Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 23, 2021

campaign_for_hc_justice_sig.pngWe are at a crossroads for healthcare in our country. As we speak, Congress is hashing out what could be the largest expansion of Medicare in years! Let’s be sure that our lawmakers take the very best path forward. The path that leads us to funding critical Medicare improvements and expansion which could result in: lower costs for prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate on Rx prices; coverage for vision, dental, and hearing; a younger eligibility age to enroll in Medicare; and lower copays. We can do this with your support.



 

We are at a crossroads for healthcare in our country. As we speak, Congress is hashing out what could be the largest expansion of Medicare in years! Let’s be sure that our lawmakers take the very best path forward. The path that leads us to funding critical Medicare improvements and expansion which could result in: lower costs for prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate on Rx prices; coverage for vision, dental, and hearing; a younger eligibility age to enroll in Medicare; and lower copays. We can do this with your support.

 

Thank you for being part of this moment and this movement.

 

In Solidarity,

The PM Team

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Quick Actions:

 

  • Ask our Senators to support Medicare Expansion 

 

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Statewide Updates:

The New Era Project 

 

Progressive Maryland activists, leaders and MPLI alumni have organized seven New Era Project events so far this summer. From Carroll County to Prince George’s County to Baltimore County, in person and on zoom, dozens of grassroots folks have gathered together to talk about building progressive power for the upcoming election cycle. It’s been great to hear what’s on the minds of concerned Marylanders about a variety of key issues. We’ve also raised money and recruited volunteers for our political program. Thanks to all who have participated. If you’d like to organize an event or learn more contact Yves at [email protected]

 

Rental Assistance for All

Housing instability is on the rise in Maryland and we need your help to inform  our community about the options for rental assistance. Join us TODAY,  Monday, August 23rd at 6:00PM to make calls to folks in Calvert and Carroll Counties --CLICK HERE TO RSVP!

 

Get more information here about Maryland’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program  Some other resources to help: At the county level, find help for threatened eviction at the info links here: Anne Arundel County: Housing assistance here. Eviction help click here.  Calvert County: For information on housing assistance and to apply for rental assistance click here.  Charles County: For information on housing assistance and to apply for rental assistance, click here.   Prince George’s County: Housing assistance info here and to apply for rental assistance, click here.  St. Mary’s County: Housing information, click here and to apply for rental assistance, click here.

 

Healthcare Justice Campaign campaign_for_hc_justice_sig.png

Medicare Expansion:

Support the campaign to win a game-changing expansion of Medicare! The federal Budget Reconciliation process, unfolding now, may include provisions that would add important benefits like dental, vision and hearing  to Medicare, lower out-of-pocket costs and the eligibility age, and give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. Take a minutes now and:

 

-- Email our Senators Tell Congress to expand Medicare

 

--RSVP for  the People’s Action national phone bank tomorrow evening, August 24, from 6:30-9 p.m

We’ll do  training, provide tech support and build community. Thanks to everyone who helped last week, we had a productive night of calling! For more information, contact Malcolm at [email protected]

 

--Sign the petition

 

Fighting COVID-19:

Given the continuing rise in new COVID cases and hospitalizations in Maryland, we urge Marylanders to call on Governor Hogan to renew the Catastrophic Public Health Emergency which he let expire on August 15. Call him at 410   NEED NUMBER  and tell him to  renew the State of Emergency to prevent evictions, keep protections in place for essential workers, and support the tools and resources that local officials have been using throughout the pandemic to meet the needs of our community. Now is not the time to pull back and limit the state’s response to COVID. Please stay safe, mask up, and urge everyone you know to get vaccinated. 

 

Coming soon: Statewide VIrtual Forum on COVID in September. We’ll look at the impact of the delta variant, what’s happening with cases and health guidelines, share stories and concerns, and talk about what we need to keep supporting everyone who is affected. If you’re interested in helping to organize the Forum, please  contact Patty at [email protected] 

  

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel County

Check out this interview with Progressive Maryland’s Executive Director, Larry Stafford, Jr., in the Anne Arundel County

NAACP’s summer newsletter!

 

Progressive Baltimore County 

Contact Zach for updates and how to get involved in local campaigns. 

 

Progressive Harford County

Join Progressive Harford County during their research committee meeting tomorrow, August 24 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The research committee investigates voting records, public statements and donations of elected officials representing Harford County. The committee also researches legislation affecting Harford at the local and state level. The purpose of this meeting is to determine which topics we research first and to develop a plan for action.

 

Progressive Montgomery

Want to get involved with our local environmental, economic justice and voter campaigns? 

Please contact Josh to learn more.

 

State and National News:  

For The People Act:  The For the People Act (S1) must be passed and signed into law before the end of summer in order to be in effect for the 2022 midterm elections. Without it, extremist state lawmakers will continue drawing hyper-partisan maps that disenfranchise voters, especially voters of color, and weaken our democratic election system for the next decade. That’s why so many leading progressive, labor, civil rights and democracy groups (including PM’s national affiliate People’s Action) are pushing for action now in Congress. We can limit the power of big money in politics and build a democracy that is fair, inclusive and off limits to right-wing attacks. 

Tug of, well, conflict over big and less big bills. 

The House of Representatives will return from their recess for a brief hiatus today, Monday, August 23rd to supposedly vote on the $3.5T Budget Resolution language that they need to kick off the process parallel to that of the Senate (which passed it’s resolution two weeks ago). This, though, after 9 moderate Democrats have threatened to vote NO on the budget resolution UNLESS the bipartisan infrastructure bill (the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act) that passed in the Senate is brought to them for a vote first. There’s jostling between the moderates and the progressives, who are saying the same in the reverse - the progressives aren’t ready to vote on the bipartisan bill UNTIL Budget Reconciliation passes the Senate (final bill, not the instructions that already passed). Basically, they’re all trying to use their leverage, and Speaker Pelosi is working to hold the caucus together. -- Sondra Yodelman, People’s Action

And here is what the bipartisan infrastructure bill is expected to do for Maryland (pdf) … start with repairing 273 bridges in poor condition and add broadband, clean water in the pipes, EV chargers and resilient communities… and more.

 

Economic Justice For Marylanders --Checks for the Child Tax Credit are still arriving in bank accounts of those households that have filed tax returns -- but up to ten percent of eligible households won’t get it routinely because they don’t file/don’t have to file. So they may not know about this important form of support.  Get the word out! Use this Non-filer Sign-up Tool Help Guide (PDF - English and Spanish). This guide tells people what to gather ahead of time and walks people step-by-step through filling out the Tool. Spread the word!

 

Events from Our Allies:

Our Revolution MD's "Maryland Money Matters Meeting" Wednesday, August 25th at 7pm.

MARCH ON for voter rights Saturday, Aug. 28 -- More than 200,000 protesters are expected to converge on Washington, D.C. this Saturday as part of a nationwide protest against new voter restriction laws and to call on the Congress to pass the For The People Act. 8:00 AM at McPherson Square•15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

The Crisis in Afghanistan:  MoveOn’s petition to Support Refugees

 

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].  

August 19, 2021  Time to trim lobbyists' privileged access to Assembly members

Officials from around the state are gathering in Ocean City this week at the Maryland Association of Counties annual meeting. The officials will be surrounded by deep-pocketed types aiming to influence the way they make law and policy. We have come to call them lobbyists.

Jimmy Tarlau, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, checks off the ways high-paid lobbyists distort the public policy process with financial contributions and provides a checklist of how the Legislature should check the lobbyists power.

As soon as they stop eating the lobbyists' crab cakes.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 16, 2021

Maryland’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium expired Sunday without an extension of the state of emergency by Gov. Larry Hogan, despite a letter Friday  from House Speaker Adrienne Jones and her top lieutenants urging Hogan to extend it

“This is a preventable public health crisis,” WMAR quotes Public Justice Center attorney Matt Hill, who said up to 4,500 Maryland families were at risk of eviction without Hogan’s extension. Support your neighbors in trouble and let your local officials know how you feel about Hogan’s do-nothing pandemic response.

August 10, 2021 The political "duopoly" keeps Maryland divided, conquered by mediocrity

“ 'Bipartisan' sounds like it includes all viewpoints, but it’s just another word for control by the duopoly," concludes veteran journalist and observer of folly Len Lazarick in this column on how Maryland's state politics stay in the grip of centrism. The parties pick their voters, not the other way round.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 9, 2021