CITIZEN LOBBYING MAKES A DIFFERENCE AND IS FULFILLING. TRY IT MARCH 4.

Progressive Maryland activists and allies are going to lobby their legislators in Annapolis the floor_debate_tally_reduced.jpgevening of Monday, March 4, and you should be among them.

Why does citizen lobbying matter? "...companies, trade groups and organizations spent $44 million on 153 lobbyists" and it takes numbers to fight cash. See more, read on, and sign up.


Progressive Maryland activists and allies are going to lobby their legislators in Annapolis the evening of Monday, March 4, and you should be among them.

Why does citizen lobbying matter?

When members of the Maryland General Assembly gather for their annual three-month session (January through early April), the business of influencing their discussions and votes is big business. Maryland Reporter crunched the numbers from the state Ethics Commission and found “companies, trade groups and organizations spent $44 million on 153 lobbyists — counting only those making $50,000 or more as reported to the state, a few more than last year.”

How do Maryland’s communities – yes, us mere voters – compete with that kind of corporate money being spread around Annapolis? With numbers, of course. Activist groups go in force to Annapolis during the session every year, flocking to the offices of their district legislators, and press the case for pro-people legislation that benefits workers, consumers and working families. Progressive Maryland members and allies will do that this coming Monday, March 4, starting at 6 PM in the House office building, room 142. The agenda is below.

The big money that keeps those 153-plus lobbyists busy during the session is, of course, not spent on urging legislation that march_4_pm_lobby_night.jpgfavors workers, consumers and families, but to bend that legislation to make sure that corporations and businesses are the real winners, whatever the legislators might claim. That’s what we’re fighting against. And that’s why Lobby Nights, when large groups of activists head for the halls of the House of Delegates and the Senate to meet face to face with legislators and staff, are so important.

Nearly every Monday during the session, activist groups schedule mass lobby nights because the lawmakers are in their offices in the evening before the 8 PM session starts. Our allies in the Sierra Club, the Maryland Climate Coalition, and other activist groups have done so already this session.

What’s in it for you? Actually, quite a lot. You don’t always win, but (unfortunately) the best bills take the most work and longest time to get across the finish line.

Seanniece Bamiro, Progressive Prince George’s staff member, observes: “Before I started working interning with the Maryland General Assembly many moons ago, I only knew what happened down in Annapolis by theory because I took one class in undergrad. Lobby days are a good way to jump in feet first and figure out what's going on in the state, meet some of the key players and find information for yourself. “

As Seanniece points out, when you lobby you find out more about where the legislators that are in your district, the ones who need your votes, are sitting in the legislative power structure, what committees they work on and how those committees can affect what gets passed. Being on the ground in the State House neighborhood gives you these insights firsthand.

So join us Monday, March 4 to make a difference.


floor_debate_tally_reduced.jpgProgressive Maryland 2019 Lobby Night Agenda 

Room 142, House of Delegates office building, 6 Bladen St. 6-9 PM


Welcome - general greeting

Progressive Maryland - who we are

Top Issues for 2019 Session (and some bill statuses; there will be updates): 

  1. Fight for 15 - min wage – HB 166 was on the House floor today (February 27).
  2. Mass Liberation - (bail reform, ending the school to prison pipeline HB 725/SB 766)
  3. Fair Elections HB 1017 has a hearing in House Ways and Means Tuesday, March 5, 1 PM
  4. Healthcare for All – the Healthy Maryland Act SB 871 needs to get unstuck from Senate Finance


Questions/Answers 

Closing - Scheduled Lobby Visits to begin (staff will have details).

Optional: Watch the floor session which begins at 8:00 PM (self-guided) 

RSVP TODAY