Progressive Maryland's Weekly Memo for January 9-15

The Maryland General Assembly opens this Wednesday (Jan. 11) and the fun begins. See some previews and the calendar of get-togethers for PM and allies as the session gets under way, plus the week's blog posts with summaries and links. One-stop progressive shopping.

 Welcome to the Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for January 9-15

This week the General Assembly opens its session with a veto override of important progressive bills scotched (temporarily) by Gov. Larry Hogan at the end of the last session. There will be plenty of battles between Hogan and the Democratic legislative leadership but as always we have to make sure that those Democrats don’t knuckle under to the donors and lobbyists, few of whom have the interests of workers and their families at heart. A great roundup of the issues and bills that will be on that contested ground for the 2017 session comes from the invaluable Maryland Reporter site, with a look at six different accounts from different major state news sources.

Progressive priorities, emphatically those of Progressive Maryland, are included in those battleground issues and we’ll be discussing those in this BlogSpace this week. Join the discussion, submit a blog post to the moderator at woodlanham@gmail.com. In the coming era of Trump, and with Hogan trying to act like Trump without getting caught, we’ll have plenty of struggle on our hands. Stay tuned.

LOCAL ACTION: Our allies at Progressive Cheverly, a Prince George’s activist group, conducted just such a community conversation last week (Jan. 5), with breakout groups developing concerns and proposed actions for the organization. Longtime member Norm Oslik recounted how the group had started in 2004-05 as the shocking fact sank in that George W. Bush, despite his dismal record and basement popularity, could be reelected through a low-road campaign against a quality Democratic candidate, John Kerry. Though the advent of a Trump administration, elected in similar fashion, seems a greater shock and threat than 2004’s, Cheverly folks buckled down to propose collective action at all levels, local, state and federal. A report will be compiled from the hard work of the individual groups.

COMING UP:

Wednesday, Jan. 11: Fight for $15 -- Let Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett know that his announced refusal to sign the minimum wage bill as it exists is not acceptable.  At 6:30 p.m. -- Fight For $15 at the Montgomery County Budget Forum, Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center in Silver Spring, Md.

Wednesday, Jan. 11 – Opening of the Maryland General Assembly 2017 session in Annapolis.

Saturday, January 14, at 11 a.m. Progressive Maryland Orientation Training at Progressive Maryland HQ, 35 University Blvd. E.  in Silver Spring. Interested in becoming a leader in your community? Join us for an orientation to Progressive Maryland, our strategy to build progressive power in Maryland, and get trained on skills to build Maryland's progressive movement. This training is for members and active volunteers who want to grow and develop leadership and organizing skills and those who want to take on leadership roles in Progressive Maryland. RSVP

Tuesday, Jan. 17 The Montgomery County Council has scheduled a final vote on the $15 minimum wage bill.

Friday, Jan. 20 -- The Trump Resistance: Join Progressive Maryland and allies from the Free State at Columbus Circle at noon to show Maryland will take no truck from Trump. RSVP here.

Monday, Jan. 23 Rally for Earned Sick Leave – Working Matters sets a rally at Lawyer’s Mall, Annapolis, 7 to 9 p.m. for the Healthy Working Families Act, to “Make 2017 the year when earned sick days become a reality for Maryland working families!” One of Progressive Maryland’s top legislative goals. More, share and RSVP here or for more information, contact workingmatters@jotf.org.

ACTION WITH OUR ALLIES:

Sunday Jan. 15 – 11 a.m. Our allies at Montgomery County’s Progressive Neighbors set
an informal potluck brunch to meet other activists and learn more about Progressive Neighbors.  At Mike Tabor’s house in Takoma Park (76 Erie Ave.)  If possible please bring something to share (no junk food please) or drink.  Please RSVP at esiegel2@igc.org  or 301-587-2248 so hosts can plan accordingly. All are welcome.

Wednesday, Jan. 18
 WMATA Public Town Hall Meeting: Montgomery County , 7 – 8:30 p.m. Montgomery County Executive Office Building 101 Monroe St. Rockville, MD 20850 (map) Another public meeting to develop the “Public Agenda for Metro’s Future” that will be presented to the WMATA Board at their 2017 public hearing for the new budget. Sponsored by Coalition of WMATA Labor Unions. More info here 

Sunday, Jan. 22, Prince George's Sierra Club Group annual potluck social and legislative agenda discussion at Watkins Regional Park Nature Center, 5 to 7 p.m. 
• Chapter Legislative Chair Mark Posner will highlight key environmental legislation before the General Assembly in 2017. 
• Matthew Perry on Belt Woods Environmental Area in Bowie, endangered by a DNR decision to allow hunting.
Cost is $5/person if you bring a dish, $10 if you don’t, to defray the cost of the venue. The Watkins Regional Park Nature Center is located at 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro MD 20774. Please RSVP to Janis.oppelt@mdsierra.org or call 301-474-5358, for planning purposes

Thursday, Jan. 262017 Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit, many environmental groups meet 4 to 6 p.m. at the Miller Building, Annapolis.

Nobody’s looking for “Free Stuff” as a progressive priority – just a fair shake in life for workers and family. But fighting to keep our democracy healthy and our society free and equal is hardly free. Help us out. Donate or pledge what you can to Progressive Maryland. 

Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous week are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at woodlanham@gmail.com.

We recently published these:

January 05, 2017 Better ways to battle Trump than early "impeachment" chatter

We have lots of ways to struggle against Trump's Washington; despite calls from "pied pipers of the Left" there's no need to distract ourselves, "wasting precious time and energy fiddling" with impeachment chatter "while Trump and the Republican Congress are burning our house down," argues Hal Ginsberg.


January 04, 2017  Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Jan. 4-8

Lots going on in early January ... our Weekly Memo clues you in on coming events and has links

January 02, 2017  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.

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.