Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 22, 2024

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Lots of little stories behind the Big Story, or maybe not

NUCU_logo_new.pngIt’s hard to imagine any political story, all the way from the fed level to the local government level,  that hasn’t been discombobulated by the announcements and events of Sunday. It's The Big Story, no mistake. As you’ll see, repercussions of that day are ricocheting in all states, cities and towns. Still, local legislative bodies and governments keep on plowing through their do-lists (or ignoring them), meaning lots of little stories,  and life goes on. Let’s have a look.

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 15, 2024

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We’re halfway through July, and the heat is literally and figuratively rising! With the National Weather Service issuing an excessive heat warning across Maryland, we hope everyone stays cool and safe.

 

From the shooting at theTrump rally to all the buzz surrounding our state's budget deficit, so much has happened in the past week. Last Wednesday, Governor Wes Moore and the Governor’s Office for Children announced the official launch of the ENOUGH Initiative. The Engaging Neighborhoods, Organizations, Unions, Governments, and Households (ENOUGH) Initiative is a groundbreaking, community-based strategy to address concentrated child poverty in Maryland. With a $20 million investment, ENOUGH offers both funding and technical support for communities most in need to develop solutions to deeply rooted challenges. We are happy to see our state doing more to address child poverty.

 

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved here at Progressive Maryland without stepping out into the heat. This Thursday marks our first Throwdown Thursday, where we’ll be phone banking to make an impact in the Senate race! We need to prevent the Republicans from shifting the balance of power, and with less than four months until the election, that work needs to begin now.

 

Sign up here for a 90-minute shift and join us in this crucial effort. We'll be hosting Throwdown Thursdays every week until the election, so feel free to sign up for one shift or multiple!

 

In times like these, community is everything. Let’s continue to support each other and work together to make a difference. Stay safe, stay cool, and let’s keep pushing forward!

 

In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team

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News You Can Use: Chesapeake Bay health gets thumbs-up; heat forecast less popular

NUCU_logo_new.pngAssessments of the health of the Chesapeake Bay are optimistic, but there are potential reasons not to be too cheerful. The health of the people surrounding the Bay (who, incidentally, might be part of the Bay's problem) is less certain, at least for the short run as brutal heat moves along from frying Houston to giving us a dose of the hot stuff locally. There is lots of good advice out there to help you protect yourself, loved ones and associates, so take it. This weather is nothing to fool around with. Across the nation, urban "heat islands" make it even worse in downtowns. Also, get a taste in this installment of how other states and cities are trying to handle the housing crisis, even as something like gentrification turns Red and Blue to Sorta Purple. It's all News You Can Use for a hot week.

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News You Can Use: Navigating Maryland, the Other Forty-Nine, and the Feds

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngAfter the big end-of-term blockbusters delivered by the conservative US Supreme Court majority, lots of people will wonder what the heck "Chevron deference" is -- sorry, was -- before SCOTUS casually ended it. It means judges no longer have to assume that expert civil servants at administrative agencies know what they are talking about, so they can be ignored. Lots of people are worried that any effort to improve energy production or distribution could be crippled while judges second-guess the science. Trump strikes again, with help from Mitch McConnell and the GOP caucus that appointed his SCOTUS nominees. We'll be seeing many more instances where this deliberate privileging of ignorance shows up in important places and stops important projects.

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 8, 2024

Dear Friend, 

We hope you had a great holiday weekend! With all the talk about the state of our nation's presidency, it's important to remember the significant strides being made right here in Maryland. 

Governor Wes Moore has been behind some major moves to start off the summer season. Last week, he announced that light rail will be the recommended mode for Baltimore’s Red Line, a major transit investment that will connect communities to thousands of jobs and essential services. Additionally, the new Maryland SUN Bucks program will help over 543,000 children access groceries during the summer, with $60 million in federal funding. And days before the anniversary of legalized adult recreational cannabis use, the state awarded more social equity licenses, bringing the total to 205, and introduced a workforce development program prioritizing training for those previously charged with cannabis-related offenses. It's encouraging to see actions in motion to protect and support our state's vulnerable residents.

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 1, 2024

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News You Can Use: Moore off list; power too powerful; new laws July 1; cannabis fever cools

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngThe greater news sphere is full of "should he or shouldn't he" after last Thursday's presidential debate, but the news here in our sphere is that Gov. Wes Moore has firmly removed his name from The List. Closer to home, we find out (maybe) why our power bills have gone up faster than Glorious Fourth rockets; we have new Maryland laws kicking in today (July 1) and the news about cleaning up the Bay is no better. Out among the other 49 states, Florida Gov. DeSantis (remember him?) line-vetoed a $multimillion arts support bill because somebody, somewhere, might make nasty on taxpayer money. And more areas of amusement, all in News You Can Use.

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Celebrating Juneteenth

Every action is a step toward collective liberation.

 As we celebrate Juneteenth, we reflect on the enduring fight for freedom and justice for Black Americans. Juneteenth is more than a date on the calendar—it’s a call to action. Our struggle is not over. Discrimination, economic inequality, and social injustice continue to plague our communities. Yet, our resilience and determination to overcome these obstacles must remain unwavering.

We are on the frontlines of this fight at the 7/10 Black Workers Center, which we launched just last year. . We stand with Black workers who are navigating a system that too often seeks to marginalize them by advocating fiercely for fair wages, safe working conditions, and equal opportunities. Wee have made great strides in just a year, especially in our support for formerly incarcerated Black individuals striving to rebuild their lives against tremendous odds.

Our grants program and pre-apprenticeship job readiness program are a testament to our commitment to economic equity. These ongoing initiatives equip Black organizations and workers with essential training, mentorship, and resources, paving the way for sustainable, well-paying jobs. Currently, we are successfully working alongside many partners and workers in this life-changing initiative. As we continue to expand, forming new partnerships with diverse workforces to provide grant funding, and individuals we work with directly to empower and prepare for the workforce, we need your support to grow the community members we can assist. 

 

                                     Let's turn the spirit of Juneteenth into action. Together, we can create lasting change

                                     that uplifts our  community. Thank you for your support.

 

                                     In Solidarity,

 

Shannon Talbert

Progressive Maryland Black Workers Center Organizer

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 24, 2024

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Last week, Governor Moore made a significant move by pardoning more than 175,000 marijuana convictions. This action will positively impact an estimated 100,000 individuals. This executive order makes Maryland the first state to issue mass pardons for cannabis paraphernalia-related convictions. We hope this is just the beginning of more positive changes to come following inequities of past criminalization. 

 

With the official start of summer last week too, Progressive Maryland is enthusiastic about our summer base-building efforts as we ramp up to launch our November election campaign. 

 

As we enter the final week of June, check out the Pride events section of the memo to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. 

 

Read on for ways to get involved and for news you can use. Plus, stay safe and cool in the global warming heat! And as always, remember to respect and thank essential workers who work outside in the summer temperatures.

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