On yesterday's holiday (hard-won!) to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we recall his iconic Riverside Church address of 1967, enumerating the injustices at home and globally of which the then-raging Vietnam War was an illustration. These familiar echoes of today remind us what a visionary King was and, 53 years after his death, remains. See links to that address below.
In the Memo: Details on the Assembly’s first week, including veto overrides; two issue task forces this week -- sign up; our COVID-19 report, state and national, including the Biden-Harris vaccine recovery plan post-Trump; our chapters around the state; allies’ actions, and recent blog posts. Read on; it’s your weekly road map to building power.
Does the Maryland General Assembly, opening today, have the resilience to do the people’s business in a worsening pandemic, under unprecedented conditions and rules for both legislators and members of the public -- who want them to attend to the emergency we have now? And who want them to be open about what they are accomplishing, or not accomplishing? See what a People's Recovery Agenda must include and how we will fight for it.
STATEWIDE ANNUAL MEMBER ASSEMBLY
Larry Stafford, Progressive Maryland’s Executive Director, described our first ever virtual Membership Assembly (MA) a huge success. We brought together more than 140 concerned community activists from all over Maryland on Saturday, January 9. In a week where we saw historic election victories by Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia U.S. Senate run-offs, we also witnessed a violent white supremacist mob attack at the US Capitol. Aware of the turbulent times we’re in and the problems we face as a state and country the MA participants recommitted to the goal of advancing progressive values and voices in the legislative and electoral arenas. Our broad based community will push back against the right wing attack on democracy and against their rhetoric and deplorable actions, and will build a base of progressive voters and volunteers in the coming days and months to help us gain more seats for progressives at the local, state, and federal level.
We came away from the meeting with a newly elected Board of Directors, an increased number of dues paying members, and additional volunteer leaders all of whom will help us realize our bold vision for 2021 and 2022. See more about what we did in the Memo, below, including links to our agendas for 2021.Read more
Repairing the damage to learning brought by the pandemic, a veteran Maryland education official argues, "legislators should be guided by two basic rules. One is to follow the science. The other is to have the resolve to make tough, triage-like policy choices. Applied to relief for learning loss, research leaves little doubt that the highest return on investment would be tutoring in grades K-3 in reading. Students who fail to gain a foothold on early literacy skills never catch up academically; a shocking percentage of them become drop-outs, impoverished and too often imprisoned. Research also teaches that tutoring in the early grades will be most effective during regular school hours by paid, well-trained tutors and integrated into a school’s framework of tiered interventions for struggling readers." Given the inevitable shortfall in finances, "legislators must resist intense political pressure to simply spread the learning loss money among many competing relief proposals," and focus on what research shows would be the highest-return policy.
January 4, 2021 -- Yes, 2021, not a typo (or maybe the 4th of January NOT2020 if you prefer). It’s only a flip of the calendar page but how different it becomes is, well, up to us.
Progressive Maryland is setting priorities for the Maryland Legislature’s session THIS Saturday
You're invited to our Annual Membership Assembly! for dues-paying members or members of our affiliated organizations.. Please join us (virtually of course!) this Saturday,January 9th, 2021 from 2-5pm so you can learn about our top priorities for the upcoming session, get more involved in our organizing and participate in membership elections.. RSVP here to secure your spot. Not a member of PM yet? No worries! You can join by clicking here and then attend our membership event.
We’re going to review the power we have built (including new elected officials) and the challenges ahead as we -- too slowly -- emerge from the pandemic emergency in Maryland.
We’ll look specifically at the Assembly session the following week on critical questions of flagging pandemic relief, and persisting issues of criminal and social justice, health care, climate justice and more -- and how we will vigorously and publicly poke the Delegates and Senators to do their job.
And we’ll elect new Progressive Maryland leadership to make 2021 another year of building power for working people and families.Read more
Progressive Maryland is setting priorities for the Maryland Legislature’s session this January
You're invited to our Annual Membership Assembly! This is an important event for dues-paying members or members of our affiliated organizations.. Please join us (virtually of course!) on January 9th, 2021 from 2-5pm so you can learn about our top priorities for the upcoming session, get more involved in our organizing and participate in membership elections.
More below, plus the latest on Covid defense, national Covid relief action and PM's landscape of activism in Maryland -- plus our recent blog posts.Read more
On the annual winter solstice, we hope the Shortest Day means our dark winter of COVID will begin to give way to spring. Meanwhile, lots happening, including the latest on coping with COVID in Maryland, chapter notes and our recent blog posts.
Georgia is the center of the political universe right now, but how can hi-n-bye GOTV efforts build lasting change? People's Action, the national affiliate of Progressive Maryland, is one of the organizations trying to bring "deep canvassing" approaches to make relationships that last between elections, and build power in communities that need it. "We can't afford to just contact people every four years," said a PA organizer. "What does that build? We need to build power from the bottom up."
Read about how PA is making it happen in Georgia. It's a model Progressive Maryland and other groups are bringing to make change in our state.
The Electoral College meets after Trump's last ditch is filled with the trashed reputations of the House GOP's dead-enders. Meanwhile, progressives fight to keep the Biden transition more aligned with today's needs rather than Obama's dashed dreams. But you knew that. More to the point, here's what progressives are doing to make Maryland better and help us all slog out of the COVID morass. Read the Memo and get the picture.
This past Tuesday evening Progressive Maryland hosted our virtual Member Welcome meeting to build community and learn about what it means to be a member of Progressive Maryland. We were joined by both the longtime and relatively new members who make our organization what it is.
We want to build momentum from this meeting and head into 2021 ready to increase our grassroots power across the state, so this post is to carry that meeting’s messages to those who were unable to participate. Here's how we work together to make change in Maryland.