Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 7, 2022

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Tomorrow is International Women's Day, a global holiday celebrating the contributions of women and the ongoing struggle for gender equity and justice. The holiday originated from labor struggles at the start of the 20th century, and its recognition broadened when it was adopted by the United Nations in the 1970s.

This year, we celebrate the achievements of women leaders who are driving our society toward a more progressive future — but we also take this opportunity to celebrate the women who rarely appear on the national stage. We honor these women, the workers and organizers whose critical contributions take place largely outside the public eye. Their struggles play an essential role in our lives and in the fight for a better world.


Donate to Support Our 2022 Electoral Work!

Organizing for change is at the heart of our mission at Progressive Maryland, and we’re working hard to elect progressive candidates ready to transform state and local politics. Will you donate to the Progressive Maryland New Era PAC today to support our electoral work? Your donation of any amount helps ensure we can devote time and resources to helping progressives win big in this year’s elections! 


Quick Actions:


2022 Maryland Elections

The statewide primary election on June 28 is coming up fast! Progressive candidates are running for state and local office across Maryland, and people power can make the difference in their races. Visit pgmd.us/electionvolunteer to get involved with our election team and join our efforts to support candidates fighting for transformative change!  

Don’t forget to check out our Throwdown Thursday phonebank, happening again this week from 6–8 PMClick this link to let us know you’ll join. You’ll meet some great folks, and we’ll provide training and support. 

Note to Candidates: If you’re running for office, have already filed for candidacy, and are interested in being considered for our endorsement, you may complete a candidate questionnaire here.

 

🗳 Candidate Corner

Laurie-Anne Sayles, candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large, has a campaign phone bank this Wednesday, March 9 from 6–8 PM on Zoom — RSVP here to join. Then, sign up here to march with Laurie-Anne’s #Saylesforce Team in Gaithersburg’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this Saturday, March 12 at 9 AM (we’ll meet in Gaithersburg at the Corner of Rio Boulevard and Grand Corner Avenue). 

Natali Fani-González, candidate for Montgomery County Council District 6, for a fundraising event focused on how to provide Economic Opportunity for All this Friday, March 11 at 6 PM on Zoom. To attend, make a contribution to her campaign at nataliforcouncil.com/donate

Wala Blegay, candidate for Prince George’s County Council District 6, is hosting a fundraiser with small & local business owners from the community on Thursday, March 17 from 6–8 PM at Famous Lounge (5010 Brown Station Rd, Suite 150, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772). RSVP here to attend

Tiffany Jones, candidate for Democratic State Central Committee, is hosting a virtual birthday fundraiser on Friday, March 18 from 6:30–7:30 PM on Zoom. RSVP here to join

Learn more about all of our endorsed candidates for 2022 on the Progressive Maryland website! Go to pgmd.us/2022endorsements for candidate bios and links to support their campaigns.


Statewide & Federal Updates

🩺 Healthcare Justice

A year after its introduction in Congress, the Medicare for All Act of 2021 (H.R.1976) has 121 co-sponsors in the US House — that’s more than half of the House Democratic Caucus! & we have more good news on this front: we’ve learned that a hearing of the bill will be scheduled for sometime in the next month or two in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. We’ll share the date & further details as we learn them, as well as ways you can support this critical legislation! In the meantime, we remain focused on efforts to make the budget reconciliation bill as robust as possible when it comes to investing in social programs and meaningful climate action. 

At the state level, we’re looking forward to this week’s hearing of HB 610, sponsored by Progressive Maryland endorsed incumbent, Del. Sheila Ruth. This bill will establish a Commission to study the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system in Maryland. Thank you to all of the members who have written testimony in support of this legislation! You can tune in to the House Health & Government Operations Committee livestream of the bill hearing this Thursday, March 10 at 1:30 PM

The Justice For Hospital Patients Act of 2022 (HB 694 / SB 944) has the potential to deliver some financial relief to patients who should have received free care from Maryland hospitals but were wrongfully overcharged $120 million from 2017–2018. This bill will begin a process allowing the overcharged patients to pursue reimbursement. This is a great time to join the End Medical Debt Maryland campaign to hold hospitals and their wealthy CEOs accountable and bring justice to Maryland patients. To get involved, contact Malcolm.

And don’t forget to add your name to our petition in support of the Time to Care Act of 2022 (HB 8 / SB 275), which would establish a statewide paid family & medical leave program. Will you help us get 50 more signatures by the end of this week? Share the link with friends and neighbors who believe all workers have a right to paid medical leave. 

 

⚖️ Reentry Work Group

Reentry: Where Do You Stand?, a series of virtual listening sessions with candidates for state and local office in this year’s elections, continue this weeks — join us for virtual events tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8 and this Friday, March 11 from 6–7:30 PM. Both sessions will feature candidates for Prince George’s County Council (Districts 4, 5, 6 on Tuesday and Districts 7, 8, 9, & At-Large on Friday). Candidates will share their plans to support reentry services for formerly incarcerated individuals and will take questions from community members during a Q & A session. RSVP here to attend this week’s Reentry Candidate Forums

 

🌱 Environmental Justice Task Force

Marylanders deserve clean air and water, and we need a safeguard against corporations who consider our communities collateral damage in their pursuit of profit. That's why we need to pass the Environmental Human Rights Amendment (HB 596 / SB 783) this year. The Senate hearing of the bill is coming up this Wednesday, March 9, and we’ve developed an easy way for you to demonstrate your support for this legislation — sign this petition calling on members of the Maryland State Senate to support the bill. Ready to do more? Reach out to Yves to get involved with our Environmental Justice Task Force!

 

🖤 Drug Policy 

We know the overdose crisis requires thoughtful public health initiatives, not further criminalization of drug use. We save lives when we increase access to compassionate treatments and enact policies grounded in the best, most evidence-based and proven solutions in public health: Harm Reduction. This Wednesday, March 9 from 7–8 PM, our national partner organization People’s Action is partnering with CPD Action to host Harm Reduction Works: Compassion in Action, a livestream event on how harm reduction initiatives can save lives. Attendees will hear from U.S. Senator Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Paul Tonko, and leaders from VOCAL-NY, River Valley Organizing, and Rights & Democracy New Hampshire about important legislation currently before Congress, including the MAT Act and CARE Act, and other public health initiatives underway. Visit ppls.ac/harmreductionworks to RSVP.

 

🦠 The COVID-19 Pandemic

We want to take a moment of silence and reflection today to process the news that the known COVID-19 global death toll has surpassed six million people. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones to COVID here in Maryland, in other parts of the country, and throughout the world. We will remember and honor them as we continue to fight for vaccine and health equity and a just and equitable recovery from the pandemic. 


Local Chapter Updates

Progressive Harford County:

Progressive Harford is hosting a virtual town hall with Sarahia Benn, Democratic candidate for State office in District 34, this Wednesday, March 9 from 6–8:30 PM. We’re also planning to host our first official chapter meeting about a month from now – stay tuned for the registration link! 

Progressive Montgomery:

A number of our ally organizations are partnering to host a Montgomery County District Council Transportation Forum this Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 PM on Zoom. Moderators will ask candidates for County Council questions on some of the pressing transportation issues in the region. After you attend the forum, mark your calendars to join us for a Meet & Greet with PM-endorsed Montgomery County Council candidates Natali Fani-González (District 6) and Laurie-Anne Sayles (At-Large) on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 PM! Link to come soon.

Progressive Prince George's:

Join us next Tuesday, March 15 from 6–7:30 PM for our first Progressive Prince George’s Chapter Meeting after a long hiatus! If you live in PG County, this is a great opportunity to meet fellow activists and plug into our issue and electoral work in the coming months. 


State and National News:

Progressive organizations appeal to Senator Schumer to move people-centered programs forward in Congress, while Ukraine aid and COVID relief may kickstart Senate gridlock. In Maryland, business objections are proving to be obstacles to climate action, and inquiries as to whether Hogan's administration manipulated pandemic health policy for political gain. This and more in your weekly news brief, plus a federal garni — a follow-up on the State of the Union address. Read on, in our roundup of News You Can Use!


Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies:

Tuesday, March 8 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — The Reentry Work Group of Progressive Maryland is hosting a forum with candidates for Prince George’s County Council in Districts 4, 5, & 6 as part of the ongoing series Reentry: Where Do You Stand? Register here to attend.

Tuesday, March 8 | 7 PM (College Park, MD OR virtual) — The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is hosting the first of two Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate Climate Forums this Tuesday at the Riggs Alumni Center at UMD College Park (7801 Alumni Dr, College Park, MD 20742). Register to attend in-person or virtually here

Wednesday, March 9 | 7 PM (Baltimore, MD OR virtual) — CCAN’s second Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate Climate Forum this week will take place in Baltimore at the Ungar Athenaeum of Goucher College (1021 Dulaney Valley Rd, Baltimore, MD 21204). Register to attend in-person or virtually here.

Wednesday, March 9 | 7–8 PM (virtual) — Join our national partner People’s Action, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Paul Tonko, and leaders from VOCAL-NY, River Valley Organizing, and Rights & Democracy New Hampshire for Harm Reduction Works: Compassion in Action, a livestream event on how thoughtful public health initiatives can address the overdose crisis and save lives. RSVP here to join.

Friday, March 11 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — The Reentry Work Group of Progressive Maryland is hosting another forum with candidates for Prince George’s County Council, this time in Districts 7, 8, 9, & At-Large, as part of the ongoing series Reentry: Where Do You Stand? Register here to attend.

Tuesday, March 15 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — Join us for a Progressive Prince George’s chapter meeting to learn more about the issue and electoral work we’re doing in PG County and how you can get involved! Sign up here to join.

Monday, April 4 | 12 PM (Washington, DC) — Join Progressive Maryland in Washington, DC for a Day of Action to Cancel Student Debt! We’re coming together with groups from across the country at the Eisenhower Memorial (540 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20500) to call on President Biden to cancel student debt before the moratorium on student loan payments ends on May 1. RSVP here to attend


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].


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