The Memo this week focuses again on how our lives have changed and how to get what we need in the worst health emergency most of us have ever gone through. We start with food for our kids and move on to other matters like health care access (Maryland has reopened enrollment) and justice for all. News of our Progressive Maryland chapters and our blog posts are, as always, on offer.
We have put the details of local enhanced services in an annex post you can find here.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday March 23 2020
The Memo this week focuses again on how our lives have changed and how to get what we need. We start with food for our kids and move on to other matters like health care access (Maryland reopens enrollment). News of our Progressive Maryland chapters and our blog posts are, as always, on offer.
We have put the details of local enhanced services in an annex post you can find here. Many counties have a list of schools where students can access food.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY schools added 10 locations and now have 36 schools providing food to students: https://www.pgcps.org/communications/cards/news/2019-2020/March/PGCPS-Adds-More-Student-Meal-Sites/
General health and coping resources https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3397/Coronavirus
And executive’s updates: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MDPGC/bulletins/28222b3
MONTGOMERY COUNTY CLOSURES AND SERVICE MODIFICATIONS
Meals are provided at an expanded list of schools as well as other pickup points and some bus delivery: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/#emergencymeals
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY RESOURCES AND SERVICE CHANGES
School and community locations for student meals https://www.aacps.org/mealpickup
BALTIMORE CITY RESOURCES AND SERVICE CHANGES
Full list of health emergency resources https://health.baltimorecity.gov/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Student meal availability here https://health.baltimorecity.gov/coronavirus/information-parents
An interactive map and locator showing food availability for students and other community members https://baltimore.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Nearby/index.html?appid=32ce54bc99e746f5bc4c386208cee3e7
Student meal availability in Charles, Howard and Frederick counties is also available at this link.
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND – OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
State Update and Action Needed:
The State House voted to fully fund the Blueprint (Kirwan Commission) and its game-changing recommendations for Maryland’s public school system. The Senate also took action but stopped short of full funding citing concerns about the COVID-19 emergency and possible negative implications for the state’s economy. We remain committed to the reforms and investments our public schools need and note that House leaders say that the policies and funding can be adjusted in the future if the state faces economic problems.
We are proud to report that Prince George’s County parent activist and proponent of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Schools Lori Morrow of Bowie has been appointed to the Maryland (state) School Board. A parent advocate was added to the Board by the General Assembly and Morrow’s appointment has been confirmed by the Senate just before the Session was cut short. That will be followed by a swearing-in, though the closing of county government buildings “has created a snag,” Morrow tells us.
Want to know more about what Morrow and other activists have been working on? See https://www.strongschoolsmaryland.org/
Thank you for taking action on these issues even during these challenging times. Please contact Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more and get involved in Prince George’s activism in support of world-class schools.
MOCO Update March 23, 2020
We are all doing our best to respond to the Coronavirus emergency and that’s true for our MOCO Progressive Maryland team, too. We’re practicing social distancing and abiding by all the recommendations from health and government officials including the restrictions on in-person gatherings. Still, we remain fully engaged and will continue to track the County’s response and the state and national response to the emergency and share how we can support positive health and economic measures or oppose initiatives that don’t support families and workers.
In the midst of the crisis we did score a big victory with the passage of the Kirwan bill on March 19. Thanks for helping us organize on the campaign—it’s now up to Governor Hogan to sign the measure. If he chooses to veto the General Assembly can take action during the week long session in late May.
Local Update and Action Needed:
--On the local level we’ve been supporting the Montgomery County Education Association’s call to the School District and the County Council and Executive to fully fund our public schools. MCEA is in the midst of very important contract negotiations with MCPS. Negotiation sessions scheduled for have been canceled at this time BUT you can support our teachers by signing the petition and sharing with other County residents.
You can also support the teachers by sharing a short testimonial with us.
The school closure has given all of us a new appreciation for what teachers, paraeducators, and all school staff do for our kids day in and day out. Write a few sentences and send them to Josh, our lead MOCO organizer at [email protected]. We’ll share them with MCEA.
--Budget deliberations are beginning in the Council. County Executive Marc Elrich and our nine Council Members also play a critical role in determining school funding. Please urge them to vote for full funding for our schools.
PRIMARY ELECTION UPDATE:
The April Primary date has been changed from April 28 to June 2. In addition to the Presidential contest important School Board and Judicial races are on the ballot. Please make a plan to vote! Contact us for more information. Thank you for taking action on these issues even during these challenging times. Contact Josh Raznick at [email protected] or Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more and get involved in the MOCO Chapter’s education, election, or other issue work.
Join us! Our next meeting is on April 2! Due to concerns about COVID-19, we will be meeting via Zoom instead of face-to-face. Click here for info.
>>Baltimore progressives, Check in on the wide-ranging Baltimore Activist Alert calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
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 [email protected]
We recently published these blog posts:
The Memo this week focuses on how our lives have changed and how to get what we need. We start with food for our kids and move on to other matters like health care access (Maryland reopens enrollment). News of our Progressive Maryland chapters and action priorities as the General Assembly moves to adjourn this Wednesday – in other words, our regular Memo details including our blog posts --are tucked in below the lead section on access to necessities in the health emergency.
March 11, 2020 COVID-19: Maryland has a secret weapon: paid sick leave
With the federal response struggling, Maryland is one of the dozen or so states where state-mandated paid sick leave can provide a faster path to channeling resources to the low-income people hardest-hit.
The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision (2010) has unleashed a decade of big money into political campaigns at the national and state level. Activists propose a constitutional amendment to declare corporations are not persons with first amendment rights, which finding caused the trouble in the first place. Others worry about opening up the US Constitution to amendments by forces that -- yep -- have unchecked money to spend. Here a Maryland activist argues for a long-sought Assembly resolution favoring constitutional action. We include a link to Thursday's hearing on the measure.
Two important bills in pursuit of Fair Elections had hearings last Friday (Feb. 20) – one, SB 613/HB1125, strengthening the existing public-financing provisions for the race for Governor and adding the state Attorney General and Controller to the program, and the second, HB1351/SB0947, sets up a Fair Elections public financing electoral process for members of the Assembly, in which small-donor contributions are matched with public funds. Progressive Maryland testified in favor of both bills last week.
Here is testimony in support of both bills before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee as delivered Friday, Feb. 20 by Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford.
>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 [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