Progressive Maryland is setting priorities for the Maryland Legislature’s session this January
You're invited to our Annual Membership Assembly! This is an important event for dues-paying members or members of our affiliated organizations.. Please join us (virtually of course!) on January 9th, 2021 from 2-5pm so you can learn about our top priorities for the upcoming session, get more involved in our organizing and participate in membership elections.
More below, plus the latest on Covid defense, national Covid relief action and PM's landscape of activism in Maryland -- plus our recent blog posts.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, December 28, 2020
Progressive Maryland is setting priorities for the Maryland Legislature’s session this January
You're invited to our Annual Membership Assembly! This is an important event for dues-paying members or members of our affiliated organizations.. Please join us (virtually of course!) on January 9th, 2021 from 2-5pm so you can learn about our top priorities for the upcoming session, get more involved in our organizing and participate in membership elections.. RSVP here to secure your spot. Not a member of PM yet? No worries! You can join by clicking here and then attend our membership event.
Call to Action
Virus cases continue to surge around the state and in many locations across the U.S. The death toll is mounting and December is now the deadliest month so far in the country during the pandemic. Here in Maryland more than 5,500 residents in the state have died and the disparate impact on Black and Latinx Marylanders continues--38% of the fatalities are among African Americans who make up 30% of the state’s population; 20% of COVID deaths are among Latinx folks who are just 10% of Maryland’s overall population. This crisis is staggering in all its dimensions and heartbreaking in its depths. Our condolences go out to all the families, friends, neighbors and co-workers who have lost loved ones. Unfortunately, the surge and spread is expected to grow worse this winter.
The health and economic woes we’re experiencing have been exacerbated by President Trump’s actions, by the deliberate inaction of the Republican Senate and by the lack of leadership from many Governors, including our own. Progressive Maryland calls on our Congressional delegation, the State House Speaker, the State Senate President and the Governor to lead and to do more! We will be better able to manage the public health crisis if communication with all Marylanders and among elected officials is improved and increased. We need effective, clear health guidelines that are set and upheld statewide, and that are communicated and supported by public officials. Evidence shows that restrictions on some businesses and a number of daily activities can help reduce community spread and save lives--those measures should be in place, especially as we prepare for another post holiday surge. As the vaccine rolls out, updates on the vaccination program will need to be frequent and transparent. Support for healthcare workers, teachers and school personnel, essential workers, public employees and non-profit service agencies needs to be stepped up.
The Governor should open the Rainy Day Fund (which has more than $900 million) and the Maryland General Assembly should pass progressive tax reform that will raise additional revenues for comprehensive COVID relief and recovery. Marylanders, especially underserved residents, can survive this crisis but only if the state meets the crisis at the scale it has now reached.
Help us send the message on the COVID response we need from Annapolis. Please sign and share far and wide:
Stay Informed, Stay Safe, Save Lives
Our COVID Town Hall on December 17 hosted by Progressive Maryland and the Right Care Alliance covered useful information about the vaccine and continued our advocacy and story sharing when it comes to dealing with the pandemic. See it here.
The vaccine, especially once it’s widely available and administered (sometime next spring or summer) will almost certainly help us get the virus under control. Some 20,000 Marylanders have received the first dose of the vaccine in the past week and a half and those numbers should grow rather quickly as more doses are shipped to the state. Members of the medical and scientific community are expressing confidence in the efficacy and safety of the first vaccines that are receiving emergency use authorization and are now getting shipped to states. We can make a difference, too. Public health experts are convinced that we can save at least 100,000 lives in the upcoming months if we continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash our hands frequently, monitor our health and get tested.We can also do our part for community safety by following these simple guidelines,especially during the holidays:
- Follow the latest state and local government advisories and requirements when it comes to travel and indoor dining. They work, they matter.
- Stay home. Don’t socialize with folks outside your immediate household or pod, and skip outings or trips that aren’t essential.
National Activist Notes
Finally, the $900 billion federal pandemic relief package (part of an overall Federal government funding agreement that avoids a shutdown) was signed into law by President Trump over the weekend, but not in time to prevent a lapse in unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. While Trump spent the last week golfing and enjoying the holidays at his resort, tens of millions of Americans were going hungry, going to food banks, and going to whatever lengths they could to try and avoid eviction or foreclosure. A frustrating and telling picture of 2020 as we close out the year.
Nevertheless, the relief is on the way and the U.S.House will be voting today (Monday) on a bill upping the one-time family benefit from $600 to $2000. The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill, but Majority Leader McConnell may consider it if he’s looking over his shoulder at the effect the GOP’s COVID relief delays may have on the Georgia Senate runoff election (if the Democrats win he would no longer be Majority Leader).
The showdown next week in Georgia for the 2 U.S. Senate seats is critical to our prospects for passing progressive policies next year. The contest has been addled by Trump’s wacky election-theft theories but prioritized by the big-spending GOP so the runoff races have become some of the most expensive in this cycle. It will take people power to help the Democratic challengers unseat the Trump-embracing incumbents. If Georgians vote to send Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to Washington there should be more leverage in Congress for the new administration’s agenda and for real relief from the pandemic wreckage left by Trump’s mismanagement and negligence.
Progressive Maryland is going to spend this Wednesday evening December 30 calling Georgia voters! Please join us to help turn out the vote and win these seats!
Contact our Chapter organizers here:
Sunday, January 3
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA January Branch Meeting Virtual, details at link
OUR RECENT BLOG POSTS
Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blog posts 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]
December 21, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, December 21, 2020
On the annual winter solstice, we hope the Shortest Day means our dark winter of COVID will begin to give way to spring. Meanwhile, lots happening, including the latest on coping with COVID in Maryland, chapter notes and our recent blog posts.
December 19, 2020 "Deep Canvassing" comes to Georgia at a crucial moment
Georgia is the center of the political universe right now, but how can hi-n-bye GOTV efforts build lasting change? People's Action, the national affiliate of Progressive Maryland, is one of the organizations trying to bring "deep canvassing" approaches to make relationships that last between elections, and build power in communities that need it. "We can't afford to just contact people every four years," said a PA organizer. "What does that build? We need to build power from the bottom up."
Read about how PA is making it happen in Georgia. It's a model Progressive Maryland and other groups are bringing to make change in our state.
December 14, 2020 Progressive Maryland's Weekly Memo for Monday, December 14, 2020
The Electoral College meets after Trump's last ditch is filled with the trashed reputations of the House GOP's dead-enders. Meanwhile, progressives fight to keep the Biden transition more aligned with today's needs rather than Obama's dashed dreams. But you knew that. More to the point, here's what progressives are doing to make Maryland better and help us all slog out of the COVID morass. Read the Memo and get the picture.
December 11, 2020 How Progressive Maryland is preparing for 2021. You are included.
This past Tuesday evening Progressive Maryland hosted our virtual Member Welcome meeting to build community and learn about what it means to be a member of Progressive Maryland. We were joined by both the longtime and relatively new members who make our organization what it is.
We want to build momentum from this meeting and head into 2021 ready to increase our grassroots power across the state, so this post is to carry that meeting’s messages to those who were unable to participate. Here's how we work together to make change in Maryland.
December 07, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, December 7, 2020
UP FRONT: TOMORROW Member Welcome Meeting:
As we prepare for the new year Progressive Maryland will bring its members, old and new, together on the evening of Tuesday, December 8 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm for a Member Welcome Meeting. We’ll share critical information for EVERY Progressive Maryland member, whether you have been fighting alongside us for just 3 months or for the past several years.
December 03, 2020 Reduce police encounters with the public by decriminalizing poverty
Because the harsh economic and social conditions in many parts of Maryland bring desperate people to seek shelter, employment and sustenance in ways the law calls criminal, police are charged with enforcing those laws. Homelessness, sex work, recreational drug use and typical adolescent behaviors are all unrelated to actual public safety but currently criminalized, increasing police encounters with the public and inevitably going tragically wrong in all too many cases. The remedy starts with decriminalization, write two with deep experience in this high-risk area.
Wednesday (Dec. 2) a group of activists organized by a new Judiciary Task Force successfully halted an illegal foreclosure sale. Following a concerted effort by policy experts, a federal mortgage fraud whistleblower, and an intrepid group of interfaith leaders, Progressive Maryland was able to stop a sale scheduled for 11:30am.
🎉 Exciting news: The Catalogue for Philanthropy has chosen Progressive Maryland as one of the best nonprofits in the DC region! We were selected from a competitive applicant pool by passing through a rigorous review process conducted by a team of 170+ pro bono reviewers from foundations, corporate giving programs, peer nonprofits, local government agencies, and the philanthropic advisory community. We are so honored to be part of this powerful cohort of local changemakers! 🔥
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