pm_folks_with_banner.jpgIn the Progressive Maryland Memo today: General Assembly launch and info, education, health care, Progressive Maryland is hiring, February training, and more.

The Assembly session is under way, and already 200-plus bills have been filed. Here’s a heads-up from the Maryland Legislative Coalition on hearings this week, plus lots more.

In the Progressive Maryland Memo today: General Assembly launch and info, education, health care, Progressive Maryland is hiring, February training, and more.

The Assembly session is under way, and already 200-plus bills have been filed. Here’s a heads-up from the Maryland Legislative Coalition on hearings this week

Much of the Assembly preview coverage has been about the way education reform will dominate the session. Implementing the Kirwan Report – and funding it – will continue to be a major focus of our BlogSpace and Weekly Memos. But if you want help with navigation during the session, you can’t go wrong signing up for the daily emails from Maryland Reporter and from Maryland Matters, The former provides summaries and links to coverage around the state and the latter features much original coverage and commentary. The emails are free from these two Maryland-focused nonprofit news outlets. You will see some of their work in our BlogSpace as the weeks go on and the Assembly session unfolds between now and April 6 sine die.

As the Assembly gets started with new leadership in both chambers, one of the first orders of business will be an override session – re-passing those bills vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan after the end of the 2019 session. That will be a good test of the surefootedness of new leadership, especially in the Senate.

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.

In Maryland, movement co-governance means electing progressive candidates to office is only the start -- we need to build a strategy to keep progressive policies up on the board where they can be championed, and support our officials in being those champions. As FDR told the legendary union leader A. Philip Randolph -- "I agree with you. Now you need to make me do it." He was talking about the pressure of people's action, and it is needed today more than ever. Keep your eyes out for our training on movement co-governance in early 2020; a tentative date to save is Feb. 8.state_house_image_wikimedia_commons.jpg

The Push for More Support for Community Schools is at the heart of the Kirwan Commission proposals to improve Maryland’s schools and they’ll be front and center for the General Assembly as it opens this week (see above). But you can find out lots more from our roundup of the blogs we have published on education reform in the second half of 2019; they are in our BlogSpace review at the bottom of this Memo. See also the advocacy work of the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” coalition, including Progressive Maryland and teachers’ organizations statewide, and activism (below) in the PMD Montgomery chapter entry.


Medicare For All is gaining support nationally and in Maryland -- Next Up – Sunday, January 26 Medicare for All Town Hall in Annapolis, 2-4 PM at Stanton Community Center, 92 W Washington St, Annapolis, MD 21401 among co-sponsors, Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition. Single-payer Healthy Maryland bill or bills should drop soon in the Assembly.

 How are activists moving Medicare for All closer to reality? Read People’s Action health organizer Connie Huynh’s account from our blog of victories against the entrenched profit-over-people health care system.

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 

Re-entry Advisory Board Meeting  has been rescheduled for Wed, Jan 15, 11 AM - noon.

PG County Council Rm 2027 CAB 14735 Main St, Upper Marlboro. Community members returning from incarceration need an easier and more just transition; the Council has talked the talk but declined to budget for its RAB. Info is here and here


  PMD Montgomery 

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

  • On the local level we’re supporting the Rally for Teachers and Schools at the public budget hearing this Wednesday evening January 15th. Details here:   If you can go please RSVP at the rally link and email Patty Snee at [email protected].   The MCEA’s Parent Committee is slated to meet on Thursday January 23 at 7 p.m.  Stay tuned for details about the purpose and agenda for that monthly meeting.  
  • We support MCPS’s Districtwide Boundary Analysis.  There’s been some opposition to conducting the analysis so MCPS needs to hear positive feedback from the community about the analysis. Here’s a link to a letter that you can sign. Please share with friends, neighbors and family members, too. 

We’re also tracking on what MCPS and their consultants plan regarding more outreach (in addition to the six public forums) about the boundary analysis with communities and parents who have not 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 the Kirwan recommendations.  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.
  • Only the full range of proposed systems changes 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, not piecemeal spending, for the whole package of proposals to get to world-class schools. 
  • Acting now 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.
  • Please be a leader when it comes to placing Maryland in the forefront on equity issues and education reform!

Thanks for taking action on these issues at this critical time. Contact Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more about what the MOCO Chapter is planning.


Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

PMD Baltimore



Monday, JAN 20 10th Anniversary Observance - Citizens United decision:  6:30 PM, Calvert and Bladen streets, Annapolis, MD. Demonstrate support for campaign finance reform and join Get Money Out - Maryland for a rally to observe the 10th anniversary of this Supreme Court decision that unleashed a flood of dark money into politics-- support of the Democracy Amendment Resolution this session.  It has been pre-filed in the Senate by Sen. Paul Pinsky.

Monday, JAN 20 Reel and Meal at the New Deal film program on Native American rights  in partnership with the Baha’i  Community of Greenbelt we will feature Dawnland, the story of the removal of Native American children from their homes in Maine, and the trailblazing Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission that resulted.   An optional plant-based buffet is served at 6:30pm; screening starts at 7:00pm at the New Deal Café, 113 Centerway in Roosevelt Center.

Saturday JAN 25, 2020, , CCAN Polar Bear Plunge, 10 AM -2 PM 

Sunday JAN 26, Medicare 4 All Town Hall in Annapolis 2-4 PM at Stanton Community Center, 92 W Washington St, Annapolis, MD 21401 among co-sponsors, Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition. See more 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]

We recently published these blog posts:

January 10, 2020    Senator demands rail transit option for Southern Maryland, with its 'worst commute'

Much-studied and much-delayed, a light rail option to end the commuter nightmare for Southern Maryland's three counties needs to be moved from the bottom of the state priority list.


Sen. Arthur Ellis demands relief, declares that Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's counties are being treated "like a toilet" by MDOT planners.

PM_Logo.pngJanuary 08, 2020  Jobs with meaning and hope are subtext of 2020 MD Assembly mandate

The Maryland General Assembly begins its three-month session with formal openings today (January 8). When we look at the list of issues that many analysts say will top the agenda of this 2020 General Assembly session, we get the itchy feeling that one sentence could clear away some of the confusion.

“Stop bad jobs; start good jobs.”

January 06, 2020  Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 6, 2020

Welcome to 2020, to the first Memo of 2020, and whoa! here comes the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session barreling around the bend with an ETA of this Wednesday (January 8). Learn how to keep up with events and navigate the three-month session with Progressive Maryland's help (and that of several nonprofit news sources you'll want to know about).

December 20, 2019  Equity in Maryland must start with an equal place at the table

Conversations are taking place around Maryland on diversity, equity and inclusion practices (DEI). The writer, a Baltimore attorney, provides context about where various parties are starting from, historically, in terms of power and emphasizes “Those most impacted must also be the ones most empowered in the conversation to shape the discourse and the decision made.” This appeared Dec. 20 in Maryland Matters.

Progressive Maryland’s Continued Blog Coverage of the Kirwan Commission and Maryland School Improvement Campaign

Some business leaders wise up, back full-bore Kirwan plan December 05

Union, progressive coalition take lead on fair funding for Kirwan schools plan  November 19

Assembly majority ready to move on Kirwan school improvements AND construction November 8

Kirwan funding group meets tomorrow; recommendation expected this week October 14

How the community school approach leverages all local improvement efforts October 09

Underfunding our schools is undermining our future October 02

Democrats urge full funding for Kirwan education proposals as advocacy coalition hosts forums around state September 19

Teacher Pay Dominates Discussion of Proposed Kirwan Education Formula September 11


PG Civic Academy tomorrow charts course for school and community improvements July 31

Teachers across Maryland flexing their political muscle July 13

>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...