October was a month that was harder than most, as Maryland Democrats said goodbye to some of our public servants, champions, and most cherished loved ones. On October 17th, 2019, the City of Baltimore, our state, and our nation lost one of our greatest champions. My husband, Congressman Elijah Cummings, worked until his last breath, and fought to defend our democracy until the very end. I loved him deeply, and will miss him dearly.
In the following days, Baltimore City bid farewell to Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro III, who served from 1967 to 1971. His younger sister, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, shared that he “was a leader of dignity, compassion and extraordinary courage, whose presence radiated hope upon our city during times of struggle and conflict.” In Baltimore County, we said goodbye to former County Executive Roger B. Hayden, who served from 1990 to 1994. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. wrote that Hayden was “a dedicated public servant and tireless advocate for public education,” and that “Baltimore County is stronger for his service.”
And finally, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced that he is stepping down as Senate President. As the longest serving Senate President in the history of the United States, his tenure in the Maryland General Assembly has been nothing short of historic. His patience, leadership, and wisdom have been an integral part of our state’s continued success. Senate President Miller’s announcement marks the end of an era, and we wish his successor, Senator Bill Ferguson, success in the next legislative session.
There are moments in our lives when things change. There comes a time when the torch must be passed. There comes a time when we lose our champions, our heroes, our friends and our loved ones–and we are left with a void in our hearts that cannot be filled. Yet, as we mourn, we must remind ourselves that our sense of collective loss is a testament to the impact that these individuals have made in the lives of countless others, and the legacy they leave behind for generations to come. In honor of the memories of those we’ve lost, and those who have passed the torch, the eternal flame of public service must never be extinguished. We must continue their work.
And there is much more work to be done. As we fight to better the lives of all Marylanders, elect more Democrats in all corners of the state, and take back the White House in 2020, I’d like for you to join me. I invite you to listen to our MD Dems Podcast, where we have quality-filled discussions with some of the most influential politicians, activists and thought-leaders in our state. In the month of October, we released four new episodes covering impeachment, the 2020 census, down-ballot fundraising, and the new generation of political leadership.
You can listen here:
And finally, I invite you to help build our progressive movement by signing up to volunteer, and attend events with the Maryland Democratic Party. We’ve been very active all around the state in the month of October, and have much more planned in the months ahead. Here’s just some of what we’ve been up to:
On October 1, we met with the Maryland Democratic Party’s new Youth Committee for their inaugural meeting, and spoke to our new committee members who are energized to elect more Democrats up and down the ballot.
On October 3, we attended the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee’s Annual Dinner, where we hung out with DNC member Yvette Lewis, 3rd Vice Chair Nicole Williams, Deputy Secretary Abena McAllister, and many others!
On October 5, we had a great time with the Democratic Club of Queen Anne’s County for their Wine on the Water fundraiser.
And over in Frederick, we hosted a campaign training to train activists, candidates, and allies on how to organize, run and win. During the training, Wendy Frosh and Del. Brooke Lierman led the lunch panel to discuss the importance of addressing issues that impact women.
On October 6, our friends at Washington College hosted the Eastern Shore Environment Summit, featuring Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes.
And in Garrett County, we attended the Autumn Glory Parade with the Garrett County Democratic Club, and were joined by Club President Betty Pritt, GCDCC member Jeff Hovis, Councilwoman Kate Smith Brotie, and Bethany Sorensen.
And in Frederick, we joined Frederick Democrats at the Frederick Unity Rally, where we united together to support immigrant communities.
On October 12, we joined the Harford County Democratic Central Committee for the Joppatowne Arts Festival, where we spoke to attendees, handed out literature, and registered new voters.
On October 16, DNC members Bel Leong-Hong and Yvette Lewis attended the Baltimore City Central Committee’s meeting to update them on the DNC’s activities, and their roles on the DNC’s Rules and Credentials Committee.
And in Wicomico County, the Wicomico Democratic Club met with Pittsville Councilperson Ivory Smith and Salisbury Councilperson Angela Blake.
On October 17, we joined Baltimore County Democrats for their 13th Annual Unity Dinner, featuring Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr., Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, and many more.
On October 19, we joined Baltimore County Democrats to knock on doors in local communities.
On October 20, Talbot County Democrats hosted their Unity Dinner with Keynote Speaker Senator Chris Van Hollen. During the dinner, our friend Joyce Scharch (left) was presented with the Woman of the Year award by Talbot County Democratic Women’s Club Boardmember Janet Pifer (right).
On October 23, we had a great canvass in Washington County with MDP fellow Kindre Wilson, Chris Hashemzadeh, and Hunter Morgan.
On October 24, we met with the 10th District Democratic Club for their inaugural meeting, and spoke to an audience of Democrats ready to take back the White House in 2020.
On October 25, we honored the life of Congressman Elijah Cummings at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. Countless Maryland lawmakers were in attendance, and many guest speakers shared cherished memories of Elijah, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama.
On October 26, we had a great time at the Carroll County Breakfast with Speaker Adrienne Jones and Congressman Jamie Raskin.
On October 27, we hosted a canvass and phonebank in Harford County, where we were joined by some passionate volunteers.
I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Sign up at mddems.org/volunteer to help us build our movement in Maryland.
Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings
Chair, Maryland Democratic Party