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

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



 

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

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

Week Four and more in the General Assembly:

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 enters its fourth week of a three-month grind.

We have gathered the details of their work in this blog post. https://www.progressivemaryland.org/general_assembly_week_4_and_beyond_all_you_need_to_know

The Maryland Legislative Coalition is providing information and support for environmental bills like Community Choice Energy, justice bills like the Trust Act and others that ease pressure on immigrants and other vulnerable populations, health care measures that related to Community Schools and a rescue for the mass transit that Gov. Hogan has underfunded throughout his tenure. JOTF, among others, is focused on measures that unravel the many measures that criminalize poverty, before and after the system has done its worst. The Sierra Club’s focus on a just transition to renewables that makes sure the burden doesn’t fall on workers and communities is part of the clean, green package. Chesapeake Climate Action Network embraces many of the same issues as Sierra, including ending fossil fuel use and add renewables including offshore wind.

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.

Here are some 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.

UPCOMING LOBBY DAYS

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 9:00 am - Strong Schools Maryland
TODAY Monday, January 27th - 6:00 pm - CASA Immigrant Action Night
TOMORROW Tuesday, January 28, Compassion & Choices supporting death with dignity bill, 9:30 AM
Thursday, January 30th - 9:00 am - MOMs Demand Action
Tuesday, February 4th - 6:30 pm - Transit Equity Lobby Night
Thursday, February 6th - 4:30 pm - MLAW Lobby Night
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. https://conduitstreet.mdcounties.org/2020/01/20/fiscal-briefing-highlights-budget-big-picture/

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.  


OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George’s 

PMD Montgomery 

MoCo Education issues, state and local, continue to be a 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’re calling on our members and supporters to stand in solidarity with them at this critical time. We’ve been underfunding schools for a number of years and it’s time to reverse that trend. Montgomery County should invest in teacher compensation to improve recruitment and retention. MCPS needs more money 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. 

 Marc.Elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/members/index.html

We’ll share dates and activities regarding public budget hearings and Board of Education meetings as they develop.

  • 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 asks you to sign on to a letter that One Montgomery has written to the School Superintendent and School Board Chair.  

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HCGNjDMnfLJsKWGZHDHQ4bLkeC8vrgO6K4NEomZungc/viewform?edit_requested=true

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 six public forums) 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.  This statewide measure can 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 and 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.

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

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

PMD Baltimore


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES

Wednesday, January 29th AA County Budget Town Hall for Dist. 5, 6:30 PM with County Executive Steuart Pittman and Councilwoman Amanda Fiedler, Severna Park Middle School Cafeteria, 450 Jumpers Hole Rd.beginning at 6:30 p.m. on

Thursday, January 30 Facing the Affordable Housing Crisis – part 3 of 3. 5:00-6:00 p.m. Cash Bar  |  6:00-8:00 Presentation Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge, 2nd Floor, 175 West St., Annapolis – presented by Action Annapolis.

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! 

 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

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


Baltimore progressives, Check in on the wide-ranging Baltimore Activist Alert calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


 

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 woodlanham@gmail.com

We recently published these blog posts:

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.

January 23, 2020 Lawmakers press for Special Elections to fill vacancies

The pipeline for appointing local political activists to fill Assembly vacancies is getting a side-eye – from Assembly members.

Requiring special elections to fill Assembly vacancies occurring in the first half of a four-year term is gaining traction as the public becomes skeptical about the insider behavior of local central committees and the instant power of unelected incumbency.

Maryland Matters reports on a bipartisan bill, cross-filed in both chambers.

January 21, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, January 21, 2020

As progressives gear up for advocacy during the General Assembly session – now in its third week – our allies are proposing issue agendas close to ours. Check out the work of the Maryland Legislative Coalition and The Job Opportunities Task Force/Working Matters keeping us focused on the non-trivial proposals among the growing number of bills being filed. Read on...

January 20, 2020 Dr. King for the ages -- then and now

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose revered memory may hit us most sharply today, was one of us.
In his breakthrough 1967 Riverside Church address in which he overtly opposed the Vietnam War, he confessed “Over the past two years, … I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences”. …  Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty.”

We can all be paralyzed by such doubt and fear. Dr. King showed us that a true “revolution of values” requires a radical departure from those concerns. Richard Eskow makes some informed speculations how King’s uncompromising realism would see the challenges since his death in 1968.

January 16, 2020 Progressives push tax reform to fund Kirwan plan

Progressive Maryland legislators, worker organizations and economists in the Maryland Fair Funding Coalition are backing a package of tax reform bills that could increase state revenue by $1 billion and make the state's tax system more equitable. This account from Maryland Matters has the details.


>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 woodlanham@gmail.com.

>>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