Happy holidays from all of us at Progressive Maryland! We look forward to continuing our work with you in the new year.
This will be our last memo of the year as our staff members prepare to take some time off to be with family and friends.
We’re entering the final stretch of 2021 amid news about the unclear fate of the Build Back Better Act and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant that might feel difficult to bear. But there are plenty of reasons for us to look ahead with hope and determination. We’re excited for the many 2022 electoral campaigns featuring progressive candidates who understand the value and importance of grassroots political organizing. These past months have seen a stronger and more widespread display of worker power than there has been in some time, and we continue to be inspired by our allies fighting tirelessly for a better future.
In the coming year, we will continue to fight for voting rights and our democracy. We will push for meaningful investments in our social and economic infrastructure. And we will support the workers and unions who are challenging anti-labor practices, an unjust concentration of wealth, and corporate greed.
We’re ready for 2022, and we look forward to continuing to build this movement with you!
Become a Member of Progressive Maryland
Our members power our work!
There’s still time to become a member in 2021 and secure your invite to our virtual statewide Membership Assembly on Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 11:00am–2:00pm EST. Member support helps us organize at the grassroots level to protect people and advance economic, social and political justice. Join us in the fight for a better future by becoming a member today!
We’re grateful for our grassroots members all across the state. Those of you who joined Progressive Maryland years ago have helped us build this organization into what it is today — and we’re so excited by the energy and enthusiasm of new members who joined throughout 2021.
- Paid campaign canvasser positions are available NOW for a critical Special Election! Apply here or contact Patty for more details.
The clock is ticking! We’re just two weeks away from a critical special election on January 4th to fill a seat on the Prince George’s County Council. Now’s the time to get involved and support progressive candidate Edward Burroughs! Join our team in Prince George’s County on New Year’s Day from 10am–2pm to start the new year off right by knocking doors for Edward — RSVP here for more information.
Can’t join us to canvass? You can make calls for Edward Burroughs from the warmth of your home! We’re hosting phone banks nearly every day between now and the special election on January 4th. Click here to find a shift that works for you! If you’ve never phone banked before, don’t worry! We’ll guide you through the process.
Could you or someone you know use extra cash for the holidays? Edward Burroughs’ campaign is hiring for short-term paid canvassing positions, both full-time and part-time hours available! Earn money while making a difference — learn more and apply here today.
Drug Policy Campaign
Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly in 2021 to end violent drug arrests and police harassment. We’re looking forward to taking a break over the holidays, but we’ll be back to work the first week of January! Be sure to sign up to participate in our Cannabis Legalization Lobby Week from Wednesday, January 5 – Friday, January 7, and register for our Drug Policy Testimony Training on Wednesday, January 12 at 7:00pm. To get involved with our Drug Policy Task Force more generally, sign up here.
Healthcare Justice Campaign
Prescription Drug Pricing, Paid Family and Medical Leave in the Build Back Better Act
Thanks to everyone who has worked for many months to push for Medicare Expansion, lower prescription drug prices, and much more in the Build Back Better Act. We’ve had a setback, but we’re not going to let Sen. Manchin and congressional Republicans derail the critical programs and policies that BBB would fund. We intend to stand alongside the many incredible groups continuing to fight for these meaningful investments in our people and our economy. To get involved, contact Malcolm or Patty.
We’re seeing a new surge in COVID cases across the country, with the pace of deaths and hospitalizations increasing as the Omicron variant spreads. This is the worst possible time for any state not to be tracking case numbers and rates, but because of issues with the Department of Health server it’s now been two weeks since Maryland has released complete COVID data. We’re calling on Governor Hogan to resolve these issues and make the full data publicly available.
The Governor needs to move quickly to support local public health departments during this new wave — that means providing free testing at clinics to meet the increasing demand and working with retailers to get free at-home testing kits for everyone. We need every available tool and resource to be deployed this winter to help people understand what’s happening and to help more Marylanders get vaccinated and boosted. Progressive Maryland will continue to organize and advocate for COVID support and financial relief for our communities as the 2022 Maryland General Assembly Session gets underway in January. In the meantime, please exercise caution: mask indoors, keep your distance. Get vaccinated and boosted and encourage others to do so. For updates on COVID testing, vaccines, hospitalization data, and community transmission rates: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/.
Local Chapter Updates:
Progressive Harford County:
Despite our efforts to oppose the measure, the Harford County Council passed a redistricting map gerrymandering the county’s councilmanic districts two weeks ago. This blatant move to suppress the will of Harford County voters drives home the urgent need to recruit candidates who share our democratic values to run at the local and state levels. Are you interested in running for office in Harford County? Complete our recruitment form and we’ll contact you about next steps for supporting your campaign!
The lack of community participation in Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s new police accountability bill is unacceptable — learn more in this Maryland Matters article published last week, and stay tuned for action items in our upcoming memos about how you can help advocate for a stronger bill. In the meantime, Young People for Progress has organized a petition addressed to County Executive Elrich and the County Council demanding that they remove armed police officers from MoCo schools. What students need is access to trained mental health professionals and other forms of social support, not more police in schools! Add your voice to the petition here.
Progressive Prince George's:
Join us TODAY to make calls and canvass in support of Edward Burroughs, the progressive champion running for Prince George’s County Council. We recently endorsed Edward, who’s running for a council seat in a special election taking place on January 4th. We need your help to change PG County politics — sign up to phone bank or knock doors for Edward Burroughs with us!
State and National News:
The big news is that Sen Joe Manchin finally said “no” on the air to the Build Back Better bill, potentially dooming it in the Senate (but wait! – some still see hope for a modified version). It appears Manchin still wants to be the center of attention — why else would he do this, since his West Virginia constituents could really use help on child care, health care and a just transition to the post-coal, post-fracked gas era. With his yacht and his millions, Manchin is so out of touch with everyday people that he doesn’t care he’s playing the Grinch who stole BBB from families everywhere.
Meanwhile, Gov. Larry Hogan competes with Manchin for airtime, testing positive for COVID one day after appearing on Fox News Sunday with a “What, Me Worry?” no-more-lockdowns stance. This despite the fact that our state’s grievously hacked medical data system has had no good numbers on COVID-19 cases for two weeks while the Omicron variant, imperfectly understood but really contagious, rages.
Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies:
Monday, December 20 | 7:00pm (hybrid – virtual or in Greenbelt) — Join Reel & Meal for a free, hybrid viewing and discussion of The Big Scary S Word, a film exploring the rich history of the American socialist movement and featuring interviews with Naomi Klein, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and Cornel West. The movie will be screened in-person at The New Deal Café (113 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD 20770) – proof of vaccination required for in-person attendees. To attend the screening virtually, register here.
Saturday, January 1 | 10:00am–2:00pm (Prince George’s County) — Join the Progressive Maryland team in the field to canvass for progressive Prince George’s County Council candidate Edward Burroughs! RSVP for location.
Tuesday, January 18 | 12:00pm (Washington, DC) — Join the Debt Collective in DC during a week of action to demand student debt relief! We’re taking to the streets to call for student loan debt cancellation and a pathway to tuition free college. We’ll meet at noon at the Eisenhower Memorial (540 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20500). Register here to join!
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].
Political scientist David Lublin, who hosts the long-running blog Seventh State, takes a look at the state of play among the two major parties in Maryland.