Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 26, 2021

prog_hc_m4a_logo.PNGMedicare For All is making more sense to more and more people (it has always made sense to us). Montgomery’s Council joined many others in backing it last week. Just in time for its birthday Friday, July 30. You can sign on too; see below.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 

Medicare’s Birthday Friday; Expand it! PM Weekly Memo for Monday, July 26, 2021

 

Medicare For All is making more sense to more and more people (it has always made sense to us). Montgomery’s Council joined many others in backing it last week. Just in time for its birthday Friday, July 30. You can sign on too; see below.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 

In Solidarity,

The PM Team

Quick Actions:

Statewide Updates:

The New Era Project

Join Ian Miller and the New Era Project  this evening, MONDAY July 26th for our Baltimore County party over zoom! RSVP for the event here! The time for politics as usual is over and the time for a new generation of political activists who will shape a  more progressive and inclusive Maryland is beginning. We need more people to help us organize to win this new era. Please join us.  Contact Yves to learn more!


Healthcare Justice Campaign 

Medicare For All: 

The Montgomery County Council passed a strong Medicare For All Resolution on Tuesday, July 20. Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz led the Council’s process and worked with Progressive Maryland (PM)  and the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition (MDPHC) on the language and the timing for the vote. Here’s a clip of his spot-on remarks: WATCH HERE  Leaders and activists from MDPHC, PM, and other groups played valuable roles in this victory--we’re grateful to all of them for their efforts, their time and determination. We appreciate the Council making this significant policy and political statement about the need for Medicare For All. They join other local lawmakers who have passed resolutions recently in Prince George's County and in the City of Annapolis. To keep the momentum going, we’re doing phone banking, text banking, and deep canvassing; as well as holding Teach-Ins on the issue for the public. With your help we can ride this wave and get more of our Congressional Delegation to sponsor the Medicare For All Act of 2021, HB 1976. Contact Josh or Malcolm to sign up. 

 

Global Vaccine Equity: 

We will never end the global pandemic anywhere until we end it everywhere. The most effective tool the world has in this fight is the COVID-19 vaccine. But too many Big Pharma CEOs and political leaders from wealthy countries are holding up the release of patents, technology and know how. Shame on them! The World Trade Organization and our political leaders must intervene now to #Free the Vaccine and make vaccine production and distribution the world’s number one priority. We can and must protect and save lives. Help us get the message out and put the pressure on.  Join us to get postcards and petitions to the Biden Administration and letters- to- the editor. Contact Patty for details.

 

Local Chapter and Campaign Updates:

Progressive Montgomery

Want to get involved with our local economic, health and environmental justice campaigns? 

Please contact Josh this week!

 

Progressive Harford County 

Thank you to everyone who attended the happy hour for Progressive Harford County and the Young Democrats of Harford County at TB3 Bar & Grill -- now it's time to get the four committees (field, outreach, communications and research) active and doing grassroots work for Progressive Harford County. Anyone interested in getting involved with the organization needs to complete the Progressive Harford County Interest Form by Monday, July 26, which will line up issues and interests. Then we will start forming the four committees. Save the date (and now, the venue): The New Era Project event in Harford County now has a location. Join us at the Havre de Grace Colored School Museum & Cultural Center on August 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. RSVP today to learn how the New Era Project can train and fund the campaigns of progressives in Harford County and across Maryland.

Help pick the logo for Progressive Harford County. Voting stays open until 5 p.m. on August 3.



Statewide Justice Task Force

Join us to text fellow Marylanders this Wednesday, July 28 at 5:30pm to discuss the importance of community oversight in policing and asking them to hold their representative accountable.  If you've never texted with us before, no worries! We'll begin by providing context around the script and how the system works. We recommend using a laptop/computer for sending the texts. RSVP here to receive the Zoom link.

 

JTF General Meeting

The Justice Task Force will be hosting a general meeting on Wednesday, August 4th at 7pm. Join us to hear some updates about our We’re Not Bluffing Campaign for police reform, plans for the next General Assembly, and how to get involved with our work. RSVP here to receive the Zoom link.

 

Progressive Baltimore County

Join Ian Miller and the New Era Project TODAY, MONDAY July 26th for our Baltimore County party over zoom!

RSVP for the event here!

 

State and National News:  

bailout_sig.jpgEconomic Justice For Marylanders

Maryland has been slow (see below) in getting rental assistance to the many households facing eviction after the national Eviction Moratorium expires July 31 (and landlords have found ways to evade even that). Many states are in the same boat. 

Housing: Eviction crisis -- next week? As the Eviction Moratorium comes to an end (July 31st) while millions of tenants remain behind on their rent, it’s going to be more and more important to help get eligible people access to the Emergency Rental Assistance Funds. As of early July, 7.4 million renter households were behind on rent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Some 3.6 million said they were “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to face eviction in the next two months. 

On July 28th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will debut a new look up tool that allows renters and landlords to find information on rental assistance in their area. We’ll post a link to that as soon as it’s out; watch our PM BlogSpace and our social media.

Maryland is slow -- as are many other states -- to move the massive amounts Congress has allocated for renter relief. WTOP and Maryland Matters reports “[Maryland] state and local officials disbursed $1.5 billion in rental assistance during June — more than during the entire previous five months — to help households falling behind on rent and utilities, according to U.S. Treasury data released Wednesday. Prince George’s County has so far outpaced other jurisdictions in distributing ERA funds: The county doled out roughly $2.7 million in ERA1 funds between January and April, $5.8 million in May and $6.3 million in June.

“That progress in getting slow-moving federal dollars to struggling renters comes as the Biden administration and housing advocates have been scrambling to avoid an eviction crisis when the national moratorium expires at the end of this month. ...Nationally, the money that has reached renters so far — a little more than $3 billion — is just a fraction of the $46 billion approved by Congress,” WTOP said.



National Priorities this week from People’s Action (our national affiliate)

We have an opportunity to win a  game-changing expansion of Medicare benefits in the federal Budget Reconciliation process. Serious negotiations to add dental, hearing, and vision care to Medicare are in the works for what’s included in the final measure. Please add your voice and  sign this petition to  the U.S. Senate: ppls.ac/expandmedicare. Questions? Ask Malcolm:  [email protected]

Checks for the Child Tax Credit last week began arriving in bank accounts of those households that have filed tax returns -- but up to ten percent of eligible households won’t get it routinely because they don’t file and don’t have to file. So they may not know about this important form of support.  Get the word out! Use this Non-filer Sign-up Tool Help Guide (PDF - English and Spanish). This guide tells people what to gather ahead of time and walks people step-by-step through filling out the Tool. 

 

Support drug decriminalization: Reps. Bonnie Watson-Coleman & Cori Bush recently introduced the Drug Policy Reform Act of 2021 - the first federal drug decriminalization bill. Check this summary of the contents of the bill here.  

 

The Green New Deal and public schools: To fill out the two-track strategic approach in the reconciliation package, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY) has just dropped a bill linking the GND to schools recovery and resiliency with a strong through-line of union empowerment. It already has 22 co-sponsors, including Rep. Jamie Raskin. Organizations including national Democratic Socialists of America are building a rapid-response strategic approach to get this in the package. The organizing opportunities linking this national bill to our Blueprint for Maryland’s Future school improvement plan are unmistakable.

 

Long term solutions beyond the eviction crisis: Last week, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced two major housing bills – the “Housing is Infrastructure Act” to boost availability of affordable rentals and the Ending Homelessness Act to create a universal housing voucher entitlement program, phased in over 10 years, to ensure that every eligible household can receive rental assistance. 

 

Events from Our Allies:

Friday July 30

7am | U.S. Capitol Building. Rally to Celebrate Medicare’s 56th Anniversary!  https://www.facebook.com/events/182274167287076

 

Thursday, August 5

1pm | Health Policy Insights — Advancing Health Equity (Maryland)

Virtual panel and webinar on solving health disparities — Maryland Center on Economic Policy -- sign up up at link.

 

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].  

July 21, 2021 MoCo Council adds biggest county to those backing Medicare for All

Progressive Maryland and The Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition Celebrate the Montgomery County Medicare For All Resolution as the Montgomery County Council passes a resolution calling on Congress to enact Medicare For All. Organizations and individuals including small business owners have backed this effort. Read more below.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 19, 2021

Medicare for All is making more sense to more and more people (it has always made sense to us). Resolutions backing the national campaign passed in Annapolis’ council last week and looks to pass in Montgomery’s council this week. July 16, 2021 The War on Drugs is a war on people like me

"The War on Drugs has been with us for more than fifty years, and hasn’t been a war on drugs at all. It’s been a war on people: people like me, and my family. Black people.” 

July 13, 2021  Hogan admin stymied in attempt at early Unemployment Insurance cutoff

Enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the Biden administration will last at least well into August despite attempts by Larry Hogan to burnish his credentials as a standard GOP scourge of working families by unilaterally discontinuing their payment. Justice (and judges) prevail.

-Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 12, 2021

June 25, 2021 Unfinished business in the Assembly: where is the progressive impulse?

A former progressive member of the Maryland General Assembly asks: Why doesn’t more progressive legislation get passed in the General Assembly? 

June 23, 2021 How the War on Drugs has warped priorities and ruined lives for 50 years

We're passing the post on the 50th Anniversary of the start of the War on Drugs. After enduring 50 years of the War on Drugs and witnessing its devastating effects on our communities, we feel it is important to change this policy now and pursue a public health and harm reduction approach. Join us to make change in this crucial area.