Important meetings tonight and Thursday -- Progressive Maryland's Weekly Memo

Tonight Progressive Montgomery members will organize for the Fight for Fifteen in Montgomery County; Thursday Progressive Prince George's members set an agenda for making a difference in the county.


A PM Fight for Fifteen coalition organizing meeting tonight takes place as the DC Council and Mayor OK a partial victory on including tipped workers in a future minimum wage increase.

Montgomery County’s Council is beginning consideration of increasing the minimum wage to $15 by increments, and the fight for advocates is including tipped workers in that package. The meeting tonight in the Progressive Maryland office in Silver Spring (35 University Blvd. E) launches our effort to persuade the Montgomery council members to fully include tipped workers in restaurants and elsewhere. DC’s move raises tipped workers’ minimum from the current, pathetic $2.77 per hour to $5 by 2020 but we can do better than that.

Meanwhile Thursday evening an agenda-building meeting of Progressive Prince George’s is set.

Here’s more on both meetings and their goals:

By organizing our members throughout the county, we helped pass paid sick leave last summer, improved wage enforcement, and now we're going to make sure every Montgomery County worker is paid a fair living wage. 

If you want to join the movement, this is the place to be. RSVP and invite your friends. Help us build power for working families to change the system that keeps so many in poverty. Here’s why it matters, and why Montgomery County activists should also point toward the June 21 public hearing before the Montgomery County Council.

Across the nation, workers are struggling to make ends meet on low wages as the cost of living continues to soar. Even in Montgomery County where the minimum wage has gradually increased since 2013, workers are finding it more and more difficult to meet their basic needs such as housing, food, and child care in what is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive regions in the country. 

The County Council is considering a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County to $15 by 2020. Unfortunately, the bill does not include tipped workers, who currently only receive a substandard minimum wage of $4.00 per hour and must make up the rest in tips which may fluctuate wildly based on individual customers, the shifts assigned, or even the weather outside.

Women make up 60% of all tipped workers and 70% of servers, so the current tip structure serves as legal wage inequity. Furthermore, 90% of women working as servers report being sexually harassed by customers and two-thirds experienced sexual harassment from a supervisor. Many feel pressured to sexualize themselves on the job to increase tips.

 Sign the petition to urge the Council to include tipped workers.

Our growing chapter Progressive Prince George’s meets June 9 at 6:30 at Local 400, UFCW first floor meeting room, 8400 Corporate Drive, Landover Md. 20785. It’s near the New Carrollton Metrorail station on the Route 50 side.  Email about carpooling, if you can offer a ride or need a ride.

An agenda driven by what the participants decide will probably include Prince George’s County Council legislation and the county budget; neighborhood issues such as Walmart intrusions; continued efforts on police reforms; school performance; the rewrite of the zoning code and planning documents and how to keep them pro-people; environmental justice and power plant and (threatened) incinerator siting, and the county’s dependent relationship with the state for law and funds. That’s what our activist members have been talking about, so that’s what Progressive Maryland prioritizes.

AND IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM, we posted these blogs in the previous week:

NEW PAYDAY LENDING RULES WILL CUT PREDATORY EXPLOITATION OF LOW INCOME WORKERS --New rules proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Board handcuff predatory lenders who made short-term loans that couldn't be repaid and had to be rolled over. That's the sleazy business model that made these predators huge profits at the expense of working families.

LOCAL CLEAN ENERGY BRINGS SOCIAL JUSTICE FORWARD -- A community solar advocate describes Maryland's new availability, through recent state law and Public Service Commission regulation, of low-cost home solar power for many households for which it was previously out of reach.

Stick with Progressive Maryland to stay informed, and with our Facebook page to stay updated as the primary election approaches. As always, the hard day to day work of citizenship and fighting for ordinary people is on the table. Power yields nothing without a demand, Frederick Douglass said, and being organized gives us power to fight back.

AND REMEMBER THIS BLOGSPACE IS FOR THE PROGRESSIVE VOICES OF MARYLAND. Want to include your voice? Send a submission, or questions, to the moderator at