movement_politics_sig.pngThis week: links to our recent blogs – on business leaders seeing their self-interest in full funding of the Kirwan school improvement program, how militarism roadblocks health care improvement, and a roundup of our coverage on the funding of the Kirwan school improvement plan, a battle coming up in the General Assembly next month. Plus more battles on criminal justice reform and Medicare for All, news and events from PM’s chapters, and events from our progressive allies.


This week: links to our recent blogs – on business leaders seeing their self-interest in full funding of the Kirwan school improvement program, how militarism roadblocks health care improvement, and a roundup of our coverage on the funding of the Kirwan school improvement plan, a battle coming up in the General Assembly next month. Plus more battles on criminal justice reform and Medicare for All, news and events from PM’s chapters, and events from our progressive allies.


IT DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN -- Maryland’s legislative session is right around the corner! Progressive Maryland has a bold vision to bring power to the people-- Medicare for All, ending mass incarceration, campaign finance reform, and much more – in 2020 and beyond! At the end of 2019, will you support our mission?


December 7 Movement Leadership Training – a strong leadership class (right) built the skills needed to build community.



The Push for More Support for Community Schools is at the heart of the Kirwan Commission proposals to improve Maryland’s schools – which is being finalized now. A recent poll shows that about three out of four Marylanders want more money spent on public schools but need more info on that plan, which has rolled out a decade-long reform plan that could cost about $3.8 billion more each year once fully implemented, as Danielle Gaines reported for Maryland Matters. But you can find out lots more from our roundup of the blogs we have published on education reform in the second half of 2019; see below in our blogs recap section. See also the advocacy work of the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” coalition, including Progressive Maryland and teachers’ organizations statewide.


Bus system workers in Virginia are striking against a function that Metro has privatized. It’s the Cinder Bed bus maintenance yard in Lorton, where the private company pays way less then Metro. The privatizing company, TransDev, came back to the table under pressure from Fairfax Connection drivers who took an Unfair Labor action in support last week. Sure, it’s not Maryland, and a right-to-work state – but when WMATA sticks it to workers anywhere in the system we have to ask if we are next. Find out more at

Ways to help the Cinder Bed workers: 
Strike Fund:
-- Meal Fund,
-- Va picket (daily):
-- DC picket (daily):


The US House Energy and Commerce Committee holds its long-awaited hearing on Medicare for All TOMORROW, Tuesday, Dec. 10 not Dec 11 as the email Memo says. Hearing on "Proposals to Achieve Universal Health Care Coverage" -- 10:30 AM, 2322 Rayburn House Office Building. It’s a small hearing room and it will be packed with advocates, so get there early. It was pressure from advocates that got the hearing scheduled.

The Medicare for All town hall held in Gaithersburg on Oct. 20 by our allies in the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition (MPHC) is now available on a video stream and is already approaching 18,000 views.

How are activists moving Medicare for All closer to reality? Read People’s Action health organizer Connie Huynh’s account from our blog of victories against the entrenched profit-over-people health care system.

PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND IS HIRING – Organize with us throughout the state and in digital and strategic organizing tasks – check the opportunities here.  


Progressive Prince George’s 

Progressive Prince George’s Chapter Meeting Wednesday, December 11th from 6:30 to 8:20 pm at 9221 Hampton Overlook, Capitol Heights, MD.  Help us continue to grow and build a grassroots movement of people who want to take Prince George's County on a progressive course.


Advocates for criminal justice reform in Prince George’s County are circulating this petition for the removal of Police Chief Henry Stawinski, arguing that “Chief Stawinski fails to hold police officers accountable under Maryland and federal law for acts of criminal misconduct, including for such acts as murder and other forms of violent assault;” and that he “permits Prince George’s County police officers to use excessive force, especially when dealing with black people.” A more complete account of the activists’ arguments is at the petition link.

PMD Montgomery 

PMD Montgomery is fighting for the full promise of school improvement: After summer and fall forums and community conversations about the equity gaps in the MCPS system and the need for stronger levels of investment from the County and the state of Maryland, the PM Montgomery County chapter continues its grassroots organizing on education issues.  It’s a critical time to pass game-changing investments and improvements at the county and state level. Please join us!

   Attend the Wednesday December 11 Parent Committee Meeting at MCEA Offices at 12 Taft Court in Rockville. 6:30 to 8:00 PM. All are welcome. PMD is connecting our local members and supporters to MCEA’s working group on MCPS issues like communication and support for teachers, parents, and students in their dealings with the school system. Contact Patty Snee with the MOCO chapter at [email protected] to learn more about the Committee’s work.

   Contact County Executive Marc Elrich to encourage him to fully fund MCEA’s contract and our schools. Marc.Elrich@montgomerycountymdgov. His budget is expected to be released in March so now is the time to urge him to make the significant financial investment in MCPS we need in order to close the gaps and deliver the resources our students and educators deserve.

   Get ready for the start of the legislative session on January 8, 2020.  We need to urge the MOCO delegation to fully fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future when it comes to our public school system.   We also need to push back against Governor Hogan’s moves to attack and undermine the Blueprint and Maryland’s public schools. Stay tuned for updates and actions.  


Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

PMD Baltimore


Wednesday, Dec 11 Prince George’s Assembly delegation hearing on local and Bi-county bills, 6:30 PM, Prince George’s Community College Largo campus Performing Arts Center. Here are all local bills. Persons wishing to speak on the bills must sign up at the hearing between 5 PM and 6 PM.

Wednesday, Dec 11 Speak With Intent: Telling Your Story -- Greenbelt Climate Action Network, 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Greenbelt Community Center, Room 114 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD  Join us as GCAN member  Zach Perkins builds on what we learned in October. Take those activating emotions and your personal experiences and weave them in a way to present to congress, county council,  city council, strangers on the street, or just your family. Part Two of the workshop series in learning to Speak with Intent. Also: Identifying  a local "drawdown" solution we want to focus on this year and working on our county level legislative campaign.

Thursday, Dec 12 — Our Revolution MoCo — Celebrate the Season, our December meeting will be a Happy Hour 4-7 PM at Bar Louie,150 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD 20850 (Rockville Town Center). Help us continue to build a vital local progressive community!

 Friday, Dec 13 Maryland Sierra Club Benefit in Annapolis (Eastport), guests Steuart Pittman and Sarah Elfreth, 6-8 PM, info and RSVP here.

Saturday, Dec 14, 9 AM -4 PM, “Rebuild Maryland: Climate Action Summit”, Stamp Union, Univ of MD. (jointly sponsored by many environmental organizations) 

Sunday Dec. 15  MoCo DSA 🌹General Branch Meeting  2 PM, Silver Spring Library, 900 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910 DSA members and state delegates Gabe Acevero and Vaughn Stewart discuss the upcoming 2020 state legislative session. Follow link for full details/updates.

Baltimore progressives, Check in on the wide-ranging Baltimore Activist Alert calendar and tip sheet at

Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blogs 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]

We recently published these blog posts:

December 05, 2019 Some business leaders wise up, back full-bore Kirwan plan

Despite Gov. Hogan's alarmism about taxes, some business leaders have taken a look at the costs and benefits of the Kirwan Commission school improvement plan and see a win-win in pushing it all the way, no half measures. A business-commissioned report has the details, as Maryland Matters recounts here.

December 04, 2019  Medicare For All Or Endless War? It’s Our Choice

How do we afford Medicare for All? We have to buckle up and recognize that war profiteers endanger our safety AND cost the US taxpayer massive amounts that can be redirected to human needs, including the one that most voters rank first -- fixing the broken health care system.

December 03, 2019  A "Justice" component still needed in PG criminal injustice system

Prince George's County, with lack of police conduct accountability and near-nonexistent assistance for returning citizens, is in serious need of reform on those and other fronts.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, December 2, 2019

This week: links to our recent blogs – on how activists are chipping away at the entrenched profit-before-people health care system, and a roundup of our coverage on the funding of the Kirwan school improvement plan, a battle coming up in the General Assembly next month. Plus PM’s one-day power-building training Dec. 7, more battles on school improvement and Medicare for All, news and events from PM’s chapters, and events from our progressive allies.


Some business leaders wise up, back full-bore Kirwan plan

December 05, 2019

Union, progressive coalition take lead on fair funding for Kirwan schools plan

 November 19, 2019

Assembly majority ready to move on Kirwan school improvements AND construction

November 8, 2019

Kirwan funding group meets tomorrow; recommendation expected this week

October 14, 2019

How the community school approach leverages all local improvement efforts

October 09, 2019

Underfunding our schools is undermining our future

October 02, 2019

Democrats urge full funding for Kirwan education proposals as advocacy coalition hosts forums around state

September 19, 2019

Teacher Pay Dominates Discussion of Proposed Kirwan Education Formula

September 11, 2019


August 20, 2019

PG Civic Academy tomorrow charts course for school and community improvements

July 31, 2019

Teachers across Maryland flexing their political muscle

July 13, 2019

>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




woody woodruff


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...