BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Rep. Elijah Cummings spoke at a community park opening Saturday morning, addressing the comments made by President Donald Trump about Baltimore.

Cummings, who was using a walker, spoke about why he loves Baltimore so much and encouraged people from around the country to come to Baltimore.

The congressman shared stories he’s heard from people all week about why they love living and working in Baltimore.

“Come to Baltimore,” Cummings said. “Do not just criticize us. But come to Baltimore. I promise you, you will be welcome.”

He walked up to the podium in the 1,000 block of McCulloh Street to chants and cheers.

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“I promise you we will give you every bit of hospitality we got,” he added. “because every time you come to Baltimore, every time you spend a few dollars in a hotel, that means somebody in this neighborhood is working. It gives them a job. It gives them hope.”

The community park opened just down the block where Cummings lives — and where an intruder broke into his home last Saturday. That was the day President Trump began criticizing Baltimore — calling it a rat and rodent infested mess.

“There are not many things that feed my soul,” Cummings said. “I do not have time for people who want to trash out city, but I do have time for our kids.”

Cummings who was born and raised in Baltimore talked about growing up in the city and how his parents worked hard to give he and his siblings a good life.

“They sacrificed so much to give me this opportunity,” he said, “and so it’s an honor, it is an honor — let me say that again — it is an honor to be associated with all these good people.”

Cummings also had a message for the young people in Baltimore.

“And so I say to you to our children, don’t let anybody take away your hope,” Cummings said. “I don’t care who they are. And let no one define you, no one!”

He said he’s happy to help the community when in need — like when a baseball coach asked him about trying to get a few dollars so that he can take the team on a trip, “they aren’t trying to get to Disney World, they are trying to get to a local park!”

“So don’t waste my pain. Don’t step on it. Don’t trample on the pain of my people,” he said.

Watch the presser below:

 

Ava-joye Burnett

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