EARTH environmental session will focus on statewide prospects

The Environmental Action Response Town Hall Oct. 21 in Annapolis is designed to educate and prepare environmental activists and concerned citizens who care about the environment for the 2018 legislative session in Maryland, Anne Arundel County progressive activist Claire Miller reports. Participants will have the opportunity to hear about the environmental priorities of state legislators from both parties, environmental advocacy groups, and community leaders who are fighting environmental justice issues in their communities.

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"Pawns in their Game" -- Bob Dylan's '60s insights have lessons for today

"In these fraught political times, we should bear in mind that the white working class is, like Dylan, complex," Hal Ginsberg writes. "Among some bigotry is front and center. But others, even a few who backed Trump, supported President Obama and will vote for progressive populists."

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Oct. 2-8

TONIGHT a hearing on Cove Point, a Chapter meeting in Anne Arundel and a meeting on the cell tower issue in Shadyside – see below.

Lots more on the calendar for this week and beyond…

Two-day training for activists coming up this weekend. If you have committed to going, please remember to register. If you are still considering going, contact Justin Vest, state lead organizer, justin@progressivemaryland.org

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Progressive struggles in Assembly yield pro-worker laws that take effective tomorrow, Oct. 1

Progressives struggled in the 2017 Assembly session to pass laws that increased access to work and success for workers and their families. Some that we won will take effect tomorrow, Oct. 1. Of the allies in this progressive struggle, few were more effective than the Job Opportunities Task Force, which applied research and advocacy in ways that complement the work of our best legislators and overcome the prejudices and biases of the rest.

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Testimony favoring $15 wage bill in MoCo dominates council hearing

At this week's MoCo council hearing on the bill for a $15 minimum wage, "Of the 38 testimonies, only five expressed clear opposition to the $15 minimum wage with its proposed timeline and exemptions," Helen Burns reports. "The points of contention surrounded not whether a wage-earner was entitled to a modest living, but how the livable wage could be achieved."

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Hogan's mega-highway roads plan drives over public-private cliff

"There’s nothing in Hogan’s transportation vision that helps people at the lower end of the economy," says Barry Rascovar. "No expansion of commuter buses, no shuttles connecting workers to spread-out job sites, no future mass transit such as a desperately needed east-west line through Baltimore.

"Hogan’s highway proposal creates a windfall for the well-to-do and transportation businesses."

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There are some things people in public life shouldn't waffle on. Like Nazis.

"It is a shame that when people allow their emotions to push them into their own political corners they, from time to time, might say things that they may not really mean if they were to take the time to think about it," Lower Shore activist Jared Schablein reflects.  "Nazism is not an acceptable political belief, in this or any other country."

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Sept. 25-Oct. 2

Still another Health Care Home Stretch Week, with US Senators busily engaged in bribing their fellow senators with home-state sweeteners to have them hold their noses and vote for the Graham-Cassidy version of Obamacare/ACA repeal. There is no room for complacency here; we have to let them know they can’t get away with it.

Lots more action below, regional and chapter-based, plus blog posts from the previous week.

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Progressives bring vision, factual analysis to $15 wage hearing Tuesday

As the Montgomery County Council enters the next phase in the battle to raise the minimum wage, Progressive Montgomery has been huddling up to fine-tune its own strategy in the Fight for $15. On Tuesday, a public hearing on the bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour will be held at the County Council in Rockville. Progressive Montgomery’s outreach efforts are set on engaging business owners, employees, and residents as a whole in a constructive dialogue that humanizes this policy. Next Tuesday’s hearing in Rockville is the place to start.

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Training helped me discern that power is in our hands

Progressive Maryland organizer Michael Feldman recounts how his recent training experience focused his understanding: "How do we harness this energy that’s clearly in the streets and push it into the halls of power? No one builds power by accident. We have to understand what power is, why we should want to attain it, and the training to focus ourselves and our fellow progressives into the leaders who can and will change this country."

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