Blog Index for Prince George's and Montgomery counties -- since 2015

To get you started on 2017 activism: our blog posts since June 2015 relating specifically to Prince George's and Montgomery counties, places where Progressive Maryland activists are hard at work on very local issues. You can catch up with political and community doings in those counties here, with summaries and links to the posts.

The Info File: index to Progressive Maryland blog posts specifically about Prince George’s and Montgomery County since June 2015

/A PM BlogSpace Report/   The Progressive Maryland “PM BlogSpace” has hosted over 200 posts in the 18 months since we began the BlogSpace in June 2015 -- a storehouse of information on state and local governance and activism. Two jurisdictions where we have many activist members and lots going on are Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Here's an index to our 56 posts specifically about them, with links.

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Since June 19, 2015, Progressive Maryland’s “Progressive BlogSpace” on this page has tackled the range of issues that PM embraces – because they are the issues that most people find important to them, in their lives as workers, as consumers, as members of families and as active citizens at the local, state and national level.

We cover them in the blogs because the information we all need about these issues is dynamic – your understanding of them cannot stand still and you always need the latest.

Progressive Maryland, of course, is far more than a website/blog location. PM staffers and volunteers monitor and critique local and state government, keeping them honest and working above all to fight inequality and injustice by keeping the influence of money reduced or eliminated in our democracy at all these levels. You can find upcoming street-level events, government hearings and community outreach events on our calendar along with ways you can participate.

Part of your engagement with your community and its governance comes in the information sphere, and that’s where the website and the blogs come in. In these 18 months, our blog posts have covered many issues, and you may have missed some of these posts. We are setting these posts out in a chronological table of contents with links so you can check them over for issues you care about. These issues are the ones that make a difference to you. We hope you’ll find this indexed blog history handy for keeping up with the issues of the day. We plan to keep this updated and easy to access for PM members and allies who want to stay current.

And we want you to think of the part that you can play in this activity – enriching our PM community’s knowledge and passion to make a better neighborhood, a better Maryland, a better world. See yourself as a blogger, “write what you know” and submit a blog post to woodlanham@gmail.com.


Our blog posts on Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, newest to oldest

December 9, 2016 MoCo Council divides on $15 minimum wage bill; delay to 2017 likely

Though a MoCo Council majority appears ready to pass a $15 minimum wage, Council President Roger Berliner is using his agenda-setting power to attempt a delay for a study of its effects on local businesses. Study or not, it seems likely the Council won't be able to act until it begins its 2017 session.

December 6, 2016 Fight for $15 in MoCo moves to council committee Wednesday

Montgomery County Council's HHS committee will work on the bill mandating a $15 minimum wage in the county tomorrow, Wednesday Dec. 7, at 9 a.m. in their Rockville chambers. The coalition spearheaded by Progressive Maryland plans to fill the room with activists advocating for the bill.

December 02, 2016  Progressive Prince George's calls for resignation of Councilmember Mel Franklin, charged with DUI, accident

Prince George's County Councilmember Mel Franklin (Dist. 9) cast considerable doubt on his fitness for office in his recent DUI charge resulting from an accident while driving a county-owned vehicle. Progressive Prince George's has called for his resignation and more past accidents with county vehicles have come to light.

December 01, 2016  Workers, local officials boost Fight for Fifteen at Tuesday's vigil

PM BlogSpace regular Hal Ginsberg brings the news -- and soundtrack -- of the Tuesday night vigil for a $15/hr minimum wage in Montgomery County. Don't miss the audio links embedded in this account.

Progressive Maryland and Allies Hold Vigil for Minimum Wage Increase in MoCo Tuesday

November 28, 2016 Progressive Maryland rallies activists Tuesday (Nov. 29) for finishing the job on raising Montgomery County's minimum wage to $15 per hour -- Fight for Fifteen!

IN PRINCE GEORGE'S, OUR STUDENTS DID US PROUD. OUR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION LEAVES US ASHAMED

November 22, 2016 Students in Prince George's, concerned by the racist and repressive rhetoric of Trump supporters, engaged in peaceful protests late last week. The school administration made clumsy, ill-advised efforts to suppress their legitimate expression of opinion and should be called out for it.

October 29, 2016 Question D looks just as bogus to our next-door neighbors

The Howard County Times' editorial on Prince George's County's Question D shows that Maryland's neighboring counties know a flim-flam when they see one. Question D on the Prince George's ballot is a ruse that evades term limits without saying so.

October 28, 2016 Jamie Raskin: Powered by Love with a Passion for Justice

An advocate for candidate Raskin argues that he will have singular progressive impact even in a Blue-state House delegation.

October 26, 2016 Rascovar: Approval of new PG hospital ends health system saga marred by cronyism and corruption
Commentator Barry Rascovar observes that "Dimensions Health Corp. has been a disaster for the county over the past quarter-century. Political hacks and cronies filled management posts. The quality of health care suffered." A guest post from Maryland Reporter.

October 25, 2016 Longer public comment period urged for Prince George's zoning rewrite section

Progressive Prince George's and the county Sierra Club group urge extension of comment period from two months to four, citing critical factors affecting community input into neighborhood change and development.

October 19, 2016 The #Fightfor15 is a fight for economic justice for women and people of color in Montgomery County

Fighting for a $15 minimum wage in Montgomery County is a major piece in the progress toward a society of full economic justice.

October 12, 2016 Recent Meeting Serves as Next Step in Continuing Maryland's Political Revolution

A recent meeting featuring Sanders delegates to the Democratic Convention highlights the steps needed to continue building a strong progressive movement in Maryland.

October 11, 2016 Students plan protest of cutbacks in AP test funding Thursday

Outraged Prince George's students plan to protest outside the School Board meeting Thursday over the cutback in funding of AP tests.

September 29, 2016 Bad Budget News Should Bring Positive Action in Prince George’s, Not Groveling for Crumbs
A report on Prince George's County's long-term budget problems should bring innovative change, not

September 27, 2016 Progressive Maryland mounts call-in to MoCo Councilmembers reluctant to back $15 minimum wage.
Progressive Maryland members and allies are getting on the phone Tuesday and Wednesday to affirm that a $15 per hour minimum wage -- including tipped workers -- ensures an economic future for the county built on ending inequality.

September 26, 2016 PM Weekly Memo Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Call-ins, Ballot Question discussions and House Parties
This week Progressive Maryland activists and allies will be letting two Montgomery Council members know where they should be on the fight for a $15 minimum wage. In Howard County, the first of two houseparties promoting the public election finance question on the Nov. 8 ballot. And Prince Georgians next week continue to discuss Question D on their ballot, which would conveniently sidestep term limits for some Council members, at two upcoming forums.

Sept. 23, 2016 Citizen protest moves Prince George's Council to say no to Capital Plaza Walmart expansion
The Prince George's County Council overturns its own Planning Board, which was stampeded into approving expansion of the Capital Plaza Walmart, bringing citizen outrage and activism.

September 21, 2016 Community Activists Revive Progressive Montgomery

Throughout its 15-year history, Progressive Maryland has been a staunch advocate for working people and the most marginalized in our society.

September 21, 2016 Victory and Dysfunction at the Prince George's Democratic Central Committee

Thanks to the efforts of Progressive Prince George's members and our allies on the Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee (PGCDCC) we were able to prevent the Prince George's Democratic Party from endorsing Question D. 

September 20, 2016 To the Prince George's Democratic Central Committee: Don't Recommend "Yes" on Question D

At its meeting Tuesday (Sept. 20), the Prince George's Democratic Central Committee should not rubber-stamp a bad ballot measure, evading term limits, on its sample ballot. Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford, in an open letter to the DCC, details why progressives, and Progressive Maryland, oppose this self-serving move by the County Council.

September 8, 2016 JOIN PROGRESSIVE PRINCE GEORGE'S MEMBERS TONIGHT, THURSDAY SEPT. 8 AT CHAPTER MEETING

Progressive Prince George's Chapter meeting tonight eyes the Zoning Rewrite, with MNCPPC staff there to answer our skeptical questions, and considers with equal skepticism the Nov. 8 ballot question that proposes adding at-large members to the County Council.

July 21, 2016 Unions and progressive allies fight a stealth bill to weaken the bargaining power of public sector unions in Montgomery County. Dylan Shelton, a resident activist, recounts the hearing.

July 14, 2016 The Prince George’s council, doing a  hasty favor for a Bowie developer, is treading close to changing the subdivision ordinance in a way that could unleash big-time sprawl, Sierra Club chair Martha Ainsworth relates.

July 6, 2016 At the state and local level, once-promising progressive moves are being rolled back stealthily by politicians worried about losing business support (and contributions).

June 26, 2016 Advocates For $15 Minimum Wage, Tipped Workers Boost Pack Montgomery County Council Hearing -- Advocates for a proposal to increase Montgomery County's minimum wage to $15 an hour -- the Fight for Fifteen -- urged the Council to include increases for tipped workers, among the county's most exploited and poorly paid.

 June 8, 2016 a reminder about a Prince George’s chapter meeting and its agenda.

 May 26, 2016 Justin Vest brings a personal account to reinforce why the Fight for Fifteen is important in Montgomery County and indeed throughout the state.

May 16, 2016 Residents of Brandywine, in unincorporated Prince George's, say a gas-fired power plant slated for their neighborhood -- backed by county officials -- imposes health costs on them and their children

May 9, 2016 A tale of two environmental meetings illustrates how environmental justice is better explored when those on the receiving end are part of the conversation.

May 6, 2016 …and we report on the inevitable outcome as Walmart buffaloes the (easily-buffaloed) Prince George’s Planning Board.

May 5, 2016 The hottest of news: our alert just as the Prince George’s Planning Board is about to get rolled by Walmart lawyers.

April 29 In a crosspost from the Hyattsville Wire community blog, how Hyattsville and other Prince George’s urban neighborhoods are doing urbanism right.

April 20, 2016: Details of another Walmart outrage, trying to wedge a superstore into the Duvall neighborhood near Glenn Dale in northern Prince George’s. Progressive Maryland is engaged in that fight. Neighbors won at the level of government but the deep-pocketed retail behemoth is forcing them to fight in court as well.

April 16, 2016: A detailed account of Walmart’s history of duplicity and profiteering as it tries to gain advantage at present and proposed store sites. Progressive Cheverly members have long fought expansion of the Capital Plaza store.

April 15, 2016: The reaction of Progressive Maryland and its allies to reports of a Donald Trump campaign visit to Maryland. The first dates floated turned out to be less than factual, but progressives are still ready to give the hate-spewing GOP front-runner a Maryland welcome when he comes to the state April 20 (now confirmed).

April 14, 2016: A Progressive Maryland staffer recounts the ups and downs of lobbying for priorities during the legislative session.

April 12, 2016: the drama of the closing night of the Assembly session, when two good bills collided with one another and neither made it through by midnight.

April 11, 2016, The Monday Memo: reaching voters, getting out the vote.

April 10, 2016: A ground-level look at the Democracy Spring marchers who arrived in D.C. Sunday on foot from Philadelphia with a message: End the corrupt role of corporate money in our elections.

April 8, 2016: A skeptical look at the seemingly risk-averse strategy of the Democratic leadership in the Assembly, which seemed to concede easy victories to Gov. Hogan that could be won with a little backbone.

April 6, 2016: An update on the fortunes of paid sick leave, a Progressive Maryland priority, as the legislative session drew to a close for 2016.

April 4, 2016: PM BlogSpace’s first “Monday Memo,” recapping the last week’s blog posts for those who missed them and previewing the organization’s priorities for the week.

April 1, 2016: As the Earned Income Tax Credit bill goes to conference between the Assembly chambers, loading it up with goodies for the wealthy brings stalemate.

April 1, 2016: A longtime transportation specialist explains why Metro needs a dedicated funding source to escape from its woes.

March 2, 2016: MetroAccess riders and drivers join forces against the effects of privatization of the system, which puts profits over safety and service.

Feb. 9, Kurt Stand reported on a victory for working people in Prince George’s County that was accomplished by close cooperation between unions, local officials and the community.

Feb. 5 we reported on the Montgomery County Council’s passage of a strong package preventing county contractors from evading the requirement to pay a living wage to employees.

Dec. 10 People organizing in Prince George’s County to pursue their needs

Nov. 17 saw analysis of a way to fight gentrification and have smart development without displacement in Prince George’s County and elsewhere.

Oct. 21 environmental blogger Susan Ungar previewed a climate expo in Suitland that focused on green jobs and the economic development they would bring.

Sept. 22, as the Prince George’s Council began to consider a paid sick leave bill for the county, we presented the arguments for it. A failure of nerve later led to the deferral of the bill in favor of a state-level bill.

July 27 environmental blogger Susan Ungar urged readers to attend and testify at the state Commission on Climate Change hearing in Prince George’s County coming up that week. (The bipartisan Commission subsequently delivered a startlingly strong recommendation for carbon reduction and green jobs/economic development).

July 10 Hal Ginsberg’s obituary of the suburban weekly Gazette newspapers, closed by the Washington Post, lamented the loss of local coverage and watchdogging of local government over the years.

June 22 PM director Larry Stafford described the community-based effort to keep Walmart’s planned complex at Duval shopping center from disrupting that underserved neighborhood.

On June 19, Justin Vest outlined the stakes as Montgomery County’s council considered a strong paid sick leave bill – which later passed.