STATEWIDE ANNUAL MEMBER ASSEMBLY
Larry Stafford, Progressive Maryland’s Executive Director, described our first ever virtual Membership Assembly (MA) a huge success. We brought together more than 140 concerned community activists from all over Maryland on Saturday, January 9. In a week where we saw historic election victories by Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia U.S. Senate run-offs, we also witnessed a violent white supremacist mob attack at the US Capitol. Aware of the turbulent times we’re in and the problems we face as a state and country the MA participants recommitted to the goal of advancing progressive values and voices in the legislative and electoral arenas. Our broad based community will push back against the right wing attack on democracy and against their rhetoric and deplorable actions, and will build a base of progressive voters and volunteers in the coming days and months to help us gain more seats for progressives at the local, state, and federal level.
We came away from the meeting with a newly elected Board of Directors, an increased number of dues paying members, and additional volunteer leaders all of whom will help us realize our bold vision for 2021 and 2022. See more about what we did in the Memo, below, including links to our agendas for 2021.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 10, 2021
Chapter Meetings Scheduled -- see our chapter listings below
OUR STATEWIDE ANNUAL MEMBER ASSEMBLY
Larry Stafford, Progressive Maryland’s Executive Director, described our first ever virtual Membership Assembly (MA) a huge success. We brought together more than 140 concerned community activists from all over Maryland on Saturday, January 9. In a week where we saw historic election victories by Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia U.S. Senate run-offs, we also witnessed a violent white supremacist mob attack at the US Capitol. Aware of the turbulent times we’re in and the problems we face as a state and country the MA participants recommitted to the goal of advancing progressive values and voices in the legislative and electoral arenas. Our broad based community will push back against the right wing attack on democracy and against the rhetoric and deplorable actions of Maryland elected officials like Rep. Andy Harris and Frederick County delegate Daniel L. Cox. We will build a base of progressive voters and volunteers in the coming days and months to help us gain more seats for progressives at the local, state, and federal level.
We came away from the meeting with a newly elected Board of Directors, an increased number of dues paying members, and additional volunteer leaders all of whom will help us realize our bold vision for 2021 and 2022. Here’s the legislative issue platform we adopted: https://www.progressivemaryland.org/2021_legislative_agenda
In addition to policies that will increase racial, economic, economic and environmental justice, we’re alo prepared to advocate for the revenue the state will need by organizing for progressive tax reform and generous disbursement of the hundreds of millions of dollars in the Rainy Day Fund. This is not a time for austerity, it’s a time for investment in people and the needs they have. The Governor and legislative leaders will be releasing their plans and priorities for 2021 and we will take a close look at the proposals and share our views on them.
This will be a really important and consequential session for the state. We’ll need dozens of leaders to help with our grassroots organizing and task force activities. Please join us:
Bold new policies will help us usher in a more progressive era in Maryland. Elected officials can help us pave the way to that era. Last year PM successfully launched its candidate and campaign staff training program, the Maryland People’s Leadership Institute, with a terrific cohort of seventeen participants. We’ll offer the program again this Spring (likely during April and May). Here’s a link to a form you can fill out if you’re interested in running for office or developing your campaign skills. Feel free to share with others who you think may want to check it out. An actual application to the MPLI will be ready and shared later this month. https://secure.everyaction.com/OKCLNX3HjkiZlfuzRe78ag2
We closed out Saturday's meeting by honoring Elbridge James, a long time and founding Progressive Maryland Board member, now retiring from the board. Elbridge also served for a number of years as a Board Member with our national affiliate, USAction, and as local NAACPresident for the Montgomery County Chapter. Once we return to a time when we can gather in person we hope to hold a tribute to Elbridge and to celebrate our 20 year anniversary as an organization!
COVID 19 Update:
The pandemic is worsening and intensifying in Maryland, all over the country, and across the globe. On Sunday, January 10, the state had a record high number of hospitalizations along with a reported 3,310 new cases of the coronavirus. Sunday became the third day in a row that Maryland had more than 3,000 new cases making the total to date 303,364 according to the Baltimore Sun .More than 6,000 Marylanders have now died from COVID-19.
Stay Safe/Save Lives
If we all continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, eliminate non-essential travel, avoid indoor gatherings, and get tested, we will help reduce the spread and save lives. Guidelines and information about testing and vaccination plans are available on the state’s health site and on County websites. Stay alert to PSAs and other announcements via email and social media especially when it comes to the vaccine plans as it is an evolving situation. The Biden Harris Administration is working on strategies to deal with the problems that have come up in this first phase of vaccine distribution. Local public health officials have expressed full support for plans that will get the vaccine into people’s arms as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, this devastating pandemic and its lasting effects require bold action from the state. The response should happen at a scale that meets the scale of need. Starting this Wednesday January 13 the General Assembly returns to Annapolis and gets to work on a number of measures and initiatives. Here’s our agenda called the People’s Recovery Agenda for Maryland:
Call to Action
We’re also sending a set of concerns and demands to Governor Hogan, House Speaker Jones, and Senate President Ferguson. Please sign and share the petition widely.
We stand in solidarity with public employees and essential workers in hundreds of workplaces and jobs around the state. For the two days before the convening of the MGA on Jan. 13 we are appearing at grocery stores and other locations to help promote an important piece of legislation: the Maryland Essential Workers Protection Act.
Learn more about any of these issues and legislative priorities by contacting one of our organizers or emailing us at [email protected]
THE NATIONAL CRISIS
Mass Organizing Virtual Event: Ahead of the inauguration this month, our national affiliate People’s Action and other progressive national organizations will gather virtually to plan how we continue to push together. The Frontline is partnering with Women’s March, Rising Majority, the Movement for Black Lives, Working Families Party, United We Dream and others to continue to mobilize through #ForwardTogether, an unprecedented Mass Organizing Virtual Event on January 16th from 3-6pm ET. This mass organizing meeting will gather organizers and everyday people who made recent electoral wins possible to discuss the issues that the new Administration and Senate Leadership need to center in their policy agendas: Racial Justice, Climate, Trans Rights, the Economy, and more. It is the people’s vision that must be moved forward by the Biden-Harris Administration over the next four years. Click here to RSVP and reserve your space and the event invitation.
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
Contact our Chapter organizers here:
Tuesday, January 12 Montgomery County chapter meeting- January 28th 6:30pm-7:30pm
Save the date for our first Progressive Montgomery chapter meeting of 2021. We will be talking about Progressive Maryland's legislative agenda for 2021, our new statewide Housing task force, and other important issues that affect Montgomery County
Events from our allies
Tuesday, January 19th from 12:30-1:30pm: Transit Safety & Investment Act Kickoff Event
The virtual kick-off rally will include special guests Delegate Brooke Lierman and Senator Cory McCray, co-sponsors of the Transit Safety & Investment Act being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. The Transit Safety and Investment Act will avert MTA’s funding cliff by providing an average annual increase over MDOT’s programmed levels to meet the $500 million required annually to meet MTA’s capital needs. The funding will help maintain MARC safety systems, MARC switches, buses, light rail and subway tracks, bus shelters, and more. Additionally, the funding will help to improve access to MARC and bus stations, expand bus shelters, and promote sustainability efforts. In October 2020, The Central Maryland region enacted a 25-year plan for more and better public transit. To do this, we first must fix the existing system now! Read more here.
Thursday, January 21st, | 6 to 8 PM. CASA Ally Network's 2021 Kickoff Meeting
Discuss local, state and national legislative priorities for the MD General Assembly and the new Biden administration.
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:
Our recent blog posts
Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blog posts 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]
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.
January 04, 2021 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 4, 2021
January 4, 2021 -- Yes, 2021, not a typo (or maybe the 4th of January NOT2020 if you prefer). It’s only a flip of the calendar page but how different it becomes is, well, up to us.
Progressive Maryland is setting priorities for the Maryland Legislature’s session THIS Saturday
You're invited to our Annual Membership Assembly! for dues-paying members or members of our affiliated organizations.. Please join us (virtually of course!) this Saturday,January 9th, 2021 from 2-5pm so you can learn about our top priorities for the upcoming session, get more involved in our organizing and participate in membership elections.. RSVP here to secure your spot. Not a member of PM yet? No worries! You can join by clicking here and then attend our membership event.
We’re going to review the power we have built (including new elected officials) and the challenges ahead as we -- too slowly -- emerge from the pandemic emergency in Maryland.
We’ll look specifically at the Assembly session the following week on critical questions of flagging pandemic relief, and persisting issues of criminal and social justice, health care, climate justice and more -- and how we will vigorously and publicly poke the Delegates and Senators to do their job.
And we’ll elect new Progressive Maryland leadership to make 2021 another year of building power for working people and families.
December 19, 2020 "Deep Canvassing" comes to Georgia at a crucial moment
Georgia is the center of the political universe right now, but how can hi-n-bye GOTV efforts build lasting change? People's Action, the national affiliate of Progressive Maryland, is one of the organizations trying to bring "deep canvassing" approaches to make relationships that last between elections, and build power in communities that need it. "We can't afford to just contact people every four years," said a PA organizer. "What does that build? We need to build power from the bottom up."
Read about how PA is making it happen in Georgia. It's a model Progressive Maryland and other groups are bringing to make change in our state..
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.
🎉 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! 🔥
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