floor_debate_tally_reduced.jpgWelcome 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).


Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday January 6 2020

Welcome to 2020 and here comes the Assembly session this Wednesday. Here’s a gateway to the early-bird filings; Maryland Matters discusses some top-line bills and gives you a link to all of the ones filed as of Monday morning.

There is a cascade of great reporting on the upcoming Assembly session in Maryland Reporter‘s daily State Roundup. There’s an original in-depth interview with the new chair of the Senate’s top revenue committee plus preview articles aplenty from The Sun, the WaPo and other media, including more locally-focused coverage throughout the state from  Annapolis’s Capital Gazette, the Carroll County Times and Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

Much of the Assembly preview coverage is 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 MD_state_house_sketch.jpgfrom 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.

IT DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN -- Maryland’s legislative session is right around the corner – This Wednesday, January 8! Progressive Maryland has a bold vision to bring power to the people-- Medicare for All, ending mass incarceration, campaign finance reform, and much more – in 2020 and beyond! Can you support our mission? https://www.givelikealocal.org/team/progressivemaryland


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.

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; see below. 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.

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


Medicare For All is gaining support nationally and in Maryland

Next Up – 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.

 The Medicare for All town hall held in Gaithersburg on Oct. 20 by our allies in the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition (MPHC) can be streamed at https://www.facebook.com/OurRevolutionMD/videos/531692600951283/

Medicare for all activists can make a pitch for single-payer during open-comment period at Monday meetings of the Anne Arundel County Council and Annapolis City Councils (AACO is 1st and 3rd Monday and Annapolis 2nd and 4th, 7 PM in Annapolis. Contact Kristy Fogle or Chrissy Holt, who says “It’s time for people to get vocal about healthcare inequality and inhumane practices. Everyone has a story and it’s long past time for change.”

Cities and counties around the US are passing resolutions backing Medicare for All. More than 270 efforts are underway to pass resolutions in small towns and big cities across the country. Activists across Maryland can build momentum for guaranteed health care for all. Anational effort on this has a webinar coming up Jan. 9 to work through ways to make that happen. Join our Jan. 9 webinar at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT as one of your New Year’s resolutions.

 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.  


pm_folks_with_banner.jpgProgressive Prince George’s 

PMD Montgomery 

Education issues will be very much in the news and on the agenda of state and local officials in the new year.  We have a couple of important actions for you to take this week. Your voice can make a real difference at this critical time as the legislative session begins on Wednesday and the MCPS Boundary Analysis public forums continue during the month of January.

Contact your Delegates and State Senators and urge them to fully fund the Kirwan Commission recommendations. Send an email or a letter.  Here are some suggested talking 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 in education practice and funding are not a pick and choose menu. We need a comprehensive approach, not a selective one.
  • We need full funding, not piecemeal investment, for the whole package of proposals.
  • 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 to make schools world-class. This formula fixes many inequity issues in the current school funding formula.
  • Please be a leader when it comes to making Maryland the lead in equity as well as education reform!

Add your voice to the growing number of MOCO residents who want to see MCPS follow through on its commitment to conducting a Districtwide Boundary Analysis.  Here’s a link to a letter that you can sign and share with friends, neighbors and family members in Montgomery County.


Thanks for taking action. Please contact Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more about what the MOCO chapter is planning for its education work including our ongoing efforts to help MCEA build its Parent Committee.

See more about the Kirwan Commission recommendations and Montgomery County here: https://capsmd.org/issues/education/solutions/how-kirwan-benefits-montgomery-county

A fact sheet on Kirwan recently produced by Strong Schools Maryland is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LbT_ecb4vXcClJ0VmhsZvq1a7b9Bx1DG/view?ts=5df7c3b9

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

PMD Baltimore


Sunday, JAN 12 OUR Revolution MoCo January meeting from 2-4 PM at the Rockville Library, 21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville MD, 20850. This will be our 2020 Kickoff & Planning meeting.

Friday, JAN 17 – Sunday, JAN 19 –the 2020 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference  Capital Hilton 1001 16th Street NW RSVP  Conference theme is “Give Us the Ballot,” drawn from Dr. King’s pivotal voting rights speech delivered here in 1957. we are still facing voter disenfranchisement at alarming levels [so] ensuring full voting access and a fair count of every ballot are the most important work we are doing.

Saturday JAN 25, 2020, , CCAN Polar Bear Plunge, 10 AM -2 PM  https://us-p2p.netdonor.net/2883/polar-bear-plunge 

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 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 [email protected]

We recently published these blog posts:

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.

December 17, 2019 Lawmakers eye bills to constrain Hogan toll road plan as hundreds rally

As opposition rises to Gov. Hogan's high-dollar toll road plans fueled and controlled by private-sector money, lawmakers tout plans to trim or stop the project in the upcoming 2020 Assembly session.

Many are calling for more mass transit and fewer cars on the road -- not new lanes on the Interstates. Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters covers a rally against the road-widening project Monday in Silver Spring.

December 16, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, December 16, 2019

It's a wind-down and reflective time of year. Not much going on. Except, well, impeachment, trial and removal from office. But we know you were already paying attention...

December 12, 2019 Is it time to nationalize Facebook, a social media public utility?

Use Facebook? Yup, we do too. It's a natural monopoly and a public utility, privately controlled by a young(ish) know-it-all and claimed idealist who looks more and more like a typical profits-first corporate greedhead.

As progressive radio host Thom Hartmann outlines here, it's probably time to take this public utility into public ownership or control.

December 10, 2019 Trump administration's trifecta of rollbacks could cut 80K Marylanders from food stamps

The Trump Agriculture Department is rolling out a trifecta of badness that could “take food off the table of struggling families” in Maryland and nationwide, as StatesNewsroom’s Robin Bravender reports.

>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...