Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo -- elections, protests, anger, grief. Monday, June 8, 2020

trump-hogan_wbal.jpgElections are an important part of organizing – though there’s more to it than that, of course. But elections get people moving and show how power can be built, voter by voter, person by person. And progressives can win. See below for our winners in Baltimore, MoCo, the Lower Shore and Prince George's. And for the "more to it than that" part, read on for chapter meetings in Baltimore and MoCo, responding to protests (Larry Hogan as bad example) and how history comes along and makes demands, ready or not, on us. Plus COVID-19 response, chapter news and our recent blog posts -- all in the Monday Memo.



 

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday June 8 2020

Elections are an important part of organizing – though there’s more to it than that, of course. But elections get people moving and show how power can be built, voter by voter, person by person. And progressives can win.

Two of the Progressive Maryland-endorsed School Board candidates who notched victories in the Primary and will be on the ballot in November are Shayla Adams-Stafford, the top vote getter for the District 4 seat in Prince Georges County  and Dr. Sunil Dasgupta, who placed second in the Montgomery County At-Large contest which  qualifies him  for the general election.  Congratulations and thanks to Shayla and Sunil and to all our volunteers who helped power our voter outreach!

As we go to press, ballots are still being counted in Baltimore but we now know that Progressive Maryland endorsed candidate for Comptroller, Bill Henry, has won. As has Odette Ramos who has been elected to the City Council from District 14. And in the Mayoral race, Brandon Scott, the progressive champion we endorsed, holds a slim lead. Congratulations and thanks to all of our Baltimore candidates, including those who came up short, and to all the activists who campaigned with us for them.

                                                          ***

We said there was more to organizing – sometimes you do it and sometimes history delivers demands.

The continuing, persistent public response to the outrage of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police has spread deeply in many places, especially in US and international cities. But it has also spread widely, with smaller, spontaneous street actions across the country and in improbably small-town, not-so-blue places. Here in Maryland we have seen events in Pocomoke, Frostburg, Towson, Mt. Rainier, Elkton, Silver Spring, Baltimore, and Annapolis. 

 It has galvanized those feeling the hurt of Breonna Taylor’s murder in Louisville and many other cascading outrages of police brutality back to Freddie Gray and beyond.police_violence.png

The only question is not how different this moment feels from anything previous but whether the difference will translate into the broad public consensus for change that is urgently required.

In what had seemed a fifty-fifty nation, suddenly very large majorities of poll respondents say: bigotry and racism are real; major changes must come.

There is a responsibility to work this change, to turn rage into organizing for a better society. It is ours.

 

HOGAN’S TRUE COLORS

Progressive Maryland notes with all due disrespect that Gov. Larry Hogan's "I'm the not-Trump Republican" mask slipped when he echoed Trump about the need for "domination" after his fawning call with the White House Bunker occupant.

We also note that Hogan was quick to send Maryland National Guard troops to DC on White House request despite Mayor Bowser's protests about militarization of public safety -- as protesters courageously braved a pandemic (and smartly kept their social distance) to make their case in the streets.

Gov. Northam of Virginia declined to send his Guard troops, showing Hogan up for the toady he is.

 

BALTIMORE INAUGURAL

The primaries are just behind us, and now we wait for the results. Last night Brandon took the lead over Sheila Dixon by almost 400 votes, and with most of the votes already in we won't have long to wait! Our hard work was crucial in the results we are seeing, the hours of phone calls and texting and (in earlier times of course) door knocking. No matter how this race turns out, we should be proud of the work that we did. Here's hoping that by Thursday we have all heard great news about this race!

This Thursday at 6 we will hold the first meeting of our Baltimore chapter. It's time that we gather together, to talk and share our thoughts about recent events, actions, and victories. We also want to talk about some of the starting ideas to better equip all of us for the struggles ahead. We know that the power to create substantive change in Baltimore lies in community action, and we want to discuss ways that we can encourage that.

Oh, and one more thing: we want to ensure as big a turnout as possible, and we can only do that through your help. Use this link (https://secure.everyaction.com/FM2s-q4r9UGygUVpIPJLNw2) to RSVP for the meeting, and invite 3-5 people that you know that would like to join us to fight for Baltimore. Also share meeting details around on social media...every little bit helps. I'm really excited to talk with all of you, and to help get us started on our mission here, to build an awesome city that also takes care of its kids and fosters their growth through quality educational infrastructure, that treats communities of color with a respect that safeguards the lives of its citizens from abuse from law enforcement and climate destruction. Come and join us please.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear from you. Take care and stay healthy.  
--Malcolm Heflin malcolm@progressivemaryland.org

 

MOCO ON THE MOVE

"We have exciting news! We will be holding our very first virtual chapter meeting here in Montgomery County on Thursday, June 11th at 5:30 PM. In this time of crisis, it is incredibly important for all of us to come together to organize and fight for what we know is right. There are so many important issues that COVID-19 is shining a light on-- education inequality, the housing crisis, mass incarceration, and racial inequity. The chapter meeting will be a place to come together to share stories and talk about what we can all do as a community to support each other. We want to hear your voices and discuss as a group how we can best rise to meet this moment as a united community. Click here to RSVP and receive the zoom link."

--Josh Raznick josh@progressivemaryland.org

 

COVID-19 RESPONSE ROUNDUP

coronavirus_image2.jpgProgressive Maryland continues to fight for the financial response and full protections ALL Marylanders require during the pandemic and will need in the months to come as we contend with the twin health and economic crises.

Rent relief has been a major plank of our COVID-19 relief platform. Some recent activities and victories include:

On June 1, we co-hosted a #Canceltherent  town hall event focused on Governor Hogan. The Governor did not accept our invitation to hear the concerns of tenants from across the state. We’re disappointed and will continue to call on him to take urgent action. Neighboring states like Pennsylvania have committed tens of millions of CARE dollars in rent relief but the state of Maryland has committed no federal or state dollars to help thousands of renters who are out of work and trying to make ends meet.  Get involved! Please sign the petition for housing justice LINK    and join our Facebook page to stay informed.

Local city and county councils are also taking up the cause of renter protection.

                 In Salisbury, the City Council passed an ordinance drafted by Mayor Jake Day that bars rent increases during the COVID state of emergency and authorizes the Mayor to issue executive orders as are necessary to protect tenants from abuse.

                 In Anne Arundel County a Renter’s Emergency Relief bill got a 4-3 vote of support but emergency measures require 5 yes votes. Council members will come back with a new bill that only takes a simple majority to enact.  Baltimore City, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties have all enacted aid programs and/or limits on rent increases. Baltimore County is currently pulling together funds and resources to give financial assistance to folks who are struggling to pay monthly and back rent. Check your county’s website or speak to your Council members to learn more about what your county is doing.

         Stay tuned for more actions and progress and be sure to:

          Sign up for our weekly memo. You can also submit a blog post for the memo by contacting Woody at woodlanham@gmail.com. We are very interested in collecting stories about the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, workers and families. Get our weekly updates here. 

  • Hear more about Progressive Maryland’s statewide organizing efforts on COVID-19 and our health care issue task force. email Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org.

PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND – OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George’s 

PMD Montgomery

MOCO ON THE MOVE

We have exciting news! We will be holding our very first virtual chapter meeting here in Montgomery County on Thursday, June 11th at 5:30 PM. In this time of crisis, it is incredibly important for all of us to come together to organize and fight for what we know is right. There are so many important issues that COVID-19 is shining a light on-- education inequality, the housing crisis, mass incarceration, and racial inequity. The chapter meeting will be a place to come together to share stories and talk about what we can all do as a community to support each other. We want to hear your voices and discuss as a group how we can best rise to meet this moment as a united community. Click here to RSVP and receive the zoom link.

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus
At our June 4 monthly meeting LSPC was joined by local elected officials to discuss the rent protection bill that passed in Salisbury and the 200+ person protest organized by Todd Nock and community members in Pocomoke -- and election victories in two of Princess Anne's council races https://us18.campaign-archive.com/?e=9f764efd60&u=bcb616fdd9945fc2c5e497238&id=9692f662ce

Lower Shore progressives joined the March for Black Lives Matter in OC https://mailchi.mp/2d9b5412d73b/the-march-for-black-lives-matter-and-george-floyd-in-ocean-city?e=9f764efd60

PMD Baltimore

BALTIMORE INAUGURAL

The primaries are just behind us, and now we wait for the results. Last night Brandon took the lead over Sheila Dixon by almost 400 votes, and with most of the votes already in we won't have long to wait! Our hard work was crucial in the results we are seeing, the hours of phone calls and texting and (in earlier times of course) door knocking. No matter how this race turns out, we should be proud of the work that we did. Here's hoping that by Thursday we have all heard great news about this race!

This Thursday at 6 we will hold the first meeting of our Baltimore chapter. It's time that we gather together, to talk and share our thoughts about recent events, actions, and victories. We also want to talk about some of the starting ideas to better equip all of us for the struggles ahead. We know that the power to create substantive change in Baltimore lies in community action, and we want to discuss ways that we can encourage that.

Oh, and one more thing: we want to ensure as big a turnout as possible, and we can only do that through your help. Use this link (https://secure.everyaction.com/FM2s-q4r9UGygUVpIPJLNw2) to RSVP for the meeting, and invite 3-5 people that you know that would like to join us to fight for Baltimore. Also share meeting details around on social media...every little bit helps. I'm really excited to talk with all of you, and to help get us started on our mission here, to build an awesome city that also takes care of its kids and fosters their growth through quality educational infrastructure, that treats communities of color with a respect that safeguards the lives of its citizens from abuse from law enforcement and climate destruction. Come and join us please.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear from you. Take care and stay healthy.  
Malcolm Heflin malcolm@progressivemaryland.org


EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES

Thursday June 11 League of Women Voters Maryland Discussion and Election Stories 6 PM Register Here

>>Baltimore progressives, Check in on the wide-ranging Baltimore Activist Alert calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blogs 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 woodlanham@gmail.com

We recently published these blog posts:

June 03, 2020 Statewide calls build menu of progressive issues to advance working families’ interests

Elections, as we say, come and go, but revolutions are continuous.

The way that paradox plays out is clear today, after the June 2 election. Although progressives won some, and lost some, the progressive needle moved in a positive direction in numerous Maryland jurisdictions.

Our issues are constants, and continue to be the building blocks of our campaigns -- and the way we measure our officials when they take office and we engage in co-governance with them.

Even as folks around the world and right here in Maryland struggled to cope with COVID-19 in all the ways we live, Progressive Maryland and Marylanders United, along with activists from across the state, have focused on critical issues of health care, housing, education, voting in a pandemic and prison reform/decarceration in our series of weekly Zoom events. Find out how that went here, as we look back and ahead.

June 01, 2020 Election Day tinged with sorrow over police killing and protests

 While we step up to vote for change and a progressive path here in Maryland tomorrow, we mourn the death at police hands of George Floyd and the crushing of hopes for change that every fresh death can bring. We stand with the protesters around the nation and the world. Vote for change and work for justice.

May 30, 2020 As Election Day approaches, strong schools are on the agenda

Thanks to all who joined us on last Thursday's statewide meeting, focusing on the upcoming Primary Election and what damage Gov. Hogan did to our schools with his veto of the Blueprint for Maryland's Schools. Make sure you vote by June 2 and take action to urge our legislative leaders to override Hogan's veto sooner rather than later.

May 28, 2020 COVID doesn't discriminate -- but health care does. We know what we have to do

America's health care system is what's creating wide disparities in the outcomes of COVID-19 infections. The virus hits everybody the same way -- so if everybody had great health care, all their lives, the differences in misery and death wouldn't be showing up.

Because we don't all have great health care -- many have none at all -- the differences are stark Here's a refresher from Progressive Breakfast summarizing what we learned at last week's statewide Marylanders United virtual meeting on health care.

How much more can we learn TODAY (Thursday, May 28) at our 5:30 meeting on the June 2 election and the importance of electing Strong Schools advocates in Maryland. Sign up here to join the conversation, take action, have impact!


>REMEMBER – these blog posts are frequently expressions of political opinion from our wide-ranging membership and circle of allies. They are not expressions of opinion by Progressive Maryland. Don’t be surprised if they sometimes vary in their political content. You might even disagree with them – a good reason to contribute a blog of your own. Send it to the moderator, Woody Woodruff, at woodlanham@gmail.com.

>>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 2017-18 starting from here