maryland_state_house.jpgThe General Assembly session is finishing up its first of about three months of sausage-making, and there is a lot to be concerned about. We are building turnout for the Fight for $15 bill at Lobby Night Monday, Feb. 18 and tackling our broader progressive agenda at Progressive Maryland’s own Lobby Night March 4. See more below.


Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday February 11 2019

The General Assembly session is finishing up its first (of about three) months, and there is a lot to be concerned about. We are building turnout for the Fight for $15 bill at Lobby Night Monday, Feb. 18 and tackling our broader progressive agenda at Progressive Maryland’s own Lobby Night March 4. See more below.


The Maryland General Assembly has opened its 2019 session so see our roundup of preview articles in a recent Memo) and Progressive Maryland, in harness with many progressive allies, is working to advance a progressive agenda during the session as well as in all of 2019. And we’ll be conducting Movement Politics Training, where we show how important organizing in your community between elections, if you really want to have impact at the ballot box. Movement politics training is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 beginning at 10 AM. Here’s more:

Are you interested in running for office, working on a campaign, or volunteering on one in 2020? Then we've got the perfect training for you. Progressive Maryland is excited to announce our the first one-day Movement Politics Training of 2019! 

We'll cover a range of topics from the process and rules of filing to run for office and how to run a campaign, including fundraising, campaign strategy, endorsements, field operations, communications, and budgeting. Click here to RSVP.

You'll also learn how the political system functions, why it’s currently failing Maryland voters, and what trainees can do to change that as we get ready for the next election cycle. movement_politics_promo_for_March_16.png

We want to empower passionate folks like you to have the skills and tools you need to change the political landscape in Maryland. In just one day, you will learn the tools of the trade from experienced organizers and will leave with the skills needed to launch and WIN your own electoral campaigns.

The training will be held in Baltimore on Saturday, March 16th. Space is limited so RSVP today! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at 301-684-6715 or by email at [email protected]


Progressive Maryland has scheduled a Lobby Night for Monday, March 4, 5 PM to 8, in Annapolis to take our issues and agenda directly to our legislators . We want our progressive folks in individual legislative districts – you know who you are – to contact your regular progressive peers in that district and form district lobbying teams. Soon we’ll be setting up meetings with your delegates and senator for that evening.

We’ll also be building turnout for an earlier coalition Lobby Night Feb. 18 on behalf of the Fight for $15 – a statewide $15 minimum wage law that is gaining lots of traction this session. We’ll have more on that in this space as well, as the date approaches.The House Economic Matters committee hearing on that bill took place last Friday, perhaps to get ahead of the Lobby Night, while the Senate Finance Committee hearing is Feb. 21. See more coverage here. and for full context, read our blog post from last Friday.

Appeals about progressive bills in the legislature are coming from our allies:

During the late, nasty and possibly once and future federal shutdown, we saw how much collateral damage was dealt to contract and contingent employees of the US government. That happens in Maryland more than you would think. A new bill aims to remedy that:

HOUSE BILL 491 State Contractual Employees – Paid Leave 

march_4_pm_lobby_night.jpgState contractual employees lose pay each time the executive branch unexpectedly closes the government.  Most recently, the closure for GHW Bush's funeral resulted in lost pay for thousands of workers.  House Bill 491 will change that, allowing for paid leave for contractual employees.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, February 21.  We are gathering testimony to present at the hearing.  If you are a contractual employee and have suffered pay loss on unexpected occasions, we would like to hear from you.  Written statements will be submitted at the hearing.  All who are willing and able are also encouraged to come to Annapolis to show support.  The session begins at 1 p.m. but no specific time for the bill to be heard has been posted. Please submit your statements to Ronda Cooperstein -  [email protected]  


“Prescription drugs don't work if people can't afford them. That's why Marylanders need a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set fair and affordable rates for high-cost prescription drugs. Please contact your legislators)  and urge them to co-sponsor legislation to be introduced by Senator Kathy Klausmeier and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This bill will help make all high-cost prescription drugs more affordable for Marylanders. We need this because the high cost of prescription drugs is making it hard for everyone to get the medications they need and driving up our premiums.” More here from the Maryland Center for Economic Policy


And according to a news release from DontWiden270, a MoCo citizen group, constituents of House Environment and Transportation Committee Chair Kumar Barve (District 17) are urging him to support legislation to protect their homes and neighborhoods from Governor Hogan’s unpopular highway plan to add toll lanes to I-270. The legislation, HB-102, known as the “County Consent” bill, would prohibit construction of toll roads, highways, or bridges without the consent of a majority of the affected counties. The bill expands a current state law under which Eastern Shore counties have that privilege. For the bill text and a list of co-sponsors, see To read a petition urging passage of the bill, visit


The Maryland Legislative Coalition is bird-dogging numerous progressive bills, most of which are in our wheelhouse if not always on our priorities list. Find out more here. And check out their essential list of upcoming committee hearings



Progressive Prince George's

Final scheduled county budget town hall is

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:00 PM
Laurel High School
Spartan Hall, 8000 Cherry Lane
Laurel, Maryland

  PMD Montgomery

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Take Action AAC Events & Actions

Monthly Chapter Meeting

Wednesday, February 13 at 7 pm at the Edgewater Community Library

Topics: State and county legislation

Chapter Issue Updates & Actions - Paid Family Leave, Environment, Education, Cell Tower/Wireless/5G, Collective Bargaining

PM Issues Updates - $15 minimum wage, Healthcare, Fair Elections, and Mass Incarceration  Share Facebook Event

Environmental Action

Take Action AAC is working with grassroots organizations in the Earth Coalition on 4 key legislative bills focused on clean energy, banning polystyrene foam, banning chlorpyrifos (pesticide), and the right to a clean environment.

Monday, February 11 at 5-8pm -- Maryland Chlorpyrifos Ban (Pesticides) 5 - 8 pm. Click here to RSVP

Tuesday, February 12 at 1 pm -- Senate Hearing on Senate Bill 285 -- Ban on polystyrene foam foodservice products

Monday, February 18 -- Kallen Benson, a teen climate activist, is hosting students from around Maryland to demonstrate youth commitment to protecting our future at Lawyer's Mall.

Please share this opportunity to support the Healthy Green Amendment and the Clean Energy Jobs Act with any students you know who may be interested. Students can contact Kallan at  [email protected] for more information

Monday, February 18 at 5-8pm -- Maryland Climate Lobby Night. Click here to RSVP

Show your support for clean renewable energy and the pipeline bill which will require a health study to be conducted. 

Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm -- Public Hearing on Foam Ban Bill at Anne Arundel County Council Chambers, 44 Calvert Street

Bill 5-19 -- Ordinance -- Licensing Polystyrene Foam Foodservice Products -- Public hearing on Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm at Anne Arundel County Council Chambers, 44 Calvert Street 

Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien is sponsoring this bill along with co-sponsors Councilwoman Lacey, Councilwoman Pickard, and Chairman Pruski -- Thank you to our county council representatives who are championing a bill that will reduce pollutants in our watershed.

 Social Justice Action

Monday, February 18 at 5:30-8pm -- Fight for $15 Lobby Night Share FB Event


 Progressive Howard County

Note that the Howard County Times has a roundup of local bills in the Assembly...

Wednesday, February 27 Howard County Executive Calvin Ball delivers “State of the County” Address to the county Chamber of Commerce. 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM at Turf Valley Resort, 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City.  County Executive Ball expected to speak at approximately 12:30 p.m. For more information about the event, visit

Talbot Rising

 See the latest newsletter with a post-election letter from the co-chairs

 Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Check out the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus’s legislative agenda, including the Trust Act, Fight for $15, Medicare for All, clean air issues and more. Plus an explainer: why ranked choice voting would be good for the Shore.

Also, read the Caucus chair’s take on 2020 candidate mania – plus a recent blog post from the leadership team.

PMD Baltimore – We’re still talking about Medicare for All

You’ll see at the link, though, that our mission and values are much broader.

And Baltimore County has resources for furloughed federal employees. We’re leaving this up because, alas, it may not be over…


Wednesday, February 13  Greenbelt Climate Action Network February Meeting: "Living Plastic Free" with Beth Terry 7-9 PM, Greenbelt Community Center, Room 114 -- 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD

Many of us are trying to reduce our carbon footprints, but do you know your plastic footprint? In a humorous, nonjudgmental style, Beth Terry will share her journey from self-confessed plastic addict to empowered plastic-free activist, and explain why we can’t just recycle our way out of this mess. For more info, contact Lore Rosenthal, Greenbelt Climate Action Network, [email protected], 301-345-2234

Allied events:

Monday, Feb. 18 CCAN Lobby night on Feb 18, info and RSVP here


Monday, February 18  -- A special Reel & Meal event for Black History featuring a new PBS documentary, Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution. Non-discrimination requirements passed in Medicare in 1965 helped desegregate 2000 American hospitals virtually overnight.   Co-sponsored by Health Care is a Human Right- Maryland  with Prince George's County Peace & Justice Coalition -- Dinner at the New Deal Cafe,  Roosevelt Center, 113 Centerway  301-474-5642 Vegan Buffet @ 6:30 pm ~ $14.00-   RSVP REQUIRED by February 14 <[email protected]>

Free film starts at 7:45 at the Old Greenbelt Theater, 129 Centerway, just across the plaza from the New Deal Café, with panel discussion following.

RSVP/registration requested via event page of


Monday, Feb. 25 Sierra Club Lobby Night on Feb 25 in Annapolis; bill info here ; to RSVP go to

Baltimore progressives, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful activist calendar and tip sheet at


Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous weeks 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:

February 08, 2019 Largest Counties’ Leaders Back Fight For $15 Bill Before Hearing

Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) was joined by the Democratic county executives from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s to endorse the Fight for Fifteen bill, which will be considered in the House Economic Matters Committee on Friday. House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 280 would phase in the wage increase over five years and tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index.

  The House Economic Matters hearing on House Bill 166 can be viewed at this link    Pamela Wood covered the hearing for the Sun. The committee will vote later on whether to move the bill forward.

End of Life Options Act is improved in this Session

Posted by woody woodruff · February 07, 2019 3:17 PM

This year’s End of Life Options Act bill (HB 399, 49 co-sponsors) is a significant improvement over the bill offered two years ago, Mathew Goldstein reports. Various omissions in the original bill have been corrected so that we now have a comprehensive law that covers most of the foreseeable issues and complications on this vexed issue of an individual's rights.

February 06, 2019 Economic policy center finds Hogan's budget misses state's needs

An analysis by Benjamin Orr and colleagues at the Maryland Center on Economic Policy (MCEP) finds some thin spots in the rosy picture presented by Gov. Hogan's proposed budget -- education, environment, human needs and a structural deficit top the list.

February 04, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 4, 2019

We are vertical. The Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo keeps you up on everything from the statewide to the very local, top to bottom. Plus our blog posts from the past week. Get your progressive dance card filled out right here.

>>REMEMBER – these blog posts are 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...