It's news you can use... since we last communicated, a big federal budget bill has been wrestled to the Floor and signed by the Prez, with long-running consequences. Congress is back and its leadership is being decided as we write (but maybe not quickly) and Maryland has a new "Trifecta" status and big plans to make the most of it. A lot has happened over the holiday hiatus, so sit back and soak it up, right here.
There’s an African Proverb that says: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. That sentiment and wise offering is on our minds as we look back on significant election wins and big policy gains in 2022 and look ahead to the potential that 2023 holds.
Together this year we’ve been able to go far thanks to our members, volunteers, and leaders! Working with all of you, our allies and affiliates, we’ve built more grassroots capacity and increased our impact in the Maryland General Assembly and at the ballot box.
Now we need to go further! Maryland can make some bold moves to tackle the economic and environmental problems everyday folks are facing. The legislature and the Governor can push for the investments our state needs to strengthen state agencies, public schools, mass transit, healthcare services, and green jobs. But some corporate lobbyists and entrenched interests are already urging them to delay or scale back things like budget spending, action on climate, criminal justice reform, and investments in healthcare and childcare. And as we know, the needs of our communities can’t wait.
We can defeat the corporate lobbyists and their messaging by building more power! We need to organize a large base of supporters who believe in putting people and working families first. This is the perfect time to get involved and help us organize! Save the date for our Annual Membership meeting on Saturday, January 28th and we’ll be sharing the location soon. If you are not already a member, please join our growing grassroots movement and help us influence what comes next in Maryland.
As the year draws to a close, the Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo will go on hiatus till January but the News You Can Use blog may pop up now and then in the interim -- if Maryland produces real news beyond awards ceremonies. Let's all resolve not to be ambushed when the General Assembly fires up its engines in early January, while we are recovering from the holidays. What they do affects our lives.
Today, some stories are coalescing around health care, energy concerns and the economics of living in Maryland. Plus there's what happens in D.C. It's all connected, and so must we be to survive. Read on, and take action when you can. That's why we are here and what we do, and we'll still be at it in the New Year. Join us.
As a new cohort of legislators joins the returning batch of Senators and Delegates who will formally assemble in January for the 2023 General Assembly session, lots of advice is passed out and some of it may be taken. Many assessments of the changes resulting from the 2022 elections are that the chambers moved slightly left, though the state's well-paid chorus of lobbyists will probably not be slow to try to get their hooks in all concerned.
Maryland Matters provides an account of the newbies and veterans mingling this week, plus a list of the new faces that progressive activists will want to learn and cultivate.
We want to make the most of 2023 and the opportunity we have to build state and local power! We’ll be sharing our full legislative agenda for the upcoming session with you soon. No matter what, we know that we need more power to forge a more inclusive, just, and healthy Maryland. Specifically, by growing our numbers we have a better chance of winning the funding we need for: our public schools, expanded healthcare services, and environmental protection. Organized people are the best way to gain relief and a stronger voice for working-class Marylanders and everyone who needs affordable housing and greater economic security.
In short, we need an organizing revival and we hope that you’re here for it!
There are lots of ways to get involved, starting with a conversation with one of our volunteer leaders or staff. If you already know someone on the PM team gives us a call or send a text today and we’ll set up a time to talk. Or simply fill out this form.
People-powered organizing is picking up steam across the country! Some examples include the voters and volunteers who are mobilizing in Georgia for the special run-off U.S. Senate election tomorrow, the workers who are organizing unions across the country, the activists who are demanding that we keep our democracy safe, and tenants everywhere, including in our state, who are organizing to stop holiday evictions and rent increases.
Be a part of it!
Protecting MD gun regs from judicial overreach; women candidates win big; tuning up the Blueprint. News You Can Use
Maryland legislators have better-than-average state gun safety regulations in place, but free-lance Second Amendment types may hope to get the Trump-addled Supreme Court to overturn them. So the Assembly will work to make them, er, bullet-proof against judicial meddling and make Marylanders safer.
The very expensive and very necessary package of public school enhancements called the Blueprint for Maryland's Future is getting some tweaks from an oversight board before being put into play. The General Assembly is being invited to take a look at some changes.
Women candidates won new gains in Maryland -- and the rest of the nation -- in the November elections. As we see, it was not accidental.
And more progressive News You Can Use for Monday, December 5, 2022. Read on.
Progressive Maryland joined People’s Action and nearly 200 organizations to issue a letter urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act by the end of the year. If passed, the MAT Act would prevent overdoses, increase access to treatment, and reduce stigma by removing federal rules that prevent healthcare providers from prescribing a lifesaving medication for opioid use disorder.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the MAT Act in June of this year as part of the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022. The package passed with near-unanimous bipartisan support (402-20). We are pushing for it to be included in the end of year omnibus spending bill.
Since 1997, the United States has lost more than one million people to drug overdoses. More than 108,000 of those deaths occurred in 2021 alone. If nothing changes, we are projected to lose one million more people to drug overdose by 2030. Each person lost to the overdose crisis leaves behind loved ones - children without a parent, lost siblings, friends, and community members.
Overdose deaths are preventable through evidence-based treatment, including medications for opioid use disorder that prevent withdrawal symptoms and stem cravings. By passing the MAT Act, Congress can prevent future deaths and help people with substance use disorder secure recovery.
You may view the full letter here.
We’re in touch this week with the deep gratitude we feel for our members, volunteers, supporters and leaders. We give thanks to you for being a part of Progressive Maryland, following our accomplishments, and investing in our work. As the holiday season begins to take off, now is the perfect time to take a breath and reflect on the true meaning of this season–giving. All of you have helped us make this a milestone election year in our state. We want to continue building on our accomplishments and, with your help, we can greatly extend our achievements. We ask that you support our organization this giving season as we’ll be spending the rest of the year planning our advocacy work for the upcoming legislative session, mapping out our powerbuilding efforts, talking to allies, and getting ready for events like our annual Membership meeting on January 28. Find out the depth and richness of our work in our Memo. Read on.
News You Can Use for a slow week between one holiday and the next. Keep your footing for Giving Tuesday, and consider if you like your fresh water to stay fresh, how guaranteed income is working out in Charm City, how SWAT teams for voter fraud flopped, and Congress with one eye on the calendar more than ever.
We are filled with gratitude for your support of Progressive Maryland and the work we are doing to build power for working families.Read more