This week, we are thrilled to announce the launch of several exciting programs aimed at creating positive change in our communities so now is the perfect time to get involved! You'll find a wealth of opportunities to contribute and make your voice heard. Whether you're passionate about reentry work, healthcare reform or environmental sustainability, we have initiatives and campaigns that need your support.
So, keep reading to discover how you can actively participate and make an impact.
Let's harness this momentum and join forces to create lasting change.
In Maryland, energy and environment news stands out; around the states, there is occasional sane behavior among the tales of Red-State lunacy (sue a big-box store for selling popular Pride merch?). And Congress is back with much to do and a short schedule to fritter away before blind panic actually brings low-information votes. But you knew that. Still, we have details that might be helpful.
Returning Citizens Task Force of Progressive Maryland Opens Request For Proposals with New Grant Funding
Prince George's County, Maryland -- The Returning Citizens Task Force (RCTF) of Progressive Maryland is inviting proposals for projects that will support services for citizens in Prince George’s County who are re-entering society from prison. The funds have been generously provided by an individual donor who witnessed, was impressed with, and wants to support Progressive Maryland’s reentry work in the county. This is the second cycle of grants for direct service providers in our community – recipients in 2022-2023 helped support transitional housing, connection to health service, work with at-risk youth, peer mentoring programs, trauma informed care, and the use of creative arts as a means to fully re-enter society.
The application process is now open. The RCTF will accept proposals through July 31 and applicants will be notified of the acceptance (or non-acceptance) of their proposal by August 25. Please note that the grant is for services provided in Prince George’s County, and we require an in-person staff presence in our community. Although any organization may apply, our focus is on smaller service providers. Additional requirements and information as to how to submit a proposal are included in the RFP on this page.
A participatory grant-making committee, made up of individuals either impacted by the justice system or working with those directly impacted, will guide and oversee the proposal selection process. Grants will be awarded in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 each.
The RCTF was formed in 2019 to respond to an unmet need – the lack of transitional housing and programs, social services, and jobs for returning citizens in Prince George's County. Much progress has been made since then, but much more is still needed. The group continues to advocate for voter access and education, ending barriers to jobs and housing, improving access to medical care and provision of other services to ensure returning residents’ successful reintegration into our communities.
Progressive Maryland believes that the state as a whole must address the needs of people impacted by the criminal justice system at all levels as part of a broader people’s agenda to meet all Marylanders needs for housing, education, health care and jobs at a living wage to ensure returning residents’ successful reintegration into our communities. Learn more about the RCTF and get involved here.
As we kick off the month of July, there is much to discuss and take action on. It's a momentous time for our state, as the long-awaited implementation of cannabis legalization takes effect in Maryland.
This step forward represents a victory for justice, equity, and a more sensible approach to drug policy. It is a testament to the power of grassroots organizing and the tireless advocacy of activists like you. Still, we must remain vigilant to ensure that the promises of legalization translate into meaningful change, especially for our black and brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
That task and more are in front of us. When we tackle them together, the barriers fall steadily and at the speed of our choosing
Along with our weekly roundup of News You Can Use about Maryland and its people and politicians, about what states are doing and about what the feds are doing (or not) in pursuit of responsible governance (whew!) we have posted two blogs about People’s Action’s solidarity confab in the DMV last week. In Maryland, this was the beginning of the Cannabis Era and of reaction to the backward-looking Supreme Court rulings on institutional diversity practices ("affirmative action") and the student debt overhang. Check out this and more in News You Can Use.
People's Action members and organizers came from all over the country to Arlington, VA last week to enjoy our numbers and power and "bring the thunder" to the home base of US governance (or lack of it). PA leader Sulma Arias relates some of how it went and how our power will keep building as we return home. For more about last week, see our companion blog, "We brought the Thunder."Read more
People's Action's Sondra Youdelman walks us through the march by PA convention activists through the institutions that are holding communities back -- the financiers of fossil fuel, the associations of landlords, the profiteers on the under-regulated private health-insurance racket, and to Capitol Hill where many members of Congress keep their jobs by gratefully accepting big campaign donations from those same oppressors -- screened from view by various dark-money devices embedded into law by those same members of Congress.
The participants at the PA convention took this tour through the same self-reproducing cycle of power that feeds on communities around the nation to show how close-knit all this criminality has become. Sondra helps us follow the path that power takes. We know better, now, how to stop it.Read more
As we near the end of June, we hope you're enjoying the summer and finding ways to stay engaged in our collective efforts.This is an abbreviated version of the memo because Progressive Maryland staff is away at the inspiring People's Action Convention, connecting with like-minded changemakers from across the nation. Stay tuned for an exciting update in our next memo, where we'll share the empowering insights and actions from the convention.
Meanwhile, we want to ensure you stay engaged and empowered. Check out below for some brief updates, state news and opportunities to make a difference! In our next memo, we'll provide multiple avenues for you to get involved and make a difference. From local campaigns and community initiatives to impactful advocacy efforts, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to contribute your voice, skills, and passion.
Thank you for being a part of the Progressive Maryland movement!Read more
Here’s an invite to the broadcast of the People’s Action Organizing Revival, starting Sunday evening and live, from, Arlington Va. https://www.crowdcast.io/c/convention/register/ Progressive Maryland members and volunteers will be on hand. In honor of the People’s Action event (which will preoccupy PM folks early in the week) we’d send out News You Can Use a little early, along with the Memo.
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!