Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, April 20, 2020

coronavirus_image2.jpgIN THIS ISSUE OF THE MEMO: FIND OUT ABOUT Progressive Maryland’s work during the pandemic.

Introducing Marylanders United: a COVID-19 action center we created to serve our communities and help you take action during this crisis. Check it out to view a comprehensive list of useful resources and learn about what you can do to volunteer. https://marylandersunited.org



 

IN THIS ISSUE OF THE MEMO: FIND OUT ABOUT Progressive Maryland’s work during the pandemic.

Introducing Marylanders United: a COVID-19 action center we created to serve our communities and help you take action during this crisis. Check it out to view a comprehensive list of useful resources and learn about what you can do to volunteer. https://marylandersunited.org

 

PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL ORGANIZING WITH US!

We are happy to have held a successful Marylanders United Virtual Organizing Meeting last week with over 150 caring and concerned supporters. We heard personal stories from folks impacted by COVID-19; learned about policy changes during this crisis, impacts of the pandemic on the 2020 Census and the importance of decarceration now; and organized around local mutual aid and political engagement. If you were unable to join that meeting, don’t worry! We have plenty of opportunities to help you take action virtually during this time.

Join us on our next call this Thursday, April 23. Stay connected to the community and learn how to make calls from home. We're picking up the phone to do wellness checks and to contact folks about the June 2 primary election. Click here to RSVP to the Training & Virtual Phone Bank Thursday, April 23, 5:30-7:00PM.

 

Progressive Maryland COVID-19 Response

We are working to do our best across the state and across the organization to respond to the pandemic and all the related challenges to our society and economy. We are deeply grateful for all who are serving on the front lines to deliver health care, to maintain vital services, and continue educating students from K through coronavirus_image2.jpgcollege around the state.

We are grateful to the one hundred and sixty folks who came to our COVID-19 Marylanders United call last Thursday evening. See below for more about the call and our organizing call this Thursday April 23.

The pandemic crisis is revealing all the inequities and disparities in our economy and politics. That's why we're determined to organize mutual aid for those in need, and fight for a more just society and a better democracy. Here’s how you can help:            

        Sign up for our weekly Memo. You can also submit a blog post 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 Memo here. 

Find COVID-19 resources at our Marylanders United Action Center


 

COVID-19 Legislative Update

Along with our allies we’re monitoring the response to the emergency on the county, state and federal level.  We’re pushing for health and economic measures and action that will directly aid families, workers, renters, low wealth and vulnerable residents. Too many people have been left out of the first rounds of relief packages and we are working to remedy that.  We’ve shared policy recommendations with our Congressional delegation and have begun calls with Members and their Capitol Hill staff.

We’re also seeking meetings with the Governor’s staff, the Senate President and Speaker of the House to follow up on the comprehensive set of state policy recommendations we’ve submitted to them ranging from health care and worker protections to the need to conduct fair elections.

On the local level, our meetings with County officials also continue with more planned for this week.

June 2 Primary Election:

Preserving our democracy and the integrity of the election is a Progressive Maryland priority. The state is moving to a vote by mail system for the June 2 primary (with some limited number of in person voting locations.) Stay tuned for more information about how it will work and how you can get involved in our voter education and turnout efforts.

 

Take Action: Protect our State Employees!

Thousands of dedicated state workers remain on the front lines serving the public. At a recent phone briefing with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 3 (AFSCME) who represent those workers we learned that conditions are quite dire in a number of state offices and facilities.  In particular hundreds of staff who work at State Hospitals are at risk because only three of the eleven state hospitals are using PPEs and masks daily with no re-use.

Please email or call Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall and urge him to implement basic health and safety protocols.  We need leadership and action—it will save lives.

Robert.neall@maryland.gov  or 410 767-4639

If you’d like to learn more about Progressive Maryland’s COVID-19 mutual aid and organizing work please email Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org.  

 

MARYLAND WILL (MOSTLY) VOTE BY MAIL IN JUNE 2 PRIMARY

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced that the state’s June 2 primary election will be mostly conducted by mail. He signed off on the state elections board proposal that all registered voters in the state would receive mail ballots. Though the deadline for registration is by law 21 days before the election the election board’s plan as presented involved mailing the ballots earlier by the end of April, so the unregistered may need to move quickly. Limited in-person voting centers will be available in each county for voters unable to vote by mail. Please make a plan to vote! Contact Progressive Maryland for more information.  Check out our election resource guide at www.progressivemaryland.org

 

REQUIREMENT FOR FACE MASKS GOES STATEWIDE.

As of this past Saturday, April 18, all persons in Maryland must wear a facial covering when shopping in stores or riding on public transportation, Gov. Hogan has ordered. Prince George’s and Montgomery counties had had the same rule in place since April 15.

 

AN ACCURATE CENSUS COUNT IS CRITICAL – BECAUSE WE ALL COUNT

Did you know that Census information can help predict the spread of diseases through communities? It's incredibly crucial, especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, that we put the health of safety of our communities first. This is why we at Progressive Maryland value the importance of the 2020 Census and are actively working to ensure that everyone is counted. When the “people map” of our state and its communities is accurate, there is better response to any emergency. The 2020 Census will also help determine the distribution of billions of dollars in state and federal funding to local communities for needs such as hospitals and school lunch programs so we need all residents to fill it out. We are encouraging our members and supporters to complete the 2020 Census online now. It only takes 10 minutes! Go to my2020census.gov to get started. 

 

FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE NATIONALLY AND LOCALLY:

 Progressive Maryland endorses candidates at all levels in Maryland, but not at the national level. Our umbrella national affiliate People’s Action endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president in 2019. Their national director George Goehl is inviting Maryland progressives who support the national-level issues that campaign elevated to check in on where the now-suspended Sanders campaign will go from here in this issue-driven virtual event:

Bernie Sanders is ending his presidential run, but our fight doesn’t end with a single campaign. Now more than ever, in the middle of a pandemic and an economic depression, it’s time to fight for somebody you don’t know.

TELL CONGRESS – WE NEED A “PEOPLE’S BAILOUT” IN THIS CRISIS Progressive Maryland, our allies and our national affiliate People’s Action are endorsers and facilitators of the campaign for a People’s Bailout.

Five Principles for Just COVID-19 Relief and Stimulus

  1. Health is the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions
    Economic relief must be provided directly to the people
    3. Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives
    4. Make a downpayment on a regenerative economy while preventing future crises
    5. Protect our democratic process while protecting each other

The COVID-19 pandemic demands swift and unprecedented action from the federal government. The depth of the crisis and the scope of the response mean that choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come. The interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline in place long before COVID-19 now risk being intensified. This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a just recovery. National and local leaders must move on these priorities – or get out of the way.

See the detailed explanation of how these five principles will get us to a better future here https://thepeoplesbailout.org/


PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND – OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George’s Here is the Prince George’s County COVID-19 dashboard.

PMD Montgomery

MOCO Update

Progressive Maryland is supporting mutual aid efforts for folks and communities in need. We continue to do outreach and organizing using on-line tools, phone calls, and social media.

 Along with our allies we’re monitoring the County’s response as well as the state and national response to the emergency; we’re pushing for health and economic measures and action that will directly aid families, workers, renters, and low wealth residents.

 Local Update and Action Needed:

--Progressive Maryland supports the Montgomery County Education Association’s call to the School District and the County Council and Executive to fully fund our public schools.

 Parents and people everywhere have a renewed appreciation for what teachers and other school personnel provide to our kids and communities.  

--We anticipate serious economic repercussions due to the financial fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic including an impact on the County’s revenue. We’ll face challenging choices as a community about local budget priorities and spending.  In our view the public school system should be considered central to any and all economic recovery efforts.

 Thank you for taking action on these issues even during these challenging times.  Contact  Josh Raznick at josh@progresssivemaryland.org or Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org if you want to learn more and get involved in the MOCO Chapter’s education, election, or other issue work.

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 
Our next meeting is on May 7. Due to concerns about COVID-19, we will be meeting via Zoom instead of face-to-face. Click here for info.

PMD Baltimore


>>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:

April 14, 2020 Progressive Maryland joins 40-plus allies to demand more support for workers in Covid-19 crisis

Progressive Maryland has joined more than 40 nonprofit groups demanding the state’s  “government must implement every possible measure to protect” frontline state workers “as well as the millions of Marylanders confronting extreme financial hardship.”
Maryland Matters has the story and a link to the original letter, sent Monday, April 13.

April 13, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, April 13, 2020

IN THIS ISSUE OF THE MEMO: FIND OUT ABOUT Progressive Maryland’s work during the pandemic. Find out more and learn how to join our effort this Thursday as we host a virtual organizing meeting to share positive news about the steps we've taken, some new resources, and ways you can get involved in responding to the pandemic. Click here to register for our Marylanders United Virtual Organizing Meeting on Thursday, April 16th from 5:30-7:00pm. More details are below. And introducing Marylanders United: a COVID-19 action center we created to serve our communities and help you take action during this crisis. Check it out to view a comprehensive list of useful resources and learn about what you can do to volunteer. https://marylandersunited.org

April 09, 2020 Join Progressive Maryland and allies in organizing to meet this crisis

Progressive Maryland, along with our allies, are hosting a virtual organizing meeting Thursday, April 16 to share positive news about the steps we've taken, some new resources, and ways you can get involved in responding to the pandemic.

April 01, 2020 It’s Time to Think About What Comes After the Apocalypse

Despite the obvious strains on resources a crisis can bring about, this crisis reveals that our society has long had plenty of the material resources to meet people’s basic needs. If ‘normal’ means a return to an inadequate health care system and widening economic disparities, we must not return to normal. Our executive director Larry Stafford Jr. walks us through it.


>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