Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 24, 2022

This year’s Maryland General Assembly session is well underway, and we’re calling on our representatives to push for the type of bold, progressive legislation our communities deserve. Check out this week's memo for more on how to get involved with our advocacy efforts, electoral updates, and some critical federal-level action items. 


The Maryland General Assembly has been in session for nearly two weeks now, and we’re closely tracking the legislation being introduced in Annapolis. Our legislative allies continue to bring forward thoughtful bills that address the injustices of the prison system, the realities of environmental racism, the dramatic inequities in healthcare, the right of all workers to unionize, and other critically important issues. But there are also plenty of frightening bills being introduced, including voter suppression measures and legislation designed to limit what young people are learning in our public schools.

We need big, bold legislative action from this year’s General Assembly that meets the demands of the moment. We need our elected representatives to support policies that invest in the well-being of workers, families, and communities across the state. And we need your help to hold our leaders accountable.

There are plenty of ways for you to get involved with our advocacy efforts — you can join one of our issue task forces, participate in Health Justice Lobby Day on February 14, or attend the testimony writing workshop we’re planning for next month. Keep an eye on your inbox in the coming weeks for more opportunities to testify on different bills, weigh in with lawmakers, and make your voice heard!

In Solidarity, 

The Progressive Maryland Team


Thank You for Being Part of Progressive Maryland!

We can’t do any of this work without you! Here are two easy ways for you to get involved NOW and help us build progressive power across the state —

Help us build grassroots support for progressive issues! Go to pgmd.us/issues if you’re interested in joining one of our issue task forces. These task forces are where our leaders and organizers gather to strategize about how to achieve meaningful change in major issue areas like healthcare, environmental justice, drug policy, and the justice system. 

Volunteer with our election team to build support for progressive candidates! Go to pgmd.us/electionvolunteer if you’d like to help us elect candidates who aren’t afraid to fight for progressive change.


Quick Actions:


2022 Maryland Elections

We’re launching Texting Tuesdays this week! Starting tomorrow, we’ll gather every Tuesday evening from 6–8pm for a virtual text bank supporting one of our endorsed candidates. This week we’re texting voters in Baltimore City about Logan Endow, candidate for State Delegate in District 43. RSVP here to join us tomorrow!

— and don’t forget to mark your calendars for another Throwdown Thursday! Join us this Thursday to make calls to Prince George’s County voters on behalf of PM–endorsed candidate Januari McKay. Help us build momentum for Januari’s campaign for State Delegate in District 23B. We’ll provide training, support, and a fun experience! Click here to sign up 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.

🗳 Candidate Corner

Del. Sheila Ruth, who we’re proud to endorse in her reelection campaign for State Delegate in District 44B (Baltimore County), will be a featured guest at Our Revolution Maryland’s 2022 MD General Assembly Session Town Hall tomorrow evening (Tuesday) at 7:30pm! RSVP here to attend.

Krystal Oriadha, our endorsed candidate running to represent Prince George’s County Council District 7, is hosting a virtual campaign launch event next Monday, January 31 from 7–8:30 PM. Register here to join!

Laurie-Anne Sayles, candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large, is holding an Interest Meeting this Wednesday, January 26 at 6pm. RSVP here to join for a chance to learn more about Laurie-Anne and opportunities to help her grassroots campaign!

Learn more about 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 Updates

🦠 Omicron COVID Surge

The ongoing omicron surge continues to pose a serious threat in our state. Areas in Western and Eastern Maryland, in particular, need our support to curb community transmission and increase vaccination rates. Given where things stand, Maryland can’t let up on strong public health measures that we know protect and save lives. The state has the revenue (a strong budget surplus!) to meet pandemic needs and invest in expanding the workforce required to staff our schools, health care systems, and other essential services.  

Sign our petition to tell Maryland leaders they need to respond to this crisis in a way that reflects the gravity of this situation. We need:

  • Additional resources for hospitals, caregivers, public health departments, schools, and mental health services.
  • Increased vaccine outreach and morel 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.

The federal government website for requesting at-home COVID-19 tests is now live. You can request 4 free at-home tests for your household by going to https://www.covidtests.gov/. Be sure to check your county government website for additional local test kit distribution sites. 

🏥 Healthcare Justice

Show the love for healthcare justice on Valentine’s Day! On Monday, February 14, Progressive Maryland is partnering with progressive allies across the state to host a virtual Health Justice Lobby Day. Together, we’ll advocate for critical statewide legislation to address the medical debt crisis, establish paid family & medical leave, expand healthcare access in underserved communities, and much more.

Join us to demand that our elected state representatives take urgent action to address the inequities of the corporate healthcare system. All Marylanders committed to healthcare justice are invited to join — send a short email to Malcolm or Patty expressing your interest for more information!

📣 Economic Security

We aren’t giving up the fight to pass Build Back Better and implement investments to help everyday Americans and our communities. Our national affiliate People’s Action, together with other movement allies and progressives in Congress, is weighing options for moving ahead on the BBB agenda. On the immediate front, we’re pushing to extend the Child Tax Credit program that has supported so many working families.

Our Senators are supportive but it’s always good for them to hear from constituents, so please take action today and urge them to continue the Child Tax Credit. Stay tuned for developments on next steps in the federal campaigns to lower Rx prices, expand Medicare, and win paid family and medical leave.

⚖️ Justice Task Force

Our volunteer-led Reentry Work Group (REWG) is soliciting grant proposals for projects designed to support returning citizens in Prince George’s County! An individual donor has generously provided funds to support progressive programs that help facilitate the reentry process. Projects that are eligible for support through this grant may address services including (but not limited to) those associated with employment and job training, physical and mental health care, and transitional housing. 

The grant application process is now open, and the REWG will continue to accept proposals from businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, and community organizations through Monday, February 28. Grants in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 will be awarded following a committee selection process to support one year of work. You can find application details and additional information here.

🖤 Drug Policy Task Force

The United States is facing a devastating overdose crisis created by the failed war on drugs. Hundreds of people across the country lose their lives to preventable overdoses every day, and 2021 marked the deadliest year for overdose deaths on record. We need to respond to this crisis with public health solutions, not greater criminalization. That’s why, in addition to pushing for measures like overdose prevention sites and paraphernalia decriminalization at the state level, we’re supporting the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act in Congress.

The MAT Act is a critical public health measure that will save countless lives by ensuring that buprenorphine, a lifesaving addiction treatment, is available and easily accessible to people with opioid use disorder. Please call your representatives today and ask them to support the MAT Act. Contact Zach if you’d like to get involved with our Drug Policy Task Force.


Local Chapter Updates

Anne Arundel Fair Elections:

In early January, a Fair Elections Fund resolution was introduced in the Anne Arundel County Council. This marks a critical first step toward a more democratic campaign financing program in Anne Arundel, and we’re ready to build momentum and support for this measure! Join our Fair Elections Task Force this Wednesday, January 26 at 6pm for a phone bank to contact Anne Arundel County voters about why public financing programs like this are so important — RSVP here

Progressive Harford County:

Check out Progressive Harford’s Facebook page for video recordings of our recent town halls with Doug Gansler and Stephen Puopolo! We had great conversations with both candidates about how they can improve Harford County through action at the state and local levels. Be sure to visit our event calendar to register for upcoming candidate town halls with John King, Sarahia Benn, Andre Johnson, and Tim Adams. 

The Harford County government is hosting a virtual town hall meeting this Thursday, January 27 at 6pm to receive public input on the county budget. We encourage fellow Harford progressives to share their budget priorities and register to speak during the live event. We’re also still recruiting progressive candidates to run at the state and local levels to represent Harford County. Complete our recruitment form and we’ll be in touch about next steps for supporting your campaign!

Progressive Montgomery:

A big thank you to our progressive allies who did so much to turn people out for last week’s Montgomery County Council hearing on Police Accountability Board Bill 49-21. The County Council heard testimony from over 30 MoCo community members and organizations in support of stronger community oversight. If you missed the hearing, you can view the YouTube stream here.

Progressive Prince George's:

Save the date! We’re convening a meeting for our Progressive Prince George’s chapter on Monday, February 28 at 6pm. Do you live in PG County? This is a great opportunity to meet fellow activists and learn more about how you can get involved with our issue and electoral work this year! Keep an eye on this space — we’ll share a registration link in the coming weeks.


State and National News:

Our weekly roundup of state and national news is on pause for this week, but our resident newshound Woody Woodruff will be back next Monday with all the news you can use! Stay tuned…


Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies: 

Tuesday, January 25 | 7:30pm (virtual) — Our Revolution Maryland is hosting a 2022 MD General Assembly Session Town Hall featuring progressive state legislators Sen. Jill Carter, Del. David Moon, Del. Jen Terrasa, Del. Julian Ivey, and Del. Sheila Ruth (a member of our New Era electoral slate!). RSVP here to attend

Wednesday, January 26 | 6:00pm (virtual) — Our Fair Elections team is hosting a phone bank to build support among Anne Arundel County voters for a more equitable campaign financing system. RSVP here to join.

Wednesday, January 26 | 6:00pm (virtual) — Laurie-Anne Sayles, endorsed by PM for Montgomery County Council At-Large, is holding an interest meeting for community members to learn more about her campaign and how to get involved as volunteers. RSVP for the event here

Monday, January 31 | 7–8:30pm (virtual) — Krystal Oriadha, our endorsed candidate for Prince George’s County Council District 7, is hosting a campaign launch event! RSVP here to join.

Monday, February 14 | time on request (virtual) — We’re teaming up with progressive allies across the state for a Health Justice Lobby Day! Join us in urging our representatives in Annapolis to take action on urgent healthcare issues. Send a short email to Patty or Malcolm to express your interest. 

Wednesday, February 16 | 6:00–7:30pm (virtual) — Save the date for a virtual MGA Testimony Writing Workshop! We’ll walk you through the process of submitting legislative testimony to support progressive policies in the Maryland General Assembly. Stay tuned for the registration link!

Wednesday, February 16 | 7:00–8:00pm (virtual) — Join our partners at the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition for an interactive session to learn more about the fight for Medicare for All and how you can get involved! RSVP for the event here

Monday, February 28 | 6:00pm (virtual) — Join us for a PG Progressives chapter meeting to learn more about the issue and electoral work we’re doing in Prince George’s County and how you can get involved! We’ll share a registration link as the date approaches.


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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