Organizing, training and extending our power through people and ideas are at the forefront in January 2018. Check out statewide action, including a member orientation in Frederick and upcoming training for building power -- and events and actions from our chapters around the state in continuing resistance, fair elections, Medicare for all and bringing people power to the General Assembly.


Organizing, training and extending our power through people and ideas are at the forefront in January 2018.


Saturday, January 20—2018’s First Member Orientation,  

Urbana Regional Library in Frederick, MD at 11:00 AM · Info and RSVP here: Progressive Maryland January Member Orientation

Get energized and engaged in the new year by joining us for the first Progressive Maryland member orientation of 2018!

Progressive Maryland's member orientation is a great way to connect you with other members of your community who want to make positive change. You'll learn about what Progressive Maryland does, how we build power to influence issues and elections, and how you can get more involved in local organizing work.

The January 2018 member orientation will take place at the Urbana Regional Library in the SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM in Frederick County from 11am to 4:30pm with a 45-minute break for lunch. Please plan to bring or buy your lunch; there are restaurants available in the shopping center adjacent to the library.

Can't make it out this time? No worries! We'll be holding a member orientation every month, and we'll rotate the location around the state. If you want one of the upcoming orientations to take place in your area, contact Brandy Brooks, Leadership Development Organizer, at [email protected].

<> On Saturday, January 27th, we will launch Progressive Maryland's Monthly Mass Canvasses! Click on this link for our event page! The following Movement Politics Team Google Form was disseminated at our 2017 Annual Membership Meeting call in December. Complete this with your preference to either host or participate in a canvass!

<> In April, People's Action is hosting the first of two WEEKLONG TRAININGS right here in Silver Spring, Maryland! This training is scheduled from April 15th-21st. Member leaders and People's Action staff from all over the country will be joining us for this agitational-type training. We will have more information and details for the training coming soon!


PMD Montgomery

We have several upcoming events and we want to see you there! We hope you’ll fill your January with fellowship among fellow progressives in your community.

Wednesday January 17, 2018  Takoma Park Happy Hour at Republic 6939 Laurel Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912 – 6-8  Our District 5 happy hour will help kick off our 2018 activities. We hope to see you in Takoma Park! RSVP now »

Thursday January 18, 2018 – PMD Montgomery Chapter Meeting at Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church 7:30-8:30  ET -- 33 University Blvd E Silver Spring, MD 20901

Join us to learn what is coming up for PMD Montgomery in future months. From canvassing to pushing for affordable housing, there’s a place for you. Find it with us.  RSVP now » 

Wednesday January 24, 2018  Rockville Happy Hour World of Beer 196B E Montgomery Ave Rockville, MD 20850 6-8 pm -- We are finally in District 3! Haven’t been able to make it to one of our happy hours before because of distance? No more excuses! Come on down to the World of Beer to find out how to get more involved with PMD Montgomery in your neighborhood. RSVP now».


Progressive Prince George’s

 Be a Part of the Movement to Connect Prince George's!

Progressive Maryland and Progressive Prince George’s have 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! See the Next Steps meeting below. For technical and member support, contact Seanniece Bamiro, [email protected]

Thursday, January 25 -- Forum: Small-Donor Public Financing Program for Prince George's County Elections.   Kenhill Center, 2614 Kenhill Drive, Room 101, Bowie MD 20715, 7 pm.

Do you want to reduce the influence of wealthy interests and increase the power of regular Prince Georgians in County politics?  To enable grassroots candidates to compete effectively for County Council and Executive?  Then join us in Bowie for a public forum to discuss legislation that would create a Small-Donor Public Financing Program for County elections – allowing citizens to run on the power of their ideas instead of the size of wealthy interests’ bank accounts.  

The program would work by amplifying small dollar donations to candidates who show sufficient community support and agree to accept donations only of $150 or less from individuals.  A similar program has been launched in Montgomery County and has brought out many grassroots candidates! 

 The forum's panel will feature:

  • Mary Lehman, Prince George's County Councilwoman (the bill's lead sponsor)
  • Phil Andrews, former Montgomery Council member (initiated the Montgomery program),
  • Joanne Antoine (Common Cause/Maryland Fair Elections Coalition), and
  • A participating candidate from a nearby jurisdiction.

 Sponsored by the Prince George’s Sierra Club and the Fair Elections Maryland Coalition.   Registration not required, but appreciated for planning. To register:

For more information on the Fair Elections Maryland Coalition:

Action report

Members from Progressive Prince George’s went to Annapolis for the opening of Session January 10.

We sat through interviews of Mike Miller and Mike Busch and a separate interview of Governor Hogan -- highlights being all three said that school systems are funded at adequate levels throughout the state when activists and people on the ground working in school systems say different.

All three told us they are also anxious to get the medical marijuana industry launched and to make sure there is minority participation.

On criminal justice -- stopping crime in Baltimore seems to be portrayed in Annapolis mostly as a policing issue.  Locking up serial offenders, and re tooling the Baltimore police force, which is undermanned, are discussed. 

The Governor seems to believe his Baltimore Link transportation system is working well.  The Senate and House leaders said they believe there is work to do connecting people to commerce and jobs and opportunity.

Larry Stafford led several activists in a protest/press conference about bail reform, arguing for suspending a member due to his indictment for taking money from a police officer posing as bail bonds lobbyist.   Progressive Maryland also called for law makers not to talk to bail bonds lobbyists during session and to institute a few other rules as well.

We also attended a Climate Jobs March on Lawyers Mall. So, a busy day for Progressive Prince George’s. 

PPG members also attended the Legislative Reception for PGCEA Friday, Jan. 12. The legislative priorities are:

  • returning the School Board back to being a fully elected body.   
  • starting a pilot Community Schools program,
  • pushing the Kirwan Commission to finish publishing its findings on how schools are funded, and
  • reducing class sizes.

--Rob Anthony

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Thursday January 18. -- 2018 Legislative Preview with Progressive Maryland, 7 pm at Edgewater Branch 25 Stepney Ln, Edgewater, Maryland 21037 Join Take Action AAC in a discussion with Jennifer Dwyer, Policy and Legislative Coordinator, for Progressive Maryland. Jennifer will provide an overview of the bills Progressive Maryland is focused on for the 2018 session. Join the discussion to decide which legislation Take Action AAC will advocate for in the 2018 state legislative session. RSVP here.

Saturday January 20 at 11 a.m.  -- Annapolis Anniversary March – The Women’s March of 2017 launched a wave of community activism that continues today.  The Annapolis Anniversary March will begin with a rally at Lawyer's Mall in front of the State House in Annapolis at 11 am. Newly elected mayor Gavin Buckley will speak and community leaders and organizers will inform people about what the organizations are doing and how one can get involved. At noon, participants will march from Lawyer's Mall through downtown Annapolis to Susan Campbell Park at City Dock. RSVP here. Join Take Action AAC in supporting this anniversary march. See you there! 

Progressive Howard County

Tue Jan 16 We are having a chapter meeting at 7:00 p.m.   The main topic will be the Fight for $15 in Howard County.  Please RSVP here. Warfield Room (on the far left as you enter the lobby) Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia MD 21044

Talbot Rising

Saturday, January 27 LECTURE: "Talking About Single Payer" with James Burdick, MD. Talbot Co Free Library, 100 W Dover St., Easton, MD. Jan 27 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus


Thursday, January 18 Maryland environmental groups will be holding their annual Environmental Summit in Annapolis.  Miler Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis Environmental workshops from noon to 3 and from  4-6 p.m. there will be presentations on environmental bills, and keynote speech by Bob Perciasepe (Deputy EPA Administrator in the Obama Administration, and former Maryland environmental official). It is helpful for attendees to pre-register on our website, but pre-registration is not required.

Each year, activists from across the state gather in Annapolis at the beginning of the General Assembly's annual session to tell legislators about important environmental bills that will be considered.  Four priorities have been jointly selected by the participating environmental groups -- strengthening the Forest Conservation Act; banning foam food containers and loose-fill packaging; and reforming Public Service Commission reviews of proposed gas infrastructure to better involve affected communities.  The groups are still deliberating which of two clean energy bills to support. 

Sunday January 21 Sierra Club Prince George's Group's Holiday Potluck Social and Legislative Briefing, 5-7 pm, Watkins Regional Park Nature Center, Upper Marlboro -- Meet elected Sierra Club leadership, socialize with other members, celebrate local victories in the past year, share ideas about the coming year, learn about local environmental legislation and the priority bills in the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session. Cost: $5 with potluck dish, $10 without. Details, directions and RSVP here

January 23, 2018 Our Revolution, Maryland and Howard County: “Improved Medicare for All” -- With Our Revolution President Nina Turner, Eric Naumburg, Ken Zinn and Mark Dudzic -- Owen Brown Community Center 6800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045 6:30 PM Host Contact Info: [email protected] More info and RSVP here.

Friday, January 26 -- Progressive Cheverly's annual legislative forum for District 47A. We will hear from State Senator Victor Ramirez and Delegates Diana Fennell and Jimmy Tarlau about their legislative priorities for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session and have the chance to ask your questions directly to your representatives. This annual event is one of our most popular forums.

Baltimore comrades, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful calendar and tip sheet at

To keep up with progressive events in and around DC consult the invaluable calendar at the Washington Peace Center,

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. You know you meant to do it last week and now here you are again...

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:

January 12, 2018 Kirwan Commission ready to “shake up the people,” chairman says

The "Kirwan Commission" was tasked with updating the results of the Thornton Commission's decade of education funding and making new recommendations on both funding and other aspects of education policy in Maryland.

The draft "final" report and work session earlier this week showed there was a distance still to go and some big fiscal decisions that would face the General Assembly. Because the commission delayed its final money recommendations the Assembly breathes a sigh of relief that it won't have to face that debate -- and the prospect of new revenues -- in an election year.

Len Lazarick, founder of Maryland Reporter, has been steadily covering the commission's work over the last one-plus years and delivers a roundup here.

January 11, 2018 Coalition demands: "End the Bail Lobby’s Corrupting Influence in Annapolis"

A coalition of criminal justice advocates yesterday urged lawmakers to return donations from the bail-bonds industry, bolster pretrial services statewide, and work to end the for-profit bail system in Maryland.“We want any legislation put forward and supported by the bail-bond industry to be recognized as tainted, illegitimate and should not be considered,’ said Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland,”

January 09, 2018 IRS may eventually say "never mind" on local tax prepayment ruling

The new tax bill hits residents of wealthy Blue-state jurisdictions like Montgomery County hard. The IRS said it would disallow moves by local government to accept prepayment of real estate taxes for 2017 tax year deduction purposes. Hal Ginsberg (a former lawyer, but never a tax lawyer) notes "The IRS did not explain its reasoning, which is understandable since the law specifies just the opposite."

January 08, 2018 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for January 8-15, 2018

The Maryland General Assembly opens Wednesday and there is plenty to accomplish and plenty to guard against – the usual.

Progressive Maryland is working to advocate for and advance progress on criminal justice, override of the Hogan veto on Paid Sick Leave, and many other critical needs in Maryland, while fighting against the business-as-usual routines of high-paid lobbyists influencing legislators in dire need of corporate cash for their 2018 reelection campaigns. Not having their money, we'll just have to outwork them. And we know how to do that.

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




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...