Happy Valentine's Day! Here's the Weekly Memo from Progressive Maryland — your road map for progressive action in this and coming weeks. We can do it. Change starts today.
Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re just over a month into the Maryland General Assembly session, and this is a big week for our grassroots advocacy efforts.
We’ve partnered with a statewide alliance of community organizations, unions, and civil rights groups to organize a virtual Health Justice Lobby Day taking place from 4–6:30 PM TODAY on Zoom. Together, we’ll urge our representatives in Annapolis to support critical bills that address the medical debt crisis, establish paid family & medical leave programs for workers, expand healthcare access in underserved communities, and more. No prior advocacy experience is required, and there’s still a little time left to RSVP at http://bit.ly/hjday214!
Then, a few days from now, we’re hosting virtual Cannabis Legislation Lobby Days. Join us this Wednesday, February 16 & Thursday, February 17 as we tell Maryland lawmakers why it’s so important to pass strong and equitable cannabis legalization this session. We’re scheduling meetings based on when people are available for them, so sign up here if you’re interested and one of our organizers will reach out to see what time(s) work for you.
We’re doing all we can to encourage bold and meaningful action from our lawmakers this legislative session! Will you join us?
The Progressive Maryland Team
Become a Progressive Maryland Member
Become a Progressive Maryland member today at https://pgmd.us/join! Member support helps us organize at the grassroots level to advance social, economic, and political justice. Our members lead our work groups, organize exciting events and actions, and join us when we have calls with state and federal elected officials.
If you join as a member this week, you’ll receive an invitation to our virtual New Member Welcome Event scheduled for next Tuesday, February 22! Keep an eye on your inbox for the invite link!
2022 Maryland Elections:
Volunteer with our election team to build support for progressive candidates ahead of the June 28 primaries! Go to pgmd.us/electionvolunteer to help us elect movement candidates who are ready to transform Maryland politics.
Every Thursday, we host a phone bank to introduce Marylanders to great progressive candidates running in this year’s elections. Join us for this week’s Throwdown Thursday on February 17 from 6–8pm to call voters across the state with our team! If you’ve never phonebanked before, don’t worry! We provide training and support. Click this link to let us know you’ll join — it’s fun, and it’s a great opportunity to meet other Marylanders ready for political change.
Note to Candidates: If you’re running for office, have already filed for candidacy, and are interested in being considered for our endorsement, you may complete a candidate questionnaire here.
Join us TODAY, Monday February 14 from 4–6:30 PM for a virtual Health Justice Lobby Day! We’re teaming up with progressive allies across the state to push for policies that will expand healthcare coverage, address health disparities, and increase patient protections. No prior advocacy experience is required! We’ll start the event with an hour-long briefing and some basic training to prepare folks. Register to join at bit.ly/hjday214, and be sure to list Progressive Maryland as your organization.
We have another exciting health justice event lined up next week: join us in person next Monday, February 21 from 6:30–8 PM for a Rally for Paid Family & Medical Leave organized by the Time to Care Coalition! We’ll meet at Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis (100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401). RSVP here for the rally — don’t forget to list Progressive Maryland as your organization when you sign up. Want to get involved with our Healthcare Justice work? Contact Malcolm or Patty to learn more!
Drug Policy Task Force
We’re partnering with the Marijuana Policy Project, Maryland NORML, Our Revolution Maryland, and the Working Families Party to host virtual Cannabis Legislation Lobby Days this Wednesday, February 16 and Thursday, February 17! Join us as we urge lawmakers to pass equitable cannabis legislation that prioritizes meaningful community reinvestment. If you’re available to join a meeting with legislators for any length of time on either of these lobby days, please register here. We’ll follow up to confirm what time(s) you’re available! You can RSVP even if you can only spare 30 minutes during your lunch break – every bit of support helps. If you have any questions, reach out to Zach.
Reentry Work Group
Our volunteer-led Reentry Work Group (REWG) is soliciting grant proposals for projects designed to support returning citizens in Prince George’s County! Projects that are eligible for support through this grant may address services including (but not limited to) employment and job training, physical and mental health care, and transitional housing. The REWG will accept applications from businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, and community organizations until the deadline on Monday, February 28. Grants in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 will be awarded following a committee selection process to support one year of work. Application details and additional information here.
Environmental Justice Task Force
Do you believe everyone deserves clean air and water? Are you disturbed by the fact that low-income communities and communities of color bear the most brutal consequences of environmental injustice and corporate environmental exploitation? We believe in an environmental movement that centers equity, and we’d love to have you join us as we reconvene our environmental justice task force! If you’re interested, send an email to Yves, our newly-appointed environmental justice organizer, to learn more about getting involved.
Local Chapter Updates:
Anne Arundel Fair Elections
Last week, Republicans on the Anne Arundel County Council blocked a resolution that would have allowed voters to decide whether to create a Fair Elections Fund in the county. This is a frustrating setback in our path to campaign finance reform, but we’re not giving up in the fight to democratize our elections! Stay tuned for next steps, and contact Jesse if you’re interested in getting involved with our fair elections work.
Lower Shore Progressive Caucus
The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus just celebrated its five year anniversary! Congratulations to Jared and the incredible team of leaders and members building progressive power in that critical region of the state. Progressive Maryland is proud to be hosting a joint political event with LSPC on Saturday, February 26 from 3–4 PM — register here to join!
No matter where in the state you live, you’re invited to attend this virtual gathering where we’ll offer updates on our 2022 election campaigns and raise money for our New Era PAC to support our electoral work. Folks will hear from Michele Gregory, Salisbury City Council Member and PM-endorsed candidate for State Senate, as well as other leaders from the Shore and CD-1. You don’t want to miss it!
Progressive Harford County
Join Progressive Harford tomorrow, Tuesday, February 15 from 6:30–8 PM for Calling All Democrats: Let’s Win Harford County. The Harford County Democratic Central Committee is hosting this virtual election forum for all Dems running or considering running for local and state level offices to represent Harford. Join us to hear from Democrats who have filed to run for office and learn how other Harford residents can run too! Voters can submit questions ahead of the event.
We’re also hosting a candidate town hall with Democratic gubernatorial candidate John King this Thursday, February 17 from 6:30–8 PM on Zoom. Register today to join the conversation. Please note: hosting a candidate town hall is not an endorsement.
Progressive Prince George's
Our meeting to convene the Progressive Prince George’s chapter has been postponed – it will now take place on Tuesday, March 15. If you live in Prince George’s County, this will be a great opportunity to meet fellow activists and plug into our issue and electoral work in the coming months. We can’t wait to see you in mid-March!
State and National News:
Where is the love on Valentine's Day? There’s not much we can do about squabbling factions in the state GOP. But pressuring our state and federal officials — to pass laws and rules that serve working people and families, not wealthy corporate interests — that’s within our grasp. Check out the work taking place at the state & federal levels and join forces with advocates & activists to make change — all this and more in Keeping the Pressure On, this week’s roundup of progressive news you can you use!
Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies:
TODAY Monday, February 14 | 4–6:30 PM (virtual) — Progressive Maryland is teaming up with progressive allies across the state for a Health Justice Lobby Day! Join us to urge our representatives in Annapolis to take action on urgent healthcare issues. Register for the lobby day here – and don’t forget to list Progressive Maryland as your organization!
Tuesday, February 15 | 12–1 PM (Annapolis) — Our Revolution Maryland is holding a Rally for Democracy at the Office of the Maryland Board of Elections (151 West St #200, Annapolis, MD 21401). RSVP here to join!
Tuesday, February 15 | 6:30–8 PM (virtual) — Progressive Harford is hosting a virtual election forum to bring progressives together and ensure our voices are heard in this year’s elections! RSVP here to attend.
Wednesday, February 16 | 7–8 PM (virtual) — Join the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition (MDPHC) for a Medicare for All Meet & Greet this Wednesday! After focusing for the past few months on advocating for the Medicare Expansion provisions of Build Back Better, the coalition is shifting back to its foundational mission of achieving Medicare for All nationally. RSVP for the event here.
Wednesday, February 16 & Thursday, February 17 | times vary (virtual) — PM is partnering Marijuana Policy Project, Maryland NORML, Our Revolution Maryland, and the Working Families Party to host two virtual Cannabis Legislation Lobby Days! If you’re available to join a meeting with lawmakers for any length of time either day, please register here. We’ll follow up to confirm what time(s) you’re available.
Thursday, February 17 | 6 PM (virtual) — Join the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability (MCJPA) for a Police Accountability Board Implementation Town Hall this week. We’ll hear from MCJPA member organizations and coalitions across the state about their efforts to establish effective community oversight of police misconduct. RSVP here to receive an event link.
Monday, February 21 | 6:30 PM (Annapolis) — The Time to Care Coalition is hosting a Rally for Paid Family & Medical Leave on Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis (100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401). Sign up to join us at the rally! – and be sure to list Progressive Maryland as your organization when you register.
Monday, February 21 | 7 PM (Greenbelt) — The New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt is screening Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice, a film biography of a crusading journalist, anti-lynching campaigner, and Black suffragette during the most repressive years of the Jim Crow period. More information here.
Saturday, February 26 | 3–4 PM (virtual) — The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus and Progressive Maryland’s New Era Project are hosting a virtual “house party” and fundraising event! Join us to learn about our exciting 2022 electoral program and work to elect progressive leaders across Maryland — RSVP here.
Tuesday, March 1 | 6:30–7:30 PM (virtual) — Mark your calendars! End Medical Debt Maryland is hosting a virtual launch event for our 2022 campaign. Registration link to come soon.
Tuesday, March 15 | TBD (virtual) — Our Progressive Prince George’s chapter meeting has been rescheduled for mid-March. We’re excited to reconvene the chapter and talk about the issue and electoral work that’s ahead in PG County!
Progressive Maryland BlogSpace:
We value creating space for our members to express their thoughts on any issues related to our campaigns. Have an idea for a blog post? You can submit writing, film, graphic design, etc. to be published on our website to the blog moderator Woody at [email protected].
- New Today: Keeping the pressure on — the weekly roundup of news you can use (February 14, 2022)
- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo — February 7, 2022
- Labor advances make state & national news — the weekly roundup of news you can use (February 7, 2022)
- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo — January 31, 2022
- Congress is back and the MGA is still churning — the weekly roundup of news you can use (January 31, 2022)
- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo — January 24, 2022