CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngGreetings to Progressive Maryland activists and supporters who are new to the Weekly Memo!

Most Mondays, the Memo sums up the news you can use throughout Maryland, focusing on Progressive Maryland’s multi-issue scope growing electoral and civil power in tandem. Events across the state and across the progressive action landscape are right at your hand here, and the thoughts and actions of those fighting for working families are embodied in our blog posts. Get what you need here.


Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 1, 2021 

Greetings to Progressive Maryland activists and supporters who are new to the Weekly Memo!

Most Mondays, the Memo sums up the news you can use throughout Maryland, focusing on Progressive Maryland’s multi-issue scope growing electoral and civil power in tandem. Events across the state and across the progressive action landscape are right at your hand here, and the thoughts and actions of those fighting for working families are embodied in our blog posts. There is an option to unsubscribe below but please note that if you click that link, you will be removed from all of our statewide emails.


Firstly, Happy Black History Month & Black Futures Month! The stories told about Black people by the media don’t reflect the boundless offerings our communities have made that enrich and expand the notion of what it means to be human so this month and moving forward, we are putting Black Futures at the forefront. During this Black Futures Month (and always!) we are centering Black, queer, and transfeminist perspectives in order to affirm, celebrate, and defend all Black lives. We deserve a future in which all Black people are free. Learn more from The Movement for Black Lives: 

Quick Actions:


Statewide Updates:

Justice Task Force Events:

Police Reform Testimony Workshop, Wednesday February 3, 5:30pm

In just under two weeks, three of our top police reform demands will be heard in the Maryland General Assembly on the same day. We have the opportunity to make our voices heard during this legislative session and show that Marylanders overwhelmingly support police accountability -- join us as we learn about what makes effective testimony and receive a template to write your own, then we’ll work on our testimony in breakout groups. Click here to receive the Zoom link!

Make Calls in Support of the Juvenile Restoration Act! Thursday, February 4, 5pm

This Thursday at 5pm we will be making calls in support of the Juvenile Restoration Act (HB409), which would bring Maryland in line with 24 other states and DC that have banned life without parole for children. All you will need to make calls is a phone and laptop or tablet. We will do a brief training on the script before we get started. Click here to receive the Zoom link!

Re-entry Forum, Saturday, February 6, 11am

Calling all returning citizens, mentors, and advocates in Maryland -- we want to hear from you about what issues are most pressing as we continue our advocacy in 2021. We will hear stories from a few of our group members about the roadblocks they encountered when they returned home, and then have time to reflect and discuss. We will also hear from several lawmakers our group is working with to address the unintended consequences of certain laws on formerly incarcerated Marylanders and their families. Click here to receive the Zoom link!

MPLI 2021: Applications Go Live this Week!CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.png

The Maryland People’s  Leadership Institute (MPLI) is a program by Progressive Maryland designed to train candidates and campaign staff who want to run for state and local office in Maryland. Our curriculum is grounded in grassroots movement politics and covers topics such as how to target and run strong voter contact programs, raise money for a successful campaign, create effective messaging and communication plans. Our next group of leaders will be selected in March for the Spring 2021 Cohort. Interested in learning more about this program? Please fill out this form here and we’ll send you a link to the application. 

Progressive Maryland Healthcare Campaigns Update:

The Medicare for All Act of 2021 will be introduced in the 117th Congress  this month!

The Medicare for All Act improves and expands the overwhelmingly successful and popular Medicare program, so that every resident of the United States has guaranteed access to health care with comprehensive benefits. The pandemic has underscored and reinforced how important it is to move away from an employer based patchwork based insurance system to a program like expanded Medicare. 

More than 55 House Members have already signed on including our own Rep. Jamie Raskin and Rep. John Sarbanes. We thank them for their steadfast support and leadership.  Our goal is to get more of our Marylnd Delegation on board. We’ll be working with the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition, People’s Action and other key partners to advance this landmark bill. Grassroots public support will be absolutely crucial to our success. That’s why we’ve created a campaign along with local leaders in Montgomery County to get the County Council to consider and pass a resolution urging our U.S. Senators and House members to co-sponsor and advocate for these bills. Please sign the petition and share widely: 


If you think your local Democratic club, community association, house of worship, or any small business owners in your area would be interested  in signing on to the organizational support letter to the MOCO Council please let us know! Email Patty Snee or Josh Raznick at [email protected] or [email protected]


We are also supporting a similar effort in Prince George’s County and are very interested in doing the same in other counties and cities. Please contact us if you’d like to consider this in your community. Local resolution campaigns are going on around the country.

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland

Fair Elections Task Force Meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 6:30pm -- Register here

Baltimore City

Baltimore County/ Frederick County/ Western Maryland

Progressive Montgomery

    MoCo Chapter Meeting moved to this Thursday February 4, 6:30pm -- Register here

Progressive Prince George’s

Affiliate: Lower Shore Progressive Caucus -- February Monthly meeting is Thursday, February 4, 6pm -- Register here

Update on the MD-01 congressional race, an update on our legislative work in Annapolis, a report from Brig Kimberly of SEIU 1199 to talk about covid-19 relief and workers protection, and more.

Events from our allies: 

The End Medical Debt Maryland Coalition will host a virtual campaign launch event for the Medical Debt Protection Act (HB565, SB514) this Saturday, February 6 from 7pm–8pm. The event is free to attend. RSVP here.

Attendees will hear stories from Marylanders who have struggled with medical debt and learn about the legislation from bill sponsor Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. The event will also feature performances from acclaimed Maryland-based musicians—pianist Lior Willinger, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra violinist Jacob Shack, and all-woman folk ensemble Conjunto Bruja. You can learn more about the End Medical Debt Maryland campaign and find an individual sign-on form to express your support here.


Opportunity for high schoolers: Join Students Against Voter Suppression (SAVS)

SAVS is launching a completely virtual poll working and future HR-1 and HR-4 advocacy network across the United States. It includes students across the country within the high school age range. For general members it’s low-time commitment (less than 2 hours per week, except for occasional optional events). It’s extremely easy to join. This organization is also a great way to include political experience on your resume :) Join form: 

State and National News:


Maryland Governance -- the 2021 Legislative Session


This is a big week for criminal justice reform measures, as Anton’s Law and LEOBOR repeal along with others have hearings. Find more on these and all the other bills on tap in the Legislative Coalition roundup


In a report from WYPR radio, encouraging news about close collaboration between environmentalists and labor unions on a path to sustainability and a just transition in Maryland. Referencing Sen. Paul Pinsky’s (Prince George’s) omnibus climate bill’s first hearings, “the bill creates a work group of building trades unions, apprenticeship groups and non-union construction workers to make recommendations on workforce development and training for displaced fossil fuel workers... Pinsky, the committee’s chair, acknowledges there has long been friction between environmental groups and labor unions who fear job losses and his bill tries to account for that, …’how we deal with this transition,’ he said. ‘I mean, what do we owe those people whose livelihood we could affect?’ The bill increases the carbon reduction requirement set in a 2016 bill from 40% by 2030 to 60%.”


Covid-19 Update


We continue to experience a devastating death toll and rising cases of infection, along with the news of new more contagious strains coming into the U.S. and into Maryland. Now more than ever, this pandemic requires a great deal more action, more spending and more coordination at the state and national level. It’s good to see that Governor Hogan has introduced the RELIEF Act, and even better to see the  House and Senate leadership are calling for adding in the range of $520 million to the Governor’s proposal. In any package or program it’s vital that all Marylalnders be included, especially immigrants who are often the most vulnerable among us  and who have been left out of previous aid measures.  That’s why we’re proud to join with CASA and numerous advocacy organizations in a sign on letter to the Governor asking that he include all residents. Here’s a message from Progressive Maryland Board Member and CASA’s Research and Policy Analyst,  Cathryn Paul:


“As we consider the RELIEF Act and any other state directed coronavirus relief, it's critical to ensure we assist immigrants/undocumented families, since the this community has been one of the hardest hit of any group by COVID-19. Despite suffering tremendously and working on the frontlines to keep Maryland safe and operating, undocumented Marylanders have not been eligible for previously passed assistance at the federal level including direct payments or housing assistance. Grants and relief at the state level have also been severely limited.”


At the national level -- the COVID rescue package, which addresses all the fronts where we are hurting (economy, schools, local governments and more) is highly likely to proceed via budget reconciliation given the lowball $600b offer from the GOP Senate gaggle of ten. House and Senate leadership (Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer) must hear directly from us that they need to be bold and get the American Rescue Plan passed at the $1.9 trillion price tag. Do we want and need a bigger, more robust relief and recovery package? Absolutely, but we cannot and should not accept less than what they are already working with. (People’s Action

Vaccine News



The vaccination distribution plan and effort continues to unfold with some success as thousands of residents get the shot each week. Unfortunately many serious problems persist here in Maryland, largely related to the smaller than expected supply and some serious glitches in the pre-registration and appointment system. Officials have asked everyone to try and remain patient at this time It’s also important to keep following public health guidelines like double masking, washing hands, social distancing and avoiding gatherings. For information about COVID and the vaccine check here  County public health departments also have information on their County’s websites.


United States (from our friends at Health Care for America Now, HCAN)

The good news is that all five vaccines (from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson) prevent hospitalization and death, two key indicators that matter more to many doctors than whether the vaccines prevent illness in everyone. Of the roughly 75,000 people who have received one of the five in a research trial, not a single person has died from Covid, and only a few people appear to have been hospitalized. None has remained hospitalized 28 days after receiving a shot. Compare that to the rising death rate--January has been the deadliest month for COVID, killing 95,000 people in a month. The deaths prevented by the vaccines are better than what we see with flu: U.S. flu season kills between five and 15 out of every 75,000 adults and hospitalizes more than 100 people. The vaccines so far also seem like they are working on new and more deadline variants of the disease that are emerging from South Africa, Brazil and other countries. Read more.

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 be published on our website to the blog moderator, Woody, at [email protected].

January 25, 2021 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 25, 2021

Your activist calendar for the week, plus info on health, politics and... well, the crossroads where they meet, which is our whole lives right now.

Start with Progressive Maryland's Environmental Task Force meeting in just a few -- 5pm to 6pm TODAY, Monday Jan. 25. See the Memo about that and more.

January 13, 2021 As legislature opens, recovery agenda for state is clearly stated

Does the Maryland General Assembly, opening today, have the resilience to do the people’s business in a worsening pandemic, under unprecedented conditions and rules for both legislators and members of the public -- who wants them to attend to the emergency we have now? And who wants them to be open about what they are accomplishing, or not accomplishing? See what a People's Recovery Agenda must include and how we will fight for it.

January 05, 2021 Assembly Session challenge: focus on pandemic learning loss

Repairing the damage to learning brought by the pandemic, a veteran Maryland education official argues, "legislators should be guided by two basic rules. One is to follow the science. The other is to have the resolve to make tough, triage-like policy choices. Research also teaches that tutoring in the early grades will be most effective during regular school hours by paid, well-trained tutors and integrated into a school’s framework of tiered interventions for struggling readers." Given the inevitable shortfall in finances, "legislators must resist intense political pressure to simply spread the learning loss money among many competing relief proposals," and focus on what research shows would be the highest-return policy.

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.

November 24, 2020 Exciting News! We were voted one of the best nonprofits in the DC region!

🎉 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! 🔥

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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...