A Session like no other. We focus on the good, but yield to the urge to mention some bads and some uglies. As legislators often say, “it takes three years to get a good bill through the General Assembly. A bad bill takes only one year.”
And… to widen our horizons and timeline... Thursday (April 22) is Earth Day; Pres. Biden is hosting a virtual world leaders climate summit. Root for a carbon tax.
Thank you for being part of this movement.
Maryland Coalition for Justice & Police Accountability (MJCPA), advocates and individuals impacted by police brutality, celebrate the successful organizing that has advanced police transparency and accountability, but say Maryland’s historic police reform package still does not meet the moment. That moment -- when George Floyd's memory is being defiled by the desperate defense of Derek Chauvin while more Black people die at police hands in seemingly every news cycle -- required more from our Assembly than they delivered, and will require more from Progressive Maryland activists and allies to meet these still-dangerous moments coming every day.Read more
We need to prepare for the next phase and push for COVID relief and for healthcare for all. Please come to the Healthcare Task Force (HCTF) meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 13, at 7pm for this important discussion. The meeting will give us a chance to talk about how we can keep making progress toward greater equity, access and justice in our healthcare system. RSVP HERE
Today is Sine Die day (the Assembly adjourns at midnight tonight UNLESS they stop the clock at 11:59 and keep messing around, which is not unheard of). Critical bills are still headed for the finish line; see below to find out how to get behind them. Even before the finale, a sweeping though depleted package addressing police violence and public accountability for it was passed, vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan, and reinstated by an emphatic veto override.
we continue to keep you up to date on both the fast-moving, national-level COVID relief efforts, struggles for justice in Congress and the back-and-forth of state legislation. This and much more in the Memo.
Spending for social needs, which was pretty much on hold during the Trump administration, is back on the table this spring and suddenly the schedule is everything. In an excellent roundup from People's Action's campaigns director Sondra Youdelman, we see that timelines for work in the House and Senate are complicated by juggling both the Biden admin's budget, which has huge increases for education, health and the environment, and the big infrastructure bill, which demonstrates how social needs and the transportation, power grid and broadband deficiencies are deeply intertwined. Activists are going to have to learn fast and follow the back-and-forth of events almost daily to know when to put our muscle to work to keep this legislation oriented toward people and not corporations and the rich.
From the Diamondback student newspaper, a bill passed this week by House and Senate in the General Assembly is favored by a union organizing workers at numerous campuses because it would enable one master agreement with the University System of Maryland.
The trial of Derek Chauvin, formerly of the Minneapolis police department, should be bringing us a warning: Chauvin is rightly being abandoned by his former colleagues for the blatant murder of George Floyd at his hands -- and those of three other sworn officers. But trial viewers should completely discount the excuses of Chauvin’s superiors that “this is not the way we trained him.” Unfortunately, Academy training is no match for the prevalent mythology of the Warrior Cop and the permissive internal police culture that it creates.
The trial is raising many issues about racism, police relations with the community, the role of police unions and the accountability of police departments. Reimagining public safety, making fundamental changes to policing practices and oversight, as well as focusing on harm reduction, continue to offer our best path to a more equitable criminal justice system. Only when public officials seriously examine the impact on BIPOC communities of decades of police abuse and mistreatment and demand an end to this toxic culture will we begin to see a substantial reduction in the often-lethal examples of excessive force that ricochet from city to city and show up in the news and the data.
April brings with it the wrapup of our state Assembly session with Sine Die next Monday; we continue to keep you up to date on both the fast-moving, national-level COVID relief efforts, struggles for justice in Congress and the back-and-forth of state legislation. This and much more in the Memo.
We stood with our AAPI family in sorrow and solidarity over the racist mass shootings in Atlanta in recent weeks. As the shootings in Boulder, Colo. show us, we struggle not only with the otherizing motives of the violent but with their easy access to murderous weapons and the law’s enablement of their makers and sellers. We stand against all forms of racism and gender based violence -- and the way greed caters to and encourages them.
April approaches and with it the wrapup of our state Assembly session; we continue to keep you up to date on both the fast-moving, national-level COVID relief efforts, struggles for justice in Congress and the back-and-forth of state legislation. This and much more in the Memo.
We stand with our AAPI family in sorrow and solidarity over the racist mass shootings in Atlanta. We stand against all forms of racism and gender based violence. We have joined many groups in signing the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta statement: “A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities”; and our national affiliate People’s Action has released a press statement. Furthermore, here is a statement that we support from the MoCo Progressive Asian American Network in response to these hate crimes.
Keep up to date on both the fast-moving, national-level COVID relief efforts and the back-and-forth of legislation in the Maryland General Assembly as we approach the last month of the session. This and much more in the Memo.