Welcome to the Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for May 8-14. It’s a busy week (starting tonight; see below) and a busy month, with Progressive Maryland local groups and affiliates gearing up to bring progressive politics to courthouses and town halls. Plus the blogs for the past week.

Weekly Memo May 8-14

Welcome to the Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for May 8-14. It’s a busy week (starting tonight; see below) and a busy month, with Progressive Maryland local groups and affiliates gearing up to bring progressive politics to courthouses and town halls.


Tonight! (Monday, May 8) – Kickstart the movement for fair elections in Prince George’s County. Advocate with your presence or testify at the Budget Public Hearing 7-9 p.m.  for these important demands:

  • A budget set-aside of $1 million to fund a limited public finance feature (Small Donor Funded Election Program)  for local elections;
  • A Council commitment to pass a limited public funding measure to (somewhat) level the playing field in Council elections, already heavy with big, sometimes developer, money. The new at-large seats passed in Question D will be countywide elections that will cost even more than a Council district race. Developers backed Question D – let’s take these at-large seats out of their hands!

The hearing is in the Council chambers at the County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Dr, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. We are looking for members to lead on this ongoing campaign. Please contact Suchitra Balachandran at [email protected]

 Thursday, May 11 -- The Prince George's Chapter of Progressive MD co-lead organizers Amity Pope and Diane Teichert invite you to come out and be a part of their chapter meeting this Thursday, May 11th at 6:45pm.  We will share our new organizational structure and you will get a chance to meet members of the newly formed Coordinating Committee.  On the agenda: a legislative session wrapup from Jen Dwyer; discussion of the Fair Elections campaign in Prince George’s to get big money and its corrupting influence out of our local elections; building a candidate pipeline to challenge entrenched incumbents and keep elected officials accountable – and nervous. The meeting will take place at UFCW Local 400 - 8400 Corporate Drive, Landover, MD. Directions

To contact the Prince George's leadership team: Rev. Diane Teichert [email protected] * Amity P [email protected] * Charles Smith [email protected]


Progressive Maryland is pushing the Montgomery County Council to add an additional $1 million to the proposed budget for the Public Election Fund to ensure the program is ready for the 2018 election cycle. This program will shift the focus away from big money donors and raise the voice of everyday Montgomery County residents. Show your support by signing the petition and calling your councilmember at 240-777-7900

Over the weekend, members from the Montgomery County chapter participated in the Electoral Politics 101 event in Rockville focused on educating residents about the workings of local government. Leaders were also on hand for the District 19 Cause Fair where we signed up lots of new supporters interested in joining the progressive movement.

Members on the Eastern Shore are working to unite progressives across District 1 to hold Rep. Andy Harris accountable for his vote in support of Trump's latest health care bill and promote a progressive challenger in the 2018 election. Two of our members spoke to Delmarva Public Radio about the Democratic divide and next steps for the progressive movement.

Frederick County Progressives--one of our newest chapters--is holding its leadership meeting Tuesday night and general membership meeting and candidate forum on May 21st (see below). As a growing chapter in a largely rural area, members are preparing for a deep canvass to connect with residents in the community, hear their concerns, and talk about how a responsive progressive agenda benefits everyone. 


 Saturday, May 13 -- JumpStart Progressive Candidate Training Montgomery/Frederick

 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Local 500 in Gaithersburg, MD -- Maryland Working Families and Frederick County Progressives are pleased to partner with Wellstone Action to present the JumpStart Candidate Training Program.

 This full-day training is for progressives who are considering running for public office, but don't know where to begin. Participants will be guided through a self-assessment process to help them determine if they are ready to run and set realistic expectations about what it will take to win.

Campaign professionals will guide participants through developing plans for dealing with both personal and campaign demands. With an intense focus on skills-building, the training will feature workshops on targeting, research, fundraising, developing an effective narrative and stump speech.

Upon completion of the program, participants will have a detailed task list and timeline for launching a campaign. In July, candidates will invited back to participate in a 3-day advanced training where they will have the opportunity to get one-on-one advice on how to improve their campaign. Cost: $25 for tickets


Sunday, May 21 -- Frederick County Progressives Candidate Forum (Pt II) and General Membership Meeting 1:15-4:30 p.m. at Thurmont Regional Library. Join us for our May General Meeting where we will be holding our second candidates forum for the upcoming 2017 Frederick City elections. In addition to the forum we will also be finalizing our bylaws and holding breakouts for our issue teams. 

 Special Guests:

*Jeannette Bartelt (D), 2017 Candidate for Frederick City Alderwoman 

 * Derek Shackelford (D), 2017 Candidate for Frederick City Alderman

 Both will take questions from our membership after 5 minutes to speak on their candidacy and platform

 FCP contact: Beth Landry, BSN, RN at [email protected]


Candidate Pipeline Training -- Space needed in Baltimore City for tentative May 20th training event --  Activist sign-up preferred. Please contact Alexiss Kurtz at [email protected]

Mass Incarceration Campaign We are looking for members to lead on this campaign --  Please contact Alexiss Kurtz at [email protected]

Howard County Chapter
 HoCo is recruiting leaders to plan a kickoff chapter meeting.  Please contact Dave Bazell via [email protected]

 Baltimore City -- Baltimore City is recruiting members to become chapter leaders to plan first chapter meeting. Please contact Alexiss Kurtz at [email protected]


Monday, May 15 – 7 p.m. at the Reel & Meal monthly movie at the New Deal Café, Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt, Prince George’s Peace and Justice Coalition and DC LaborFest jointly present Quest, a movie following a working-class Black family living in North Philadelphia over the course of eight years. A beautiful and gently-paced depiction of race and class, “Quest” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Jonathan Hutto, organizer of the Prince George’s County People's Coalition, an anti-racist, multi-racial, grassroots organization, will lead the discussion. Info.

 It all happens for free… right? Not exactly. Organizing for change in our society and our 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 published these blogs:

May 05, 2017  The Trumpcare health care bill: an uncaring catastrophe

In the wake of the US House GOP majority squeaker passage of a catastrophic Trumpcare bill, sent off to a US Senate that hardly wants to touch it with a long stick, here's a roundup of information on the bill and some marching orders for progressives on how we can make those who voted for this bill pay for their mistake.

May 04, 2017  Political truth: "Voters want more government, not less"

From the People's Action "Progressive Breakfast" blog: the political truths behind a recent poll finding that voters in the US want more government -- more of the things that improve the economy, job security, health and the welfare of all. Arguments from the right that our "freedom" requires want and anxiety, with minimal public provision, prove out to be pretty hollow.

 May 03, 2017  A Progressive Caucus can reform -- or replace -- the Democratic Party

"We must experiment boldly in order to win the power to change our economic and political system," argues Larry Stafford, Progressive Maryland's executive director. "The future of politics lies beyond the Democratic and Republican parties, and the ground is shifting in order to make that possible. It’s up to us to build the viable alternative." This is the second of two blogs on a Progressive Caucus strategy; the first part ran May 2.

May 02, 2017  Progressive change means transforming the Democratic Party -- from outside

Politics in the US are stymied by political parties that have surrounded themselves with legal protections to maintain their power, PM Executive Director Larry Stafford points out here. But neither party -- especially the Democrats -- is responsive to the people they are supposed to be working for. For Democrats, that's us working people -- and we are those people who have to transform the party or replace it, Stafford says. This is the first of a two-part analysis.

May 01, 2017  Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for May 1-6

Our weekly memo, with organizing info from PM's expanding footprint in Maryland: Howard, Baltimore City, criminal justice/incarceration organizing project, Prince George's -- plus links to recent blog posts on the People's Action convention and other items.

Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace since June 2015 are all available with descriptions and links 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...