David O'Leary signed Tell Hogan to Hold a Townhall Meeting with His Constituents 2017-02-22 14:35:35 -0500
The letter below written by Nienke Grossman was sent to Governor Larry Hogan on February 3rd, and posted in the Baltimore Sun. Since then, hundreds of Marylanders have signed on, demanding that Governor Hogan tell us where he stands on policies of the Trump administration as they relate to our state and its people. Read it, then sign on below.2,385 signatures
Dear Governor Hogan:
We are Maryland voters who care deeply about the present and future of our state. We hail from all over Maryland, and we have made thousands of phone calls to your office in the last several weeks seeking your views on a wide range of issues. We are still waiting for your answers.
As you know, hundreds of thousands of Marylanders may lose their health care and many more risk the loss of important benefits, such as the elimination of lifetime maximums, as a result of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We are unable to support refugees fleeing death and destruction as a result of the president’s action, and the federal government is threatening to deputize our local law enforcement for the purposes of enforcing immigration law rather than our own criminal laws and to take away funding from sanctuary cities. Our Jewish Community Centers, mosques, churches and public schools have become targets of hateful speech and acts. Also, recent news reports suggest that the new administration may reduce funds for women’s health care and domestic violence shelters, which provide care and refuge to the most vulnerable among us.
You are our governor. We voted you into office, yet we feel our concerns are being ignored. We deserve to know how you propose to address these issues. What are you going to do about the impending health care crisis in Maryland? What are you doing to help ensure that Maryland continues to be a welcoming place for immigrants and people fleeing from violence and persecution? What do you propose to keep our houses of worship and our schools safe from hate? What do you propose to ensure access to basic women’s health care services and to minimize the harm to victims of domestic violence in the wake of reduced federal funding to shelters?
Because our phone calls have gone unheeded and many of our Facebook posts have been deleted and blocked, we request that you announce and hold an open town hall meeting to share with us your concrete policy proposals on health care coverage, your views on immigration, and how you will show leadership in response to the uptick in hateful acts in our state and the potential defunding of domestic violence shelters and resources.
We want to work with you to make Maryland the best state that it can possibly be and to help Maryland rise to the challenges that it will face in the years to come. We need to know where you stand, and we want you to know that we are motivated, we are concerned, and we are not going away.
The protests that followed the killing of Freddie Gray are a direct result of current policies that restrict transparency in the way police departments operate and address misconduct, damaging the relationship between them and the communities they serve. Law enforcement officers occupy unique positions of power in our society–a necessity to ensure public safety–but also devastating when abused. There have been far too many instances of officer misconduct throughout Maryland. It’s time to take critical action to rein in the abuse of police power and rebuild communities' trust.
Maryland is one of many states fighting for sensible police reforms that protect the public and officers alike. Community actions across the state have pressured the legislature to seek measures to increase police accountability. Current laws make reporting misconduct difficult and provide little to no transparency for the public into how these complaints are handled.
Progressive Maryland, as part of the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability–a coalition of activists, faith-based, nonprofit, and civic organizations–has introduced a legislative package to achieve meaningful police reforms that will protect the public, protect law-abiding officers, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities by:
• Making filing complaints regarding officer misconduct easy and accessible.
• Increasing transparency by making department policies accessible to the public.
• Creating an independent police training commission consisting of law enforcement professionals and experts to develop and implement best practices in policing and disciplinary procedures.
• Implementing anti-discrimination training, de-escalation training, and modernizing recruitment to increase department diversity.
• Developing a uniform certification process that ensures officers are well-trained.
• Ensuring the protection of police officers who report police misconduct.
• Supporting mental health evaluations for officers following any traumatic event and establishing a confidential mental health hotline for officers.
• Implementing best practices for community policing, increasing state funding for community policing programs, and providing incentives for officers to live and work in their own communities.
Take a stand along with other Maryland residents to demand the General Assembly pass meaningful police accountability legislation.