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.
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. At the welcome meeting we will:
- Get to know other members and some of our staff
- Hear about key parts of our organization including our issue task forces and ways to participate in them
- Discuss upcoming events and a variety of opportunities for members
- Review PM’s structure, including our local chapters and leadership structure
- Talk about the upcoming annual membership meeting in January
Please note that this is a gathering only for our current members. Not a member? Sign up to become a member of PM by following this link.
Enjoy the holiday this week. Please stay safe and well. We look forward to seeing you TOMORROW -- Member Welcome Meeting December 8th 6:30pm-7:30pm
FAREWELL TO PAUL SARBANES, LONGTIME SENATOR -- Former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes ― a staunch defender of the Chesapeake Bay and cosponsor the Sarbanes-Oxley law tightening up on federal securities laws after high-profile financial scandals near the turn of the century ― died Sunday [Dec. 6} His death was announced late Sunday night by his son, U.S. Rep John Sarbanes (D-Md.) — who holds the House seat his father once did.” Progressive Maryland sends condolences to the former Senator’s family and friends. More on his career can be found at Maryland Matters, The Sun, and the WaPo.
lCOVID -19 UPDATE
The virus is raging and is expected to get worse in the coming weeks. Congress must act to pass a Coronavirus relief package now. States and local jurisdictions should be given the leeway and flexibility they need to spend any unspent CARES act money on the support and programs that workers, families, and underserved communities need. Fortunately, there are reports that an aid package will pass this month. Fortunately, too, the failed Trump Administration is on its way out and new leaders will soon be running vital government agencies. It’s a relief to know that Xaveria Bacerra will soon become Secretary of Health and Human Services and that President-elect Biden has selected top notch experts like Dr. Fauci in key roles to help the United States and the world deal with the pandemic.
But in the meantime, Maryland has reported its two highest daily case totals in recent days. Sadly there’s also been a significant rise in fatalities-- we went from 195 deaths recorded in the month of October to a total of 705 new deaths reported since Nov. 1. It’s just a matter of hours before we will have lost 5,000 Marylanders to COVID. This dangerous upsurge in cases, hospitalizations and fatalities, is happening in neighboring states, too, and all over the country. The situation is growing more urgent every day.
That’s why so many public health experts, local leaders and state officials are calling on Governor Hogan to take action like reinstating limits on the operations of non-essential businesses, indoor activities and crowd sizes.
The state is deploying and coordinating more hospital capacity and more health care professionals to handle the increase in cases which should help get patients the care they need at this time. We appreciate these efforts and all that essential workers are doing to help all of us get through this period. All of us can make an individual and collective difference when it comes to containing this virus. Please mask up, wash hands, avoid indoor gatherings, limit non-essential trips of all kinds, and get tested. And stay informed and engaged.
One way to stay informed is to join us at our Statewide Forum on COVID December 17, from 6:30 to 8:00. Click here to RSVP and receive the zoom link We’ll hear from our friends at the Right Care Alliance about where we are and where we are headed in this pandemic and what to know about vaccines. We’ll also discuss pieces of a comprehensive COVID response plan we need the Maryland General Assembly to enact in the upcoming session. Please join the conversation: Click here to RSVP and receive the zoom link
Our 2021 legislative priorities are being shaped and developed. At this point we know that Progressive Maryland will be advocating for bills that provide worker protections, that create health equity initiatives and investments, that will protect patients from predatory medical debt practices, and will supply direct aid and to families in need. Other states around the country are considering a variety of health and economic relief measures. We encourage our lawmakers and Governor Hogan to take a look at these approaches.
For more information about our healthcare and COVID work email Patty Snee at [email protected]
Connie Huynh, leader of the Health Care for All campaign at our national affiliate People’s Action, sees good news in a Biden appointment: “Here's some extremely positive news for us! President-elect Biden announced his pick for Secretary of HHS: CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
“Xavier Becerra supports Medicare for All and led the bipartisan AG letter to the U.S. Gov't (HHS, FDA and NIH) calling on it to break patents for Covid therapy Remdesivir this summer. He is also leading the legal defense of the ACA that is currently before the Supreme Court. If confirmed, this would be a huge shift from former Pharma exec and lobbyist Alex Azar as head of HHS, and will be the first Latino to lead the department.”
More generally, hope has revived for a real (although “skinny”) COVID relief bill from Congress, if they can get it together before they head off for the holidays; a bipartisan “gang of nine” in both chambers is trying to come up with something just short of a trillion dollars that Trump will sign (easy; he’s not paying attention to the real world) and that will get past Mitch McConnell (hard; he is holding out for protections for corporations who ignore the danger to workers that this virus continues to present).
What the proposed COVID relief bill does NOT yet have, though, is direct stimulus to individuals and families, and that’s a concrete ask we can pressure all our national-level electeds about, with this petition. This may be Blue-ish Maryland but some of our electeds might need a push here; you know who they are.
Note also that the House passed a bill descheduling marijuana, the first time either chamber has passed a comprehensive marijuana bill. It will also add equity to the regulation of legal marijuana sales and, importantly, expunge convictions for possession. Not likely to get action in this year’s Senate but one more reason for all of us to help Georgia voters ensure that VP Harris is the 51st vote in that body next time around.
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
Baltimore County --
Progressive Prince George’s
Frederick County Progressives
Take Action Anne Arundel County
From the Maryland Reporter Monday am roundup: : For the first time in history, two Black Anne Arundel lawmakers will lead the county delegation at the State House, Oliva Sanchez reports in the Capital Gazette. Maryland City’s Del. Sandy Bartlett will be the first Black person to serve as chair of the Anne Arundel County delegation in the House starting in the 2021 session next month. She will be joined by Del. Mike Rogers, D-Laurel, the first Black person to serve as vice chair.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES
Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13 -- 4th Maryland Legislative Coalition Summit
Virtual conference with participation from many state activist organizations on Legislative Priorities For the 2021 General Assembly Session, with themed sessions Saturday 10:30am on Social Justice, Immigration, Police Reform; 2pm Consumer Rights, Elections and Sunday 10:30am Economic Justice and 2pm Education and Health. Read more here, including participating organizations. https://www.facebook.com/MarylandLegislativeCoalition/?ref=page_internal
Monday, December 21 @ 6:30pm (Virtual) -- Baltimore Transit Equity Solidarity Day
Did you know that December 21, 2020 is the 64th anniversary of the victory of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956? The Montgomery Bus Boycott is still the most iconic example of a victory by Black essential workers and communities of color against racist public transportation policies.
Our rally this day will feature honored guests Ms. Claudette Colvin, the first person arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person on public transit and Attorney Fred Gray, who litigated the Boycott in the US Supreme Court.
Join this big event to celebrate and thank essential workers – many of whom are employed by our public transportation system or are reliant on its vital services and to discuss how we can work together to end structural racism in our transit policy.
And be sure to sign a petition in support of a Baltimore regional transportation authority (BRTA), the best path to expand Baltimore’s public transportation system including the completion of the Red Line light rail and other key transit projects. Hope to see you there!
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 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.
Lots happening soon: Justice Task Force lobbying workshop TOMORROW; Giving Tuesday tomorrow as well though there's never a wrong day to support progessive impact in our state; our Member Welcome event Dec. 8, for new and seasoned powerbuilders. Plus critical Covid-19 updates, national action, chapter work, our allies' events calendarized and blogs we have posted. The PM weekly Memo does this every week; tell your friends to sign up for it here.
🎉 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! 🔥
November 23, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 23, 2020
What a year it has been! The president was impeached in 2020 and that may end up way down the list of things we remember from this year. Progressive Maryland is very excited to leave 2020 behind and start looking toward next year. We have a new administration coming into the White House, a new legislative session in Annapolis, and ongoing campaigns across the state on which to focus.
The action is just starting -- catch it all in the Memo.
November 17, 2020 Votes all counted, Progressive Maryland celebrates big electoral wins
As the final results of the Nov. 3 General Election have come in, Progressive Maryland endorsed candidates see wins across the state. We are proud to be leaders in the strategies that empower working families by electing their champions and showing that big-money campaign contributors can be beaten. Read about all of our winning candidates here.
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