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
We hope you all had a meaningful holiday yesterday as we commemorated the inspiring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
His words continue to resonate, guiding our shared journey toward justice and equality. In the spirit of Dr. King, who believed in the power of grassroots movements, we find inspiration for our ongoing work.
Last week, Progressive Maryland hosted a powerful planning meeting, laying the groundwork for our visionary 10-year plan. We gathered to discuss the state of our power, strategies for growing it, and the breakthroughs needed to achieve our goals. This meeting set the stage for our 2024 Power Summit happening next month. Find out more about that kinetic event below.
Welcome to Maryland's government at work, foregrounded by the three-month General Assembly session that kicked off last week.
The General Assembly opened last Wednesday, and already we are plunged from broad strokes and the leadership's confident assertions of orderliness (see below) to the minutiae of hearings.
Our allies in the Maryland Legislative Coalition have the kind of info that allows everyone to participate as this multibillion-dollar process lurches into the grind.
Find the hearing schedules, priority bills and participation rules explained here.
And there is lots more News You Can Use, from Maryland, other states and the federal government, in this week's blog.
This year, the General Assembly will see bipartisan environmental justice legislation that would remove trash incineration as an eligible source in Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
Maryland’s RPS was created in 2004 to encourage the development of clean and renewable energy in our state by providing renewable energy subsidies to energy providers like power plants. But in 2011, after much dirty industry lobbying, the definition of clean and renewable energy (which typically includes wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, etc.) was expanded to include trash incineration, or burning waste for energy. Since 2012, Marylanders have sent over $108 million in subsidies to trash incinerator companies in Maryland and Virginia that have polluted over 7 million tons of carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change.
It's time to reclaim renewable energy from this corporate boondoggle -- and save taxpayer money.Read more
The 2024 legislative session kicks off this Wednesday, January 10th. Each year, Progressive Maryland’s thousands of members and supporters across the state prepare to take on Maryland’s biggest challenges at the state legislature. Unlike big money interests and paid lobbying firms, our work is rooted in our commitment to grassroots democracy and social justice. The changes in state law we pursue are driven first and foremost by our engaged membership, primarily working class people of color.
In 2024, Progressive Maryland is prioritizing three major changes to state law that will clean up our communities, strengthen our ability to get the healthcare we need and protect us from abusive landlords.
Progressive Maryland members will meet with elected members of the General Assembly throughout the 2024 session to press for:
- Removal of trash incineration from the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to clean up our air (Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2024);
- New regulations to curtail the ability of insurance companies to deny our healthcare (Health Insurance Transparency Act of 2024);
- And the passage of “just cause” eviction standards to prevent landlords from retaliating against tenants who are organizing tenant associations.
We are also monitoring additional legislation that we believe will have major impacts on our members’ daily lives, relating to issues areas of healthcare justice, housing justice, support for returning citizens, environmental justice, and more. Stay tuned for more legislative updates throughout session.
To dive deeper into our 2024 priorities and how you can play a role in achieving strategic and important wins for Marylanders, join us for our 2024 Power Summit on February 10th. RSVP below...