JTF Statement on Juneteenth 2021

juneteenth_art.pngMore than 150 years after abolishing chattel slavery in the Confederate States, we join the United States of America as it celebrates what has always been an important tradition for Black Americans. 

As we celebrate, we understand that being 150 years removed from a 400 year institution of depravity means that the fight for the real liberation of Black Americans is not over -- especially here in Maryland, where slavery did not end until November 1, 1864 and forced apprenticeships and property requirements for voting kept those formerly enslaved in a posture of subordination.



 

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JTF Statement on racist police violence in Ocean City

police_violence.pngThe Progressive Maryland Justice Task Force is appalled and disgusted to witness the violence and excessive use of force displayed in the viral videos that ended with the arrests of five young men in Ocean City on June 6th and June 12th, 2021.

In two now-viral videos, a young man with his hands up is tased and hog-tied; another young man, already handcuffed, is tased, held down by almost a dozen officers, and kneed in his torso at least five times, all in the act of enforcing compliance.

The JTF demands that this appalling abuse of police powers get a response from legislators beyond the predictable tsk-tsk -- that our elected representatives enhance this Session's watered-down version of police reform with provisions for community oversight in policing to ensure that police are held accountable for such heinous actions.



 

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 14, 2021

pride_june_2021.pngOur opportunities for activism are ranked around Juneteenth, a Saturday of celebration anchoring a week that’s also at the heart of Pride Month, including our PM Pride Logo which you may notice across our website and social media.

Our gains in health and safety in Maryland, plodding but real, bring us closer to the wider organizing options we’ve been waiting for. We will increasingly find our fulfillment in high-impact mobilizing for progressive change. THAT’s the new, better normal. This and much more in the Memo.



 

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Let's "check" what we are doing to make liveable communities in Prince George's

funding_our_future_report_cover_cropped.jpgA high school history teacher who attended a recent rally in Prince George's against gun violence found himself "discouraged that some of the speakers at the gun violence event seem to blame Black people for gun violence without addressing the root causes of the violence." As he points out, the historic wealth gap between Black and White households has meant a lack of good-paying jobs, affordable health care and mental health access, and other evidence of disparities. "What good is it to have Black men 'checking' other Black men’s behavior when the real problem is a lack of resources?"

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 7, 2021

pride_june_2021.pngProgressive Maryland continues to celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ Community, this month and always. We are proud to honor the progress flag in our new PM Pride Logo which you may notice across our website and social media.

Also, as our scope and capacity are amplified by the (too-slow) gains in health and safety in Maryland, we will increasingly find our fulfillment in high-impact organizing for progressive change. THAT’s the new, better normal. This and much more in the memo.



 

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Housing advocates urge Hogan to fund legal aid for tenants in evictions

maryland_state_house.jpgA new law gives tenants threatened with eviction a right to a lawyer -- but the companion bill funding the law  failed to pass in the 2021 Session.

Lawmakers and tenant advocates urge the governor to fund the law, leveling a playing field in which landlords generally, but tenants seldom, have representation. Maryland Matters has the coverage.

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Hogan UI cancellation spurs Dems' focus on his vetoes, too

hogan_in_shades.jpgThough he was late to the game, Gov. Hogan's attempt to drive workers back to possibly unsafe jobs has galvanized the state's Dems. They were looking the other way from his outrageous late vetoes of progressive measures, but may have to focus on them after all. Lawmakers are reportedly asking about a special session.



 

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, June 1, 2021

pride_june_2021.pngIt's the first day of "Meteorological Summer" and a great one to launch purposeful organizing. Oh, right, you were already doing that...

Happy Pride Month! 🌈  Progressive Maryland continues to celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ Community, this month and always. We are especially lifting up Queer and Trans people of color. We are proud to honor the progress flag in our new PM Pride Logo which you may notice across our website and social media.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 



 

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Gauntlet thrown as Senate GOP says "what insurrection?" on Jan. 6

capitol-riot-documented-1_saul_loeb_AFP-Getty_Images.jpgThe Senate GOP late last week bowed to the bidding of Mitch McConnell (and Trump) and blocked a bipartisan panel to seek the full story of the infamous insurrection at the US Capitol. That outrageous refusal to face facts fits into the larger right-wing plan to gain and hold power at the expense  of  democracy -- a plan outlined in the PM BlogSpace last week by analyst Sean Dobson. Here's a recap of that deep-diving, four-part series on "The Once and Future Takeover."



 

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The Once and Future Takeover IV -- Democracy advocates must take working class issues to heart

apocalypse.jpgWe have seen in this week’s deep exploration of the GOP right wing’s strategies – taking advantage of resentments among the former culturally dominant but now dwindling white working class, finding weaknesses in the US’s antiquated system to reverse electoral outcomes at the state and federal level – that only an informed and active pro-democracy movement can protect our future elections by making executive, legislative, behavioral and other changes at every level.

Analyst Sean Dobson, who is board chair of Progressive Maryland, outlines the surprisingly broad agenda – both difficult and energizing – that progressives and their pro-democracy allies  must tackle NOW to ward off a right-wing takeover of government that, if not fought early, could be very difficult to reverse and result in a permanently authoritarian nation.

Pro-democracy forces "need to truly and massively deliver to the working class – white, black, and brown -- in a way that tangibly hoists median living standards. The obvious need to jump-start the economy, fight climate change, and invest in (green) infrastructure offers historic opportunity to do so – but only if Democrats finally act on their professed principles and ignore their big campaign donors."

You can read the earlier installments of this week-long analysis at

https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeoverhttps://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover_ii  and https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover_iii_plugging_gaps_in_our_institutions

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