Info you need on the health crisis, Progressive Maryland and mutual aid efforts, the critical importance of the Census, and why Progressive Maryland and allies are backing the People's Bailout -- and what it means.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday April 6 2020
Info you need on the health crisis, the critical importance of the Census, and why Progressive Maryland and allies are backing the People's Bailout -- and what it means.
Progressive Maryland Report on 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 at all levels around the state. Progressive Maryland is supporting mutual aid efforts for folks in need. We continue to do outreach and community organizing using online tools, phone calls, and social media. Now more than ever we need to stay connected and engaged.
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. We will send a letter outlining policy recommendations to our Congressional delegation this week as well as a letter to the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House.
We are communicating our issues and concerns to a number of County Executives during this time. Along with many partners from community, labor, and civil rights organizations we met with Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich on March 31. We have a follow up meeting April 8 to review the County’s response regarding increased access to health care, worker protection, economic aid, and safety of incarcerated individuals. We are working to set up similar meetings in Baltimore City, and in Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Frederick Counties in the next two weeks.
Take Action: Protect our State Employees!
Thousands of dedicated state workers remain on the front lines serving the public. At a call last week 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.
[email protected] or 410 767-4639
Coming Soon: Progressive Maryland’s dedicated COVID Response Website to help our supporters and the public with tools and resources to navigate during these difficult times.
CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY INFO
Gov. Larry Hogan has tightened restrictions on public movement with his “Stay-at-Home Order” announced March 30: “All persons living in the State of Maryland are hereby ordered, effective as of 8:00 p.m. on March 30, 2020, to stay in their homes or places of residence (“Homes”) except: to conduct or participate in Essential Activities” defined as getting food or medicine or seeking medical care. People employed in those businesses – grocery stores, drug stores, medical care providers – may go to work. See the details here: https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Gatherings-FOURTH-AMENDED-3.30.20.pdf
An April 3 proclamation on financial relief, including conditional bans on evictions, utility shutoffs and other measures, is here. Access to fuller information from the state includes coping resources for families and individuals https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/ and https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/
LOCAL 400 URGES LIMITS ON GROCERY STORY CROWDS FOR CUSTOMER AND WORKER SAFETY
UFCW local 400 president Mark Federici said in a release: “To protect our members on the frontlines, we are calling on every locality to restrict the number of customers in a store to 10 people per 10,000 square feet, with no more than 50 customers in a store at the same time. We must act now to save lives. We cannot afford to wait and we cannot allow grocery stores to become dangerous vectors for disease. For everyone’s safety, we must implement customer limits at every store immediately.”
Delaware is the only local state to have done this so far; Local 400 cheered Kanawha County (Charleston) WVA, which has been enabled by the governor to act locally and done so.
Marylanders can urge Gov. Hogan to reduce risk for customers and workers by ordering such customer limits statewide here.
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.
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
- Health is the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions
2. 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
MOCO Update March 30, 2020
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.
PRIMARY ELECTION UPDATE: The April Primary date has been changed from April 28 to June 2. In addition to the Presidential contest important School Board and Judicial races are on the ballot. Please make a plan to vote! Contact us for more information. Check out our election resource guide at www.progressivemaryland.org.
Thank you for taking action on these issues even during these challenging times. Contact Josh Raznick at [email protected] or Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more and get involved in the MOCO Chapter’s education, election, or other issue work.
EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES:
Tuesday APR 14 7 PM Webinar The Elephant in the Emergency Room -- how Medicare for All can save your family money. From Our Revolution Maryland and other state chapters -- sign up here
And here is Our Revolution MD’s new newsletter, in PDF:
>>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 [email protected]
We recently published these blog posts:
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. Progressive Maryland executive director Larry Stafford Jr. outlines what communities can do, working collectively.
March 30, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 30, 2020
Info you need, including details on the "Stay at Home" statewide order issued this morning (March 30), the critical importance of the Census, and why Progressive Maryland and allies are backing the People's Bailout -- and what it means.
March 27, 2020 Fear at Work
As the coronavirus emergency overtook Maryland, day by day and with new restrictions piling up, thousands have watched their jobs evaporate under their feet. Some workers, in food service and retail, can't telework the human contact they provided. The story of one restaurant's slow dissolution, and the impact -- physical and mental -- on workers, plays out here in Kurt Stand's personal account.
/PM BlogSpace Report/ Developer cash has long ruled the roost in Prince George’s County government. In the 2012 reform of “pay to play” electoral culture outlined here, Council members and the executive were barred from such campaign contributions from active applicants as posing a clear conflict of interest.
Now a powerful committee chair, Dereck E. Davis of Prince George’s, has engineered a reversal of that protection. Bad things may happen.
>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 [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