Letters To The Editor


January 03, 2003

Rep. Cummings can be proud of his record

The Sun's editorial "Will black voters be heard?" (Dec. 15) suggested that Rep. Elijah Cummings' performance in Congress was "lackluster." Let me dispel this incorrect notion immediately.

Mr. Cummings is a congressman with a deep pride and passion for his community, who goes through the same pains and plights as his constituents and does not hesitate to roll up his sleeves and do the dirty work most congressmen shy away from.

His accomplishments in just the past few weeks include working with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in response to the arson-murder of the Dawson family, to direct up to $2 million in anti-crime measures to Baltimore's most dangerous neighborhoods. He has also secured a $1.4 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing, job training and support services to help those afflicted with HIV when they are released from prison.

An inspiring orator reminiscent of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Cummings has displayed an acute ability to get things done on Capitol Hill in the face of a Republican Congress - and this ability will serve him well as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Nate Titman


I was rather saddened and indeed distressed over The Sun's attempt to characterize Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings' job performance as "lackluster."

I have personally known and worked closely with Mr. Cummings during the past six years on key economic development policy matters and projects, and I must respectfully take strong exception to the editorial's assertions.

During his three terms in Congress, Mr. Cummings has exhibited excellent vision and leadership. His contributions on key local issues such as education, transportation, criminal justice, small business and economic development have been outstanding.

Mr. Cummings is certainly one of Maryland's - and now the nation's - most sincere, tireless and effective leaders.

Arnold M. Jolivet


The writer is president and CEO of the National Association of Minority Contractors.

Senate seats aren't family property

Former Sen. Frank H. Murkowski's appointment of his daughter to fill out the remainder of his term in the U.S. Senate is a slap in the face to our Founding Fathers ("New Alaska governor Murkowski appoints daughter to Senate seat," Dec. 21).

While Mr. Murkowski did not break the law with his act of nepotism, he did violate one of the principles that this county was founded upon.

Our forefathers discarded the oppressive yoke of monarchy and aristocracy so that we would have leaders based on merit, not birth.

The hereditary passing of the title of senator should be read about in history books on ancient Rome, not in the morning paper of a modern republic.

David K. Kyle


N. Korea's hostility comes as no surprise

North Korea's throwing out of U.N. inspectors and apparent resumption of its nuclear weapons program should be no surprise to anyone on the globe ("N. Korea to expel nuclear inspectors," Dec. 28).

When President Bush announced that the United States held out the right to use nuclear weapons in the war on terror, it gave everyone else a license to pursue nuclear weapons technology.

I am not saying the administration's stance is wrong, but saying it out loud surely was wrong. Yet somehow, the Bush administration hasn't figured out that all of the tough talk isn't scaring anybody.

J. B. Anderson

Long Green

Voucher recipients need aid with homes

It comes as no surprise that many building owners no longer want to accept tenants who receive Section 8 vouchers ("Low-income housing crisis," editorial, Dec. 27). Section 8 residents have destroyed many Baltimore neighborhoods. It's not that they are terrible people, but many recipients of vouchers lack the education to sustain a home to the standards its owner should expect.

I encourage the city to educate Section 8 recipients on maintenance and care of their homes.

The inner city is a boarded-up mess. The city should refurbish the boarded-up houses and offer low-income residents the chance to purchase their own property to love and care for. This could help instill pride in themselves, their community and the city.

Angela L. Reed-Johnson


Where was family of Ciara Jobes?

I continue to be astounded by all those in an uproar over the tragic death of Ciara Jobes.

My astonishment comes from the notion that it's somehow the government's fault that Ciara suffered such a horrible death ("Jobes death sparks inquiry," Dec. 27).

Where were her parents and all the other family members that showed up for her funeral, railing against "the system" that let them down again, when she was being brutalized by her supposed guardian?

Unfortunately, society has been poisoned with the "It takes a village to raise a child" mindset of the previous administration.

It doesn't take a village. It only takes a responsible mother and father.

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