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Vernon L. Simms, chief of staff for the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and home improvement business owner, dies – Baltimore Sun – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland 2022-08-05 05:00:00 –

Vernon L. Sims, chief of staff to the late Representative Elijah E. Cummings and owner-operator of a home improvement business, died July 16 at the Gilchrist Hospice Center in Towson. The longtime Gwyn Oak resident was 64 years old.

There was no cause of death.

“Vernon was an extraordinary man who, through his friendship and his lifelong work, left a small piece of himself in each of us,” said Rep. “He was a masterclass in serving others, never refusing help when faced with countless demands, duties and challenges. The bottom line is that Vernon has helped so many people.” problem solver and the way he got things done made him a legend.

House Majority Leader Stenny H. Hoyer said in a statement: He served my friend, the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, faithfully for over 20 years as chief of staff and closest adviser. I got to know him during that time and have always been grateful for the gift he brought to the legislative process: his wisdom, his insight and his deep conviction. Vernon was a true civil servant. ”

The son of James Edward Sims Jr. and Viola Allen Sims, Vernon LaFrancis Sims was born in Baltimore and raised in Walbrook Junction.

A graduate of Walbrook High School, Sims joined the Black Panther Party in the late 1970s, serving the community through the 10 Points platform and programs, and serving as a bodyguard for activist Angela Davis.

Mr. Simms has worked as a paralegal with the Baltimore law firm of Singleton, Dashiell and Robinson and served as Executive Director of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association, also in Baltimore.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, he served as Executive Director of the Maryland Housing Improvement Commission, part of the state’s licensing and regulatory division. The Commission oversaw the issuance of licenses to contractors, subcontractors, and salespeople involved in home improvement.

In a 1991 article, Sims told The Sun that the commission “can also revoke or suspend licenses and impose fines on contractors who are proven guilty of wrongdoing.”

While working on the committee in 1987, he met and fell in love with Linda Filson, a former social worker who worked on the committee. They got married in 1989.

After leaving the commission, Sims became Special Assistant to Government and Community Operations to Mr. Muhme, who represented the 7th congressional district from 1987 to 1996, when he resigned to become the NAACP president. , he was succeeded by Mr. Muhme. Cummings, who appointed Sims as chief of staff, held the position until his congressman’s death in 2019.

As Chief of Staff, Sims led a staff of 21 people in Washington and district offices to provide citizen services. He also provided legislative support to Mr. Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and leader of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Sims provided Cummings with advice and strategic direction on a variety of political and legislative issues. When Cummings was chairman, he served as the committee’s dispute resolution liaison on oversight and reform. D. Johnson of Laurel, according to a bio written by his daughter Erin.

Mr. Sims has also served as the point of contact and liaison for the Maryland Legislative Delegation, the Maryland State Delegation, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, and Howard County delegations.

When Cummings died in 2019, Sims told the sun His boss commented that he was “very, very, very, very voter-oriented service oriented and that all employees have remained in place and are doing so to continue his legacy.” Some people do.”

“Rep. Elijah Cummings cared more than anything else,” Sims wrote in a 2019 Baltimore Afro-American article after Cummings’ death.

“He saw limitless human potential in every woman, man, and child he met. Regardless, he tried to infuse the young man with his knowledge and love of life.”

He wrote that Cummings was a strong advocate for the unemployed and those just released from prison.

Sims wrote in the article that it’s not uncommon for staff to receive an email from Cummings asking for help at 4 a.m. ”

Mfume said: He was calm, reserved, patient and practical. ”

In 2020, Mr. Sims was named Director of Government Relations at the Smithsonian Institution, a position he held until his death.

Vernon was responsible for leading the Smithsonian’s efforts to promote and strengthen its relationship with Congress. Executive Branch; Smithsonian Secretary Ronnie G. Bunch said in a statement announcing Sims’ death. “His tenure at the Smithsonian was short, but his impact was great. He brought an experienced poise that allowed us to strengthen our relationship with the political world.”

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Mfume said: Vernon continues to be an example of decency, courtesy and compassion. ”

A licensed contactor, Mr. Sims also owned and operated Sims Home Improvement.

“He was self-taught and an avid reader,” said his wife. “If he wants to know something, he will study it.”

She added:

Sims enjoyed carpentry, traveled to Europe, and was an avid Ravens fan.

A memorial service was held Saturday at the Vaughan Green Funeral Home in Randallstown.

In addition to his wife of 32 years, a retired patient advocate, and a daughter, Mr. Sims has a son, Kyle Sims (Gwyn Oak). Another daughter, Candice L. Young of Baltimore. Owings Mills’ sister, Janice Sims. and four grandchildren.

Vernon L. Simms, chief of staff for the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and home improvement business owner, dies – Baltimore Sun Source link Vernon L. Simms, chief of staff for the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and home improvement business owner, dies – Baltimore Sun

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