pm_folks_with_banner.jpgIn the Weekly Memo -- alerts on Predatory Lending (a deadline to comment to the feds); our PM Movement Politics training Saturday, May 18 in Baltimore; a threat to protections against discriminatory discipline in schools; an update on the People's Action convention in DC; and more (including the week's stellar blog posts). Read on...



As of today, we are 23 days away from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) gutting the most important protection we have against predatory lending.

But you can help put a stop to this by submitting a comment to the CFPB today!

Back in 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a rule to protect borrowers of payday and car title loans. The heart of that rule established that lenders could not give out loans to people who could not afford to pay it back.

And now the CFPB wants to gut that common sense rule. For many, these short term loans lead them into a cycle of never-ending debt. This is only going to make folks who are already in a tight spot financially fall prey to predatory lending practices.  

Could you take a moment to submit a comment? To tell the CFPB: Don’t shred one of our best protections against predatory payday_loans.jpglending. The deadline is May 15.

We won back in 2016 to get these protections because over a million people decided to speak up. Please help us in making an impact this time around, by raising your voice.

Lastly, if you have personally been impacted by predatory lending practices or want to get involved in this issue, please fill out this form.

All in all, if you would like to learn more, please visit our issue page at is also a great resource. 

Progressive Maryland’s Movement Politics Training is coming up soon and there is still time to register! 

This training is for folks interested in running for office, working on a campaign, or volunteering on one in 2020. The training will be held in Baltimore on Saturday, May 18th. Space is limited so RSVP today! We'll cover a range of topics from the process and rules of filing to run for office and how to run a campaign, including fundraising, campaign strategy, endorsements, field operations, communications, and budgeting. Click here to RSVP. You'll also learn how the political system functions, why it’s currently failing Maryland voters, and what trainees can do to change that as we get ready for the next election cycle.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Alexiss Kurtz, PM’s chief operating officer, at 301-684-6715 or by email at [email protected]. 

Alert: Board of Education may weaken protections against discriminatory school discipline

 Although the State Board of Education banned zero tolerance school discipline policies in 2014, a new Task Force is studying the effects of those reforms and there is some fear among advocates that these hard-won reforms are going to be reversed.

Attention students and parents who have experienced exclusionary discipline: the Maryland Coalition to Reform School Discipline is seeking parents and students interested in sharing their experiences about school discipline with the State Board of Education. The State Board’s Task Force on School Discipline Regulations will make recommendations on whether there should be any changes to the regulations. These regulations have since 2014 provided rights to students experiencing suspension and expulsion, as well as requiring corrective action from districts that disproportionately suspend students of color and/or students with disabilities. The Task Force may make recommendations that hurt students if it doesn’t hear from parents and students wrongly affected by unequal treatment.

The State Board meetings on April 23 or May 21 (at 9 AM) held at 200 West Baltimore St, Baltimore MD will consider these issues. Students and parents can submit written public comment for consideration. Comments should be mailed to: Dr. Vermelle Greene, Task Force Chair, and/or to the State Board via email at [email protected] or U.S. mail to the Office of the State Board, 200 West Baltimore Street, 7th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201.

If you know of any students or families who would like to share their stories, please contact Renuka Rege at [email protected]. We are happy to work with families to help them prepare their testimony and/or answer questions about the process.

The People's Wave: People's Action 2019 Convention -- Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC -- Sunday, April 28 - Tuesday, April 30

people's_action_logo.pngThere is still plenty of opportunity for action in connection with the People’s Wave. We will engage in strategic direct actions to elevate our narrative and forward our issues and bring our voice to the Hill for a lobby day. To find out more about how to participate in the direct action and the Lobby Day, contact [email protected] Watch the PM BlogSpace as we launch the 2020 platform and advance our long term agenda.

Follow The Issues – check out our website’s expanded “Our Issues” pages, with separate pages for each of our key issues: Fight for $Fifteen, Civic Engagement, Fair Elections, Police Reform and Environmental Justice. Each page offers links to our past explanatory blog posts to deepen understanding of our work and our goals – building power for working people.

And to keep up with our activities and those of our progressive allies, sign up for the emailed Weekly Memo, which includes links and summaries for our most recent blog posts – one-stop shopping for the info and calendar you need to build power and agency with our movement in Maryland’s changing system.


Progressive Prince George's

Saturday, April 27 Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Prince George’s Civic Academy on Funding 10:00 AM Casa De Maryland Headquarters• ​7978-B New Hampshire Ave., Hyattsville, MD 20783
Facebook Event page

MDOT-SHA recently roused anger in Beltway country by dropping mass transit options from plans for Larry Hogan’s pet project, private toll lanes on I-494 and I-270. See our blog post. The agency has scheduled new informational meetings coming soon in Prince George’s (April 23 and 27). More on this issue with informational blogs at our Environmental Justice issue page.

 PMD Montgomery

MDOT-SHA recently roused anger in Beltway country by dropping mass transit options from plans for Larry Hogan’s pet project, private toll lanes on I-494 and I-270. See our blog post. The agency has scheduled new informational meetings in Montgomery (April 24 and 25). More on this issue with informational blogs at our Environmental Justice issue page.

 Frederick County Progressives


Take Action Anne Arundel County


Progressive Howard County


 Talbot Rising


Lower Shore Progressive Caucus


PMD Baltimore



Our allies at CCAN remind us that the Clean Energy Jobs Act passed with a veto-proof majority and is on the way to Gov. Hogan. Urge him to sign it or let it become law; if he vetoes another climate bill it just means an embarrassing override for him at the beginning of the next session, slowing the funding for 20,000 good jobs and a vital boost for the state’s clean energy industries. Make calls NOW into his office asking for his signature and emphasizing the jobs aspect of the bill. His number is 410-974-3901.

Fellowship opportunity Friends of the Earth is recruiting applicants for Pennsylvania for our six month Grassroots Fellowship Program to begin in January 2019. Learn and utilize core organizing skills to take action to protect people and the environment. Focus is on training members of under-represented communities.  $2,000 monthly stipend with a commitment of 25 hours a week -- how to apply:

Wednesday, April 24 in Silver Spring, Youth Climate Summit, 9 AM-2 PM at Silver Spring Civic Center. Details:

Saturday, April 27 Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Prince George’s Civic Academy on Funding 10:00 AM Casa De Maryland Headquarters• ​7978-B New Hampshire Ave., Hyattsville, MD 20783

Saturday, April 27, Takoma Park Mobilization is hosting a free event, “Push for Progress: Criminal Justice Reform 2019” 7:00-9:00 PM at Takoma Park Elementary School, 7511 Holly Avenue Takoma Park, MD 20912 — co-sponsors include JOTF, MoCo ACLU, and The Sentencing

Thursday, May 2 Progressive Cheverly Monthly Forum on criminal justice reform, 7 PM, Hoyer Education Center (cafeteria).  Details and speakers to be announced. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. 2300 Belleview Ave. Cheverly

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

 Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous weeks 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:

 April 19, 2019 Progressive Prince George's kicks off education improvement initiative

Progressive Prince George’s is launching an effort to mobilize parents, students and concerned members of the Prince George’s community to reset the conditions for educating our children for a sustainable future – one of good jobs, good education and an end of the school-to-prison pipeline (which grows whenever we don’t pay attention to the first two). Find out more here and save the date: Saturday, April 27.

April 16, 2019 Legislators with teaching backgrounds bring big-picture thinking to education policy

Teacher-legislators have a big role in fleshing out the "total package" of the Kirwan Commission proposals kick-started in this year's Assembly session -- and they explain why "wrap-around" approaches are needed in many struggling school systems, in this detailed account from Maryland Matters.

April 15, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, April 15, 2019

Progressive Maryland is resettling its work into our communities across the state after the all-hands effort during the General Assembly session that ended last week. We build power between elections and between legislative sessions, because that is how you win when it’s all on the line.

April 12, 2019 Elected officials stay current with their communities -- or they lose

Getting lost in the excitement over the progressive-establishment spat in the Democratic Party is a political imperative – mutual, educational exchange of information from politicians to electorate – and vice versa. Stay current with your community. Or go home.

April 11, 2019 Where the 2019 General Assembly Session failed

Maryland’s General Assembly passed over 850 bills by their Sine Die deadline. About 2,500, a record number, were filed, and there’s no doubt that many of those were bad bills and good riddance. But there were some real missed opportunities – at least as far as the state’s progressive forces are concerned. Let’s look at a few.

Save the Dates for The People's Wave: People's Action 2019 Convention -- Omni Shoreham Hotel  |  Washington, DC

Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 2:00 PM - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

>>REMEMBER – these blog posts are 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 [email protected].

>>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...