Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 22, 2021

apocalypse.jpgWe stand with our AAPI family in sorrow and solidarity over the racist mass shootings in Atlanta. We stand against all forms of racism and gender based violence. We have joined many groups in signing the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta statement: “A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities”; and our national affiliate People’s Action has released a press statement. Furthermore, here is a statement that we support from the MoCo Progressive Asian American Network in response to these hate crimes. 

Keep up to date on both the fast-moving, national-level COVID relief efforts and the back-and-forth of legislation in the Maryland General Assembly as we approach the last month of the session. This and much more in the Memo.



 

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 22, 2021

We stand with our AAPI family in sorrow and solidarity over the racist mass shootings in Atlanta. We stand against all forms of racism and gender based violence. We have joined many groups in signing the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta statement: “A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities”; and our national affiliate People’s Action has released a press statement. Furthermore, here is a statement that we support from the MoCo Progressive Asian American Network in response to these hate crimes. 

 

We continue to observe Womxn’s History Month and keep you up to date on both the fast-moving, national-level COVID relief efforts and the back-and-forth of legislation in the Maryland General Assembly as we approach the last month of the session. This and much more in the Memo.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 

In Solidarity,

The PM Team


Quick Actions:


Statewide Updates:

Healthcare Justice Campaign

Thanks to everyone who has participated in our COVID meetings and our calls to action pushing the Hogan Administration and the MGA to meet this crisis at the scale it requires. In addition to fighting for protections for front line workers, for significant economic relief, and targeted support to underserved communities we are calling for an equitable vaccine MD_state_house.jpgdistribution program. Please take a minute now to call the Governor!

--Some PM members and leaders are getting involved in helping with the state and local vaccination program. Thanks to those of you who are certified and have been doing shifts to administer shots. For anyone else who would like  to support in other ways (help with registration, on site support, etc) here are a few places you can check for volunteer opportunities.Thanks for considering this.

--On the international level, public health officials and leaders are sounding the alarm about inequities in the global vaccine rollout.The Biden-Harris Administration can use their power to push for greater access to the vaccine, especially in the global south. We commend the President for his commitment to send vaccines to Mexico but more needs to be done in order to ensure that hundreds of millions of people ALL over the world get vaccinated this year. Getting vaccines into people’s arms is the best thing we can do to save and protect lives. One barrier standing in the way of this effort is the Trade and Intellectual Property Rules (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has the power to waive TRIPS which would speed up the production of vaccines and make it easier for other nations, not just the rich countries, to get the doses they need. Stay tuned for calls to action on this campaign.

 

End Medical Debt: 

The Rally to End Medical Debt has been rescheduled to April 3rd, from 12:30-1:30pm, in front of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Admin Building in Baltimore - RSVP for the event here.

The Medical Debt Protection Act (HB0565/SB0514) is under threat. The House HGO Insurance & Pharmaceuticals Subcommittee has stripped the legislation of its key patient protections. The subcommittee is expected to push forward a dramatically weakened amended version of the bill today (Monday 3/15). You can sign on here to show your support for the End Medical Debt Maryland campaign and receive occasional email updates. Please contact Lindsey Muniak ([email protected]) with questions or to get more involved.

 

Here’s a great article in Maryland Matters on one family’s medical debt story.

 

bailout_sig.jpgMedicare for All:

The Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, was introduced on Wednesday, March 17 by Rep. Pramila Jayapal. This landmark legislation would improve and expand Medicare; it would provide a way for all Americans to get health coverage no matter their age, income, location, employment status, or medical situation. Three members of our House Delegation are already co-sponsoring the measure. Hats off to Representatives Raskin, Sarbanes and Brown for their leadership. The bill has 112 co-sponsors.  We must persuade others in the Maryland Congressional delegation to sign on. That’s why we’re organizing! 

If you live in CD-7 and are a constituent of Rep. Mfume please send him an email today asking him to sign on.  

 Montgomery County folks: You can help by signing the petition to the Council asking them to pass a Medicare for All Resolution. Ask your local civic association or group to sign an organizational letter of support. 

Prince George’s County supporters: we have good news! The Medicare for All Resolution has been introduced thanks to Councilmember Deni Taveras (D-2)  who has recruited six other Councilmembers to join her in support.  A hearing on the Resolution is tentatively set for some time in the first week of April. Would you like to testify or submit testimony? We need you! And we can help you put it together. Please reach out to Josh or Patty.

 

Housing Justice Campaign

Progressive Maryland's Housing & Judiciary Reform Task Force hosted a digital town hall to discuss Maryland's ongoing foreclosure crisis. If you missed this event, you can view the recording here. 

Maryland’s House of Delegates passed a bill Thursday aimed at helping the thousands of state residents who face eviction proceedings in rent court every year without a lawyer, Joel McCord reports for WYPR-FM. The bill would guarantee access to lawyers for Maryland tenants facing eviction who earn less than half the state’s median income, or less than $48,000.

 

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland

-Fair Elections Task Force will be having a textbank TONIGHT at 7pm - sign up to join us here. 

-Our next full meeting is April 21st at 6:30pm - RSVP here.

-In Southern Maryland we are hosting an event from 6pm to 7:30pm this Friday, March 26, in which we will hear from Delegate Debra Davis on Transportation issues in Southern Maryland, as well as from Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin about local issues, and finally from Corae Young about how to access rental relief and other protections for renters in Southern MD. Zoom link here.

Baltimore City

Baltimore County/ Frederick County/ Western Maryland

The Frederick County Progressives held their monthly meeting Sunday, March 14th, at 1:30pm. We were happy to greet new members at the meeting and expand the group. As The FCP continues to grow, we have plenty of ways for new members to get involved. We are holding an upcoming meeting to discuss how the FCP and its members will be involved locally in work related to the COVID pandemic and helping with equitable vaccine distribution. There will also be opportunities to be involved with deep canvassing efforts in the near future as we build power surrounding the upcoming city elections in 2021 and wider elections coming up in 2022. We would love to see more new faces next month, FCP meetings are held the second Sunday every month. If you're interested in getting more involved in the work being done in Frederick County then please contact the Progressive Maryland Regional Organizer in the area, Zach Kovach, or the FCP Chair, Nick DeSalvio

Progressive Montgomery

Montgomery County Justice Working Group

Join together with members of the Progressive Montgomery community to get organized and educated on justice issues in Montgomery County. We will be working on judicial reform, criminal justice issues, and any issues that are important to YOU. Join us this Thursday from 6:30pm-7:30pm on Zoom. 

Progressive Prince George’s

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus (Affiliate Chapter)

You are invited to attend our Spring Fundraiser on March 23rd at 6pm! Please register here. It is a virtual event where we will be highlighting local Progressive candidates running on the Shore in 2021 as well as some of the legislative priorities our organization has been working on in Annapolis. Email LSPC for more information.

 

State and National News: 

Maryland Tax Policy -- check out Sen. Paul Pinsky’s solid argument for combined reporting requirements to keep big corporations from gaming Maryland’s tax policy.

 

This week in Annapolis…

From our allies at the Maryland Legislative Coalition --  IT'S CROSSOVER! Pass/Fail Day    

Today (Monday, March 22) is one of the biggest days of the 2021 Session.  By the end of the day today, any bill that does not make it out of at least one chamber will not continue.  Bills that make it out of the House move to the Senate, and vice versa.

Some bills have already started in the opposite chamber and there are some hearings scheduled for next week.  Those are listed in the Coalition’s detailed message. Included are some easy support moves you can make to improve the chances of important bills.

Get your testimony ready for the policing bills that have hearings in the Judicial Proceedings Committee.  Take a break, and get prepared for the final two week blitz.

 

Our allies at the Job Opportunities Task Force are working TODAY, Crossover Day, to move a critical bill to end the criminalization of poverty. TODAY is the last day for the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and House Judiciary Committee to schedule votes for Senate Bill 402/House Bill 580: Driver's Licenses - Suspension for Child Support Arrearages - Repeal. The proposed legislation would eliminate driver's license suspensions for lower-income workers who fall behind on child support payments -- a clear path away from practices that keep poor families behind the criminalization eight-ball. Read more in JOTF’s dispatch from Friday

 

An important remedy: HB1204 -- The Transportation Equity Analyses and Assurances Act of 2021 (Transportation Equity Act) -- will make equity a central goal in MDOT planning throughout any and all decision-making processes regarding all modes of transportation in Maryland. Its many sponsors are anchored by the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition

Why do we need it? Maryland has a shamefully long history of racist transportation policies, from highways built through and dividing Black communities to the cancellation of the Red Line route, which would have provided urgently-needed access to jobs for residents in low-income, redlined communities in Baltimore and regional economy-transforming, transit-oriented-development (TOD). Equitable transportation will play a key role in dismantling systemic racism by:

  • Increasing access to good jobs, schools, education, and healthy food;
  • Providing incentives for community economic development; 
  • Reducing smog, air pollution, and heat islands, which disproportionately impact Black communities

Contact YOUR legislators on this important act. 

 

Events from our allies:   

People’s Action and our state allies invite you to join for the Harm Reduction Week of Action from March 21-26: 

We will be hosting six events in the week focused on education and action to fight for compassion and science-based solutions OVER criminalization and stigma. Join the Overdose Crisis Cohort at People's Action on:

 

Wednesday, March 24, 7:00pm | Black Lives Matter: Black Women Lead Panel by the Maryland Democratic Party. Register here.



Wednesday, March 24 | 5pm | Getting Real About COVID-19 Vaccination by the Metropolitan Washington Labor Council

Join the Metropolitan Washington [Labor] Council for “Getting Real About COVID-19 Vaccination.” The hour-long forum will feature insight from union workers who have taken the COVID-19 vaccine about their thought process and concerns, and why it is safe, effective and advisable for all workers to be vaccinated.  Register here.

 

Thursday, March 25, 7pm | Student Action Panel on Environmental Rights by MD Campaign for Environmental Human Rights. RSVP here.

 

Monday, March 29  -- Political education | 6:30 – 8:30pm | NEW Socialist Night School: Eugene Debs and American Socialism 

As a five-time presidential candidate and founding member of both the Socialist Party of America and Industrial Workers of the World, Eugene Debs’ legacy has loomed large over the American socialist movement. Join Shawn Gude (of Jacobin and Substack’s Debs Dispatch) to explore the many facets of Debs’ legacy. Register at link.

 

Tuesday, March 30, 11am-12pm | Sojourner Truth Legacy Project Virtual Program by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Register here.

 

Saturday, April 3 | 2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA April Branch Meeting - Info and registration here.

 

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].

- March 16, 2021 Assembly aims to adjust Kirwan plan to tackle post-COVID landscape

The General Assembly is tweaking -- and in some cases adjusting big-time -- the huge program called the Blueprint for Education to make sure the Kirwan plan adapts to the needs of a post-COVID landscape and to the learning loss that the past year has brought to Maryland's K-12 students. This Maryland Matters coverage shows the possibilities.

- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 15, 2021

-March 13, 2021  Schools reopening, county by county -- the plan up to date
Gov. Hogan has abruptly set the stage for openings across the state, giving local officials fits. Among them are schools, which teachers and their unions insist should be much safer to open for face-to-face learning than they are at this point. The national priority for vaccinating teachers will help, but signs of progress in Maryland are spotty and disputed.

-March 10, 2021  We're not bluffing. Criminal justice/police reform is non-negotiable

Effective criminal justice reform and police accountability are on the line in Annapolis. Today. See floor debate here.  It’s time to show our legislators that we are serious when we say that if they do not act on behalf of the people they are elected to represent then we will replace them. Despite last week's in-person protest in Annapolis, legislators are breaking faith and we must now ensure there are consequences for those who stand on the side of the Fraternal Order of Police in the next Democratic primary in 2022. See all the ways below.

- March 09, 2021 Take action: a foreclosure crisis looms; where is Maryland leadership?

Progressive Maryland's housing and judiciary reform task force will tackle issues of the pandemic housing, foreclosure and eviction crisis at a virtual forum Tuesday, March 16, 6:30-8pm. Join us to face up to the emergency during which joblessness and quarantine have put working families, both mortgage holders and renters, in danger of becoming unhoused during a perilous time.

- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 8, 2021

- Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 1, 2021

 

>>Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org.