The Fight for Justice and More: PM Weekly Memo for Tuesday, October 12, 2021
As we marked another Indigenous People’s Day yesterday around the state and around the nation, we were moved by the Native elders, activists and faith leaders who came to Washington, D.C. to demand that President Biden declare a Climate Emergency. We’re inspired by the courage, vision, and determination of these front line activists who are raising awareness about the need to save our waterways and restore our ecosystems. For decades, their communities have witnessed first hand the environmental destruction caused by the fossil fuel and other extractive industries. We should heed their call to “build back fossil free” and institute public policies that put the planet and people first. Congress can take a major step forward by keeping the climate provisions in Build Back Better and then getting to work on a robust Green New Deal.
Federal action is needed now to address the existential threat of human induced climate change. Such measures will help all of our communities, particularly those that have suffered environmental degradation, like many areas of Baltimore. Read the post in today’s Maryland Matters by PM’s Executive Director about this topic: Build Back Better has the pieces for a better Baltimore
Thanks for reading our update and for being part of this movement.
The Progressive Maryland Team
Progressive Maryland's Executive Director Larry Stafford Jr. sees the pro-urban and pro-Baltimore elements embedded in President Biden's Build Back Better plan. It's important to keep it intact as GOP indifference and some neolib Democrats want to dismantle it. Protecting it is vital, for Baltimore, for Maryland and for democracy. This piece first appeared as a guest commentary in Maryland Matters on Monday, Oct. 11.
‘What do we want? A Caring Economy! Medicare expansion and lower Rx prices! More good jobs! Climate Action! A Pathway to Citizenship! Corporate accountability and tax fairness! When do we want it? Now!’
We’re marching in the streets, contacting Members of Congress, mobilizing our base, and lifting up progressive messages and progressive champions to counter the tired old Joe Manchin and mainstream narrative.
"We" of course means you, all of you ready for change from your neighborhood to Annapolis to DC, and holding elected officials accountable to work to improve your lives, not those of lobbyists and corporate CEOs. Read on to see how.Read more
As the full horror of Donald Trump's attempt to seize power and dump democracy fades in the public mind, the mainstream media -- which collectively had been pointing out the difference between facts and lies -- have slumped back into he said-she said vanilla coverage. Take the word "strict," analyst Sean Dobson suggests -- a word with a lot of positive connotations for most readers. Does it make sense to describe as "strict" scuh recent state-level atrocities as Mississippi's or Texas's draconian new abortion laws, or the blatant voter-suppression laws being passed by Republican legislators in a dozen-plus states where they have control? Or is the press slipping back to its old duck-and-cover strategy to avoid being tagged as "liberal"?
Progressive Maryland Statement Against Corporate Meddling Following Dēmos and People’s Action Report
A new report from People's Action and Demos details the avalanche of corporate spending to stop or trim important measures that would expand Medicare, childcare, paid family leave, community health programs, green jobs and critical climate initiatives.
“It’s not surprising that these businesses that represent billionaire and multi-millionaire CEOs and stockholders are lobbying hard to keep the status quo in place -- big tax breaks for them, higher prices and lower wages for us -- and that they are spending tens of millions of dollars to vocalize their demands and to drown out the peoples’ voices” said Larry Stafford, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland.
Congress is back and we are stepping up the Build Back Better campaign! We can’t let a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of a plan that will enact $3.5 trillion dollars of funding for much needed investments in Medicare expansion, community health programs, green jobs, paid family leave, and the framework that will create a path to citizenship for those who need it. Let’s remind Congress as we did last week at the Welcome Back rally that they work for us, not for Big Pharma, the U.S.Chamber of Commerce and Big Oil. Join the fight! More on this in our updates and news sections below.
The overdose crisis has reached new levels of harm and devastation in our country and communities. Last year more than 93,000 people in the United States died of preventable overdose. Sadly but not surprisingly the number of people struggling and dying has increased during the pandemic. It’s long past time to end the overdose crisis and to invest in public health solutions like treatment and harm reduction. Progressive Maryland’s Drug Policy Task Force is meeting with lawmakers, gathering stories, working with allies and holding a special event this Wednesday evening, Stories From the Overdose Crisis (see below for more details) in order to sound the alarm. We need a new approach, one that prioritizes policies and programs that offer people help. Let’s come together now to do something about this crisis and to demand accountability from Big Pharma and to demand that drug policies be overhauled and updated. Let’s turn our concern into action.
The last protections against eviction during the still-raging pandemic have fallen in many states, Maryland included. How did the feds' $46 billion in assistance get bogged down? We hear about it from Maryland Matters (our state failure) and The New York Times about today's bleak landscape and, well, supply chain issues plus appalling factors like "the reluctance of local officials to ease eligibility requirements for the poor," a familiar-sounding concern. We are on our own in Maryland and will have to watch our neighbors' backs as evictions continue and landlords (who could have worked with tenants to make this money flow much more quickly) instead march their lawyers into court to continue criminalizing poverty.