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.


 Don't Block $15

Last spring a bill was introduced in Montgomery County to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr by 2020. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee is currently considering the bill but two councilmembers, Roger Berliner and Craig Rice, have indicated opposition.

We are calling these Councilmembers to let them know we want a $15 minimum wage by 2020 with NO exceptions and NO exemptions, and we want them to pass the bill out of committee.

Please call Council Vice President Berliner on September 27 and Councilmember Rice on September 28! The calls take 1-2 minutes each (really, we promise, that is not an exaggeration!), and it will make a big impact.

Please sign up for a time slot to call Councilmember Berliner on September 27 and Councilmember Rice on September 28. You will sign up for two shifts (one for each day) and call at the same time each of the two days. 

Please provide a cell phone number so you can receive a text reminder along with a script.

On Tuesday, September 27, call Council Vice President Roger Berliner (District 1) at 240-777-7828;

On Wednesday, September 28, call Councilmember Craig Rice (District 3) at 240-777-7955 (show less)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 09:00 AM through September 28, 2016 -- Your Home or Workplace




In addition to the federal offices – President and Congress – progressives will redirect from televised debates and attack ads to important ballot questions with no attached personalities, for good or ill. In Prince George’s a charter change ( that would add two at-large members to the County Council is drawing attention and in Howard County, the opportunity to take a step toward getting big money out of local politics is represented by a ballot question, Question A.

 Progressive Maryland and allied activists and organizations are supporting Question A as a way to return democracy to the voters, not the deep-pocket contributors, and opposing Question D as a stealthy attempt to sidestep term limits for some Council members and an inevitable escalation of the level of money it takes to gain office in Prince George’s, already awash in developer cash.

 Here are venues where these questions will be on the agenda:

 Coming up: discussions on Question D in Prince George’s

 October 6th  Progressive Cheverly's forum on the November election.  We will focus on important "down-ballot" issues.
--Hear speakers David Harrington, President of the Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce and Doyle Niemann, former District 47 Delegate in the Maryland House of Delegates, discuss the pros and cons of Ballot Question D that proposes to add two at-large seats to the County Council.
 --Hear the District 4 Board of Education candidates, incumbent Patricia Eubanks (invited, but not confirmed) and Cheverly resident Abel Olivo.
--Learn what happens to your tax dollars that pay for the bond bills on every ballot. 
7:00 pm Hoyer Education Center; Cafeteria 2300 Belleview Ave, Cheverly, in the cafeteria.

 October 10 A Community discussion about Question D -- whether to add two at-large seats, to our County Council – sponsored by the Prince George’s Peace & Justice Coalition

The event will be held Monday, October 10, starting 7:30 pm in room 114 at the Greenbelt Community Center, 15 Crescent Road.

Pro and Con participants: District 4 Council Member Todd Turner for a "yes" vote (invited); Local activists Suchitra Balachandran  and Tom Dernoga, a former Council member, on the "no" side favored by a federation of local civic associations. (confirmed).


 House Party Discussions on Question A in Howard County, the Citizens Election Fund

 October 1: House party for canvassing and doorknocking at the home of David and Mary Marker. RSVP and get the details here.

 October 6 House party at the home of Pravin Ponnuri in Ellicott City to discuss and promote “Yes on Question A.” Details and RSVP here.

 More information about Question A and the “Yes on Question A” campaign is here.


READING THE PM BLOGS – readers and fans of the PM BlogSpace can get a copy of the Weekly Memo delivered directly to their email inbox. It includes an update on the week ahead as well as links to the blogs that have appeared in recent weeks. Never miss a blog post. Sign up at

 FOR EXAMPLE: we recently published these:

September 24, 2016 Weekend Reader Guest Bonus: The Myth of Voter Fraud

A recent post from the lively political blog Maryland Scramble is a good followup to our Sept. 7 account of the struggle gainst voter suppression around the country.

Read more

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.

Read more


A model for state-level action on real universal health care is on the ballot in Colorado, but under siege from big corporate money and the usual vested interests, as activist Sydney Jacobs recounts.

Read more

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.

Read more

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. Watch the video footage from the contentious meeting below!

 Read more

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.

Read more

September 19, 2016 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for September 19-25

Progressive Maryland's Weekly Memo leads with Prince George's Question D, the term-limits-evading ballot measure. Tell the Democratic Central Committee it's no slam dunk before they put it on their sample ballot with a "yes" recommendation Tuesday night.

Read more

 Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace since June 2015 are all available with descriptions and links here.