Mind our children's mental health -- but don't add to teachers' burdens
In many ways it still seems as though our children are still just getting back to school after the pandemic shutdowns. It has often been that disruptive for students, their families -- and schools.
As Maryland moves into new stages of the ambitious Blueprint for school improvement, analyst Kalman Hettleman outlines what prospects and resources are on the way -- and who should, and should not, get extra responsibilities as a result. This opinion article appeared in Maryland Matters Oct. 7Read more
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 3, 2022
We’re working hard on the general election, focusing on voter education and turn out efforts thanks to supporters like you. Electing Wes Moore as Governor, Brooke Lierman as Comptroller, and Anthony Brown as Attorney General will mean great things for our state. We’re calling it the New Era! This New Era can see big investments in our public schools, more support for teachers, school staff and public employees; bolder action on climate initiatives; steps taken to dismantle the racial disparities in our economy, and increased funds for health care services, including mental health and harm reduction programs. We’re also campaigning to pass Ballot Question 4 to legalize cannabis, which many other states have done with positive results and benefits.
Remember to vote for every office on the ballot! Lawmakers at every level of government make decisions that affect our daily lives. With that in mind, we’ve had and will be having numerous individual meetings with state legislators in order to build relationships and gain insights about the upcoming Maryland General Assembly. We need to hit the ground running in 2023! Having a strong showing during the coming weeks and on Election Day strengthens our hand in pushing a bold agenda in Annapolis and on the local level. What do we need? More folks to get more deeply involved in this grassroots movement!
We also invite you to sign up for a Get Out the Vote shift this Thursday with our phone banking team. For those of you who want to take action in person, sign up for a door knocking shift on Saturday, Oct.15 with our canvassing team.
Check out the other important events and actions you can take in the memo below. And you can always contact one of our organizers to learn more about our work. Thank you!
Voting (and your plan) gets clearer; schools, new laws and more
It looks as though mail-in ballots will be counted ahead of time rather than only after the polls close -- so there won't be a space for the Dan Cox gremlins to spread falsehoods about results while counting is still grinding on. See below. Applying the schools Blueprint is getting plenty of reviews but is moving forward. And more, new laws took effect Oct. 1 that direct your attention while driving, who's working remotely etc. All this is in News You Can Use.Read more
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 26, 2022
Shana Tova to all who celebrate! Autumn has arrived, too, and with it an opportunity to talk to voters throughout the state about the general election. We did that on Saturday, concentrating our outreach in neighborhoods in Prince George’s County during our Day of Action. Thanks to all who joined us, including our Task Force and Chapter leaders, our affiliated community and labor organizations, as well as our grassroots volunteers. Whether you knocked on doors, made phone calls, invited friends and family, or made a donation, we truly cannot thank you enough. On Saturday we did a combined 64 phone banking and door knocking shifts, and made attempts to reach more than 7,000 voters. We got a good response from the people we reached, recruited some new volunteers, and if folks weren’t home we were able to leave our new election lit at their doors. Check it out!
We know there’s an enormous contrast between the agenda that the Republicans are pushing (restricting our healthcare, school budgets, and environmental protections) and what the Democrats are campaigning for (expanding healthcare, the pool of public school teachers and staff, and action on climate) but many voters, busy with their daily lives, may not. We have to be prepared that voters could get confused by the lies coming from the GOP candidate for governor, Dan Cox, and his campaign. It was reported last week that Cox plans to visit Mar-a-Lago soon to collect big checks from rich Trump donors (probably to pay for misleading ads).
We can’t leave anything to chance: doing one-to-one outreach, sharing a vision with folks, and having a real conversation is still the best way to connect with potential voters and engage them in the democratic process.
So please join us! This Thursday, Sept. 29th, we’ll be making calls. Sign up here!
You can also kick off the month of October this Saturday by knocking on doors. This is a great opportunity for those who missed out on our last Day of Action: Sign up here!
Mail ballots will be counted on time; caregiving, education recovery and mental health on Assembly agenda
A Montgomery County circuit court judge sided with the state Board of Elections on Friday, ruling that Maryland elections officials may process and count mail-in ballots as they come in. In granting the election board’s petition, Chief Administrative Judge James Bonifant accepted their argument that the expected deluge of mail-in ballots would result in a weeks-long delay before results could be tabulated." GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox had filed in opposition to the B of E's plea.
And early hints of the next General Assembly -- During a Greater Washington Board of Trade forum recently, Senate President Bill Ferguson identified mental health, transportation and workforce development as likely priorities for the legislature. He also said the new wave of state leaders need to pay careful attention to the learning and social deficits created by the pandemic [as recovery from the pandemic stays on the front burner]. Obstacles children faced during the pandemic are part of a broader set of mental health challenges families encountered, the lawmaker said. He expressed optimism that “high-value tutoring” and other elements of the state’s new educational “Blueprint” initiative will help overcome them. Ferguson also noted that efforts to close the digital divide have been slow to bear fruit. Most funds allocated to expand high-speed internet to underserved communities have not been spent, he noted. Assembly House Speaker Adrienne Jones said the crisis highlighted the need to expand access to care. She also called for more coordination between state and local governments. “Right at the beginning, sometimes, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing,” she said.
Read about these and other bits of News You Can Use for this week...
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 19, 2022
What can we do when one political party’s leaders openly and aggressively try to take away our democracy and roll back women’s rights and civil rights? When they attack our efforts to embed racial and restorative justice in our societal systems, how do we respond? One of the most meaningful things we can do during this time is to show up for this election and to make sure others do! National Voter Registration Day is tomorrow, September 20th so it’s a perfect time to check your voter registration status and make sure your family members are registered. Check out the Board of Elections site to get more information.
It’s also the time to get involved in grassroots voter outreach and voter turnout in Maryland. Our state can become a leader on racial, gender, economic and social justice if we elect Wes Moore and other Democrats running up and down the ticket. Fifty days from now let’s make sure we’re celebrating the victories of progressive candidates running on the issues we care about.
Keeping the US government open; getting our election results without time for lies
As a deadline for funding the federal government looms (especially important for the many federal workers in Maryland) the potholed pathway to that goal puts federal matters atop this edition of News You Can Use – lots of this comes from Megan E’s Monday newsblast from our national affiliates, People’s Action.
Still, time is looking tight – Punchbowl News reported House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5) warned lawmakers on the floor Thursday that they could be in the Capitol Oct. 1 to pass a government funding bill. They would much rather be home campaigning.
And in Maryland: Yes, we will all be voting in November, and many of us by mail. How long will we have to wait for mail ballots to be counted? Ask Larry Hogan. Ask Dan Cox. GOP types from supposedly the opposite ends of the party, but both with a thumb on the scale that could stretch out the wait for results and open up a long space of time to fill with lies and conspiracy theories. It’s the GOP playbook nationwide and here in Maryland. It's in court now, when it didn't need to be except for a capricious Hogan veto that opens up the conspiracy space for the guy he campaigned against. Read more below.
Progressive Maryland Endorses Wes Moore for Governor
In a recent announcement, Progressive Maryland endorsed 11 new candidates for the 2022 General Election, including Wes Moore for Governor.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 12, 2022
The stage is set to transform politics in Maryland! We have eight weeks to elect Wes Moore as Maryland’s new Governor and begin to advance bold new policies that will support the needs of everyday Marylanders.
Progressive Maryland has endorsed Wes Moore and is excited about what a Moore-Miller Administration, together with progressives in the Maryland General Assembly, can do for our state in the coming years. Larry Stafford, Jr., PM’s Executive Director, said this in today’s press release: “This is our chance to elect leaders who will work for the people and help change the trajectory of our state politics. We need a progressive voice in the Governor’s seat and we’re confident that Wes Moore is that voice. Our organization is proud to get behind the Moore-Miller campaign and to see the 2022 campaign through to victory.”
Read more in this week's Memo...Read more
Elected playas in the market? A season of Dem unity post-Hogan?
Like a lot of top-dog echelons of government (hello, Supreme Court), Congressmembers have few ethics rules, including governing their ability to play in the stock market -- even as they manipulate it every day with policy moves. MD's delegation seems reluctant to talk about this, even as they represent many civil servants whose market-play is much more constrained. Two columnists, as we see here, take a hard look at this. AND after the Larry Hogan two-term intrusion, are Maryland Dems ready to act in a unified manner? One political scientist thinks so. This and more, including the push to legalize pot, in this week's News You Can Use.