Prince George's County Council Stands Firm in Defense of Project Labor Agreements Amidst Concerns Over Phase 2 of P3 Project
Prince George's County Council Stands Firm in Defense of Project Labor Agreements Amidst Concerns Over Phase 2 of P3 Project
Prince George's County, Maryland, is at a pivotal juncture as concerns mount over the fate of Phase 2 of the P3 project. County Council Member Edward Burroughs, representing District 8, has voiced strong apprehensions regarding the direction the project is taking. Burroughs' statements highlight the County Executive's stance and its potential impact on the future of this significant endeavor.
"The dream of expediting school construction for our students in dilapidated buildings seems to have lost its way under County Executive Alsobrooks' leadership," Council Member Burroughs expressed, reflecting on the project's initial goals.
The P3 project, initiated with the admirable goal of expediting school construction and addressing the dire state of many school buildings, appears to be at risk of losing sight of its original objectives under County Executive Angela Alsobrooks' leadership. Council Member Burroughs has expressed profound disappointment in the missed opportunities to uplift Prince George County residents, especially the local workforce and local minority businesses.
"When you have a billion-dollar project occurring in a two-year time period, you have a lot of opportunity to uplift Prince George County residents, in addition to getting the schools built. As county leaders, we must also figure out how to leverage those dollars to uplift Prince George County residents," Burroughs emphasized, lamenting the missed opportunities.
Burroughs emphasizes that a key concern is the lack of substantial mandatory hiring of Prince George County residents and the absence of safeguards against wage theft and exploitation of workers, issues that have surfaced during the first phase of the P3 project. He contends that the economic benefits of this billion-dollar project are not adequately reaching the black and brown residents of Prince George County.
In a recent interview, Burroughs drew parallels to the visionary approach of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who leveraged his power to ensure that DC residents, especially minority populations, benefitted from large-scale economic development projects.
Burroughs is committed to ensuring that Phase 2 of the P3 project focuses on the well-being of Prince George County residents and prioritizes project labor agreements (PLAs) as a means to guarantee fair wages, worker protections, and the engagement of local businesses.
When asked about the apparent resistance to PLAs, Burroughs pointed out that County Executive Alsobrooks holds the key to making a positive change. He highlighted the importance of county executives negotiating with major companies to mandate the hiring of Prince George County residents, partner with labor unions to ensure worker protections, and address issues like wage theft and exploitation.
Burroughs underscored the need for transparency in the process, advocating for independent audits of all contractors and the public's right to access information about the project's impact on the community. He firmly believes that taxpayers' dollars should be reinvested in the local community rather than benefit out-of-town contractors.
"I will not be voting for a P3 project without a PLA attached to it. I've sat with too many workers who have been exploited to do that. This money is taxpayer money, and the question is, are we gonna recirculate that money back into our community to uplift our own residents?"
Council Member Burroughs expressed concerns that the County Executive's administration and the school superintendent may very well send down an MOU for them to sign that includes no Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) and then blame the Council if the schools are delayed or not built. He described this situation as a dangerous game of chicken, where the County Executive's office attempts to shift the responsibility to the Council.
In closing, Council Member Burroughs highlighted the importance of elected officials standing up for their constituents and urged his colleagues on the County Council to prioritize PLAs as a means to protect workers, uplift local businesses, and create a more equitable future for Prince George's County.
"We must base public policy on what's in the best interest of the people of the county. And Project Labor Agreements have the ability to literally pull people out of poverty and pull them into the middle class with health care and benefits and retirement and scholarships for further education."
The conversation took place during an interview with the Executive Director of Progressive Maryland, Larry Stafford Jr., on his radio show, 'The Progress Report,' shedding light on the pressing concerns surrounding the Phase 2 of the P3 project and the pivotal role Project Labor Agreements play in it
As we embark on another week of relentless advocacy, it's imperative to acknowledge the significance of Latinx Heritage Month, which began this past Friday and will continue until October 15th. This celebration of culture and contributions reminds us of the rich diversity that enriches our state and our progressive movement. With nearly 12% of Maryland's population identifying as Latinx and/or Hispanic, we understand the significance of embracing their voices, stories, and experiences.
Discover how we're spearheading impactful organizing efforts across our various task forces in this week’s memo.
Throughout this month, we'll also be featuring various ally events that honor and support our Latinx community.
Read on to find out what our task forces are planning, ways to get involved, and details on these exciting ally events.
A setback for Maryland schools, struggling with the Blueprint and power-company scams. News You Can Use
Maryland's educational establishment is already having trouble digesting the brute facts of the Blueprint for America's Future, and after last week it will have to start looking for a new top state actor to bring it about -- the incumbent state superintendent has opted to go elsewhere.
Plus power company scams, Bidenomics bullhorn in Prince George's, not enough money for transportation projects and social justice action at the county level -- is the Assembly watching? It's News You Can Use for this tumultuous week, including the chaos in Congress for dessert.
While crime among young people is a point of emphasis in mainstream media in Baltimore, homicides and non-fatal shootings are down. Community-based organizations like We Our Us and the Baltimore Peace Movement have been at the forefront of violence prevention efforts over the last several years, but the media does not do the work of exposing the community to the work these organizations do so we can build on their success. What the media does do is lift up the most extreme cases of violence and brutality, painting a broad brush that characterizes these instances as more widespread than they really are, says activist Dayvon Love.
Public knowledge of the work organizations in the Black community are doing to promote peace is minimal. The societal propaganda that is perpetuated through entities like Fox45 impairs our ability to see when we are doing work that is having an impact. Their coverage of Baltimore projects Black people as inherently pathological. They shroud their coverage in the language of accountability and transparency, but their interest is not in empowering Black people.
The writer argues that Black people and organizations in Baltimore and Maryland can fight against the deep pessimism in our community engendered by these systemically negative media and the "tough on crime" posture of some public officialsRead more
Today, as we solemnly remember the events of September 11th, we are reminded of the profound impact that pivotal moments in history can have on our collective journey towards progress. On this day, in 2001, the world witnessed both the worst of humanity's capacity for destruction and the best of our capacity for unity and resilience.
As a progressive organization committed to building a more just and equitable future, we understand the significance of moments like these. They serve as a stark reminder of the importance of our work—working tirelessly to ensure that our communities are safe, inclusive, and empowered to drive positive change.
Don't forget to check out all the incredible work our task forces are doing as we gear up for a transformative fall. Read on for important updates and news you can use.
The Progressive Maryland Team
September. About 100 days (more or less) until the 90 days of the General Assembly kick off in January. Are we ready? Are they ready? As we see in this week's News You Can Use, our schools, our housing policy, our policy on roads vs. mass transit (Toll roads? We hoped we were done with that) and the capacity of our state workers are all less settled than we were thinking of, best-case. The brute fact that many of these issues are tangled up with one another (see: teacher availability and housing costs) makes it harder. In an election year there will be a lot for Maryland legislators to juggle, and it's not too early to let them know what's on our minds. Read on, and start making your lists.
We're thrilled to announce the 2023 Fall Cohort for the Maryland People's Leadership Institute (MPLI). The MPLI has once again recruited an exceptional group of fifteen leaders and activists, representing the rich diversity of Maryland's communities. This year's cohort hails from four different Maryland counties and the city of Baltimore, bringing a wealth of perspectives and experiences to our program.
MPLI is dedicated to identifying, training, and supporting community leaders with aspirations of running for office or managing successful campaigns. It's a transformative campaign training program that empowers individuals with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to make a meaningful impact in their communities.
Curious to learn more about our inspiring 2023 MPLI cohort? Discover their stories and visions for a better Maryland by checking out their bios on our website.
Read on to find information about numerous events hosted by our allies, important task force updates, and news you can use!
Maryland is pronounced... well, above average as a good place for workers -- maybe we can do better than 14th next year? But union power in previously difficult areas (for instance, community college faculty) is increasing, even as more and more teachers find a second job is necessary. The National Labor Relations Board has put employers on notice that cheesie delaying tactics in labor struggles could just get the workers a win by default. And more News You Can Use, this week and every week. Read on...
'Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday called for additional action to curb prescription drug costs in the United States after the Biden administration unveiled its list of the first 10 medications that will be subject to direct price negotiations with Medicare. [See our blog post yesterday]
'Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, welcomed the administration's move as "an important step forward in taking on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and their 1,800 paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C."
'But "much more has to be done to protect the American people," the senator added, noting that the median annual price of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year was over $222,000.
' "Bottom line: We should not be paying any more for prescription drugs than other countries around the world," said Sanders. "I look forward to working with the president and my colleagues to make that happen." '
Jake Johnson of Common Dreams outlines Sanders's further planned actions.Read more
Progressive Maryland joins those cheering the announcement of the first ten (of many more, we hope) high-priced drugs that will cost us less because Medicare and medicaid will now be able to negotiate their prices.
Imagine that -- the US government's critical health care provision will gain the right that corporations have always had -- to drive the best bargain they can get, instead of taking the prices Big Pharma gives them. As we see below, top treatments for some of our most common conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases will get within reach.Read more