded to the Schaefer Center and the university’s Center for Citizenship and Applied Politics to recruit college poll workers for the city of Baltimore, Maryland and participating Maryland counties. The awards are part of the Help America Vote College Program which was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to promote college student involvement. The fund will be used to encourage students enrolled at institutions of higher education (including community colleges) to assist in the administration of elections.
IV. District Office Hours and Locations
1010 Park Avenue, Suite 105
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 685-9199 and (410) 685-9399 fax
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
754 Frederick Road
Catonsville, Maryland 21228
(410) 719-8777 and (410) 455-0110 fax
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Howard County Office - Now Open
8267 Main Street, Room 102
Ellicott Mills Post Office
Ellicott City, MD 21043-8267
(410) 465-8259 and (410) 465-8740
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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