Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 11, 2019

A FLURRY OF INFO -- tonight's March for Schools; Larry S pokes the restaurant bosses; latest on the Fight for $15 and other legislation in the State House sausage factory; Movement Politics training this weekend, and more -- all in the Weekly Memo, your one-stop guide for progressive activism in Maryland.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday March 11 2019

 STATEWIDE

TONIGHT Monday, March 11 at 6 pm -- March for Our Schools -- Meet at Naval Stadium Parking Lot

        One billion in education funding is on the table at the General Assembly. Our delegates and senators need to see that the public supports investing in our kids and their public school teachers. 

        Our kids can’t wait and neither can the public school teachers who prepare them to be our future leaders. We need better pay for educators. More school staff, including counselors and psychologists. Universal pre-kindergarten and expanded career technical education. Adequate and equitable funding for all of our students.

        Join MSEA, the teachers union, teachers, parents, and students. March from Naval Stadium to the State House where a 45-minute rally will begin at 6:30 pm with a line-up of speakers who support public education.  RSVP here.

--Contributed by Claire Miller


Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford Jr. called out the restaurant industry for its intervention in a respected poll about the $15 minimum wage – distorting the public perspective through inclusion of push-poll hypothetical questions. Here is the restaurant industry response to Larry’s piece, which doesn’t address the fact that the restaurant folks paid to have those poison-pill questions included in the poll. Fake questions, fake poll results.

Here is Larry’s Maryland Reporter guest op-ed, also below in our blog posts for the week.

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FOLLOW THE ISSUES – check out our website’s expanded “Our Issues” pages, with separate pages for each of our key five issues: Fight for $Fifteen, Civic Engagement, Fair Elections, Police Reform and Environmental Justicehttps://www.progressivemaryland.org/environmental_justice. Each page offers links to our past explanatory blog posts to deepen understanding of our work and our goals – building power for working people.


IN THE STATE HOUSE

Crossover is on Monday, March 18. The push is on this week to move bills out of committee or to pass bills on the floor to improve their chances of getting considered by the full Assembly this year.

A top issue, the Fight for $15 as a minimum wage statewide, has been passed by the House but with Economic Matters Committee amendments that make it narrower and less helpful to working people than the original bill. The Senate Finance Committee actually made the House version worse still, and now Larry Hogan has chimed in with a “compromise” that has a very GOP, business-friendly smell that should make Assembly members quite suspicious.

A critical goal is presenting Progressive Maryland’s stand on why there should be no exclusions to the bill's coverage of Maryland's workers.

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The Maryland Legislative Coalition is bird-dogging numerous progressive bills, most of which are in our Progressive Maryland wheelhouse if not always on our priorities list. This week they are focusing on moving important bills about elections including Fair Elections -- to get big money out of our state politics--out of committee in time for consideration in this session. There are similar concerns about bills in the environmental and education sphere that have strong social justice implications. These are big committees so there’s a good chance you’ll find someone from your district there. And check out the Legislative Coalition’s essential list of upcoming committee hearings here.  Included is a backdoor threat to the hard-won victory we gained last year on paid sick leave, the Maryland Healthy Families Act.


MOVEMENT POLITICS TRAINING

Are you interested in running for office, working on a campaign, or volunteering on one in 2020? Then we've got the perfect training for you. Progressive Maryland is excited to announce our the first one-day Movement Politics Training of 2019! 

We'll cover a range of topics from the process and rules of filing to run for office and how to run a campaign, including fundraising, campaign strategy, endorsements, field operations, communications, and budgeting. Click here to RSVP.

You'll also learn how the political system functions, why it’s currently failing Maryland voters, and what trainees can do to change that as we get ready for the next election cycle.

We want to empower passionate folks like you to have the skills and tools you need to change the political landscape in Maryland. In just one day, you will learn the tools of the trade from experienced organizers and will leave with the skills needed to launch and WIN your own electoral campaigns.

The training will be held in Baltimore on Saturday, March 16th. Space is limited so RSVP today! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Alexiss at 301-684-6715 or by email at alexiss@progressivemaryland.org


Fellowship opportunity Friends of the Earth is recruiting applicants in 6 states including Pennsylvania and Maryland for our six month Grassroots Fellowship Program to begin in January 2019. Learn and utilize core organizing skills to take action to protect people and the environment. Focus is on training members of under-represented communities.  $2,000 monthly stipend with a commitment of 25 hours a week -- how to apply: https://foe.org/jobs/2019-grassroots-fellowship-program/


OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

 

Progressive Prince George's

Friday, March 15 – Mass Liberation Retreat, 9-5 PM

MDOT-SHA recently roused anger in Beltway country by dropping mass transit options from plans for Larry Hogan’s pet project, private toll lanes on I-494 and I-270. See our blog post. The agency has scheduled new informational meetings this spring in Prince George’s (April 11, 23, 27) and Montgomery (April 13, 24 and 25). More on this issue with informational blogs at our Environmental Justice issue page.


  PMD Montgomery

MDOT-SHA recently roused anger in Beltway country by dropping mass transit options from plans for Larry Hogan’s pet project, private toll lanes on I-494 and I-270. See our blog post. The agency has scheduled new informational meetings this spring in Prince George’s (April 11, 23, 27) and Montgomery (April 13, 24 and 25).


 Take Action Anne Arundel County

Legislative Action This Week by District

Crossover is on Monday, March 18. The push is on this week to move bills out of committee or to pass bills on the floor to improve their chances of getting considered by the full Assembly this year. Take Action AAC supports all of these bills because they align with our values of environmental and social justice.

Find your state representative here.

District 21 -- Delegate Lehman

    Call or email and ask her to vote YES on HB 109 to ban polystyrene foam food service containers and protect our streams, rivers, bay and marine life from this harmful substance

    Call or email and ask her to vote YES with NO weakening amendments on HB 275 to protect children and pregnant women from brain-harming chlorpyrifos.

District 30A - Speaker Busch and Delegate Cain

    Call or email and ask her to vote YES on HB 109 to ban polystyrene foam food service containers and protect our streams, rivers, bay and marine life from this harmful substance

    Call or email Speaker Busch and Delegate Cain and ask them to vote YES with NO weakening amendments on HB 275 to protect children and pregnant women from brain-harming chlorpyrifos.

    Call or email Speaker Busch and tell him we need to pass HB1158 this year. We need more clean air and clean water in Maryland. The Clean Energy Jobs Act get us to that goal by requiring 50% of our energy to come from clean, renewable sources by 2030.

District 31 - Delegate Carey, Chisholm

    Call or email Delegates Carey and Chisholm and ask them to vote YES on HB 109 to ban polystyrene foam food service containers and protect our streams, rivers, bay and marine life from this harmful substance   

District 32 - Delegates Bartlett, Chang, and Rogers and Senator Beidl

    Call or email Delegates Barlett, Chang, and Rogers and ask them to vote YES on HB 109 to ban polystyrene foam food service containers and protect our streams, rivers, bay and marine life from this harmful substance   

    Call or email  Delegates Barlett, Chang, and Rogers and ask them to vote YES with NO weakening amendments on HB 275 to protect children and pregnant women from brain-harming chlorpyrifos.

    Call or email Senator Beidl to vote YES for SB 548 to remove trash incineration from being subsidized. We shouldn't be paying to pollute the air that is making communities that live near these incinerators sick.

    Call or email Senator Beidle to vote YES in committee for SB 500 to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for workers in Maryland. Families need time to care for babies, elderly parents and unexpected life-threatening illnesses without fear of losing their job.

District 33 - Delegate Bagnall, Malone and Saab and Senator Reilly

    Call or email Delegate Bagnall, Malone and Saab and them her to vote YES on HB 109 to ban polystyrene foam food service containers and protect our streams, rivers, bay and marine life from this harmful substance 

    Call or email Delegate Bagnall, Malone and Saab and ask them to vote YES with NO weakening amendments on HB 275 to protect children and pregnant women from brain-harming chlorpyrifos.

    Call or email Senator Beidl to vote YES for SB 548 to remove trash incineration from being subsidized. We shouldn't be paying to pollute the air that is making communities that live near these incinerators sick.

    Call or email Senator Reilly and ask him to vote YES in committee for SB 500 to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for workers in Maryland. Families need time to care for babies, elderly parents and unexpected life-threatening illnesses without fear of losing their job.

Events in Anne Arundel County

    Monday, March 11 at 6 pm -- March for Our Schools -- Meet at Naval Stadium Parking Lot – see full entry above in STATEWIDE.

 Join MSEA, the teachers union, teachers, parents, and students. March from Naval Stadium to the State House where a 45-minute rally will begin at 6:30 pm with a line-up of speakers who support public education. RSVP here.


  Progressive Howard County

Note that the Howard County Times has a roundup of local bills in the Assembly...


Talbot Rising


Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Check out the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus’s legislative agenda, including the Trust Act, Fight for $15, Medicare for All, clean air issues and more. Plus an explainer: why ranked choice voting would be good for the Shore.

Also, read the Caucus chair’s take on 2020 candidate mania – plus a recent blog post from the leadership team. Distance can provide perspective, and the chapter chair, recently finishing up a semester abroad, offers homecoming observations on the greening of Germany and how it might apply to our home towns, and a consideration of the need for reparations for slavery.


PMD Baltimore – We’re still talking about Medicare for All- -- You’ll see at the link, though, that our mission and values are much broader.


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES

TONIGHT – Monday, March 11 March for our Schools in Annapolis tonight to support implementation of the Kirwan Commission findings, including teacher raises, universal Pre-K, and better resources for at-risk and special needs students. Please come out and join us for what is sure to be the largest public demonstration in Annapolis of the year. There will be thousands of teachers, parents, and education advocates in Annapolis in front of the State House at 6-8 PM.

Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 pm A community conversation will be hosted by County Council President Nancy Navarro and County Executive Marc Elrich. The focus will be on racial equity and social justice. Location is the Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, Maryland)

Wednesday, March 13 *“Connecting the Dots” Webinar: Racial Capitalism with Robin DG Kelley 8 PM How does racism help keep capitalism in place? What examples do we have of poor and working class white people and People of Color joining together to challenge an unjust system? Join a conversation with leading activist scholar Robin DG Kelley on what racial capitalism means for our work and how class impacts white people’s role in the fight to end oppression. Follow link to sign up.

Thursday, March 14 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm Action in Montgomery (AIM) is holding a session on "Accountability Action on Equity in Education, Affordable Housing and Immigration" with the new County Executive and Council.  The location is Bethel World Outreach Church (16227 Batchellors Forest Road, Olney, Maryland)

Monday, March 18 Reel and Meal at the New Deal presents  The Invisible Vegan , a 90-minute independent documentary that explores the problem of unhealthy dietary patterns in the African-American community, foregrounding the health and wellness possibilities enabled by plant-based vegan diets and lifestyle choices. Vegan meal at 6:30 for $14, film at 7 is free. New Deal Café on Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt, 113 Centerway. RSVP here. Guest panelists include restaurateurs, cooks and advocates Naijha Wright-Brown, Antonio Simpson, and Brenda Sanders.


Baltimore progressives, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful activist calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous weeks 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:

March 10, 2019  Responding to the restaurant-tainted poll: the truth about the minimum wage

When you ask a fake question, you get a fake answer -- even in a statewide poll about the minimum wage, a matter of great urgency for 600,000 low-wage workers in Maryland. Bad polling poisoned by paid questions distorts the public view and is warping the work of the General Assembly on this important bill, as PM director Larry Stafford Jr. outlines here.

March 07, 2019   As Senate committee votes on $15 wage, activists demand improvements

Activists are telling Senate committee members -- today voting on the $15 minimum wage bill -- to do better than the House and in fact to clean up the mess House members made of the badly needed measure that would give some support to 600,000 low-paid Maryland workers.

March 06, 2019   Critical Bills Make Halting Progress Toward Passage As Crossover Day Nears

A flurry of hearings in the Assembly this week tries to beat a deadline for bills to cross from one chamber to another in order to pass. Several factors, including Del. Lisanti's vow to remain in the House despite her censure for using a racial slur among colleagues, could slow those bills down.

March 05, 2019   FF$15 coalition urges improved minimum wage bill at news conference

At a news conference Monday evening the coalition urging a "clean $15" minimum wage bill -- one that does not exclude tipped workers and other marginalized groups -- made their case forcefully and with testimony from affected workers. The Senate, they said, should repair the damage done by the House.

March 04, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 4, 2019

A top issue for Progressive Maryland, the Fight for $15 as a minimum wage statewide, has been passed by the House but with Economic Matters Committee amendments that make it narrower and less helpful to working people than the original bill. Progressives will fight to keep the Senate version “clean” and persuade House members that they should accept the better bill when it comes time to reconcile their version with the Senate bill.  


 >>REMEMBER – these blog posts are 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