Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for March 27-April 2

Welcome to the Weekly Memo, with news of a terrific launch for the Anne Arundel Chapter, chapter meetings this week in MoCo and PGCo and ongoing tasks and opportunities including the new workspace around healthcare following a certain big-time implosion last week.

PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND WEEKLY MEMO MARCH 27-APRIL 1

Anne Arundel County had an awesome kickoff for AA County Progressive Maryland this past Saturday. From organizer Eve Hurwitz’s Facebook post: “What a fantastic launch last night! Thank you to all who joined us at Walden Country Club. Our next meeting is April 3rd at BAROAK on West Street at 5:30. Go to www.TakeActionAAC.com for more details. See you there!” There will be more about this in the blogs later this week.

Still on the agenda: The bill for a health care commission helping the state monitor the effects of the Trump/GOP healthcare bill passed the Senate two weeks ago; it has had a committee hearing in the House but awaits floor action. Now that the Trump/Ryan train wreck has left the ACA in place there’s even more room to fight for better health care, in Maryland and in Congress. Sen Bernie Sanders will this week file a Senate bill, “Medicare for All,” that’s a counterpart for Rep. Conyers’s similarly named bill, HR 676, which already has 72 co-sponsors (but only Cummings and Raskin from Maryland, so let’s start rattling cages).

Fight for 15: Workers and advocates were in Annapolis recently in support of the Fight for $15 legislation before the Senate Finance Committee. Over 500 people took action by meeting with, calling, or sending messages to their legislators. Help us keep the momentum growing by signing the petition for a statewide $15 minimum wage: http://www.mdfor15.org/petition

And a Betrayal: Baltimore’s new mayor, Catherine Pugh, left her progressive credentials in the toilet when she vetoed a $15/hour wage measure passed by the City Council. We tweeted: “You promised to sign $15 into law when you wanted our vote @MayorPugh50. We'll remember this betrayal” :angry: #Fightfor15 http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/politics/bs-md-ci-pugh-minimum-wage-20170324-story.html

A FAIR ELECTIONS TWOFER:

Fully Fund Montgomery County's Fair Elections Program -- Montgomery County was the first county in the state to establish a program to get big money out of local elections and empower small donors. Now, candidates are starting to use the program so we need to ensure it is properly funded for the upcoming elections. County Exec Leggett’s FY18 budget shorts the fund by $1 million, so he and the Council need to hear from energized voters that they want candidates who aren’t beholden to big corporate money. We're almost there in the fight against big money! Sign here to tell the Montgomery County Council to fully fund Montgomery County's fair elections program.

Not only that, but -- Finalize Fair Elections in Howard County  In November, Howard County residents voted to establish the Citizens’ Election Fund  to curb the influence of large and corporate donors. We’re calling on the County Council to move quickly to pass a final program that will: Only be available to candidates who reject large donations and donations from corporations, unions, and PACs; encourage candidates to fundraise from Howard County residents by providing limited matching funds for small donations from County residents; and establish an independent commission to make funding and policy recommendations to the Council. Tell the Howard County Council to finalize the Citizens’ Election Fund program this spring and bring Fair Elections home to Howard. Sign here.


 

 ON THE PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND CALENDAR

Thursday, March 30 – The Senate hears a House bill, HB398, keeping salary history private, enabling more equal pay for equal work. Progressive Maryland has submitted testimony.

Tuesday, March 28Montgomery County Chapter Meeting; 7 p.m. at our office in Silver Spring. Info and RSVP at the link above.

 Thursday, March 30 – Prince George’s County Chapter Steering Committee meets, venue and time TBA. Want to be involved? Email Jennifer Dwyer at jennifermdwyer@gmail.com

 Saturday, April 1 Candidate information and training. Thinking about running for office? How to engage progressives in your cause AND navigate the process. At the Progressive MD Headquarters, 35 University Blvd E, Silver Spring, MD 20901. Contact Larry Stafford at larry@progressivemaryland.org

 Futures: Monday, April 3, next meeting of AA County Progressive Maryland at BAROAK on West Street at 5:30.

 FROM OUR ALLIES

Attend a screening of "Before the Flood," by Leonardo diCaprio & Fisher Stevens: In this award-winning,,90-minute film, Leonardo DiCaprio travels with scientists to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand, meeting with political leaders fighting inaction. He also discovers a disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests to confuse the public about the urgency of the climate crisis. Join us for the film and light refreshments. (Additional screenings in central and south County to be announced.)

- Wednesday, March 29, 6:30 pm, Laurel Library. Co-sponsored by PGSC and Friends of the Laurel Library. RSVP: TomDernoga@gmail.com.

- Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 pm, College Park City Hall. Co-sponsored by PGSC and College Park Committee for a Better Environment (CBE). RSVP: Janis.Oppelt@mdsierra.org.

Thursday, April 6 – Progressive Cheverly Dist. 4 legislative briefing: Rep. Anthony Brown will speak about the political and legislative issues facing Congress and the nation. Please note that Congress will still be in session and Rep. Brown's appearance will be subject to the House schedule (more details to follow). 7:00 pm Hoyer Education Center (cafeteria) 2300 Belleview Ave. (Parking Available) Cheverly


 

 It all happens for free… right? Not exactly. Organizing for change in our society and our politics requires both people and money. Keep change moving with a quick, secure impulse-buy contribution here.


 

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 blogs:

March 23, 2017   Activists staging Saturday "Die-In" protesting Hogan inaction on health care threat

Progressive Maryland will join other activist groups spearheading a "Die-In" Saturday at the Governor's mansion to protest Larry Hogan's minimal effort to protect Marylanders' health care coverage from his GOP buddies in Congress and the White House. "Certainly, Marylanders did not expect to have a governor who would abandon us like this,” activist leader Yasemin Jamison said.

March 22, 2017 Web access to state's city, county information found still lacking

A survey by the MDDC Press Association of city and county websites throughout Maryland found many fall short in providing minimum useful information to citizens in search of same.

March 21, 2017 Progressive Maryland backs upgrade to Maryland's low child-care reimbursement level

Maryland, a wealthy state, is in the bottom tenth of states at providing reimbursement for child care expenses so low-income working families can afford decent child care while adults work. Progressive Maryland testifies today in favor of a bill that would require the state to monitor and adjust its rate to help working families provide a good environment for their children.

March 20, 2017 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for March 20-26

In the Weekly Memo: some victories in Annapolis as the Assembly hits the home stretch; chapter meetings on the horizon and links to the most recent blog 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.