This past Saturday, the Progressive Maryland Enclave Tenant Association held a rally for our ongoing fight for housing justice as tenants and elected leaders united at The Enclave Silver Spring Apartments. We demanded urgent action to address hazardous living conditions and mistreatment of tenants. If you missed the event,  you can catch up on the action by watching the livestream on our Facebook page.


Our rally also garnered significant media coverage. If you didn't catch it on TV, you can read about it here.


In other great news, we celebrate a significant victory for healthcare with the passing of the Access to Care Act. This vital legislation will ensure better healthcare access for all Marylanders, allowing residents to purchase an individual private health care plan, regardless of immigration status. As the bill now moves to the governor's desk, we eagerly await its final approval to become law.


But our work is far from over. There are still critical bills we're fighting for so read on for updates and ways to get involved.



Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

    • Women’s History Month

    • PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns Updates
    • Local Chapter Updates

    • State & National News


Each week, we’ll highlight women leaders in the area, past and present, in different categories to honor their contributions. This week's category: Education

Edith Clarke (1883-1959), born in Howard County, Maryland, was a trailblazing figure in engineering and academia. After inheriting a small sum, she pursued her passion for mathematics and astronomy at Vassar College, graduating with honors in 1908.Disillusioned with teaching math, Clarke returned to school for engineering at the University of Wisconsin. She later became the first woman to earn a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Facing limited opportunities, she worked as a computor for General Electric, where she patented a graphical calculator for electric power transmission. Clarke broke barriers as the first professionally employed female electrical engineer in the U.S., working at the Central Station Engineering Department of General Electric. She authored numerous technical papers and textbooks, earning accolades such as the Society of Women Engineer's Achievement Award. In 1947, Clarke became the first woman to teach in the engineering department at the University of Texas, Austin. Her contributions to engineering and education paved the way for future generations of women in STEM. Clarke's remarkable legacy continues to inspire and empower.

Enolia Pettigen McMillan, born in 1904, was a pioneering educator, civil rights activist, and community leader. Despite facing segregation, she pursued education at Howard University with the help of a scholarship. Recognizing disparities in Maryland's education system, she challenged inequality through her master's thesis.In 1969, McMillan became president of the Baltimore NAACP, leading fundraising efforts and advocating for racial equality. In 1984, she made history as the national president of the NAACP, emphasizing youth engagement in the fight for justice. Beyond her presidency, McMillan continued her commitment to education, serving on the Board of Regents of Morgan State University. Her tireless advocacy earned her widespread recognition and numerous awards for her contributions to society.

Shinta Hernandez, the pioneering Dean of the Virtual Campus at Montgomery College in Montgomery County, MD, has been at the forefront of educational innovation since joining the college in January 2007. With a background in public policy analysis from esteemed institutions such as the Urban Institute and Westat, Dr. Hernandez brings a wealth of experience to her role. She holds degrees in psychology from Brandeis University, social policy from Georgetown University, and sociology from the University of Maryland College Park. Throughout her tenure, Dr. Hernandez has spearheaded initiatives to advance social sciences, promote open educational resources, foster social justice and equity, and enhance faculty professional development. Her dedication to inclusive curriculum and international collaborations has been instrumental in shaping Montgomery College's educational landscape. Recognized for her excellence in teaching and advising, Dr. Hernandez has received prestigious awards including the Montgomery College Outstanding Faculty Award and the NISOD Excellence Award. Her leadership continues to drive Montgomery College's commitment to innovative and accessible education in the virtual realm.

PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns Updates

Healthcare Justice: Access to Care Act Passes Maryland General Assembly! 


Care Over Cost: Update and Actions to take this week!


The Access to Care Act expands access to the Maryland Health Exchange to tens of thousands of everyday Maryland families! By waiving immigration status as a requirement for purchasing health plans, the Exchange will make it possible for currently uninsured residents to enroll in a health plan. We’re proud to be a part of this effort led by CASA and in collaboration with other great partners. The real solution to all the shortcomings and private control and greed in our system is Medicare For All. But giving people access to a doctor and to primary care services in the meantime through health insurance will save lives.


Our Healthcare Task Force was in Annapolis on Thursday, March 7th to testify at the Health and Government Operations Committee (HGO) in support of our health insurance bill, HB1337. Del. Jamila Woods (D-26) is the bill sponsor and a champion for our Care Over Cost campaign and healthcare justice. Grassroots support along with the support of our allies in the End Medical Debt Campaign is key to the bill,  titled “Health Insurance-Appeals and Grievances Process-Reporting Requirements and Establishment of Workgroup Act”  


We need to generate emails between now and Wednesday to the Committee!! Please take a minute now to:  


➢ Voice your support for the bill!  Click here to email the Members of the HGO Committee.


Having health insurance should mean we get the care we need when and where we need it. It’s time to crack down on private health insurers who are denying our care! 


Tune in for a national live stream this Wednesday evening with our national affiliate, People’s Action about this issue.


➢ UnitedHealth (Doesn't) Care: Register now for UnitedHealth (Doesn't) Care: Demand United Put Care Over Cost! On Crowdcast, scheduled to go live on March 13, 2024, 08:00 PM EDT.


To share your experience or story or that of a family member: Contact Patty

Returning Citizens Task Force 


RCTF is continuing to track legislation of benefit to returning citizens – in particular, the Fair Choice in Housing Act and the Reentry Services for Women Commission and Pilot Program.  As we approach crossover in Annapolis (when bills passed in the House of Delegates “crossover to the State Senate and when bills passed by the Senate “crossover to the House) we will be monitoring the progress of these and other bills – and will send out action alerts to ensure passage as needed.


Our next task force meeting – which will be held on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 pm –  will feature Jason Williams, Executive Director of Forged Pathways, and member of Steamfitters Local 602.  He will follow-up with information about the apprenticeship programs featured at the RCTF/Black Worker Center Hiring Fair on February 24 and update us on the legislation Forged Pathways has been pushing for in Annapolis.  For more information, please contact Kurt.

Environmental Justice Task Force


The Reclaim Renewable Energy Act Press Conference was a day of glory, with over 20 people in attendance, including allies from Food & Water Watch, South Baltimore Community Land Trust, and CASA. As the sun danced on everyone’s faces, an indescribable feeling of anticipation could be felt as EJTF members and fellow EJ advocates surrounded Lawyers Mall.


The event commenced with an energetic speech from Delegate Vaughn Stewart, sponsor of the house RREA bill, as he drew attention to the lack of gumption in ratepayers paying into the wealth of trash incinerators, while billion-dollar corporations profit off a toxic utility that is actually not renewable. He reiterated that the time to pass the RREA of 2024 is NOW.


In similar impromptu fashion, those sentiments were echoed by Senator Karen Lewis Young, sponsor of the senate RREA bill, and Delegate Robbyn Lewis, cosponsor of House RREA bill.


And after several months of being away from the EJTF, Mikal Rashid, who developed asthma after living in Cherry Hill for 6 years, returned, and gave a 4-minute speech that swept everyone off their feet. Shenae Thomas, Cherry Hill resident, also spoke and shed light on the economic exploitation of the Bresco-trash incinerator on her community. The allure of the RREA press conference drew media attention, and has now amplified the campaign across Maryland. View the full RREA Press Conference here.


Lastly, last Thursday the EJTF gathered in Annapolis for the final hearing for the RREA: HB166. With that, we need to make calls into selected elected officials in the house and senate committees who have influence to move the bill forward for a vote. The EJTF needs you so if you’re interested in throwing down and making calls to help get the RREA bill across the finish line, reach out to SirJames here.


Acknowledgements and gratitude: Jose Coronado-Flores, CASA; Toby Harris, SBCLT, Jorge Aguilar, FWW; Delegate Vaughn Stewart, Delegate Robbyn Lewis; Senator Karen Lewis Young

Special shoutouts: Shenae Thomas, Mikal Rashid and Kamal Nkele

Local Chapter Updates

South Prince George's County

Two weeks ago, we held our first people’s committee meeting! The people of Oxon Hill and surrounding South County decided that we have had enough dealing with greedy corporations skyrocketing our bills and disinvesting from our schools, and committed to building power. Here is a picture from the event!

In the next couple of weeks, we will be narrowing our campaign down under these two priority umbrellas, with a meeting at the end of the month to ratify the group to take action on a campaign and identify the power players in the county. If you are interested in attending the meeting or contributing to the campaign, please send an email to RSVP to Anton.

News You Can Use: Assembly is on verge of final-month gallop; no new taxes (for now)

Interesting events here and in DC as the General Assembly this week enters on the last month of the session, while Joe Biden’s budget (to be released later this week) has some big moves on housing, one of the major complaints for many folks otherwise benefiting from a flush economy. How much can be squeezed through the knife-edge GOP House majority is another question – the mantra there is “Who cares if it’s good for the general population – don’t give Biden a win.”

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Progressive Maryland
P.O. Box 6988
Largo, MD 20792

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...