The Maryland General Assembly has just hit the halfway point on the way to the April 8 sine die 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.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday February 25 2019
The Maryland General Assembly has just hit the halfway point on the way to the April 8 sine die 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:
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.
Our top priority in the Assembly is the Fight for $15 – a statewide $15 minimum wage law that is gaining lots of traction this session. The House Economic Matters Committee is voting today (Monday, Feb. 25) on what form it will have when sent to the floor. See more coverage here and for full context, read our recent blog post of testimony in support of the bill and our stand on why there should be no exclusions to the bill's coverage of Maryland's workers.
What you need to know: 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. According to a reliable and authoritative poll released this week by Goucher College, as the bill has gotten more and more coverage – including pushback from business interests – public support for a $15 minimum wage has only grown. Now, a full two-thirds of respondents across the state (67 percent) support the $15 minimum wage.
The House Economic Matters hearing on House Bill 166 – which has already taken place -- can be viewed at this link http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/mga/play/c5bb038c-6f72-48b3-bb9d-f77eb549220c/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c Pamela Wood covered the hearing for the Sun. The committee will vote later on whether to move the bill forward.
Maryland State House 100 State Circle Annapolis, MD 21401
Join Progressive Maryland as we stand with educators, parents, and students from across the state to demand fully funded and equitable public schools!
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.
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 Alexiss at 301-684-6715 or by email at [email protected].
Appeals about progressive bills in the legislature are coming from our allies:
From Randye Williams in Anne Arundel County – four bills are working through the Assembly that would make communities vulnerable to close-up contact with 5G signal mini-transmitters – whether they want them or not. Several are “pre-emption” bills that allow the state to forbid local governments from regulating the placement of cell emitters. And several adopt the FCC rules, just as bad, allowing big telecom corporations to do what they want in your streets and locales. And they would keep the FCC rules in place for Maryland even if – as quite likely – the FCC regs are reversed by a court. One is being heard by Senate Finance tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 26). Find out more here.
“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 here is an op-ed by the bill’s co-sponsors.
And according to a news release from DontWiden270, a MoCo citizen group, they are urging support for 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 https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/HB102/2019. To read a petition urging passage of the bill, visit www.dontwiden270.org/supporthb102 . To read more about the toll roads controversy, see our BlogSpace post here or below in our week’s blog roundup.
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 here.
Fellowship opportunity Friends of the Earth is recruiting applicants in 6 states including Pennsylvania and Maryland for our six month Grassroots Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will begin in January 2019 on a rolling basis and will end on June 30, 2019.
Fellows will learn and utilize core organizing skills to activate people to stand up to Trump and pressure Congress to take action to protect people and the environment.
This fellowship program aims to create a pathway for people in underrepresented communities to gain further opportunities in environmental organizing. We offer a $2,000 monthly stipend, it will require a commitment of 25 hours a week and you will gain experience as a grassroots organizer.
More information about the program and how to apply: https://foe.org/jobs/2019-grassroots-fellowship-program/
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
Saturday, March 2, Participatory Defense Community Meeting at 01:00 PM, NAACP PG Headquarters in Upper Marlboro, MD rsvp
Polystyrene Foam Ban passes in Anne Arundel County and the students finally get their win!
On Tuesday night February 19, the polystyrene foam ban was passed by the Anne Arundel County Council with votes along party lines – 4 Democrats for and 3 Republicans against. Students, parents, environmentalists and grassroots activists all came together to support the ban on polystyrene foam for the second time in Anne Arundel County. Former County Executive Steve Schuh vetoed the bill in 2018. This time, the opposition was led by Councilman Volke and the retailer association argued passionately to protect mushrooms packaged in Maryland, but Councilwoman Rodvien who sponsored the bill and the 3 co-sponsors were equally steadfast in their position that this was the right decision for students and for the environment. We look forward to County Executive Pittman signing this bill into law.
Now that Anne Arundel County has passed this bill, over 50% of jurisdictions in Maryland are covered by an EPS Foam Ban. We look forward to the Maryland State Legislature passing HB109/SB285. Write or call your delegate and senator now to encourage them to pass this ban statewide. Passing legislation is a team effort. It is time to do your part!
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.
Call or write your delegate and senator to show your support for HB961/SB548 removing subsidies for trash incineration and for HB1158/SB516 for increased renewable energy in Maryland that creates good paying jobs in our state
If you live in District 30A, ask Speaker Mike Busch and Delegate Alice Cain to protect the bay and support HB1158, Clean Energy Jobs Act which will address sea level rise in Maryland
Call or write your delegate and senator to show your support for HB 275 banning chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide that is harmful to young children, pregnant women, bees and the environment.
Call or write your delegate and senator to show your support for HB109/SB285 which bans polystyrene foam food service containers and helps clean our streams, tributaries and bay from this harmful substance.
Tuesday, February 26th at 1pm -- Hearing Senate Finance Committee
Senate Finance Committee Meeting Room -- 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis MD
The telecommunications industry is back paving the way for 5G/wireless small cell antennas to be placed on public utility polls within 50 feet of homes and businesses.
Senate Bill 937 -- Wireless Facilities -- Installation and Regulation -- is a bad bill that removes local county or city authority to review the placement of these small cell antennas and removes the public from the review process.
Senate Bill 713 -- Wireless Facilities-- Permitting and Siting -- this bill supports local authority to make decisions which is better but still allows this harmful microwave radiation to be placed near where people live and work.
If you live in District 32 or District 33, ask Senator Beidl and Senator Reilly to vote no on Senate Bill 937 and to remove their support from Senate Bill 713. Ask them to put the health of their constituents and the environment above faster internet. There is a safe alternative. It is called fiber optic cable.
Other Anne Arundel Events
Saturday, March 2 at 1 pm -- Women's Unity March in Annapolis, hosted by March on Maryland
This year, our Women's Unity March centers around Coretta Scott King's powerful words: "Women if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul."
Our March is a call for women and allies to come together, to discuss how we can uplift and amplify the most marginalized, underrepresented, and oppressed members of our community. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.
Each speaker will give the attendees information on the challenges that their community faces and also offer tangible next steps for us to support their efforts. We hope to offer insight, information, and inspiration to people who want to improve the lives of our fellow humans. Share Facebook Event
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 here.
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.
EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES
TONIGHT! Monday, Feb. 25 Sierra Club Lobby Night on Feb 25 in Annapolis; bill info here ; to RSVP go to https://act.sierraclub.org/events/details?formcampaignid=7010Z000001PW4IQAW
Sunday, March 3 Our Revolution Prince George's general meeting from 2-4 pm at the Spauldings Branch Library, 5811 Old Silver Hill Road, District Heights. On the Agenda: Bernie Sanders' Presidential candidacy, Maryland's Fight for $15 bills with lead House sponsor Diana Fennell & long time union organizer Jimmy Tarlau; Clean Energy Jobs Bill with CCAN organizer Emily Frias and Sierra Club staffer Matt Dernoga. Invite your friends! For more information email: [email protected]
Monday, March 4 - ACLU Lobby Day: 6:00 pm Maryland General Assembly 100 State Circle Room 150, Annapolis -- Dare to Create a Better Maryland. Demand action from legislators to end youth solitary confinement, defend the rights of immigrants, and protect against warrantless use of surveillance technology by law enforcement. Register: [email protected]
Wednesday, March 6 Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform Lobby Day 10:15am - 1:00pm
Meet at House Office Building Room 142 6 Bladen St, Annapolis, MD 21401. More info, issues and RSVP here.
Thursday, March 7 -- Progressive Cheverly's monthly forums resume at 7 PM with a discussion on policing in Cheverly. Please join us for an evening with Sgt. Jarod J. Towers, Acting Police Chief since October 2018. He will share his vision for Cheverly and its Police Department, followed by a Q&A. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. Hoyer Education Center (cafeteria) 2300 Belleview Ave. (Parking Available) in Cheverly
Baltimore progressives, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful activist calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
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 23, 2019 A $15 minimum wage should be REALLY statewide – everybody in, nobody out
Members of the powerful House Economic Matters Committee are scheduled to vote on their House version of the $15 minimum wage bill – statewide, no exclusions for tipped workers – on Monday (Feb. 25). The National Employment Law Project explains why it should stay that way, with no exclusions or "carve-outs."
The statewide $15 minimum wage bill with no exclusion for tipped workers that is backed by progressives is heard tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 21) by the General Assembly's Senate Finance Committee, an important stop on the way to floor debate and passage during this Assembly session. Progressive Maryland's Jennifer Dwyer is among those testifying in support, and the organization's testimony is previewed here. As Dwyer notes, the measure has wide popularity among Marylanders across party lines.
February 19, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, February 19, 2019
The 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 tackling our broader progressive agenda, prioritizing the fight for the $15 minimum wage at Progressive Maryland’s own Lobby Night March 4. See more below.
>>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