Justice is a long road ahead. PM Weekly Memo for Monday, April 26, 2021
There are no words to explain the hurt and sorrow that we feel with the loss of more and more Black and Brown people. This past week has been a really tough one with the police murders of 13 year old Adam Toledo in Chicago and 15 year old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus. There is no justice that will bring these children back. They are loved and their lives mattered. This news, along with the guilty verdict in the Chauvin Trial, has taught us that joy and pain can coexist while we still mourn the life of George Floyd and too many others. It’s important to understand that this is what accountability looks like - but this is not justice. This verdict is a step in the right direction, and we hope that this sets a precedent for police accountability nationwide, but the road ahead is very long.
As April comes to an end, we are getting ready to launch the start of a political revolution here in Maryland. We need to elect progressive leaders across the state who will be dedicated to issues like justice and police accountability - and we are on a mission to make that happen through the New Era PAC. This and much more in the memo.
- RSVP for the Launch of a New Era in Politics! 🚀
- Help pass the PRO Act by calling your Senator at 866-832-1560 - here’s some talking points & more info
- Week of Action: Justice Is Global's vaccine campaign
- Support our campaigns and organizing! Become a full member of Progressive Maryland
- Join us on Slack to continue the conversation
New Era PAC
We are transforming the political landscape here in Maryland. Please join us this Saturday, May 1, at 11am for the launch of a new era in politics - RSVP here. Any contribution makes a big difference! Donate now.
Progressive Maryland’s People’s Leadership Institute
Progressive Maryland is excited that its MPLI program is underway. The MPLI trains prospective candidates and campaign staff, particularly Marylanders of color who plan to run for office or want to learn more about running electoral campaigns. Larry Stafford, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland, offered this context for the 2021 class, which started just two days after Sine Die: “While the recent General Assembly Session made up in some ways for the MGA’s failure to hold a special session at the height of the state’s health and economic crisis last year, the systemic changes we need in this state were not fully addressed and delivered on. That’s why we need more progressive champions in Annapolis, and at the city and county level, particularly leaders and activists from underrepresented communities who will help advance a people’s agenda and progressive platform.”
The program is generously supported by People’s Action, PM’s national affiliate; the Working Families Party, of which PM is a chapter; and by a number of Progressive Maryland’s state affiliates like CASA, SEIU 1199, and the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Educators Associations. Everyone at PM is excited to welcome a wonderful group of leaders into the 2021 cohort and to work with nationally recognized trainers who will be providing their expertise at many of the sessions. These movement strategists and campaign veterans include Nigel Tann, Kwesi Chappin, Vidal Hines, Amaris Leon, and Ted Fertik.
Meet our 2021 Spring Cohort!
Drug Policy Campaign
Our next Drug Police Task Force meeting will be on Wednesday, April 28, from 6-7:30pm - RSVP here.
Anne Arundel Fair Elections Campaign
Our next Anne Arundel County Fair Elections Task Force meeting will be on Wednesday, May 26, from 6:30-7:30pm - RSVP here.
Healthcare Justice Campaign
The Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 (HB565 / SB514) is still waiting on Governor Larry Hogan's signature despite passing the General Assembly over two weeks ago with unanimous support.
Join Progressive Maryland and End Medical Debt Maryland for a phonebank next Tuesday, May 4 from 6–8pm! We'll be contacting Marylanders to encourage them to call Gov. Hogan’s office to request he sign the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 into law. You can register to phonebank with us here.
With the General Assembly adjourned, we're also starting to look ahead to what's next for End Medical Debt Maryland. Interested in getting involved as we go forward? You can sign on here to show your support for the End Medical Debt Maryland campaign and receive occasional email updates.
Please contact Lindsey Muniak ([email protected]) with any questions or to learn how to get more involved.
Medicare for All:
The Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, has been introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal. This landmark legislation would improve and expand Medicare; providing a way for all Americans to get health coverage no matter their age, income, location, employment status, or medical situation. Four members from Maryland’s U.S. House Delegation, Representatives Raskin, Mfume, Sarbanes and Brown have signed as co-sponsors. It’s time to get other members of the Maryland Congressional delegation, including Senators Van Hollen and Cardin to sign on, too. That’s why we’ve stepped up our organizing!
--We kicked off the first of what we hope will be many Medicare For All Teach-Ins on April 22. Thanks to all who attended and if you want to learn more about the Teach-Ins and get involved please contact Malcolm at [email protected] or [email protected]
--Local organizing to support City and County resolutions for M4A is also part of our strategy to build grassroots public support.
Prince George’s County supporters:The Medicare for All Resolution CR-27-2021 passed the Committee of the Whole with some language changes and amendments last week. References to Medicare For All remain throughout the text so local activists consider the action to be real progress.Thanks to the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition activists for its work and and to ATU Local 689 for submitting a strong letter of support for the Medicare for All Resolution. Progressive Maryland also submitted testimony for last week’s hearing. A vote of the full Council is expected soon. In the meantime, you can show your support by signing this petition to the Council asking them to pass the Resolution. Contact Josh or Patty or Kendall at [email protected] for more information.
Montgomery County activists: You can help by signing the petition to the MoCo Council asking them to pass a Medicare for All Resolution. We expect Council action in the next several weeks. Please sign and share the petition and ask groups that you’re a part of to sign an organizational letter of support. Individuals and groups who live in or who are doing work in the MoCo portion of CD-6 are especially needed. Contact Josh on how to get involved.
Everyone: If you’d like to find out about emerging resolution campaigns or how to start a campaign where you live please get in touch.You can help us build support across the state through a local resolution campaign, a petition or email campaign directed at Members of Congress, or by helping to organize a Medicare For All teach-in.
Getting vaccines into people’s arms remains the best way to save and protect lives. Please pre register or make an appointment to get a shot and check your local county government website for more information about vaccine locations and appointment scheduling. Vaccination equity remains a concern and we will continue to support efforts to get more sites and options in communities that need them and to serve those vulnerable Marylanders who are housebound.
If you want to assist the vaccine effort at the local level, check your County website for information about volunteer needs and opportunities. Contact Josh or Patty to be connected directly to local events that some of our PM HCTF leaders are organizing.
If you want to take action for global vaccine equity, please join our campaign to get the World Trade Organization (WTO) to lift the TRIPS waiver. Without Intellectual Property waivers, the developing world will continue to be locked out of the vaccine-production process, putting tens of millions of people at risk, particularly in the global south. Please consider giving some of your time to Progressive Maryland and the Justice Is Global's vaccine campaign, which is urging the Biden administration to support an intellectual-property waiver at the upcoming WTO meeting on May 5. Vaccines save lives, the world needs vaccines and the United States can use its power to address this dire situation. We need help with a postcard campaign and with other grassroots events during this week of action. If you want to help, please contact Josh or Patty.
Local Chapter Updates:
-The next Southern Maryland Chapter Meeting will be on Tuesday, May 11, from 6-7pm - RSVP here.
Montgomery County Justice Working Group
Join together with members of the Progressive Montgomery community to get organized and educated on justice issues in Montgomery County. We will be working on judicial reform, criminal justice issues, and any issues that are important to YOU.
Lower Shore Progressive Caucus (Affiliate Chapter) our monthly meeting is the first Thursday of the month. Check our website for more.
State and National News:
From our friends at #MEAction Maryland:
There’s very good news in the fight against Long COVID! Last week the COVID-19 Long Haulers Act was introduced in the House. The Act aims to help people suffering from long term COVID. The bill focuses on ways to improve the Long COVID patient experience by educating the public and clinicians about Long COVID, by synthesizing research on symptoms and treatments, and by supporting recommendations on how to improve the health care system’s response to long-term symptoms of COVID–19. A one-pager on the bill is available here, and legislative text will be posted here as soon as it is finalized. To learn more about this urgent topic check out this coverage from the PBS NewsHour.
Here are some thoughts by PM Board Member, Sean Dobson, on the once and future Republican presidential coup attempt:
“The decades-long Republican assault on American democracy crossed a line this past year into an actual coup attempt to overturn the results of a presidential election. Trump’s putsch failed, but the GOP’s long-durational, ongoing radicalization portends future such attempts. The next time, Republicans could learn from Trump’s mistakes, eschew his failed tactics and push harder on the successful and promising ones, thereby creating an even greater menace to American democracy than the 2020 putsch attempt. Those same lessons can show freedom-loving Americans the most likely path of a future, strong, Republican coup attempt and thus help us thwart it. Above all, we will need to focus on a grotesque irony: if the putschists succeed, it will stem mostly from the willingness of a shocking number of key Republican lawmakers, under pressure from their own base, to exploit weaknesses in our antiquated and byzantine presidential election process to subvert the same democracy that elected them.” Stay tuned for more on this in an upcoming blog post.
Events from our allies:
Monday, April 26 | 6:30-8:30pm | Baltimore People’s Climate Movement Legislative Debrief
Come together with the Baltimore Peoples Climate Movement to talk about environmental justice in Baltimore City! We'll talk about what happened during Maryland's 90-day General Assembly and how climate justice priorities fared, and take a look at what's going on at the City level to bring about a clean, just energy & economic future. RSVP below to join the conversation!
Tuesday, April 27 | 6-7pm | Targeted Twice: Police to Deportation Pipeline - National #EyesOnICE Forum
In a few weeks, DHS and the Biden Administration will release new “enforcement” policies. These policies will determine every arrest, detention, & deportation that ICE and CBP execute over the next few years, and will have life-or-death impacts on immigrant communities across the country. There are just a few weeks left to change that. Join us to bear witness to the testimonies of people who have been criminalized and are now facing the double punishment of deportation. Hosted by We Are Home Coalition & Mijente.
Tuesday, April 27 | 8pm | Conversations to Transform America: Deep Canvass Institute Town Hall
Join us for a conversation with leaders in the movement to transform America with deep canvassing and hear how you can join us in this groundbreaking, transformational, anti-racist work to put people and planet first. The Institute will train each of us to become empowered, impactful deep canvassers by building our skills to listen without judgement; share heartfelt stories that can bind us together; and process conflicts in a way that helps us to move forward together.
Tuesday, April 27 | 8-9:30pm | White People and Defunding the Police: a Webinar with SURJ & Mariame Kaba
For many of us, defunding the police is a new idea. Most white people in our lives have beliefs about policing that are shaped by our racist culture, not reality or history. How do we help more people in our lives understand what defund means and move them to a place of supporting this powerful demand? How can those of us who are new to this demand deepen our understanding of what frontline organizers are calling for?
Join SURJ and Mariame Kaba-- organizer, writer and leader in the transformative justice and abolition movement-- as we explore what we mean when we talk about abolition, what abolition actually looks like on the ground, and how you can plug in to the work!
Wednesday, April 28 | 1pm | Constructing a New Social Compact: A Public Forum on Empowering the Post-Pandemic Working Class
Join us for a public, virtual gathering April 28 - May 1 on building a new social compact for social, racial, and economic justice. Titled, “Constructing a New Social Compact: A Public Forum on Empowering the Post-Pandemic Working Class,” this multi-day gathering will bring together activists, unionists, academics, faith leaders, policy experts, global labor activists, workers, philanthropists, labor organizations, elected leaders and others to analyze, evaluate, and propose next-gen solutions for the intersectional issues affecting working people’s lives in a post-pandemic world. Hosted by Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO.
Wednesday, April 28 | 5pm | Workers Memorial Day Event
Invitation by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union observes Workers' Memorial Day to commemorate the thousands of workers killed, injured or sickened on the job each year. Hosted by Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO.
Wednesday, April 28 | 7-8pm | The NAACP Maryland State Conference, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee presents "From Woke to Warrior"!
Environmental justice is a prominent and dire issue throughout Maryland, with Baltimore having the highest rates of death related to air quality in the country, areas in Brandywine, Maryland being declared Environmental "Sacrifice Zones," and Calvert County having the highest rate of breast cancer in the country.
To celebrate #EarthMonth, we want to highlight the community activists in Maryland who are fighting for environmental justice, as well as learn how individuals, organizations, and communities can become involved in environmental justice issues, take action, and make change. Our three panelists, Shashawnda Campbell, Iris Zhan, and Monica Brooks, are three active environmental justice warriors who will discuss their story, the issues they are working on, and how Marylanders can become engaged. There will also be time for Q&A at the end, so come with questions!
Saturday, May 1 | 9am | May Day Breakfast: Pancakes for PRO + Direct Action launch at Calvert Street Park in Baltimore
Event by Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America - We owe the 40 hour workweek, the weekend, social security, and so much more to the battles won in the early labor movement. Join us and our allies at 9 AM on Saturday May 1st, International Workers' Day, for a breakfast rally celebrating the global labor movement and demanding the expansion of worker rights outlined in the PRO Act. All food will be free of charge. After breakfast, journey with DSA members at 11 AM as we head to Senator Mark Warner's house in Alexandria, Virginia for a rally demanding that he co-sponsor the PRO Act. Rides can be made available for those choosing to rally in VA, sign-up ASAP: https://forms.gle/YkEHU1CN7CJBH5URA
Masks required & additional PPE will be available. Pancakes, coffee and other refreshments will be provided. This is a FREE event, but we ask that people sign our PRO Act petition if they have a moment. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Sign up for a volunteer role or bring supplies:
Saturday, May 1 | 10am | Unions United: Building Worker Solidarity by 1199 SEIU Maryland/DC
Join labor unions from Maryland and DC to learn about the history of May Day, get a reportback on recent legislative victories, and to have a discussion about worker solidarity and how we can fight together to build a strong labor movement. When we fight, we win! Join Zoom here.
Saturday, May 1 | 11am | May Day Immigrant Justice March at Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC
In-person event by CASA, NAKASEC, National Domestic Workers Alliance, etc. Bring your protest signs, walking shoes, masks – and loudest voice to chant for immigrant justice – down the streets of DC. On May 1st, what internationally is known as May Day, el Dia del Trabajador, we flood the nation’s capital to demand justice for millions of immigrants who have been left behind for years, worse yet now during the pandemic.
You will be amongst thousands of others who are tired of waiting for promises from our elected officials. President Biden’s first 100 days in office are UP and we still need him and Congress to act on administrative and legislative protections for immigrants! We need solutions NOW, especially as the pandemic wreaks havoc on families on both sides of the border.
WHY May 1? May 1 is International Workers Day. Immigrants have been working on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic for over a year. Their contributions to society have proven essential — from picking our food, to driving our transportation, to caring for us in hospitals — the immigrant community has been doing the essential work that runs this country.
We are calling for accountability from Democrats — black and brown voters turned out in record numbers last election — and it is time for our representatives to deliver on the promises they made. We call on President Biden and Congress to deliver immigration reform and to stop deportations and to create a pathway to citizenship for the DACAmented, TPS holders, and all 11 million undocumented folks.
Saturday, May 1 | 1-4pm | Baltimore May Day Car Caravan & March: Bust Racism, Not Unions at 2011 N Charles St.
May Day - International Workers Day Baltimore Car Caravan & March, Sat. May 1. Gather at 1 pm, Staging Cars and March. Ends at City Hall for a United Workers Assembly.
Progressive Maryland BlogSpace:
We value creating space for our members to express their thoughts on any issues related to our campaigns. Have an idea for a blog post? You can submit writing, film, graphic design etc. to be published on our website to the blog moderator, Woody, at [email protected].
April 14, 2021 Wins on police reform, plus lots more to do -- a report
Maryland Coalition for Justice & Police Accountability (MJCPA), advocates and individuals impacted by police brutality, celebrate the successful organizing that has advanced police transparency and accountability, but say Maryland’s historic police reform package still does not meet the moment. That moment -- when George Floyd's memory is being defiled by the desperate defense of Derek Chauvin while more Black people die at police hands in seemingly every news cycle -- required more from our Assembly than they delivered, and will require more from Progressive Maryland activists and allies to meet these still-dangerous moments coming every day.
We need to prepare for the next phase and push for COVID relief and for healthcare for all. Please come to the Healthcare Task Force (HCTF) meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 13, at 7pm for this important discussion. The meeting will give us a chance to talk about how we can keep making progress toward greater equity, access and justice in our healthcare system. RSVP HERE
Spending for social needs, which was pretty much on hold during the Trump administration, is back on the table this spring and suddenly the schedule is everything. In an excellent roundup from People's Action's campaigns director Sondra Youdelman, we see that timelines for work in the House and Senate are complicated by juggling both the Biden admin's budget, which has huge increases for education, health and the environment, and the big infrastructure bill, which demonstrates how social needs and the transportation, power grid and broadband deficiencies are deeply intertwined. Activists are going to have to learn fast and follow the back-and-forth of events almost daily to know when to put our muscle to work to keep this legislation oriented toward people and not corporations and the rich.
From the Diamondback student newspaper, a bill passed this week by House and Senate in the General Assembly is favored by a union organizing workers at numerous campuses because it would enable one master agreement with the University System of Maryland.
>>Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org.