What a way to start the year, with a big electoral win for our endorsed candidate Edward Burroughs in the special election race for the Prince George's County Council seat in District 8! Check out this week's memo for more on how to get involved with our electoral work, defend voting rights across the country, and challenge our Maryland state leaders to address the current pandemic surge with the urgency it demands.
We’re so excited to announce our first electoral win of 2022! Congratulations to our endorsed candidate Edward Burroughs, who won the special primary election for the District 8 seat on the Prince George’s County Council in a blowout victory last week.
We're proud of Edward and we feel honored to have played a role in his campaign. His big win shows what we can accomplish when we come together to back candidates advocating for transformative change, even when we’re up against corporate money and an entrenched political establishment.
We hope Edward’s victory will be the first of many for progressive political candidates across Maryland this year, but we need your help to ensure that our electoral work in 2022 is a success! Here are two major ways you can support our election team:
- Donate to our New Era Political Action Committee — this fund supports our endorsed candidates and progressive electoral agenda.
- Sign up to volunteer with our election team in the coming months — join us for canvasses and phone banks to contact Maryland voters.
As our campaigns for this year’s elections ramp up, we’re also attentive to the need to protect voting rights across the country. Please join us in calling on President Biden and members of the Senate to take urgent action on voting rights to neutralize new state voter suppression laws. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act would help defend our democracy in every state, and time is of the essence.
The Progressive Maryland Team
P.S. Don’t miss this excellent op-ed by Tiffany Jones, our endorsed candidate for Democratic Central Committee in District 45, published in Maryland Matters today: Health Care for People, Not for Profit.
Thank You for Being Part of Progressive Maryland!
2021 was certainly a busy year! We grew our grassroots membership base and strengthened our issue task forces. We launched a new chapter in Harford County, trained another cohort of candidates and campaign staff through our Maryland People’s Leadership Institute (MPLI) program, and launched our New Era PAC. We welcomed new Board members and staff, scored legislative victories, and had hundreds of conversations with community members across Maryland.
We couldn’t have done any of this work without you. Thank you for making this work possible, and for helping us advance our progressive vision for the state last year. Sign up here to join one of our issue task forces and help us build the progressive movement in Maryland. We’re excited to continue organizing with you this year!
- Sign our petition calling on Maryland leaders to step up the state's pandemic response
- Donate to our New Era PAC to help us meet our fundraising goal before a MAJOR filing deadline this Wednesday!
- Call our Maryland Senators and the White House switchboard and urge them to take action NOW on voting rights legislation
- Phone bank for progressive candidates at this week’s Throwdown Thursday
Support Our 2022 Electoral Work
Our New Era Political Action Committee is coming up on a major fundraising deadline this Wednesday, January 12. Please donate today to support our electoral work in 2022. Donations of any amount help us ensure that we can devote time and resources to helping progressives win big across the state in this year’s elections!
🗳 2022 Elections
Edward Burroughs’ blowout victory in last week’s special primary election in Prince George’s County confirms what we already knew — Marylanders are ready for transformative change in 2022. Sign up to volunteer with our election team as we ramp up our support for progressive candidates across the state in the coming months! With your help, we can expect to see many more progressive electoral victories like Edward’s this year.
Throwdown Thursday is back! Come on out this Thursday, January 13 from 6–8pm for our first TDT of the new year. We’ll be calling voters into Prince George’s County’s 6th District to support our endorsed candidate Wala Blegay. Help us build momentum for Wala’s campaign for the Prince George’s County Council! We’ll provide training, support, and a fun experience. Click here to RSVP and receive the Zoom link!
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.
🦠 Omicron COVID Surge
The COVID surge that began in early December continues to overwhelm our hospitals, healthcare workers, and testing capacity. Maryland’s public health system is struggling to keep up with growing case numbers, positivity rates, and a flood of patients. Please sign this petition to demand that our state government respond in a way that reflects the gravity of this situation. We need:
- More support and resources for hospitals, caregivers, public health departments, and mental health services.
- Increased vaccine outreach and additional community vaccination sites; funding for free testing sites and testing kits.
- Greater efforts to procure and maintain adequate supplies of PPE in order to uphold requirements for safe workplaces.
- Mask mandates and vaccine mandates to protect workers in every economic sector and in all of our communities.
- Eviction moratoriums and programs to prevent anyone from losing their homes during this crisis.
- Free health care and financial aid for individuals and families who are struggling as a result of the pandemic.
It’s time to focus on the people of Maryland and to support those working so hard to mitigate this surge and serve our residents. The state has a $2.5 billion surplus and unspent federal pandemic relief funds. Sign our petition to tell state leaders they need to step up the current response.
Visit the Maryland Department of Health website for more information about the rapidly-evolving situation.
📣 Economic Security and Voting Rights
We aren’t giving up the fight to pass the Build Back Better Act and implement investments that will help everyday Americans and our communities. Our national affiliate People’s Action, together with other allies, is weighing options for moving ahead on BBB later this month. Lower Rx prices, expanded Medicare, extended child tax credits, paid family and medical leave, a pathway to citizenship, and climate action must stay on the agenda in this Congress. Want to get involved? Contact Malcolm or Patty.
As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day a week from now, we’re also fighting to get the Senate to support voting rights and protect our democracy by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Check out the action items from the Deliver for Voting Rights: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action and lend your support to this critical fight.
Local Chapter Updates
Anne Arundel Fair Elections:
We’re fresh off the introduction of a Fair Elections Fund resolution in the Anne Arundel County Council, and we’re just getting started in our efforts to implement a more democratic campaign finance program in Anne Arundel! Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11 from 6–7pm on Zoom for our first Anne Arundel Fair Elections Task Force meeting of the new year. Register here to join us tomorrow and help us plan next steps for the campaign!
Progressive Harford County
Progressive Harford County’s town halls have resumed after our holiday break! Our first town hall of 2022 will be with Doug Gansler, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and will take place this Wednesday, January 12 at 6:30pm on Zoom — register for this week’s town hall today. Don't forget to also mark your calendar for our town hall with Stephen Puopolo on Thursday, January 20 at 6:30pm over Zoom.
We’ve made the decision to cancel the Progressive HarCo happy hours before County Council hearings through January due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Harford County. We will continue to monitor the situation and re-evaluate the decision for February. We are also advising our members to only attend the County Council hearings if they are planning to offer testimony. There isn't currently an option to testify virtually, and we will continue to advocate for that option to be made available. and that is one of the issues we're advocating for.
The Montgomery County Council public hearing to get feedback on the police accountability bill that was introduced in December without meaningful community input (Bill 49-21) has been postponed a week – it will now take place next Tuesday, January 18 at 7pm. Our partners are asking MoCo residents to oppose the bill unless it is dramatically amended to strengthen its terms about community oversight of police. You can submit written testimony ahead of the meeting and/or sign up here to join a watch party for the hearing.
Progressive Prince George's
Please join us in giving a warm welcome to our newest staff member, Devane Wright! Devane is joining the Progressive Maryland staff as our Prince George’s County organizer, fresh off her tremendous success working on Edward Burroughs’ electoral campaign for PG County Council. We are absolutely thrilled to have Dev join us on staff, and we can’t wait for you to get to know her!
State and National News:
The 2022 Maryland General Assembly Session begins this Wednesday! It can be challenging in an election year to make progress on public policy, but we’ll continue organizing to win reforms in Maryland’s incarceration and policing practices, challenge the state’s punitive drug laws, and establish healthcare and environmental policies that protect people rather than corporate profits.
Check out our weekly BlogSpace roundup of state & federal events and issues for some tools that can be used to navigate the session and ensure our legislators in Annapolis are working for the people, not monied interests.
Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies:
Tuesday, January 11 | 6:00pm (virtual) — Do you live in Anne Arundel County? Are you passionate about changing campaign finance processes? Join our first Anne Arundel Fair Elections Task Force meeting of the new year tomorrow! Register here.
Tuesday, January 11 l 8:00pm (virtual) — Join Senator Elizabeth Warren and MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting for The Plan to Protect Democracy, a live streamed webinar. RSVP here!
Monday, January 17 | 9:00am (Washington, DC) — Head into DC to join the MLK Day Peace Walk! We’ll meet at the intersection of First St SE & Potomac Ave SE. This event is one part of a broader mobilization around the Deliver for Voting Rights: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action.
Monday, January 17 | 10:00 AM (Prince George’s County) - Join the PG Change Makers Coalition on MLK Day for a Walk & Ride 4 Peace Parade in Prince George’s County. Parade route here.
NEW DATE: Tuesday, January 18 | 7:00pm (virtual) — Join our partners at the Silver Spring Justice Coalition for a viewing party to watch the Montgomery County Council public hearing on its recently-introduced police accountability bill.
POSTPONED — The Debt Collective week of action to demand student debt relief has been postponed – it will no longer take place next Tuesday, January 18. We’ll share the new date here as soon as it’s announced!
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].
- New Today: The Maryland General Assembly session kicks off — the Monday roundup of news you can use (January 10, 2022)
- Anne Arundel may join public Fair Elections effort (by Woody Woodruff | January 5, 2022)
- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo — January 3, 2022
- The new year brings a mix of good & bad news — the Monday roundup of news you can use (January 3, 2022)
- Maryland still makes news during the holidays — the Monday roundup of news you can use (December 27, 2021)
- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo — December 20, 2021
- Bye bye BBB (or not) — the Monday roundup of news you can use (December 20, 2021)