Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, June 20, 2023


We hope you all had a joyous Juneteenth weekend, celebrating the resilience, liberation, and unity of our Black communities. Tomorrow marks the official start of summer—a season filled with endless possibilities and opportunities for change.


Today, on World Refugee Day, we stand in solidarity with those who have sought refuge and survived unimaginable hardships. It is a reminder of our shared responsibility to uplift the voices of the marginalized and build a more inclusive society. This summer, let us reaffirm our commitment to creating welcoming spaces for all, fostering inclusivity, and amplifying the voices of those seeking refuge.


Additionally, as Pride Month draws to a close, let us continue to celebrate and support our LGBTQ+ community. Be sure to explore our Pride Events section to catch the final events and festivities of the month, as we stand together in solidarity and recognition of love, acceptance, and equality for all.


This summer, we encourage you to get involved and make a difference. Let's harness the energy of the season and channel it into transformative action.


Read on for more updates, events, state news and opportunities to make a difference!




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The state of America -- and Maryland -- after Juneteenth 2023

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngAfter the third official federal holiday for Juneteenth, where does America stand? Where does Maryland stand? Here are some snapshots in News You Can Use. Inequality in the US persists and may even be growing -- across classes and ethnicities. It reflects itself in data on incomes, on health care, on education and on housing affordability. And there's, as always, a gap within the gap. More on that below, in News You Can Use.


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Doctors saId it was "a matter of life and death." But their health insuror denied the claim.

The simple act of eating caused Carly Morton unbearable pain. When your doctor says a medical procedure can save your life, but your private insurance refuses to pay, where do you turn?

Health insurance companies like Morton’s, UnitedHealthcare (UHC), know the odds are in their favor when they deny care. Insurers don’t reveal how many claims they refuse to pay, but we know they reject a quarter of a billion claims every year from plans offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since ACA plans cover less than 5% of the U.S. population, the total number of denials is likely many times higher.

Here is the story of how many insurors break their promises to the insured with a playbook of weasel loopholes. And how People's Action's Care Over Cost campaign made a difference

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 12, 2023


As we find ourselves halfway through the month of June, it's a time of reflection, celebration, and renewed commitment to our shared values. With Juneteenth just around the corner and Pride events in full swing, we have important milestones to honor and opportunities to come together in solidarity.

In the spirit of celebration and solidarity, we are thrilled to announce that more Pride events have been added to our Pride Events section. These events serve as reminders of the vibrant and resilient spirit within our community, as we come together to celebrate love, diversity, and acceptance. However, amidst this joyous occasion, it is crucial to acknowledge the urgent state of emergency facing the LGBTQ+ community, as highlighted by the recent Human Rights Campaign report. The report sheds light on the alarming increase in hate crimes, discriminatory policies, and violence targeting LGBTQ+ individuals across the country. It serves as a poignant reminder that while Pride events celebrate progress, they also stand as a testament to the ongoing need for activism and advocacy to protect and advance the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals.


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House in disarray, DOJ indicts, Maryland looks around after hazy week

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngHealth remains on our minds even as we continue venturing out post-COVID, and some underreported progress is heartening. States are cleaning up as their legislatures have mostly sine die'd for summer (the US House shows multiple fractures and went home midweek to calm down, not rest on their laurels). Maryland continues to stay in the hunt for the new FBI headquarters despite cranky responses from the Bureau. So what else is new?... it's all progressive News You Can Use.


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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 5, 2023

memo_logo.pngAs we navigate the ever-changing landscape of Maryland politics, it's essential to stay grounded and keep our focus on the real issues that matter to us and our communities.


This week, we want to remind you of the importance of community organizing. It is through our grassroots efforts that we can make a lasting impact on the issues we care about. By coming together, we have the power to create meaningful change that reverberates far beyond the confines of our state. Read on for updates on our ongoing advocacy efforts, ways to get involved and news you can use. Additionally, we encourage you to explore the vibrant pride events happening across Maryland, as we continue to celebrate and uplift our LGBTQ+ community. .



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Gas prices, cars and their care, and power are all themes this week: Maryland's News You Can Use

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngDebt Limit Fiasco Dodged is the headline, so we can move back into ordinary news about Maryland, states and the country that was on hold while holding our breath for a debt deal. Maryland faces a tax increase on gas at the pump for converging reasons, while traffic gurus have varied solutions and profiteering power companies are warned that the new Gov has put easy corporate profits at risk. There's more, too, about those ordinary non-apocalypic worries like textbook censorship, combating hate crimes, those dodgy URLs on our license plates and protecting medical abortion. You'd be surprised what we are worrying about now that we can start worrying about those things again without that debt limit hanging over our media-stuffed heads. It's News You Can Use.


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A Poem For Pride

🏳️‍🌈A Poem For Pride🏳️‍⚧️


Here in Maryland, where rainbows soar, 

There's a beautiful community we adore.

Pride in our colors is at our core. 

What began at Stonewall has reached far more.


We fly our flags and take a stand

With Two-Spirit people on their Native Land.

We also make a strong demand

For the safety of every Black, Trans Woman.


Although we've come so far, we know,

The road is long and the journey is slow.

But we will protect Trans kids so that they can grow

And thrive in life wherever they go.


In Maryland, where love prevails, 

Let's forge a path, let's blaze new trails;

And vow to push back when the system fails,

For freedom, love, and liberation–not jail.


From Western mountains to Chesapeake's shore, 

This is our call for change, a mighty roar.

Affirmation and justice, among much more.

For basic needs and respect, we must ensure.


Whether Trans, Gay, Pan or Bi,

Together, hand in hand, we stride; 

With strength and courage on our side.

We will not let the far right conquer our Pride.


The Queer community is under constant attack.

We endure violence and the hateful bills they stack.

Especially against those who are Trans, Brown or Black.

We are just looking to get our human dignity back.


This Pride Month, we must also celebrate

The joy and laughter and art we create.

Every Queer and Trans person was made perfect and great.

So hold on to the fact that love can conquer fear and hate.


And if you’re an ally, you have a place.

We need you in this fight, we want you in this space.

It takes every person from every race

To create the kind of world we yearn to embrace.


Here and now, we pledge anew 

To fight for our community, for me and for you.

We can create change together, we know it’s true.

Here at PM, full equality we pursue.


Happy Pride!


With Love,

The Progressive Maryland Team


Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, May 30, 2023


memo_logo.pngAs we near the end of May and prepare to step into June, we are excited at the arrival of Pride month and Immigrant Heritage Month. These commemorative periods provide us with invaluable opportunities to celebrate and uplift our LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities, embracing the diverse tapestry that makes Maryland vibrant and inclusive.


Pride month serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, equality, and acceptance. It is a time to celebrate the progress made, while recognizing the challenges that persist. Throughout June, our memo will highlight local Pride events, marches, panels, and workshops. We encourage you to join us in demonstrating our unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community and fostering a more inclusive society.


Similarly, immigrant heritage month allows us to reflect upon the invaluable contributions of immigrants to our state's culture, economy, and shared history. We will shine a spotlight on the strength and resilience of immigrant communities, while advocating for fair and just immigration policies. 


Whether you’re an ally, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, an immigrant, or simply passionate about justice and equality, there is a role for you to play in advancing these causes. Together, let's make June a month of celebration, unity, and progress


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How the compromise on debt default avoidance worked out; plus Maryland roundup: News You Can Use

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngMaryland is burbling with news, even in a week when the kabuki production on budget reduction soaked up all the coverage. Choice of a new elections administrator narrowed down; can a spouse rape a spouse?; in search of sustainable concrete; shakeup at the Purple Line (again?); reproductive health facilities exit WVA for MD; court-ordered prisoner moves falling behind; and Maryland grows older as we all age. Oh yes, and a well-regarded scorecard for General Assembly members points the finger at several who failed of their promise. All that in News You Can Use for this short post-holiday week. Keep up!


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