Welcome to the home stretch after Labor Day, when candidates believe that you -- the voters -- first shake vacationland thoughts from your heads and focus on the November elections. Generally, we think, the news from the world around you has kept you thinking pretty carefully about who is in charge, all along.
Here, of course, we offer you the latest -- how our state election results might get settled more quickly; how to make sure your kids both learn and eat, how hard it is for police reform to get past longtime barriers; and what the House and Senate have to by September 30 -- if they can. Read on...Read more
At the national level we’re making progress on climate, on healthcare, and on dozens of judicial nominations including Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court despite opposition from Republicans and obstruction by Senators Manchin and Sinema. On the state level we expanded abortion services, passed the Paid Family and Meidcal Leave Act, the Climate Solutions Now Act and gained big wins for many progressive candidates in the July Pimaries (especially for women, many of whom campaigned on these same issues.)
We’re relieved, too, that the Biden Administration took Executive Action on Student Debt last week! The policy not only forgives $10,000-$20,000 in student debt ($20 K for Pell grant recipients) it also ends excess interest on student loans so if a borrower pays the minimum monthly payment (capped at 5% of discretionary income) the loan balance can’t increase. You can help us build on these successes when Congress returns because we know there’s more to do!. It’s critical to make voters aware of these policy victories and the benefits they deliver to working class Americans of all ages. If we focus on these issues in the general election we can set the table for a great session next year during the Maryland General Assembly.
Please help us increase the outreach and organizing we need to do: Congress returns after Labor Day. Requested mail ballots will start to be sent out in the first part of October. The Early Voting period is October 27- November 3 and Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.
Meetings, events, vital information and news you can use -- get it all in the Memo. Read on.
Joe Biden, in full campaign mode, brought a new word -- phrase, actually -- into the state last week in Rockville, "like semi-fascism." It appears to have offered headline writers huge misspelling opportunities. Also, Maryland is among other states taking active steps to reduce the burden of medical debt on families, as well as the related issues of better hearing and clean water. And the gubernatorial candidates are juking and shuffling over debates like opposing linemen just before the snap. Fun stuff, so read on...
We’ve been working and waiting for this moment for years! We can elect a new Democratic Governor this Fall. We have a chance to make history by electing Wes Moore to be Maryland’s first African American Governor! Joining Wes Moore at the top of the statewide ticket are Anthony Brown, running for Attorney General, and Brooke Lierman, running for Comptroller and would serve along with the Governor on the Board of Public Works. All three of these experienced public servants want to use their positions to help usher in a New Era of progressive public policies and public investments. We’re here for it!
So are many of our supporters and leaders across the state but we can’t do it alone! Please help us increase the outreach and organizing we need to do, starting this week. People have already begun to request their ballots which will be sent out starting the first part of October. The Early Voting in person period is October 27- November 3 and Election Day is November 8. Elections offer us a unique opportunity to engage voters in a conversation about our values and the political process. Democracy is on the ballot this Fall and we need to make sure it wins. To ensure that, please volunteer to support our voter outreach programs or our other programs and issue campaigns. This week is a good time to check out efforts and pick one you want to be a part of for the next ten or eleven weeks. Read more below; we hope you’ll join us.
We can do this!
Yep, a lot of the news is how the newly inked Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will affect the nation and, of course, Maryland.
But there are also changes in living costs, up, down and sideways, and how some of those (plus the usual horse-race fixation, to which we, dear progressive readers, are not immune) change the odds in electoral scenarios.
And students and teachers, as Labor Day approaches. Will there be a match?
Read on.Read more
We’re excited to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act! Democrats in the Senate and in the House joined forces to pass the landmark climate/healthcare/fair taxes legislation that now heads to President Biden’s desk. The sustained organizing of grassroots activists across the country paid off! Progressive Maryland supported the original Build Back Better bill that passed the House months ago and we have continued campaigning throughout the year to win a good bill in the Senate. The Progressive Caucus and progressive champions in Congress did an excellent job in pushing to keep important Rx price negotiations, the minimum corporate tax rate on billionaire corporations and serious investments in reducing this country’s carbon emissions.They also helped defeat anti-immigrant riders and numerous other bad amendments from the Republicans. The measure doesn’t address everything that workers and families need but it brings us a step closer to a better future.
When we consider the fact that not a single Republican supported the IRA, and as we watch the actions of far right Governors and state legislatures in several states, it’s clear that this could be one of the most important elections our country has ever held. The choice on the November ballot is stark and clear: Candidates who support health care for all, abortion rights, overdue changes to drug policy and reforms to our justice system. Candidates who support voting rights, the rule of law and our democracy. These candidates are up against a Republican party that supports attacks on our democracy, on women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights. They’re facing a Republican party dedicated to undermining our public education system and turning back progress on racial justice and civil rights.
The choice here in Maryland is very clear. Trumpism is on the ballot in the likes of Congressman Andy Harris and Republican nominees for Governor and Attorney General, Dan Cox and Michael Peroutka.They and their white nationalist views have now been embraced enthusiastically by Bob Ehrlich, former Maryland GOP governor who was once labeled a “moderate.”
We’re ready to organize across the state to defeat these awful candidates and we know supporters like you are, too. There are a few ways to participate and we hope that one of these actions might work for you and your busy lives. Thanks for considering staying or getting involved with us and for all that you’re doing!
For one of the wealthiest states -- by some accounts THE wealthiest -- we are doing very poorly by our children. It's a constant refrain but reinforced by the annual KidsCount report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as we see in News You Can Use, below. Also, how the Inflation Reduction Act's climate provisions will fit nicely with Maryland's recent climate moves in the Assembly; the Hogan administration slow-walks provisions to protect workers from heat, just when the weather is at its worst; a shortage of nurses in the state; "Big Chicken" under fire from state attorneys general for ganging up on small farmers, and more. Read on.Read more
We hope you’ve seen the news and are applauding the tremendous victory yesterday! The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a plan that invests hundreds of billions of dollars in climate change, reins in some of the power and worst practices of Big PhRMA, and will require more corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Sulma Arias, Executive Director of People’s Action (our national affiliate) issued this statement “These investments are another step forward won by the organizers and grassroots leaders who demanded political leadership that answers to people, not corporations. Lowering carbon emissions and drug prices will give our people more breathing room in a tough economy, and making sure corporations actually pay taxes is a huge step toward a more just, people-oriented economy.”
The legislation puts the U.S. on track for the first time to meet its crucial climate commitment. It targets reducing greenhouse emissions by an estimated 40% by 2030 by making big investments in clean energy. This legislation authorizes Medicare to negotiate prices with big drug companies (at long last!) and will cap annual out of pocket costs. We prevailed on these reforms despite the millions of dollars in advertising and lobbying that Big PhRMA spent in the last two weeks.
Larry Stafford, Jr., Executive Director of Progressive Maryland said “As corporate and CEO greed drives people’s costs higher and higher, we need the relief provided by this agreement. Almost 100 million people in this country have in recent months cut their food intake, skipped treatments, or missed a payment for basic necessities like utilities so they could afford to cover a health care expense. This bill will help get health care costs and energy costs down.” Read more in the Memo...
In this week's News You Can Use, There’s no doubt that national-level news stands out this week – the stunning upholding of reproductive health protections in Kansas’s constitution and the passage of a cascade of bills in the US Senate – bills that boost US productivity in the critical chips sector, support veterans who suffered chemical injuries on active duty, and most of all passed the stripped-down but still high-potency Inflation Reduction Act in a marathon weekend of votes and countervotes.
But in Maryland, though less exciting, Larry Hogan's cherished toll roads on our friendly neighborhood Interstate get a setback, Anne Arundel County will vote on Fair Elections, and more.
Press Release: Coalition Delivers Petitions to Put Fair Elections on the Ballot in Anne Arundel County!
We are delighted to announce that a coalition led by Progressive Maryland, the League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County, Common Cause Maryland, and Maryland PIRG delivered petitions with more than 11,000 signatures to the Board of Elections to put a charter amendment on the ballot that would create a small donor campaign finance system for Anne Arundel County executive and council races. If certified by the Board, the amendment will then be included on the ballot in the general election this November for consideration by Anne Arundel County voters.