News You Can Use: Navigating Maryland, the Other Forty-Nine, and the Feds

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngAfter the big end-of-term blockbusters delivered by the conservative US Supreme Court majority, lots of people will wonder what the heck "Chevron deference" is -- sorry, was -- before SCOTUS casually ended it. It means judges no longer have to assume that expert civil servants at administrative agencies know what they are talking about, so they can be ignored. Lots of people are worried that any effort to improve energy production or distribution could be crippled while judges second-guess the science. Trump strikes again, with help from Mitch McConnell and the GOP caucus that appointed his SCOTUS nominees. We'll be seeing many more instances where this deliberate privileging of ignorance shows up in important places and stops important projects.

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 8, 2024

Dear Friend, 

We hope you had a great holiday weekend! With all the talk about the state of our nation's presidency, it's important to remember the significant strides being made right here in Maryland. 

Governor Wes Moore has been behind some major moves to start off the summer season. Last week, he announced that light rail will be the recommended mode for Baltimore’s Red Line, a major transit investment that will connect communities to thousands of jobs and essential services. Additionally, the new Maryland SUN Bucks program will help over 543,000 children access groceries during the summer, with $60 million in federal funding. And days before the anniversary of legalized adult recreational cannabis use, the state awarded more social equity licenses, bringing the total to 205, and introduced a workforce development program prioritizing training for those previously charged with cannabis-related offenses. It's encouraging to see actions in motion to protect and support our state's vulnerable residents.

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 1, 2024

memo_logo.png Today's Memo will be posted here after the email version has been sent.

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News You Can Use: Moore off list; power too powerful; new laws July 1; cannabis fever cools

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngThe greater news sphere is full of "should he or shouldn't he" after last Thursday's presidential debate, but the news here in our sphere is that Gov. Wes Moore has firmly removed his name from The List. Closer to home, we find out (maybe) why our power bills have gone up faster than Glorious Fourth rockets; we have new Maryland laws kicking in today (July 1) and the news about cleaning up the Bay is no better. Out among the other 49 states, Florida Gov. DeSantis (remember him?) line-vetoed a $multimillion arts support bill because somebody, somewhere, might make nasty on taxpayer money. And more areas of amusement, all in News You Can Use.

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Celebrating Juneteenth

Every action is a step toward collective liberation.

 As we celebrate Juneteenth, we reflect on the enduring fight for freedom and justice for Black Americans. Juneteenth is more than a date on the calendar—it’s a call to action. Our struggle is not over. Discrimination, economic inequality, and social injustice continue to plague our communities. Yet, our resilience and determination to overcome these obstacles must remain unwavering.

We are on the frontlines of this fight at the 7/10 Black Workers Center, which we launched just last year. . We stand with Black workers who are navigating a system that too often seeks to marginalize them by advocating fiercely for fair wages, safe working conditions, and equal opportunities. Wee have made great strides in just a year, especially in our support for formerly incarcerated Black individuals striving to rebuild their lives against tremendous odds.

Our grants program and pre-apprenticeship job readiness program are a testament to our commitment to economic equity. These ongoing initiatives equip Black organizations and workers with essential training, mentorship, and resources, paving the way for sustainable, well-paying jobs. Currently, we are successfully working alongside many partners and workers in this life-changing initiative. As we continue to expand, forming new partnerships with diverse workforces to provide grant funding, and individuals we work with directly to empower and prepare for the workforce, we need your support to grow the community members we can assist. 

 

                                     Let's turn the spirit of Juneteenth into action. Together, we can create lasting change

                                     that uplifts our  community. Thank you for your support.

 

                                     In Solidarity,

 

Shannon Talbert

Progressive Maryland Black Workers Center Organizer

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 24, 2024

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Last week, Governor Moore made a significant move by pardoning more than 175,000 marijuana convictions. This action will positively impact an estimated 100,000 individuals. This executive order makes Maryland the first state to issue mass pardons for cannabis paraphernalia-related convictions. We hope this is just the beginning of more positive changes to come following inequities of past criminalization. 

 

With the official start of summer last week too, Progressive Maryland is enthusiastic about our summer base-building efforts as we ramp up to launch our November election campaign. 

 

As we enter the final week of June, check out the Pride events section of the memo to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. 

 

Read on for ways to get involved and for news you can use. Plus, stay safe and cool in the global warming heat! And as always, remember to respect and thank essential workers who work outside in the summer temperatures.

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Money for Schools, Climate and (maybe) light rail on the new Key Bridge all being examined

NUCU_logo_new.pngThe most important issue for Marylanders this week is being actually cool, not just trendy. If you work outdoors or in tough spaces, better look out for yourself -- state agencies are still muttering over what kind of help to offer you (by insisting that your employers take responsibility for it).  In states where the worst of the heat wave has already come and gone, politicians are found to be busy telling other people what to do (for instance, Ten Commandments in each school's classroom, and displayed at 11 x 14 inch size or larger, thankyouverymuch).

In addition to the heat, Maryland leaders and activists are thinking about money, as always -- the Blueprint for educational improvement, the costs of the state's climate plan, and light rail on the next-version Key Bridge (as well as the revived Red Line in Charm City) are all getting a workout. Even in summer. Stay tuned to News You Can Use.

 

 

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 17, 2024

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As we kick off this week's memo, we are thrilled to see the growing recognition and celebration of Juneteenth across the nation, especially here in Maryland. This celebration of freedom and community is picking up momentum, and we're proud to be part of a state that honors this significant day. Be sure to check out our Juneteenth Jubilees section for a roundup of celebrations happening statewide. And as we continue to celebrate Pride Month, there are still plenty of events happening so be sure to check those out as well.

 

June is also African American Music Appreciation Month, established by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to honor the invaluable contributions of African American musicians across all genres. Look at the "Rhythms of June" section for events celebrating the rich legacy of Black musicians throughout Maryland.

 

As always, we have a packed agenda this week, with updates from our issue campaigns and taskforces. Read on to stay informed and for ways to get involved!

 

In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team

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Marijuana pardons in large numbers; weather begins to top the news; PSC eye-pokes Exelon; and more

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngMaryland's usually compliant Public Service Commission says "no" to Exelon conglomerate's local minions; Gov. Moore will pardon 175,000 (!) marijuana "offenders" and the summer weather finally emerges from its lair and gets our attention. Plus doctors join the picket line, more or less, and it is getting harder to hire police. It's News You Can Use.

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 10, 2024

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We want to give a special shoutout and highlight Bailey Anne Kennedy who made history by being crowned Miss Maryland USA in Bethesda. Not only is she the first transgender woman to win this title, but she is also the first Asian American and military wife to achieve this honor. This remarkable accomplishment comes at a significant time as we celebrate Pride Month. Bailey's victory is a proud moment for the LGBTQ+ community and a testament to the progress we continue to make towards inclusivity and representation.

 

In other exciting news, Governor Wes Moore has signed what is being hailed as the "most comprehensive" executive order by any Maryland Governor to date. The directive mandates that every state department develop a climate implementation plan to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2045. A significant aspect of this order is its focus on accountability, requiring regular progress reports from each department, including Environment, Health, and Transportation. This state order focuses on environmental justice and economic justice so we can have a clean energy transition while simultaneously reducing the racial wealth gap. 

 

The order includes immediate actions, such as proposing new emissions standards and working with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states to establish new regional carbon dioxide emissions caps. Additionally, the Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with creating a framework for a clean energy standard, and the Maryland Department of Transportation will undertake measures to promote clean transportation.

 

Read on for upcoming PM events, important updates, and news you can use!

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