Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, February 21, 2023
As we approach the halfway point of the legislative session this Friday, bill hearings are picking up and testimony is needed more than ever. So far, this year’s session has been marked by a flurry of activity, with lawmakers considering a wide range of bills on issues ranging from police reform to education funding. While no bills have been passed yet, we’ll continue to keep you updated on the good and the bad as we expect to see some shifts and movements on bills regarding our legislative priorities. Read on for updates and actions you can take today to support progressive legislation and build a more just future for our state and communities!
The Progressive Maryland Team
General Assembly digs into the slog work of hearings in a more progressive environment
Human needs, violently active (environmental emergency responses) and newly visible (worrying new child poverty evidence -- and solution possibilities) occupy the General Assembly as it gets into the grind-it-out hearings section of its schedule. We have local and national news about human needs from the toxic-bombed railroad town in Ohio to wondering why we can't seem to get traction on restoring the Chesapeake Bay. It is News you can Use for this week. Read on.
A Love Letter to Black People
To The Black Community:
This month is special for us. It allows us dedicated time to celebrate the beauty and strength of our community - something that has flourished despite centuries of oppression. We are a shining example of how resilience, joy, and compassion can persevere through deep racism and adversity.
From the creators who crafted groundbreaking music to the inventors who forever changed technology and everyday essentials, Black people and Black culture have been an invaluable source of inspiration, creativity, and leadership over time. Our fortitude has laid down foundations for justice and progress in our society.
From affordable housing to community control of police, Progressive Maryland is dedicated to fighting for a better world where everyone is treated with respect and valued equally regardless of ethnicity or skin color. As a Black-led organization, we are deeply connected to this cause – one that we fight for on behalf of those who have been wronged by an unjust system that was built for the purpose of working against us.
We understand that often the pressure put on you by society can be suffocating, yet you continue to show up, thrive, lead and create despite the odds being stacked against you. The weight and strength of the Black experience cannot be understated: even with constant pressures from society, you continue to show up, thrive, lead and create despite the odds being stacked against you.
We hear your voices calling out for justice loud and clear, as if they were echoing through the generations — from our ancestors before us all the way up to today. We cry out with you in solidarity as we work towards a future where all Black people can finally be free.
You are courageous. You are loved. You are valued. You are seen. Thank you for continuing to strive for justice even when it feels impossible. Keep pushing forward, keep dreaming big, keep inspiring others to stay strong until real change arrives.
In Solidarity & Love,
Director of Communications at Progressive Maryland
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 13, 2023
Happy Monday! We’re just over a month into the Maryland General Assembly session and the pace is picking up as more bill hearings get set. Here at Progressive Maryland, we’re stepping up our grassroots advocacy. On Saturday we held a virtual town hall with Del. David Moon on how the legislative process works in the Maryland General Assembly. Thanks to Del. Moon and all the folks who attended! We’re ready to enlist you in our efforts.
Our Task Forces will submit written and in-person testimony on priority bills related to healthcare, environmental justice, police accountability and cannabis reform. It’s all part of our call for bold and meaningful action from our lawmakers this legislative session! You’ll find upcoming hearing dates and various upcoming events from our allies in the memo.
Thank you for being part of this movement!
Assembly and Moore agendas steadily converging, mainly to progressives' satisfaction
Gov. Wes Moore's legislative package continues to get buy-in from not only the Dem supermajorities in the General Assembly but even from chastened GOP members. The various agendas are being distributed in legislation -- 2,100 bills and counting -- and now is not the time to let the details escape us. News You Can Use has specific moves and bills in its sights as we pass the first month of the Assembly's three-month session and deal with the new rules that accompany big federal money. Read on and find out what powers you have for change. Sometimes making change is playing defense in the back alleys of the legislative process, where big-money lobbyists can turn a good bill into a cash cow for business behind our backs. Join the mayhem...
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 6, 2023
Much of our focus this year has been on the legislature and their movements this session. In fact, today alone, we’re looking forward to hearings on bills regardings health insurance, renter’s relief, landlord accountability and police reform, as per the MGA calendar Keep a lookout for updates on new bills we’ll be supporting and read about more updates on the legislative session in today’s memo.
Just recently, Governor Wes Moore held his first State of the State address that focused on public service and tackling many items outlined in his legislative agenda. He stated his priorities of ending child poverty, providing tax breaks to veterans and implementing a bill to hire more teachers. We’re looking forward to seeing this legislation be introduced and all it will entail.
And read on for plenty of opportunities to organize and advocate for a better, more progressive future, as we invite you to take part in some key upcoming events. Thank you for being part of this movement!
The Progressive Maryland Team
New governor has bully pulpit, no surprise, rules the news you can use this week
The new governor rules the roost as the General Assembly absorbs his list of issue asks. His focus on helping low-income people and veterans, environmental advances and bringing state employment up to speed has been welcomed by most Dems and even some of the GOP minority. Moore's priority list is getting merged with the Democratic supermajority's own priorities even as they keep one eye on revenue and available funds.
We have much more -- people joining the administration, nuts and bolts of Assembly work and how to weigh in as community members, rail networks, tunnels and cannabis markets, other infrastructure, and even trees. Join us for the News You Can Use cornucopia for this week.Read more
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 30, 2023
New bills are still being added to the Maryland General Assembly website every day, and we’ve identified our policy priorities for this legislative session. About a thousand bills have been introduced at this point in Annapolis. We will continue Progressive Maryland’s priority is supporting bills sponsored by our allies that address injustices in the criminal justice system, the realities of environmental racism, the dramatic inequities in healthcare, our economy, and other critically important issues. Stay tuned for news on bills and policy measures (good and bad) as we work to make real progress this Session.
We need our elected officials to be resolute in delivering for the well-being of workers and communities across the state. And together, we’ll do our job of holding our leaders accountable.
Moore moves quickly, Assembly's usual deliberate speed, abortion politics at the state line?
The new governor, Wes Moore, is moving pretty quickly to undo some of the actions (and cast loose some of the appointees) of Larry Hogan's farewell. The new Assembly begins a four-year set of voyages with a full agenda, and we have help-desk folks among our allies who can map your way to influencing the legislators in Annapolis or remotely. In other news, abortion politics are 180 degrees out of synch at Maryland's Potomac River border with West Virginia. Stay tuned.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 23, 2023
We’re pleased with the Governor’s announcements around some key spending priorities like higher salaries for state employees, and investments in education and transit. Gov. Moore is lifting up many issues that Progressive Maryland has on our legislative agenda. He wants to accelerate the schedule for reaching a $15 minimum wage so that it happens this summer despite republican backlash and he has allocated $1 billion to education and transportation equally under his proposed budget. In addition, the Governor has released funds related to last year’s Climate Solutions Now Act to address climate change in the state. The Governor stressed the importance of holding him and his administration accountable as the money is spent.
We’re closely tracking the legislation being introduced in Annapolis from our legislative allies as well as bills being introduced that threaten our progressive vision. As things continue to pick up in the legislature, you can expect more opportunities in your inbox with ways for you to get involved with our advocacy efforts. Look out for calls of testimony in the coming weeks as the General Assembly begins to meet more frequently on bill hearings.
We need our elected representatives to support policies that invest in the well-being of workers, families, and communities across the state. And we need your help to hold our leaders accountable. Read on, and find more ways to help your neighbors, your community -- and you and your family -- gain power in this system and achieve a better life for all.