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Happy Monday! We’re just over a month into the Maryland General Assembly session and the pace is picking up as more bill hearings get set. Here at Progressive Maryland, we’re stepping up our grassroots advocacy. On Saturday we held a virtual town hall with Del. David Moon on how the legislative process works in the Maryland General Assembly. Thanks to Del. Moon and all the folks who attended! We’re ready to enlist you in our efforts.

 

Our Task Forces will submit written and in-person testimony on priority bills related to healthcare, environmental justice, police accountability and cannabis reform. It’s all part of our call for bold and meaningful action from our lawmakers this legislative session! You’ll find upcoming hearing dates and various upcoming events from our allies in the memo.

 

Thank you for being part of this movement!

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Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

  • Celebrating Black History Month

  • Legislative updates: upcoming hearings and testimony due dates
  • Event updates
  • PM task forces & issue campaigns: healthcare & environmental justice
  • Local chapter updates: Harford County & Prince George’s County
  • State & National news

Celebrating Black History Month:

Today, we’re highlighting Walter P. Carter who was a key organizer in Maryland during the civil rights movement. Carter described his philosophy of attacking segregation as “forcefully and unrelentingly”. He was known for his skill in organizing demonstrations against discrimination throughout Maryland. He served as chairman of the Baltimore Chapter of CORE and as the Maryland Coordinator for the 1963 March on Washington where he mobilized over 15,000 participants. Let’s remember to draw inspiration from Walter P. Carter in our fight for progressive change. We are committed to continuing to be forceful and unrelenting in our grassroots advocacy efforts.

 

We will continue to recognize and appreciate the ongoing work of Black leaders and organizers. Please check out our socials to see more special features.

Legislative Updates:

Click here to keep track of all active Maryland bills, their action status, top sponsors, and top committees. 

 

We encourage you to have a voice in the process by submitting written testimony and signing up to give in-person or virtual testimony. In the Senate, testimony is due between 8am-3pm the business day before a hearing is scheduled (if scheduled on a Monday, testimony is due on the Friday prior). In the House, testimony is due within the same parameters but TWO business days before the date of the hearing.

 

Here are some upcoming hearing dates and their corresponding testimony due dates:

  • February 14th, 1:00 pm - DUE February 13th
    • SB0296 Housing and Community Development – Whole-Home Repairs Act of 2023 – Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee(
    • SB0315 Housing Innovation Pilot Program and Housing Innovation Fund – Establishment – Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee
  • February 15th at 1:00 pm - DUE February 14th by 3pm
    • SB0365 Health Insurance – Qualified Resident Enrollment Program Access to Care Act – Finance Committee
  • February 15th at 1:00 pm - DUE February 13th by 3pm
    • HB0310 Environment and Energy – Investment in Communities With Low- to Moderate- Income Households – Environment and Transportation Committee
  • February 16th at 1:00 pm - DUE February 15th by 3pm
    • SB0366 General Assembly Vacancy -Political Party Central Committees - Procedures – Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee
    • SB0247 State Personnel – Collective bargaining – Faculty, Part-Time Faculty, and Graduate Assistants – Finance Committee

RALLY IN ANNAPOLIS:

Since its establishment in 2010, the Affordable Care Act has allowed for 28 million people across the country to gain access to affordable care. Unfortunately, undocumented immigrants are ineligible for care through this program. Maryland can change that by passing the Access to Care Act. Join us this Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 11:30am in Annapolis to rally for this Bill!

Updates: PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns 

Environmental Justice Task Force

We now have a hearing date for the house & senate bills that would remove trash incineration from the state’s Renewable Portfolio standard program: Senate Bill 0590 hearing date is scheduled for Feb.28 and House Bill 0718 hearing is scheduled for March 9th. Please contact SirJames if you would like to write testimony or learn more about these bill measures.

Healthcare For All:

Join our fight against the high cost of healthcare, racial disparities in the system, and the need to end medical debt. Now is the time to get involved in order to have an impact this year on these issues in Annapolis. If you have a story to share or want to learn more, contact  Patty. This week, on Wednesday Feb.15th at 11:30 a.m. you’re invited to A Rally for the Access to Care Act on Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis. Come to the Healthcare Justice Lobby Day on Monday evening, March 13!  Progressive Maryland is collaborating  with labor, community and health advocacy groups for this important event. RSVP here.. It will be in-person in Annapolis with an option to join virtually. 

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Harford County 

Councilman Jacob Bennett finally has a date for his court hearing. Join Progressive Harford County attending his hearing on Valentine's Day at 20 W. Courtland St., Bel Air, MD 21014 at 9:30 a.m. He feels strongly, as he always has, that a school teacher is neither a state nor county employee and that there is no common law conflict of interest preventing any school employee from holding local office. The hearing is open to the public. If you do attend, be sure to bring your best manners to ensure a smooth hearing experience.

Join Progressive Harford County for the chapter's monthly meeting. The meeting will be on Feb. 22 from 7-8 p.m. on Zoom. We'll discuss the latest events and initiatives to get involved with the chapter. Register Here.

Progressive Prince George's

URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Our elected Board of Education members in Prince George’s need your support!! Please CLICK HERE to sign up to testify in support of the elected PGCPS BOE’s amendments to the FY2024 proposed budget at the Academic Achievement Committee’s hearing on Wednesday, February 15th at 5:00 p.m. EST. Some of the amendments our electeds on the PGCPS BOE are fighting for include school based health clinics and high-dosage tutoring.

 

CALL TO ACTION: Please sign and share this petition to urge the County Executive, Angela D Alsobrooks, to undertake an open, transparent and community involved process for the recruitment and hiring of the new PGCPS CEO. 


ATTENTION: We are starting to reorganize our Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools [AROS] and education work at the chapter level in Prince George’s. Interested in learning more or getting involved? Do you have an organization that is interested in signing on to the Prince George’s AROS coalition? Please contact Dev the Prince George’s County organizer and reference AROS or education in the subject line and she will reach out to you directly.

 

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Please take action to support the creation of a Commission to explore setting up a universal single payer healthcare system in Maryland. Send a letter today!

EVENTS FROM ALLIES:

Join One Fair Wage in Baltimore County on Valentine's Day at 11 a.m. for an hour to champion an end to the subminimum tipped wage in Maryland and to support the workers at Applebee's. Let's raise the minimum wage and end sub-minimum wages. Register here.

The Maryland Association of Human Rights Agencies (MAHRA) and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights will host its annual Human Rights Day in Annapolis on Friday, February 17, from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Click here to register.

 

Reel and Meal Film Explores the Freedom and Dangers Blacks Face Behind the Wheel, 7pm Monday, Feb. 20.

The New Deal Cafe’s Reel and Meal film for Black History Month is Driving While Black (2020). The film explores the deeply troubling racism African Americans experience while driving on the nation’s highways, starting in the early 1900s. The highway system broadened Blacks’ access to travel and also gave rise to the “Green Book,” which listed safe places where they could stop along the way. View a trailer for the film here. The film will be screened in-person at the New Deal Café in Greenbelt, MD and online via Zoom (registration required here). William Ford, award-winning reporter, will lead the discussion following the film. The New Deal Café offers a full menu for the live screening.

State and National News:

Gov. Wes Moore's legislative package continues to get buy-in from not only the Dem supermajorities in the General Assembly but even from chastened GOP members. The various agendas are now being distributed in legislation -- 2,100 bills and counting -- and now is not the time to let the details escape us. News You Can Use has specific moves and bills in its sights as we pass the first month of the Assembly's three-month session and deal with the new rules that accompany big federal money. Read on and find out what powers you have for change. Sometimes making change is playing defense in the back alleys of the legislative process, where big-money lobbyists can turn a good bill into a cash cow for business behind our backs. Join the mayhem

 

It’s News You Can Use for this fast-moving time . Don’t miss it.  

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.

>>Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org

 

 

 
woody woodruff

About

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...