TODAY IS Crossover Monday, March 18. The push is on today in Annapolis 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, is still in play and the damage done by the two "money committees" to the bill must be reconciled before passage. You can be heard; see our Memo for details.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 18, 2019
AROUND THE STATE -- IN THE STATE HOUSE
TODAY IS Crossover Monday, March 18. The push is on today 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. The House and Senate have set up a conference committee to reconcile their two versions for final passage, so you can contact your delegations and try to get some of the cuts restored in this process. The conference committee’s members are:
Marylanders who are in their districts – particularly Dist. 15 in Montgomery County, which has two members on the conference – can contact the members directly. But these conference members listen to their colleagues and must come up with a compromise that will still get a veto-proof majority vote in both Assembly chambers, so you can make your voice heard with your own district members as well. See the links above to see what has been stripped out by the “money committees” of the House and Senate – where all the business lobbyists’ money flows – and decide what you would most like to see restored. Then call or email.
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.
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.
And to keep up with our activities and those of our progressive allies, sign up for the emailed Weekly Memo, which includes links and summaries for our most recent blog posts – one-stop shopping for the info and calendar you need to build power and agency with our movement in Maryland’s changing system.
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
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.
EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES
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/
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 [email protected]
We recently published these blog posts:
The scam run to get undistinguished rich kids into elite colleges is not unique -- it's the logical criminal outcome of the unjust system that labor leader Leo Gerard outlines here. In this Progressive Breakfast analysis we see that working people are hemmed in on many fronts by the economic advantages enjoyed by the wealthy that keep the rich -- and their children -- on top of the economic ladder. That system must be unwound.
March 14, 2019 FF$15 bill damaged but still progressing in Assembly
Danielle Gaines of Maryland Matters recounts the rocky path toward passage of the $15 minimum wage in the Senate, as many try to put their regional or ideological stamp on the already tattered bill. The House, passing it last week, disgracefully went along with the business-sodden Economic Matters Committee’s cuts – no indexing for inflation, no tipped workers, no agricultural workers, pitfalls for young workers and a two-year delay in reaching the full $15. The Senate made the rubble bounce by exempting businesses with 15 or fewer employees. The WaPo seems to think even this badly damaged bill is a “major victory for liberal Democrats,” overlooking the victories of neoliberal Democrats in gutting the bill. But as Gaines’s play-by-play shows, many senators still had to get into the act…
March 12, 2019 The Reality of Working for Tips
Among the Maryland workers most injured by the gutted $15 minimum wage bill, tipped workers stand out. At $3.63 an hour plus tips, a level unchanged for decades and a legacy of Jim Crow racist oppression, workers in the food service industry remain most under the thumb of unscrupulous business interests, as Drew Koshgarian shows in a Maryland Matters commentary,
March 11, 2019 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.
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.
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.
>>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 [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