A double bonus again: our director Larry Stafford outlines how the state House of Delegates dodged the bullet of a leadership race controlled by the GOP minority and what it will take to bring enough change to ensure this close call doesn't happen again. And in an account from another capital -- the one downtown -- Progressive Maryland and allies in the #People's Wave went to the streets to secure Medicare for All and mass-shamed Big Pharma for its role in raising drug prices to life-threatening levels -- because they can. M4A will insure they lose that edge.
/By Larry Stafford Jr. <> PM BlogSpace Report/ Progressive Maryland congratulates Adrienne Jones on her election to be the first African American and woman to serve as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates.
But the race for who leads us in Maryland’s legislature came too close to a corporate Democrat/Republican alliance.
This election underscores just how crucial it is that we elect candidates who reflect OUR values, not the values of their wealthy donors.
If this sounds like it could be you, then join us this month for our Progressive Maryland’s Movement Politics Training on Saturday, May 18th in Baltimore, MD.
This training will cover a range of topics from the process and rules of filing to run for office and how to run a campaign, including fundraising, campaign strategy, endorsements, field operations, communications, and budgeting.
You'll also learn how the political system functions, why it’s currently failing Maryland voters, and what trainees can do to change that as we get ready for the next election cycle. We want to empower passionate folks like you to have the skills and tools you need to change the political landscape in Maryland. In just one day, you will learn the tools of the trade from experienced organizers and will leave with the skills needed to launch and WIN your own electoral campaign.
The training is $15 for members, $25 for non-members, and FREE for a small number of training volunteers.
If you can't make the training but still want to support building progressive power in Maryland, consider becoming a recurring donor today. We need your support to recruit and train more progressive champions in Maryland.
In solidarity, Larry Stafford Jr.
Executive Director, Progressive Maryland
AND MEANWHILE, IN A DIFFERENT CAPITAL….
/By Connie Huynh <> Progressive Breakfast/ Progressives in People's Action just won a huge victory in the fight for Medicare For All: the House Ways and Means Committee has announced they will hold, for the first time, hearings on the Medicare For All Act Of 2019, introduced this spring by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT).
Ways and Means plays a decisive role in whether or not Medicare for All advances to the floor for a vote.
Who helped make this happen? People’s Action members from all across the country – nearly a thousand – came to Washington, D.C. this weekend to demand Medicare For All. The #People’s Wave took to the streets because people – our people – are dying from corporate greed and government complacency. We need solutions to our health care crisis now, not later.
People’s Action hit on all cylinders in D.C. –with rallies, protests and marches, and in committee rooms and offices and on Capitol Hill. Three of our members – Robert Kraig from Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Kristy Fogle from Progressive Maryland and Savanna Lyons from West Virginia Citizen Action Group – were invited by Rep. Jayapal to join the House Rules Committee’s first-ever meeting on Medicare For All on Tuesday.
But first, Rep. Jayapal met with People’s Action. On Monday, she spoke at the plenary of the #PeoplesWave – our national convention of 48 member groups from 30 states. Sen. Sanders joined us too, at our plenary on Tuesday.
This was a homecoming for Pramila – before coming to Congress, she was a civil rights activist in Seattle and the founding director of OneAmerica, a People’s Action member group.
“This is the kind of energy we need: grassroots organizers, leaders, movement builders, in the streets – making sure we take our country back for working people of every color, for opportunity,” she told us there. “That’s what America should be about – and I can’t wait to see you in the streets!”
We took Pramila at her word: on Monday afternoon, we joined a rally led by National Nurses United in front of the headquarters of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), where People’s Action director George Goehl and Lori Young, a member of People’s Action member group Iowa CCI, both spoke.
PhRMA has just launched a new anti-Medicare for All lobbying group, the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future (PAHCF), together with for-profit hospitals and insurers. This group was created specifically to try to kill the momentum of Medicare For All, so corporations can continue to make billions in profits off our broken health care system.
So on Tuesday, PA’s message went straight to PAHCF: we took over the lobby of their D.C. headquarters.
“We’re here because we’ve had enough,” said the letter a thousand of our activists delivered to the PAHCF. “We’re calling on PAHCF to immediately cease and desist from all attempts to undermine Medicare For All, and join us in the fight to ensure that health care is a right for everyone.”
The Wave moved to Capitol Hill, where People’s Action members held actions in the offices of four lawmakers who stand in the way of Medicare For All, and take money from the PAHCF: Sens. Mitch McConnell (KY) and Susan Collins (ME), Rep. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (MD) and Dan Lipinski (IL). [Progressive Maryland members were lead activists in the occupation of Ruppersberger’s office.]
Published by Progressive Breakfast May 2. Follow link for complete report. Progressive Maryland is a state affiliate of People's Action and sent a large contingent to the #People's Wave convention in downtown DC April 27-29.