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Happy Monday! We're thrilled to kick off this week's memo by highlighting our latest endorsements for municipal races in the upcoming election. Our endorsed candidates are Iyamide House for Bowie City Council (District 3), Izola Shaw for Rockville City Council, and Martin Mitchell for Laurel Mayor These three remarkable community leaders embody the values we hold dear: progress, inclusivity, and a commitment to strengthening our communities. Read more about why we chose to support their campaigns in our official endorsement announcement.

 

Be sure to check out the latest events on our calendar, including the Vegan SoulFest we are participating in this weekend, and stay informed about our ongoing task force initiatives, ways to get involved, and news you can use!

 



 

 

Happy Monday! We're thrilled to kick off this week's memo by highlighting our latest endorsements for municipal races in the upcoming election. Our endorsed candidates are Iyamide House for Bowie City Council (District 3), Izola Shaw for Rockville City Council, and Martin Mitchell for Laurel Mayor These three remarkable community leaders embody the values we hold dear: progress, inclusivity, and a commitment to strengthening our communities. Read more about why we chose to support their campaigns in our official endorsement announcement.

 

Be sure to check out the latest events on our calendar, including the Vegan SoulFest we are participating in this weekend, and stay informed about our ongoing task force initiatives, ways to get involved, and news you can use!

 

In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team

Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

    • PM Events: Gala, Vegan SoulFest
    • PM task forces & issue campaigns: HCTF & RCTF
    • Local Chapter Updates: Harford County
    • Events from Allies
    • State & National news

PM EVENTS:

PMD GALA – EARLY BIRD SALE ENDS TOMORROW, AUGUST 15TH

Join us at our Annual gala on September 21st at 4pm in the city of Annapolis featuring Rep. Jamie Raskin, cocktail hour, an art auction, awards, and more! Don't miss out on our special Early Bird Sale offering tickets at $150. Get your tickets today!

 

Progressive Maryland Table at Vegan SoulFest August 19th- 20th

Join Progressive Maryland in making a positive impact at the festival. We're operating a waste sorting and environmental education station, guiding attendees in trash separation, composting, and recycling. Help us advocate for waste reduction, ending trash incineration, and striving for zero waste. Sign up for volunteer shifts here, individually or with your Green Team. Volunteers enjoy full-day festival admission, meal tickets, and a Vegan SoulFest volunteer t-shirt. Feel free to volunteer on both festival days if you wish to attend both. 

Updates: PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns 

Healthcare Justice Campaign: Care Over Cost Campaign, Paving the Way to Medicare For All!

Help us grow the movement for Medicare For All! Here’s the plan: 

  • Fight the private health insurance industry with all we’ve got! Private health insurance plans cost too much and they’re denying too many of us the medical care we need! Pressure these corporations to stop denying claims and treatment just to make higher profits. 
  • Demand that Congress and the Administration crack down on the greed and abuses in the industry, while protecting and strengthening Medicare, and doing more to support healthcare workers and providers. 
  • Make support for Medicare For All a critical 2024 election campaign issue in Maryland and around the country. 

How can you be a part of this movement? Come knock doors with us the weekend of August 26th and 27th! We’ll be in Baltimore City on Saturday and in Silver Spring on Sunday. Sign up below: training, support and materials provided.

We’re getting a really positive response at the doors-we just need to talk to more people so that we have the people and voter power we need to carry out this plan! Check out the new video.

 

In addition to door knocking we need help with community events, support for our logistics and comms team, and for a day of action in October and issue forums at the end of the year.  Join us: fill out the volunteer form. Email Patty for more information.

 

Returning Citizens Taskforce

“The past is something to learn from, not live in,” State Delegate Jamila Woods told those attending attended the “Find Your Community, Find Your Voice” Returning Citizens Town Hall on Saturday, August 12. She added that “the opportunity of a lifetime only lasts the lifetime of the opportunity.” The challenge, however, is ensuring that people leaving prison are able to find the opportunities they need, be it housing, jobs, legal services or, equally important, a spiritual center. Charles Hopkins, from Samaritan Ministries of Greater Washington spoke next. He was released from prison in 2019 after serving 48 years in prison, returning to society with $50 in his pocket. He needed resources and he also needed to learn to live as people do. "Success means following a plan", Hopkins added, but understanding, like a quarterback in the huddle, sometimes you have to be prepared for an audible. For that, he - like everyone - needed support, and he reminded those in attendance that if we could get through prison, we can get through the challenges of living on the outside.

 

The gathering was held at The Episcopal Church of the Atonement in South East DC right on the border line with Prince George’s County. In addition to the church, co-sponsors of the Town Hall included Progressive Maryland’s Returning Citizens Task Force and the Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington. Reverend Ricardo Sheppard, pastor of the church, began and concluded the program, speaking of his own experiences of the system, of the need to listen, to be patient, and be ever mindful of both practical and spiritual needs. Also participating in the Town Hall were Michael Williams, Director of Returning Citizens Affairs Office of the County Executive (Prince George’s), Lamont Carey, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (DC), Diane Quinn, Employer Specialist, Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, and Mark Smith, Manager, Career Services, Employ Prince George’s. Beverly John spoke about the work Life After Release does, especially their work to build participatory defense and their Mother’s Day Bail Out program to help women get back to their families and their lives. 

 

Other returning citizens spoke from the floor and there was an opportunity to exchange information and resources. Altogether about 25 people attended, a step in the right direction, but a step which will be followed by other steps.

 

Contact  Kurt for more information regarding the RCTF.

 

Environmental Justice Taskforce

As the sun-blessed summer winds down, we are excited to announce that Progressive Maryland and our Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) will participate in the upcoming national Vegan SoulFest: a two-day event taking place this weekend (August 19-20) at West Covington Park (101 W Cromwell St., Baltimore, MD 21230).

 

This national event will include people from around the globe, and the confluence of music, art, and plant-based food, together. The festival's main aim is to empower the global community on the consequences of waste on our air and water. Waste reduction, as minimal as possible, is also an important goal of ours.

 

That said, we are in need of volunteers to help out at the sorting stations in the festival. Perks for individuals that volunteer include full-day admission and a meal ticket redeemable at the 100+ food vendors. If you're looking to close the summer out with an environmental bang, sign up here for a volunteer shift with the EJTF. If you're interested in getting connected to the EJTF, reach out to our Environmental Justice organizer SirJames.

 

Local Chapter Updates: 

Progressive Harford County

Come together with Progressive Harford County for our monthly meeting, scheduled for August 21st at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This session will focus on strategizing the forthcoming phases of our campaign concerning proactive measures against PFAS chemicals found in our local water supply. Additionally, we'll delve into a preview of upcoming events. Register here!

EVENTS FROM ALLIES:

Martin Mitchell Fundraiser Event August 17 

Metro DSA’s Fossil Fuel Fighter Festival — August 19

 

On August 19, the Earth Day 2023 collective will hold a youth-led (but open to all!) Fossil Fuel Fighter Festival to bring together organizations and individuals from across movements. Get ready to learn, build community, play games, make art and more. The Fossil Fuel Fighter Festival will also help us prepare for the September 17 March to End Fossil Fuels in NYC. We’ll be in Malcolm X Park in NW DC (exact location to be determined) from 10am – 1pm. If you can bring anything (be it a game, food, music or a bunch of friends) or would like to help organize the festival, please say so on the RSVP form or reach out to [email protected].

 

Reel and Meal Showing August 21

 

Reel and Meal will show the film "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North" at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 21 at the New Deal Café, 113 Centerway in Greenbelt and via Zoom.
"Traces of the Trade" uncovers slavery's pivotal role in New England's economy. From Rhode Island to Ghana’s Middle Passage ports and Cuban sugar plantations, descendants trace their family's significant slave-trading past and prompt reflection on historical injustices and ways to address them. The New Deal Café offers a full menu for the live screening. If you can't make it in person, pre-register here to attend virtually.

State and National News:

Congress is out this week, though individual members are no doubt committing significant mischief back in their districts. We'll have to see how that goes down. But while the feds are idle (except Joe Biden, having a Camp David summit with Japanese and South Korean leaders this week) the states are busy. The National Conference of State Legislatures is meeting for their annual talkfest in Indianapolis.

 

All that federal money is running out now, so suddenly states are typically more interested in regulating (low cost) than in appropriating (high price tag); therefore they will be happy to pay attention to Route Fifty's focus on what to do about Artificial Intelligence, which we have all learned to call AI for short. If, instead, they have a look at the Pew Center's report on what they might spend some effort on, they'll see a big take on tax policy justice (watch Maryland legislators looking carefully at their shoes) and other good ideas.

 

We'll check out what's going on in Maryland first, but pay attention to what other states are doing and the problems they are solving (or not solving). Those are issues that will probably come home to roost in our own state eventually. That's why we call this News You Can Use.

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Progressive Maryland
P.O. Box 6988
Largo, MD 20792

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About

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...