Apologies for the lateness of the Memo; some problem on the website slowed us down.

As we enter December, more and more interplay between national, state and local issues emerges. Chaos at the consumer finance protection agency -- supposed to be independent; local pushback on tax changes; slippery slope on repealing the individual mandate. Plus a productive session on criminal justice in Baltimore and much more; read on...



As we enter December, more and more interplay between national, state and local issues emerges.

A struggle over leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is spilling over this morning, (Nov. 27) with nobody sure whether a guardian of people’s financial safety or a Trump henchman will take over. This is the Dodd-Frank law’s enabled agency that protects people against predatory payday loans and other flimflams built on covert fine print. If OMB honcho Mick Mulvaney, one of Trump’s favorite goons, takes over you can kiss those hard-won protections goodbye and watch Wall Street march in to sweep up your money with impunity. If this falls back into Congress you might need to stiffen the spines of even your Democratic members so they don’t give in without a fight.

The so-called tax reform being put forward by the GOP will hit Maryland as hard or harder than any other state. Several state Assembly members, notably Del. Jimmy Tarlau (D-47th) have moved specifically to de-link the state’s estate tax from the proposed federal level, which would double the exemption before the tax kicked in and benefit those families with estates of between $5.5 and $11 million. Tarlau said he estimates that if Maryland (as it does under current law) tracked with the new federal estate tax level it could cost the state $50 to $100 million a year in revenue.

Others are watching as the US Senate includes repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in its tax measure. Vinnie DeMarco, a veteran activist on health issues, is proposing that Maryland’s General Assembly pass its own version of the individual mandate, a rule that helps keep overall premiums lower in a state exchange by including more participants and enlarging the risk pool with more comparatively healthy people. DeMarco’s proposal is detailed by Josh Kurtz in his Maryland Matters blog.

Listening session on Mass Incarceration in Baltimore – an action reportlistening_session_balt_2.jpg

Anthony White, lead Baltimore organizer for Progressive Maryland, organized a listening session on the effects of mass incarceration and related criminal justice issues at Project Success YouthPlace the evening of Nov. 21. A focused assembly of 20 folks tackled these questions:

1. What are the top 3 issues with the criminal justice system?

2. What's the best way to address these issues?

3. How has the criminal justice system impacted you?

4. Extend the conversation by brainstorming the ideal criminal justice system.

 “We were excited that we had a great turnout for our first neighborhood listening session,” Anthony reports. “After the session we had each group present their question responses to the whole group.

 “We then created a unity circle and joined hands and spoke about our commitments to one another and next steps.

 “We have an event set for Dec. 13 where we’ll be viewing the movie “13th” and looking at the responses from the Criminal Justice Survey and breakout session,” Anthony reported in conclusion.


Statewide Progressive Maryland General Meeting is set for Dec. 21. Save the date and watch for location and details.

Progressive Maryland  THREE-DAY MOVEMENT POLITICS TRAINING  -- December 08, 2017  - December 10, 2017

We train volunteers to knock on neighbors’ doors and transform their communities into a force at the polls. We ask candidates tough questions and secure policy commitments. And, crucially, we help leaders in our movement transition from community activists to elected office, transforming our political system. We are looking for people to help with both issue and electoral campaigns to win victories in 2018 and beyond. We will in-depth cover:

How we look not just at one race, but at each race as part of our power-building strategy across the state

How potential candidates and campaign operatives can assess their readiness to run, the needs of their race, and their existing base

How to build strong field operations that connect deeply with voters and that build teams of motivated volunteer leaders

How to effectively raise money through a practical and relational approach to fundraising

WHEN Friday Dec. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 10

Training on Friday, December 8th will be from 5:30 pm-9 pm
Training on  Saturday, December 9th will be from 10 am-6 pm
Training on Sunday, December 10th will be from 10 am-4:30 pm


WHERE: Greenpeace Warehouse, 3133 Pennsy Dr, Hyattsville, MD 20785.

In all of our training, we don't simply provide skills and tools - we also examine the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that get in the way of being successful movement-building electoral organizers. Developing our leadership requires not only knowledge but also self-reflection and transformation. So we use a training style called agitation, which helps shake us out of our established ways of thinking and acting. While this process can feel challenging at times, it is also liberating, as we realize that we have the ability to make tremendous changes in our communities, our organizations, and our society.

Your trainers will be: Alexiss Kurtz, Movement Politics Director, Progressive Maryland and Brandy Brooks, Leadership Development Organizer, Progressive Maryland

Sun Dec 3 Maryland Pre Legislative Session Summit at UMBC Engineering Building, Join the Maryland Legislative Coalition on the UMCP campus from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a Summit in preparation for the 2018 Maryland Legislative Session. As a participant, you will learn how to communicate effectively with legislators, with training on lobbying provided by Maryland Working Families. You will then hear about legislative priorities from major Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) across the state and across a spectrum of issues. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect directly with the NGOs to help support their legislative goals. SPONSORED BY MARYLAND NOW. Find out more, including cosponsoring organizations, and sign up.

Dec. 4 Maryland Now hosts second event in College Park. “Changemakers, thought leaders, policymakers, and progressive donors will gather in College Park on Monday, December 4, for Our Maryland’s 2017 Politics & Policy Summit.” More here

Tue Dec 5 Annapolis Rally for Election Day Registration and automatic voter registration bills. 10 a.m. at Lawyer’s Mall.  https://go.peoplepower.org/go/6466?source=ppem_39691&t=1&akid=39691%2E1419960%2EP5wvh8


Take Action Anne Arundel County

Thursday December 7, Take Action AAC will be hosting a chapter meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Edgewater Library in Edgewater, MD. The chapter will meet in the conference room. The discussion topic is base building in 2018. Want to be effective in making change happen on the issues you care about?  Do you know what it means to build power?  Join the conversation with Take Action AAC. RSVP on Facebook.

Frederick County Progressives

PMD Montgomery

Mon, Dec 20   District 5 Happy Hour  6-8 p.m. at Nando's Peri-Peri Silver Spring, MD -- Before holiday travel, gather with fellow Montgomery County progressives to celebrate recent victories and what is next for PMD Montgomery. RSVP!

And check out the latest blog from PMD Montgomery: Montgomery County, the Under 2 Coalition, and Recently in Bonn

Progressive Prince George’s

Thursday, December 14  SAVE the DATE – Progressive Prince George’s Chapter Meeting

at 6-8 p.m. at Colmar Manor Town Hall, Lawrence Street in Colmar Manor, MD. We look forward to collaborating!

Thursday - December 7th -- Prince George's County Fair Elections Town Hall Meeting 6:30-8:30PM (doors open at 6PM) Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex, 7007 Bock Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744
Join Fair Elections Maryland and Councilmembers Obie Patterson (D-8), Mary Lehman (D-1) and Mel Franklin (D-9) and guest speakers for a Prince George's County Town Hall! In recent years, many residents of Prince George's County have felt that their voices are being increasingly drowned out by the flood of big money into our local elections. Our guest speakers address this issue: Jennifer Bevan-Dangel (Common Cause of Maryland), Delman L. Coates, Ph.D. (Our Revolution Prince George's), Larry Stafford (Progressive Maryland), and panel moderator Joe Brice (President, Prince George's Civic Federation) Find out how small donor empowerment programs put voters back in the driver's seat of our elections by providing matching funds for small contributions to candidates who reject large and corporate contributions. This system allows candidates relying on small donors to compete with big money candidates by appealing to everyday constituents.  Let's Get Money Out of Prince George's Politics!
RSVP: https://goo.gl/forms/096Zp5cuT0TkIRhM2
Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/events/253198808540711/

Join The Movement!

Progressive Maryland has launched a 75-day campaign to start a resident-led and resident-funded collective of people harnessing their own talents and skills to create a Prince George’s truly shaped by residents.  Click here to find out more information and join other Prince Georgians dedicated to making a change! For technical and member support, contact Seanniece Bamiro at [email protected]

Prince George’s Events

TODAY Tues Nov. 28 --  Environmental justice issues in the Port Towns and the county.  

Guest Speaker: Sacoby Wilson, PhD, MS, Associate Professor and Director, Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health School of Public Health at UMCP – Colmar Manor Town Hall, Lawrence Street in Colmar Manor, MD -- come at 6:30 for refreshments and meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Location: RSVP : [email protected]

You matter!  Get involved and get your issues addressed.  

Email the issue leads below to join a group. RVSP meeting attendance with the issue lead.

Join Our County Council Teams Today!

We are looking for a point person for each County Council District. This team will mobilize when needed to advocate with their councilperson on a progressive issue, or to support new candidates for the office. If you are interested in this, please reach to Diane Teichert, County Council Lead [email protected].


Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus


Wed Nov 29 Food and Water Watch community meeting on OFF (Off Fossil Fuels) campaign – 6 to 7 p.m. Spauldings branch Prince George’s libraries, 5811 Old Silver Hill Rd District Heights, MD 20747

Thurs Nov. 30   – SURJ MoCo -- Combating the Rising Tide of Antisemitism 7-9 p.m. — Fighting Antisemitism for Jews and Allies..  Rebecca Ennen from Jews United for Justice will be teaching us how we can identify and effectively fight against antisemitism. Cedar Lane UUC  Room 32-35 (lower level) 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda. RSVP HERE

Friday December 1, Free Screening of “13th” and Panel Discussion in Annapolis at the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts. RSVP for tickets. 

Wed Dec. 6 DACA TPS Action with CASA 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gather at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Ln, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA Event hosted by SURJ MoCo: https://www.facebook.com/events/806934362833068/   CASA will be holding a noontime rally on Capitol Hill as we fight to #SaveTPS and ensure the passage of a #CleanDREAMAct before the end of this legislative session. Public transit or possible charter to move to Hill for event. Tentative time to meet is 11 a.m., but please be on the lookout for updated details closer to the date. Please RSVP by 12/1 if you can attend this action:  

Thurs. Dec. 7 Justice Reading Circle: White Supremacy & Antisemitism 7:00pm – 9:00pm hosted by SURJ MoCo, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church 9601 Cedar Ln, Bethesda, Maryland 20814: https://www.facebook.com/events/1336739796436913/  Join Jews United for Justice, SURJ MoCo, and Cedar Lane's Social Justice Ministry for a discussion of Eric K. Ward's "Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism." Please read the article in advance: http://www.politicalresearch.org/2017/06/29/skin-in-the-game-how-antisemitism-animates-white-nationalism   If child care or ASL interpretation or any other accommodations would allow you to participate, please email [email protected] by 11/30. We will do our best to provide all needed accommodations.

 Tuesday, December 12th, -- Final hearing on the zoning decision for the compressor station Dominion wants to build near Accokeek Maryland on Tuesday December 12th at 7pm. It will be at the Charles County Government Building, 200 Baltimore St., La Plata, Maryland. AMP Creeks Council will finish its presentation against the zoning exemption, Dominion will have a chance for rebuttal, and the appeals board members are expected to deliberate in front of the audience and come to a decision that night. The appeals board seems to be responding to what it sees from the audience. More info at Facebook event

Baltimore comrades, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

To keep up with progressive events in and around DC consult the invaluable calendar at the Washington Peace Center, http://washingtonpeacecenter.org/alerts

 It all happens for free… right? Not exactly. Organizing for change in our society and our high-maintenance politics requires both people and money. Keep change moving with a quick, secure impulse-buy contribution here.

Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous week are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at [email protected]

We recently posted these blogs:

November 25, 2017   Corruption of DNC gets chapter and verse treatment in Brazile book

Hal Ginsberg walks us through the covert deal that tilted the Democratic National Committee in Hillary Clinton's favor. As you might expect, Donna Brazile's insider book shows that it was all about the money.

November 24, 2017  Reversal of net neutrality harms all of us

"While a slowdown of Stranger Things or make-up tutorials may not inspire you to be upset, consider that all types of information would be impacted by the destruction of net neutrality," Liz Dueweke says. "It is undeniably a social justice and public health issue."

November 22, 2017   Fighting climate change starts locally and can have local benefits

Cheverly, in Prince George's County, provides a model for many: The attention paid to mitigating climate change at the local level, we recognize, can jump-start some stagnant parts of our local, state and national economy.

November 21, 2017  The struggle to survive in an affluent county without a living wage

Sophia Marjanovic, a Progressive Maryland activist in Montgomery County, spoke at the signing of MoCo’s $15/hr minimum wage measure Monday, Nov. 13. She described everyday life with no margin and the vulnerabilities that brings.

November 20, 2017   Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Nov. 20-27

Having things to give thanks for has this imperative -- bring more good things to more people. That's you; that's us.

Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace from June 2015 through December 2016 are all available with descriptions and links here. You can follow blogs for 2017 starting from here


woody woodruff


M.A. and Ph.d. from University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism, would-be radical, sci-fi fan... retired to a life of keyboard radicalism...