Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 29, 2020

medicare_for_all_rally.jpgWe had another set of action packed days of organizing, outreach and training at Progressive Maryland last week. Our Health Care Task Force launched on Thursday and more than a hundred members across the state attended an organizer training session on Saturday. Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate in critical issue and power building campaigns during this momentous time in our country’s history.

Last week we also witnessed a progressive tide of election victories in states like New York and Kentucky.  We need to bring that tide to Maryland in 2022. If you have thought about running for office or getting involved in a grassroots election campaign please check out our People’s Leadership Institute. The application and more information about the program can be found here. It’s a great opportunity to gain more political acumen and stronger political skills.  We’re selecting our cohort now and into early next week--there’s still time to apply!



 

STATEWIDE ACTION

We had another set of action packed days of organizing, outreach and training at Progressive Maryland last week. Our Health Care Task Force launched on Thursday and more than a hundred members across the state attended an organizer training session on Saturday. Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate in critical issue and power building campaigns during this momentous time in our country’s history. Now is the time to organize and act-- we have a new opening to make the case for Medicare For All, and for health care policies that value Black and Brown lives in every community in our country. We’re also demanding a timely response from Congress. Please email Senator Van Hollen and urge him to co-sponsor the Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act, S. 3790.   https://www.marylandersunited.org/healthcare-guarantee-act       

Our blogger Susan Nerlinger clarified the stakes and the promise of health care reform, and why we need it more than ever: https://www.progressivemaryland.org/we_need_health_care_pure_and_simple_here_s_what_it_should_look_like


Last week we also witnessed a progressive tide of election victories in states like New York and Kentucky.  We need to bring that tide to Maryland in 2022. If you have thought about running for office or getting involved in a grassroots election campaign please check out our People’s Leadership Institute. The application and more information about the program can be found here. It’s a great opportunity to gain more political acumen and stronger political skills.  We’re selecting our cohort now and into early next week--there’s still time to apply!

 

Some good news: Strong organizing efforts on statewide issues during this time of COVID-19 paid off to some extent as we began to enter late June.  The Board of Public Works indicated that it will not cave to pressure from the business lobby and pause the next increase in the state’s minimum wage (scheduled to go up in January by either .50 or .65 depending on the size of the workforce.) 

And Governor Hogan finally allocated $30 million in state funds to address rent delinquencies which are affecting thousands of residents across Maryland. It’s a solid good first step but much greater financial relief is needed to address the scale of the problem.  See our recent blog on the “flood of evictions” that could still emerge without serious policy change: https://www.progressivemaryland.org/july_25_end_of_fed_eviction_moratorium_could_bring_catastrophe_for_low_income_renters

Advocates and housing  policy experts have requested the state dedicate at least $153 million to avert what the New York Times has called a coming eviction avalanche. Please read this statement by our friends at CASA to get a better understanding of the situation and what’s needed.  https://wearecasa.org/casa-on-governor-hogan-housing-get-ready-mass-evictions/healthcare_not_wealthcare.jpg


Unfortunately, as Progressive Maryland and many of our allies in the labor, education and social justice movement feared, Governor Hogan has begun to threaten significant and damaging cuts in state spending that supports students, teachers, and public workers. The state will see a decline in revenue to be sure but we should use this time and these circumstances to think about our values as a state and how our budget priorities reflect those values. This is the time to  invest in essential workers, health care programs and services, and our underfunded public education system, not to withdraw support.

See this recent blog post on the worries workers have as the budget cuts are rolled out https://www.progressivemaryland.org/will_workers_state_and_otherwise_bear_the_brunt_of_hogan_s_budget_cuts

Learn more here from our friends at AFSCME Council 3 about their efforts to fight back:

https://www.afscmemd.org/council-3-updates-1/update-about-cuts-marylands-fy21-budget

On Friday, the Governor moved to cut $300 million from our public schools, after our teachers, students, and other school personnel did a tremendous and heroic job dealing with the pandemic and all the related challenges of moving to a  distance learning environment. Strong Schools Maryland needs our support:

https://secure.everyaction.com/Nvj0yXdTRk-545s-ed-n9A2?fbclid=IwAR2XBenHW8ni3wuoYq0vynCQV-_Ho9buZuxlh0NiOPGPHiZK5dlTr7p6Pro&emci=5f00bd71-eeb7-ea11-9b05-00155d0



LOCAL BRIEFS

Property tax hike proposal roils Prince George’s -- three members of the Prince George’s County Council have scheduled a Zoom meeting -- Town Hall -- tomorrow (Tuesday, June 30) for citizen input on a proposal that would put an emergency property tax hike on the November ballot for Prince George’s property owners. Jolene Ivey, Monique Anderson-Walker and Tom Dernoga host the call at 7 PM Tuesday. A link to the bill, CB-48-2020, is here https://princegeorgescountymd.legistar.com/LegislationDetai… . To see the bill, go to “Attachments” on the left, and click on the number 1. (B2020048). 

The Zoom call registration link is here.  The bill’s final County Council vote is July 21. The councilmembers’ full explainer is at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MDPGCLEG/bulletins/29326c1

 


Sign up for our weekly memo. You can also submit a blog post for the memo by contacting Woody at woodlanham@gmail.com. We are very interested in collecting stories about the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, workers and families. Get our weekly updates here. 

 Hear more about Progressive Maryland’s statewide organizing efforts related to the consequences of the pandemic. Email Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org.


OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

 

Progressive Prince George’s 

Progressive Prince George's Chapter Meeting: Thursday, July 16 5:30 PM – the agenda is likely to include the Justice Task Force/Returning Citizens Project; AROS-education reform; and the work to reform term limits in the county. RSVP here https://secure.everyaction.com/mWXYqq_Uz061Fol3_Findw2

PMD Montgomery

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Join us! Our next meeting is on Thursday July 2. Due to concerns about COVID-19, we will be meeting via Zoom instead of face-to-face. Click here for info.

PMD Baltimore

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, July 9th from 6-7:30 PM. The Baltimore City chapter of Progressive Maryland had a great turnout for our first meeting several weeks ago. Over 20 community members and leaders came together to share their thoughts about and triumphs during the primary, as well the exciting work that our chapter has planned for the rest of the year. Rashi Turniansky, our point person for training, spent a few minutes talking about our upcoming skills training programs (tentatively named “Guerilla University”), and we also had a short explanation on the importance of vote-by-mail from Jake Carlo, our chapter’s phonebank captain.

The Baltimore City chapter will be holding its monthly chapter meetings every 2nd Thursday of the month; remember to mark your calendar for our next meeting on Thursday, July 9th from 6-7:30 PM. – Malcolm Heflin

 

EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES

Thursday, July 2 | 7:00 PM

Maryland Poor People’s Campaign - State Open House (virtual event)

Get connected, hear from state committee members, learn more about the Campaign, and discuss our next steps to demand Justice Jubilee in our state! RSVP at link above.


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


RECENT BLOG POSTS

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:

June 26, 2020  Will workers -- state and otherwise -- bear the brunt of Hogan's budget cuts?

A Hogan mouthpiece said revenue shortfalls will require “painful choices” but he didn’t say whose pain was involved. Workers, however, can guess – and state workers won’t be the only ones penalized because Hogan will soften the blow to business interests at their expense.

One legislator told Maryland Matters, below, the state workers he has spoken with are "under no delusion that something needs to be done in the face of the deficit, but that they want a seat at the table in the negotiation process."

 

June 24, 2020  We need health care, pure and simple. Here's what it should look like

The Covid-19 pandemic clearly shows why the U.S. needs a health care system that gives every resident access to health care at every stage of life.  A system that relies primarily on employer-provided medical insurance is inadequate.  Even unemployed people need affordable health care.  This nation needs a system that offers health care for all, all the time.

Have your say about this Thursday evening June 25 at 5:30 in our statewide call to create a Health Care Task Force. Please join us for a timely conversation about health and racial justice.   RSVP for the virtual meeting here.  

 

June 24, 2020  July 25 end of fed eviction moratorium could bring catastrophe for low-income renters

Federal protection against evictions ends July 25 and Maryland judges say they will processs evictions after that. The governor is being pushed to strengthen protections for low-income renters and mortgage-holders, and municipalities have the power to control rental policy, as this report in Maryland Matters details. Will renters work together to get relief? Watch our statewide call on the pandemic's impact on the long-term housing crisis in Maryland, with testimony for advocates and activists.

 

June 22, 2020  Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 22, 2020

Progressive Maryland continues its work to humanize the state response and demand that working families don’t get sacrificed to the needs of the ownership class—or to “justice” gone bad.

We are fighting for transformational change in policing, for decarceration, for better state government response to the needs of the state’s over 20 percent unemployed, and for relief for the many who can’t afford to meet rent or mortgage payments to the few. Plus complete details on our huge Justice Task Force launch call last Thursday, reports from our increasingly active chapters around the state, and our recent blog posts. And see late-breaking updates on preserving our victory in the Fight for $15 and our Health Care Task Force meeting Thursday, June 25. Read on in the Memo.

 

June 22, 2020  Join the conversation about our Justice Task Force launch

Last Thursday's amazing turnout for the launch of our Justice Task Force (see it all here) brought 400-plus participants on virtual media to engage with justice activists including Gabe Acevero, a member of the House of Delegates, and Maurice Mitchell of the Movement for Black Lives and the Working Families Party outline the paths to racial justice and policing for the people. And it was a conversation. See what the participants had to say on the chat panel in the virtual event -- it was anything but a passive audience. Check it all out here.

 

June 17, 2020  Addressing the Crisis of Policing and Structural Racism in Maryland

Progressive Maryland this week issued a statement against police brutality in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests around the state, around the country, and now around the world.

They are supporting a set of principles by the Movement for Black Lives, tailored to address the issues of policing and systemic racism in Maryland.


>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