maryland_state_house.jpgThe Assembly Session rumbles down the track, and we have the day by day and week by week schedule for progressives. Co-governance means pressing your delegation for action on your concerns. Remind them that they will need you on their side, and what it takes to keep you there.


Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday February 3 2020

New entries since Monday, Feb. 3 are in GREEN


SEIU Local 32BJ — janitors, security guards, building and food service workers, and airport workers– is backing a Maryland General Assembly bill that would raise the minimum wage at BWI, the Port of Baltimore, and Baltimore Penn Station to $12.97 with an additional $4.48 for healthcare costs. It gets a hearing Feb. 6, 1 pm at the Miller Senate Office Building;11 Bladen St. Annapolis. “This would constitute a life changing raise for thousands of workers at BWI” says Thomas Lee, a 32BJ staffer. “We are asking for community allies to join airport workers at the hearing to show support for the bill.”


Important hearings and, later, votes on funding commitments, including to maintain and continue the critical Kirwan proposal to improve Maryland’s K-12 schools are coming up in the General Assembly.

Find out how to make that work in your community Feb. 8

How To Reclaim Our Schools Organizing Training February 8, 2020 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at CASA De Maryland, 8151 15th Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20783 Sign Up Now


Our allies at the Maryland Legislative Coalition, Job Opportunities Task Force/Working Matters and clean, green jobs advocates at the Maryland Climate Coalition, Sierra Club and Maryland Climate Coalition are forging ahead with testimony and witness in the General Assembly in Annapolis as the legislative session continues a three-month grind.

We have gathered the details of their work in this blog post.

Both JOTF and the Maryland Legislative Coalition have lists of what bills are up for committee hearings this week and beyond. Consider attending them; consider testifying at the hearing. If you have a local member on the committee, your impact as a constituent can be even more significant.maryland_state_house.jpg

THE SESSION THIS WEEK -- From The Maryland Legislative Coalition

[Get the full message (Feb. 3) from MLC here].

We are four weeks in.  Today (Feb. 3) is the Senate bill introduction deadline and Friday is the House bill introduction deadline.  We have seen almost 1,400 bills, but we are expecting a lot more this week.

Here are our bills of the week.  There are only five of them, but they are all game-changers.

HB0531 - Utility Regulation - Consideration of Climate and Labor - Delegate Charkoudian - Economic Matters Committee and Finance Committee
Requires the Public Service Commission to incorporate the evaluation of the impact of electric power plants on the environment in their decision making process.  Also fair labor standards.  No Hearing Yet.

HB0643 - End-of-Life Option Act - Delegate Pendergrass - Health and Government Operations AND Judiciary Committees
Allows terminally ill patients (specifically patients who have been certified as having six months or less to live) to request medication to end their lives.  No Hearing Yet

HB0608 - Correctional Services - Prerelease Unit for Women - Requirement to Operate - Delegate Crutchfield - Judiciary Committee
Requires, instead of authorizes, the Commissioner of Correction to operate a prerelease unit for women.  Hearing February 18, 1:00 pm Judiciary Committee

HB0677 - Correctional Services - Immigration Detention - Prohibition (Dignity Not Detention Act) - Delegate Stewart - Judiciary Committee
Prohibits state and local jurisdictions (or sheriffs) from entering into any agreement for the detention of individuals in an immigration detention facility owned or managed by a private entity. Hearing February 25th, 1:00 pm Judiciary Committee

SB0591/HB0323 - Criminal Procedure - Petition to Modify or Reduce Sentence (Maryland Second Look Act) - Senator West/Delegate Barron - Judicial Proceedings Committee/Judiciary Committee
Allows individuals serving a term of confinement to petition to reduce their sentence. Provisions for minors at time of conviction.  Hearing February 4th, 1:00 pm Judiciary Committee

Here is MLC’s list of hearings for the next two weeks

Here is the Social Justice/Decriminalization Of Poverty Session Report from the Job Opportunities Task Force/Working Matters. It includes critical bills that have hearings this week and following weeks.

Here are some progressive organizations’ Lobby Days set for the session – we’re going to try to show them all, so if yours are missing, help us out by emailing Progressive Maryland blog moderator.


Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 9:00 am - Strong Schools Maryland
Tuesday, February 4th - 6:30 pm - Transit Equity Lobby Night
Thursday, February 6th - 4:30 pm - MLAW Lobby Night
Wednesday, February 12th - 3:30 pm - Transit Day of Action - Rally in Annapolis
Wednesday, February 12th - 5:00 pm - Transit Caucus and Lobby Night for MTA Funding
Monday, February 17 Maryland Climate Coalition (with Chesapeake Climate Action Network) Lobby night
Monday, February 24 – Sierra Club Lobby Night

All these proposed bills have to jostle for room inside some form of state budget. Kevin Kinnally of Conduit Street, the newsletter of the Maryland Association of Counties, has a roundup on the Budget Briefing presented to legislators early in the session by the Department of Legislative Services. It is more than you ever wanted to know, but features outstanding explanatory graphics.

Progressive Maryland’s BlogSpace and Weekly Memos will follow the Assembly session – but when that ends in April, we’ll keep going with our advocacy for progressive efforts in Maryland and, sometimes, how they are echoed in the wider region and nation.

And speaking of helpful emails – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email.

PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND IS HIRING – Organize with us throughout the state and in digital and strategic organizing tasks – check the opportunities here.  


Progressive Prince George’s 

PMD Montgomery 

MOCO Update February 3, 2020

Education issues, state and local, continue to be a key focus for PM’s Montgomery County work.

  • On the local level we’re supporting the Education Association’s call to the School District and the County Council and Executive to fully fund our public schools. MCEA is in the midst of contract negotiations and we will bring a delegation of community folks to the upcoming February sessions to support the teachers. Unfortunately, the County has seen underfunding schools for a number of years and it’s time to reverse that trend. We should invest in teacher compensation to improve recruitment and retention. MCPS needs more money in its operating budget to provide full staffing and resources for the services and programs that students, schools and our community need. Please contact County Executive Marc Elrich and your County Council Members to urge them to vote for full funding. 

 [email protected]

slate_for_school.jpgWe’ll share dates and activities regarding public budget hearings and Board of Education meetings as they get scheduled

  • Another important initiative that can help shape MCPS now and in the future is embodied in the MCPS’s Districtwide Boundary Analysis. Progressive Maryland supports the Analysis and  is getting signatures to a letter that One Montgomery has written to the School Superintendent and School Board Chair.

Please sign and share with three other folks as we need to show there’s public support for gathering  up-to-date data and facts about the operations and workings of our growing district.

We’re also teaming with One Montgomery to urge MCPS and their consultants to do more outreach (in addition to the public forums that have been held) about the analysis with communities and parents who have not yet been fully represented during this phase of public engagement.

 Kirwan Commission Action

Please call, email or write to your Delegates and State Senators asking them to fully fund all of the Kirwan recommendations.  Once implemented, this statewide measure will improve the quality and advance the mission of public schools all over the state.  Here are some suggested points you can use, courtesy of our allies at Strong Schools Maryland:

  • Our students and schools are the winners when these recommendations get funded. Maryland schools have been underfunded for too long, our kids can’t wait.
  • Support the full range of proposed systems changes. Taken together, they will make a difference for all Maryland students--the changes needed in education practice and funding require a comprehensive approach, not a selective one.
  • We need full funding. Taking action this year will help us avoid much bigger costs in state and local dollars for social services in the future.
  • The new funding formula will ensure all districts are receiving enough funding and it will help fix many inequity issues in the current school funding formula.

Stay tuned for details about a possible PM Lobby Night in Annapolis and other activities to support Kirwan. Thanks for taking action on these issues at this critical time. Contact Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more and get involved in the MOCO Chapter’s education and outreach work.

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

PMD Baltimore


Tuesday, February 4 Transit Equity Day Celebration in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties – 6:30-8 PM, CASA de Maryland Multicultural Center, 8151 15th Ave, Langley Park, Md 20783. The mission of Transit Equity Day, celebrated on Rosa Parks’s birthday, is to elevate public transportation as a workers’ rights, civil rights and environmental issue.  RSVP HERE! 

Saturday, February 8, How To Reclaim Our Schools Organizing Training 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at CASA De Maryland, 8151 15th Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20783 Sign Up Now

Sunday, February 9 Prince George's County Environmental Forum from 4-6 PM -- West Lanham Hills VFD, 8501 Good Luck Rd, Lanham, MD 20706 Co-hosted by Greenbelt Climate Action Network, the Patuxent Riverkeeper and County Council member Tom Dernoga and focused on County legislation.  Groups joining us include Sierra Club, Anacostia Watershed Society, Laurel for the Patuxent, Climate Parents, College Park Committee for a Better Environment, Our Revolution/PG, opponents of the Brandywine power plants, and MORE! RSVP here

clean_energy_combo.jpgWednesday, February 12 "The Science Behind Drawdown Solutions On Renewable Energy" Greenbelt Climate Action Network  -- at Greenbelt Community Center, Room 114 Greenbelt, MD 20220  -- presenter Vijay Parameshwaran is a scientist and Greenbelt resident who has worked on research in renewable energy for a decade. Learn about some of the scientific concepts behind renewable energy processes that apply to several of the drawdown solutions. They include photovoltaics, chemical energy storage and delivery, the electrical grid, nuclear, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric. -- a platform to discuss basic principles and how they tie into current trends, with plenty of Q&A.

Saturday, February 15 Anne Arundel County NAACP monthly meeting 10 AM-noon, Guest is Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford --  Kingdom Celebration Center, 1350 Blair Dr # H, Odenton, MD 21133

 Monday February 24  2020 Mayoral Forum on Environment & Equity at 6pm at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church (2821 Reisterstown Rd). Hosted by Baltimore Blue Green Just, Charm City mayoral candidates and their visions regarding environmental and social justice issues in Baltimore. Moderators: local radio host Tom Hall and UMD associate dean Dr. Sheri Parks. Doors open at 5:30pm  register online

And see our list of progressive organizations’ Lobby Days in Annapolis, above

Baltimore progressives, Check in on the wide-ranging Baltimore Activist Alert calendar and tip sheet at



Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blogs 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]pm_folks_with_banner.jpg

We recently published these blog posts:

January 29, 2020 Best use of our tax dollars – education reform for equality

As Maryland General Assembly members are putting together funding bills to improve the state's educational system, a new study from the Economic Policy Institute points up, state by state, the burning need for a quality system of early childhood education -- and how it is failing badly in Maryland as it is in most states across the nation. the Maryland Legislative Coalition provides the details on the funding package as it takes shape in the Assembly session.

January 27, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 27, 2020

Important hearings and, later, votes on funding commitments, including to maintain and continue the critical Kirwan proposal to improve Maryland’s K-12 schools are coming up in the General Assembly.

Find out how to make that work in your community Feb. 8

January 27, 2020 General Assembly Week 4 and beyond -- all you need to know

The Maryland General Assembly has filed over 1,000 bills and scheduled hearings on many important progressive measures.

Here’s a roundup of legislative alerts and details from social justice allies.

>REMEMBER – these blog posts are frequently 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...