More discussions are emerging around the state to build a progressive agenda for the 2018 General Assembly session beginning in January. Criminal Justice, social provision and education will all be on the table, and if we are not seated at the table, we wind up being dinner. It’s an election year so don’t let the well-paid business lobbyists dominate the conversation.Read more
The Prince George’s County co-op will build power through organizing money and organizing people. Prince George’s County residents will be able to quickly move on issues that impact them the most and we won’t have to rely on outside dollars to give us the green light. Join us Saturday, October 28th at 12 p.m. for the kick-off event entitled “What If We Funded Ourselves?” -- RSVP using this link: http://www.progressivemaryland.org/pg_coopRead more
In this well-reported Oct. 22 article, Meghan Thompson, writing for the political blog Maryland Matters, furnishes evidence that public financing plans will probably always be behind in providing an alternative to big-money dominance in elections as long as big-money dominance in elections is unregulated and uncontrolled – a plain outcome of the US Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision of 2010. Efforts to propose a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United are somewhat chilled by the fear that it might trigger a wholesale constitutional convention that could bring mischief of a much different sort.
As October becomes November, stirrings begin in advance of the 2018 General Assembly session. It will run from January to almost April, and then in a few galloping months the June 26 primaries for the November elections will arrive. In many parts of Maryland, the primaries are where general elections are won. So Progressive Maryland will be ramping up – starting now – efforts to make sure people are registered in time for the primaries. Remember, if you are registered, you can always decide whether or not to vote when the election comes around. If you aren’t registered, the decision is out of your hands.
As candidates for Montgomery County Executive debated wage regulations and the county's economy earlier this week, PM activist Helen E. Burns was there and identified a false narrative that pitted the welfare of working families against the health of county businesses. Here she analyzes the way this distorts the discussion and who among the candidates seemed most swayed by the shaky "hostile to business" argument against raising the wages that support working families. This account also appears on the MoCo chapter blog at their website.
This is Burns's opinion; Progressive Maryland has made no endorsements in political races yet.Read more
When we have a positive connection to nature, we connect with what it means to be alive and with what it means to be human. This connection helps us respect nature and see the value of clean water and clean air for ourselves and our families. Unfortunately, many of us take it for granted. If you connected with these memories, this Saturday in Annapolis it is your turn to become an advocate.Read more
We present today a twofer on the recent work of the “Kirwan Commission” aka the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, after its major two-part public work session and hearing last Thursday.
The first is a broad-brush report last Friday from Conduit Street, the blog of the Maryland Association of Counties, who run the state’s dozens of school systems and would have to make any changes in the school landscape that survive the gauntlet of both the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and the administration of the Republican governor, Larry Hogan.
The second is a focused report on one proposed solution involving enhanced tutoring provision, under consideration from the commission that gets its informal name from its chairman, Brit Kirwan, former chancellor of the state university system. The account is provided by the news blog Maryland Reporter – which has given this potentially game-changing commission effort much the most attention of any of our news outlets.Read more
The Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for October 16-22
Another busy week – not much rest for the Resistance in Maryland. Check out events both statewide and in our growing number of county and regional chapters...Read more
The latest polls show most parts of the state favor paid sick leave (which would benefit more than 700,000 Marylanders not now covered). Most parts of the state look unfavorably on Hogan’s veto of the 2017 sick leave bill. But Kurtz’s post – he has a highly developed feel for the whole range of political activity in our state – contains a warning. He notes, in closing, “Hogan and other members of his administration have been exhorting business groups to help them whip up opposition to a veto override.”
Working families who expect the Assembly to routinely override the bill (it was passed with veto-proof majorities in both chambers) need to remember that this is an election year and that “business groups” are sources of big campaign money for even ostensibly progressive Democrats who constitute the majority in both chambers. Those potentially wobbly members, especially in the Senate where the veto-proof majority was narrow, need to hear from their voters that they will push back hard on those who switch their votes when the override comes up.Read more
A major meeting and hearing of the so-called Kirwan Commission on state education funding and how to use it better takes place tomorrow (Thurs Oct. 12) in Annapolis (in the a.m.) and Baltimore for the evening public hearing. This multimember education commission is being compared to the Thornton Commission, which first called out the disparities in Maryland's education funding several decades ago, and the consequences of this group's recommendations could be equally seismic. Len Lazarick of Maryland Reporter has doggedly followed the work of this group and his latest report is included here, with links to past articles and documents.