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Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Essex County Commissioners Celebrate African-American Heritage Month


Essex County Commissioner At-Large Brendan W. Gill speaking at Essex County Commissioners 2021 African American Heritage Month Celebration

On February 17, 2021, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners virtually held its 2021 African-American Heritage Month Celebration via Zoom teleconference. The ceremony commemorated the heritage, culture, resilience, and spirit of the African-American community, and acknowledged the contributions of Essex County’s African-American residents.

This year, the Honorable David Cummings of Montclair was among four Essex County residents to be honored by the Board. He was sponsored for recognition by lifelong Montclair resident and Essex County Commissioner At-Large, Brendan W. Gill. The other honorees were Ryan P. Haygood, Esq. of Newark, Harry Paden of Irvington, and Deborah Davis Ford of South Orange.

Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson began the program with opening remarks speaking to the challenges of the past year - most notably the Coronavirus Pandemic and the rekindled call for all Americans to embrace the struggle for equality. He highlighted the Board’s effort to provide relief for underserved communities of color by through the provision of readily available COVID-19 testing and weekly Food Distribution Events, as well as the Board’s continued support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday.

The Honorable David Cummings currently represents the 4th Ward as Councilor on the Montclair Township Council. Prior to his time on the Township Council, he served as a member of the Montclair Board of Education; the Montclair Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee; the Montclair Civil Rights Commission; and Vice Chairman of the Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation. He is also the Principal of DEK Strategies, LLC, a boutique consulting agency specializing in Digital Media and Communications Strategy. His client list includes the NFL, the Township of Hillside, New Jersey, the Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Urban League of Essex County, and St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York.

Prior to his time in public service, he spent 30 years as a sports writer and has covered numerous major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, NCAA Final Four, Boxing Championship Fights, and the World Series. He attributes his success to the strong foundation of his childhood in Montclair and the Montclair Public School system. After graduating from high school, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. It was at Morehouse where his political activism started. During his time there, he participated in a voting drive led by Reverend Jessie Jackson which inspired him to cast his first vote for the late Senator John Lewis. He also worked part-time with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the non-violent civil rights group started by fellow Morehouse Alum Dr. Martin Luther King.

Councilor Cummings holds the Montclair community dear to his heart. His family has been in Montclair since the 1920’s, and has had a family member graduate from Montclair High School every decade since the 1940’s. He is proud to be a Councilor and represent the Fourth Ward, which he calls the crown jewel of Montclair. He is married to his wife Kimberly and they have 3 children: David, Jr., Elizabeth and Katherine. He credits his parents, Morris and Carole Cummings, and his siblings for his passion to give back and make sure he actively participates in his community.

To view the event in its entirety click here:

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