Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 28, 2022

memo_logo.pngBlack History Month is coming to a close, but we remain committed to uplifting and celebrating Black leaders and communities all year round. Black activists have been on the frontlines of struggles for racial, social, and economic justice throughout history, and we are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate their enormous contributions in the struggle to build a better world. We hope you, too, will continue to recognize and appreciate the ongoing work of Black leaders and organizers every day of the year.


Donate to Support Our 2022 Electoral Work!

Organizing for change is at the heart of our mission at Progressive Maryland, and we’re working hard to elect progressive candidates ready to transform state and local politics. Will you donate to the Progressive Maryland New Era PAC today to support our electoral work? Your donation of any amount helps ensure we can devote time and resources to helping progressives win big in this year’s elections! 


Quick Actions:


2022 Maryland Elections

The June 28 Primary Elections are coming up fast — will you work with our election team to build support for progressive candidates? Go to pgmd.us/electionvolunteer to help us elect movement candidates who are ready to transform Maryland politics. 

Don’t forget to sign up for this week’s Throwdown Thursday phonebank! Join our team this Thursday from 6–8 PM as we call voters throughout Maryland about some of the great progressive candidates running for office in this year’s elections. If you’ve never phonebanked before, don’t worry! We provide training and support. Click this link to let us know you’ll join — it’s fun, and it’s a great opportunity to meet other Marylanders ready for political change.

Note to Candidates: If you’re running for office, have already filed for candidacy, and are interested in being considered for our endorsement, you may complete a candidate questionnaire here.

 

🗳 Candidate Corner

Congratulations to PM-endorsed incumbent Del. Sheila Ruth, whose bill HB 84 passed the House last Thursday! This important legislation will prevent students from being arrested for nonviolent disruptive behavior, like storming out of a classroom or arguing with a classmate. Typical adolescent behavior shouldn’t be criminalized or used to justify arrests that feed the school to prison pipeline, disproportionately harming young people of color and students with disabilities. Listen to Del. Ruth’s great remarks on the house floor, and be sure to follow her on Twitter!

Wala Blegay, our endorsed candidate for Prince George’s County Council District 6, is hosting a Meet & Greet this Saturday, March 5 from 10AM–1PM at the Starbucks in Largo, MD (10500 Campus Way South, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774). RSVP here to attend!

Learn more about all of our endorsed candidates for 2022 on the Progressive Maryland website! Go to pgmd.us/2022endorsements for candidate bios and links to support their campaigns.


Statewide & Federal Updates

🩺 Healthcare Justice

A year after its introduction in Congress, the Medicare for All Act of 2021 (H.R.1976) has 121 co-sponsors in the U.S. House — that’s more than half of the House Democratic Caucus! 4 of the 7 Democrats in the Maryland delegation have signed on, and our allies at the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition are asking them to push for a hearing for the bill in 2022. We also continue to support federal Medicare expansion, which would be life changing for millions of Americans by expanding Medicare to include vision, dental, and hearing coverage. Last week, Progressive Maryland leaders met with the offices of Sen. Cardin and Sen. Van Hollen to discuss the importance of keeping Medicare expansion on the agenda in this Congress, and they agreed it’s a priority. 

At the state level, we’re continuing to fight for legislation that will expand healthcare coverage, address health disparities, and increase patient protections! Don’t forget to add your name to our petition in support of the Time to Care Act (HB 8), which would establish a statewide paid family & medical leave program. This Wednesday, March 2 at 1:30 PM, we’ll be tuning into the House Health & Government Operations Committee livestream to watch the hearings for a number of great bills, including the Justice for Hospital Patients Act of 2022 (HB 694), the Healthy Babies Equity Act (HB1080), and the Trans Health Equity Act of 2022 (HB0746). Want to get involved with our Health Justice work? Contact Patty or Malcolm to learn more. 

 

⚖️ Reentry Work Group

Last week, our member-led Reentry Work Group kicked off Reentry: Where Do You Stand?, a series of virtual listening sessions with candidates for state and local office in this year’s elections. Join us on Zoom tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1 and again this Friday, March 4 from 6–7:30 PM for the next two installments in this series. On Tuesday, we’ll be joined by candidates for PG County State’s Attorney, PG County Executive, and PG County Sheriff. Candidates will share their plans to support reentry services for formerly incarcerated individuals and will take questions from community members during a Q & A session. The forum on Friday will feature candidates for Prince George’s County Council Districts 1–3. Register here to attend this week’s Reentry Candidate Forums

Last call for grant applications! The Reentry Work Group will accept grant proposals for projects to support returning citizens in Prince George’s County through 11:59 PM EST TODAY, Monday, February 28. Projects eligible for support through this grant may address services including (but not limited to) employment and job training, physical and mental health care, and transitional housing. Application details and additional information here.

 

🌱 Environmental Justice Task Force

Marylanders deserve clean air and water, and we need a safeguard against corporations who consider our communities collateral damage in their pursuit of profit. That's why we need to pass the Environmental Human Rights Amendment (HB 596/SB 783) this year. The Senate hearing is coming up next Wednesday, March 9, and we’ve developed an easy way for you to demonstrate your support for this legislation to legislators — sign this petition calling on members of the Maryland State Senate to support the bill. Ready to do more? Then, join us tomorrow for Texting Tuesday – we’ll be contacting folks across the state to build support for this critical environmental justice measure! 

 

🦠 The COVID-19 Pandemic

As February winds down, we’re nearing the grim milestone of one million lives lost in our country. We hope our leaders will note this moment and continue to invest in the needs of the communities and workers most affected by the pandemic. At the state and local level, we still have federal relief funds that can be spent to help Maryland families. We need officials to stay focused on vaccination education and outreach efforts. As changes in public health measures take effect, we urge everyone to remember our vulnerable and immunocompromised community members and take precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.  


Local Chapter Updates

Progressive Harford County:

Progressive Harford is hosting a virtual town hall with Sarahia Benn, Democratic candidate for State Senate in District 34, next Wednesday, March 9 from 6–8:30 PM – RSVP today to attend. We’ll also be hosting our first official chapter meeting about a month from now – stay tuned for the registration link! 

Progressive Prince George's:

Join us on Tuesday, March 15 from 6–7:30 PM for our first Progressive Prince George’s chapter meeting after a long hiatus! If you live in PG County, this is a great opportunity to meet fellow activists and plug into our issue and electoral work in the coming months. RSVP here to join!


State and National News:

Maryland schools get the go-ahead to implement a flexible mask policy, starting tomorrow. In Annapolis, the General Assembly continues to churn through its calendar with many bills, for better or worse, crossing over or getting crucial hearings. Also: updates from allies at our national affiliate People's Action about what needs your attention at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, down where the Metrorail lines cross.

Find all this & more in this week’s roundup of News You Can Use.


Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies:

Tuesday, March 1 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — The Reentry Work Group of Progressive Maryland is hosting a forum with candidates for PG County State’s Attorney, PG County Executive, and PG County Sheriff as part of its ongoing series Reentry: Where Do You Stand? Register here to attend

Tuesday, March 1 | 6–8 PM (virtual) — Texting Tuesdays are back! Join our team as we contact folks across the state to build support for HB 596/SB 783, an Environmental Human Rights Amendment. 

Thursday, March 3 | 6–8 PM (virtual) — It’s time for another Throwdown Thursday! Help us make calls to Maryland voters on behalf of great progressive candidates running for office in this year’s elections. 

Friday, March 4 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — Join the Reentry Work Group for another town hall on reentry services, this time with candidates for Prince George’s County Council (Districts 1–3). Register here to attend

Saturday, March 5 | 10AM–1PM (Largo, MD) — Wala Blegay, our endorsed candidate for Prince George’s County Council District 6, is hosting a Meet & Greet at the Starbucks in Largo (10500 Campus Way South, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774). RSVP here to let the campaign know you’ll attend!

Tuesday, March 15 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — Join us for a Progressive Prince George’s chapter meeting to learn more about the issue and electoral work we’re doing in PG County and how you can get involved! RSVP here to join.


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 at [email protected].


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