We hope you had a restful and enjoyable long weekend. As we reach the midway point of the legislative session this week, we are bringing you an array of important actions you can take to call on our Maryland General Assembly members. Let's make the most of this halfway mark and work towards creating positive change in our communities.
We are also excited to bring you a jam-packed schedule of events that you can take part in. From community meetings to rallies and other direct action initiatives, there's plenty to look forward to. Whether you're passionate about healthcare, housing, reentry servies, environmental justice, or any other vital issue, there's an event tailored just for you. Your active participation is essential in shaping the future we all aspire to see.
Let’s continue to make a meaningful impact together.
The Progressive Maryland Team
What's new? The oldest of old-- Larry Hogan, fresh from eight years of degrading Maryland's environment, finances and reputation, has announced a run for the Senate. Does he know what he's stepping in? We'll see. Meanwhile, the Assembly churns on and we have details, plus news from the states and the (choke) federal government saddled with the current House of Representatives. All-Star Weekend is definitely over.,Read more
Lawyers Mall Erupts as Marylanders Send a Cease and Desist to The Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Over 150 Marylanders Came Together to Expose The Maryland Chamber of Commerce for Dark Money Lobbying and Call on The Governor to Take Action
Annapolis, Maryland – On Saturday, more than 150 progressive leaders from across Maryland united to challenge the influence of dark money in our legislative process. The march and rally, organized by Progressive Maryland, stopped at the Chamber of Commerce building before concluding at the Governor’s House. The livestream of the action may be found on Progressive Maryland’s Facebook page.
Marylanders demonstrate in Downtown Annapolis
At the heart of the rally was a call to action against the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, identified as a major player utilizing dark money to sway legislative decisions in their favor, ultimately undermining the interests of Marylanders. Over the past decade, they have poured millions of dollars into lobbying against legislation that would force the largest corporations in our state to pay their fair share of taxes, keeping the wealthiest individuals in our state remaining wealthy and skirting consumer protection measures. That’s millions of dollars that could be collected in state taxes and should be going towards state funding for essential services like education, healthcare, housing, and climate action.
Activists hold up sign while marching to the Maryland Chamber of Commerce office
Now we are in a state budget deficit and it’s services like public transportation and school programs that are being cut. Along with union workers and state legislators, such as Delegate Gabriel Acevero, the group publicly called on the Governor to take action around this budget deficit that is hurting working families. “In the richest state in the union per capita, we still have one of the most regressive tax codes where the wealthy and well-connected still don't pay their fair share... If we say that we care about oppressed people across this state, then we've got to make sure that we're organizing to prioritize the Fair Share Act that will tax the wealthy and well-connected the way they're supposed to be taxed so we're funding all these priorities that they say we can't afford” said Acevero
Despite running on a platform of "Leave no one behind" and promising to end childhood poverty, Governor Moore's FY 2025 budget falls short of meeting even the most basic state commitments to essential services. As Larry Stafford, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland, noted, "Marylanders need more than rhetoric; we need a working families budget that reflects our values and priorities."
Numerous residents stepped forward to share their firsthand experiences with both the General Assembly and the Moore Administration’s persistent inaction. They highlighted the dire need for funding true renewable energy as an intervention to address toxic air in South Baltimore, improving housing conditions and affordability, and fully funding the Blueprint plan for education.
In a symbolic gesture, attendees presented a cease and desist letter to Mary D. Kane, CEO and President of the Chamber of Commerce, demanding an end to corporate interference in Maryland's politics.
Marylanders demonstrate in front of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce office while Prince George’s County Council member, Krystal Oriadha, speaks..
This past Saturday, we hosted our 2024 Power Summit in Annapolis, and what a success it was! With over 150 passionate individuals present, we came together with one common goal: to build power and drive impactful change during this legislative session.
We want to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who attended, and a special thank you to our elected officials who joined us and shared their insights and support at the summit. We were honored to have Majority Leader Delegate David Moon, Delegate Jamila Woods, Delegate Jazz Lewis, Delegate Gabriel Acevero, and Prince George's County Council Member Krystal Oriadha speak at the event. We're also grateful for the representatives from ally organizations who stood in solidarity with us.
We engaged in a powerful direct action, marching through downtown Annapolis to expose the Maryland Chamber of Commerce's use of dark money lobbying tactics to sway our elected officials. We demanded accountability and transparency, advocating for full funding of the housing, healthcare, climate action, and workplace rights we all deserve. Then, we marched in front of the Governor's mansion to call upon Governor Moore to address the state budget with more urgency.
READ MORE ABOUT OUR WORK BELOW
Gov. Moore's many plans and proposals take two days to offload; how to have an impact on the Assembly session; naming fish tastier and more, including Maryland's state-level plans for putting guardrails around the use (or misuse) of artificial intelligence (or AI, maybe you've heard of it?)Read more
Opinion: The Impact of Texas's Senate Bill (SB) 17 on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at its Public Colleges and Universities
There is a movement to abolish DEI programs, and the battle is not just in red states; a debate to abolish DEI programs occurred at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
We must stay vigilant against attempts to pass anti-DEI legislation and other efforts to undermine the democratic principles of fairness and equal opportunity.
As we dive into February, we're not just celebrating the start of Black History Month; we're actively contributing to it. To kick off the month, our 7/10 Black Workers Center launched the Career Readiness Program, tailored to address the needs of underemployed workers in Prince George's County and returning residents. For those interested in the Career Readiness Program, click here to fill out the interest form.
Every week, we'll be highlighting Black leaders, past and present, who have shaped our history and continue to inspire us today. Check out our Black History Month section later in the memo to join us in honoring their contributions.
But that's not all! This Saturday marks our 2024 Power Summit, a day of connection, community building and collective action. We're excited to see you there, but spots are limited. If you haven't already, register today—it's your last chance!
Read on for important updates from our task forces and issue campaigns, who are working hard during this legislative session—pushing for bills to get passed, building power, and creating opportunities for community involvement.
As usual in mid-February, the General Assembly is cooking along evaluating (usually at the committee level) various good and bad laws. Our allies at the Maryland Legislative Coalition provide details on when committees meet for deliberation, as well as which bills need help moving through the system and how you can make your voice heard in Annapolis or remotely. From environment to child poverty, criminal justice reform reform (yes, you heard us right) and education, the Assembly is busy making or remaking law. A lot of mischief takes place in committees, so don't take your eyes off them for long.
As we step into the last Monday of January, we can't help but revel in the incredible momentum we've built together in the first month of 2024. From unveiling our legislative priorities to making our voices heard in crucial hearings, it's been an impactful start to the year.
Last Thursday, our Environmental Justice Task Force took center stage at the first hearing for the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2024. Our team passionately presented our case before the Senate Education, Energy, and Environment Committee. They emphasized the urgent need to stop the financing of dirty energy in our state and address the adverse effects of the trash incinerator in South Baltimore.
But, we're not slowing down. In less than two weeks, on February 10th , we'll gather in Annapolis for our 2024 Power Summit. It's a unique opportunity for us to connect, build community, take action together, and discuss the possibilities that lie ahead during the legislative session. Check out what else we're doing, including our busy task forces and local chapters, below.
In Maryland, the General Assembly session continues to dominate the news-- reform of vacancy appointment power for local central committees; broadening health insurance. There are also things the GA might kick down the road again, like the Bay cleanup project languishing because "best practices" farming appears not to have caught on. We've also got a sampling of what other states are doing -- can you imagine, one state is considering raising the tax rate on $million-plus mansions to finance affordable housing. What a concept. And we have a report from People's Action about the dismal state of play on Capitol Hill. It's all news you can use.Read more