Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, May 11, 2020

apocalypse.jpgThis week’s Progressive Maryland/Marylanders United statewide virtual planning meeting will be on the topic of criminal justice, incarceration and decarceration in – and after – the COVID-19 emergency. It will be set for 5:30-7 PM Thursday. Register and sign up here to join us. And read about our meeting last Thursday focused on the statewide housing emergency and steps to take control of it.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday May 11 2020

This week’s Progressive Maryland/Marylanders United statewide virtual planning meeting will be on the topic of criminal justice, incarceration and decarceration in – and after – the COVID-19 emergency. It will be set for 5:30-7 PM Thursday. Register and sign up here to join us. And read about our meeting last Thursday focused on the statewide housing emergency and steps to take control of it.

Progressive Maryland COVID-19 Response

Unfortunately, we had to mark Mother’s Day weekend with news of more cases and fatalities due to the pandemic’s presence here in Maryland and across the region. Please continue to stay at home except for essential travel and to maintain physical distancing in order to stop the spread of this virus. Cover your face and mouth when around others and wash your hands frequently. We remain very grateful to all who are serving on the front lines to deliver health care and to maintain vital services; including non-profits like Impact Silver Spring and Interfaith Works who sent leaders to our statewide call on May 7 to tell us about their work.

Like other calamities, the COVID-19 crisis is revealing many immediate and urgent needs and laying bare the inequities in our economy and society. That's why we are supporting mutual aid efforts for folks who need it, and are fighting even harder for a more just society, a people centered economy, and a better democracy. Here’s how you can help these efforts:

                 

 Get involved today.  If you haven’t already joined our campaign as a volunteer, click this link to get involved.                                       

Sign up for our weekly memo. You can also submit a blog post for the memo by contacting Woody at woodlanham@gmail.com. We are very interested in collecting stories about the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, workers and families. Get our weekly updates here. apocalypse.jpg

 

COVID-19 Legislative Update

Along with our allies we’re monitoring the response to the emergency by all levels of government. We’re pushing for health and economic measures and action from our public officials that will directly aid families, workers, renters, low wealth and vulnerable residents.

On the local level, our meetings with County Executives and their staffs and with representatives from Baltimore have allowed us to raise urgent problems especially as they relate to testing and treatment, housing and food, worker protections, and the safety and treatment of the incarcerated.  Some jurisdictions have already adopted and/or are considering strengthening safety nets and setting up economic, food and housing aid. Go to your County government website’s COVID-19 page to learn more about local government programs in your area. 

And join us for our weekly virtual organizing call this Thursday at 5:30 to learn about what’s happening on the local and state level in our criminal justice system; and about incarceration and decarceration during the pandemic.

The need for rent and mortgage relief has emerged as a top concern across the state and country. That’s why we invited Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins (D-20) to join us last Thursday at our statewide virtual organizing meeting. She updated us on the Cancel Rent initiative and took questions. We need Governor Hogan to use his authority to provide housing relief now. Please sign and share the petition to the Gov.Hogan.

https://secure.everyaction.com/WHPRHZXOpkSi3iIee5iCOg2

On the federal level, we’re meeting with individual Members of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation. The CARES Act and subsequent packages have addressed needs for hospital and health care funding; financial aid to individuals and small businesses; unemployment insurance increases; and other relief.  But as the crisis and impact grows it’s clear that we need bigger, bolder, and very swift action to address all the dimensions of this health care and economic crisis. A new package, CARES 2, is being developed by Speaker Pelosi and could authorize $1.1 trillion or more to fund new rounds of aid to state and local governments, unemployment compensation, direct cash payments; and money to support things like more broadband access. We’re pushing to have ALL U.S. residents included in these actions, including health coverage for our most vulnerable communities and much greater capacity for virus testing. We also support dedicating another $3 to $4 billion to help our nation transition to a vote by mail system in the 2020 elections.

June 2 Primary:

And speaking of elections, it’s never been more important to turn out the vote! Preserving our democracy and the integrity of the 2020 election is another Progressive Maryland priority. The state is moving to a vote by mail system for the June 2 primary (with some limited number of in person voting locations.) Learn more about the process here https://www.lwvmd.org/covid_19_and_the_upcoming_elections

Progressive Maryland is running phone banks every week to reach voters and inform them about the new system and about important local races on the ballot. You can join us-- it’s fun, rewarding and makes a difference!

If you’d like to learn more about Progressive Maryland’s COVID-19 mutual aid and organizing work please email Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org

June 2’s election is closer than you think. 1. Make sure you are correctly registered; check your county Board of Elections. 2. Watch for your mail ballot; if you don’t get it, take action to be included.

FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE NATIONALLY AND LOCALLY:

In the middle of a pandemic and an economic depression, it’s time to fight for somebody you don’t know.

TELL CONGRESS – WE NEED A “PEOPLE’S BAILOUT” IN THIS CRISIS Progressive Maryland, our allies and our national affiliate People’s Action are endorsers and facilitators of the campaign for a People’s Bailout.

Five Principles for Just COVID-19 Relief and Stimulus

Health is the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions
Economic relief must be provided directly to the people
Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives
Make a down payment on a regenerative economy while preventing future crises
Protect our democratic process while protecting each other

The interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline in place long before COVID-19 now risk being intensified. This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a just recovery.

See the detailed explanation of how these five principles will get us to a better future here https://thepeoplesbailout.org/  And watch the livestream of the May Day People’s Bailout.

PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND – OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George’s 

Up to date info on the emergency; see the Prince George’s County COVID-19 dashboard.

And you may have seen this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/prince-georges-maryland-coronavirus-health-disparities/2020/04/26/0f120788-82f9-11ea-ae26-989cfce1c7c7_story.html

Emergency housing assistance for qualifying renters in Prince George’s County is available starting today (Monday, May 11). County Exec Angela Alsobrooks announced in her newsletter today that “our Emergency Rental Assistance Program is now accepting applications. This program provides temporary rent and utility assistance to residents who qualify, up to $1,800 per month for up to 3 months.” More information is available here on eligibility and applications.

Progressive Maryland is proud to be a sponsor on the Prince George's County 2020 Census Campaign. We have spent the past month doing outreach to residents in PG County, which historically has one of the lowest response rates of the Maryland counties, encouraging folks to complete the 2020 Census. The Census determines critical funding to local communities for needs such as hospitals and school lunch programs. Census information also helps predict the spread of diseases through communities, which is incredibly relevant at this time as face impacts due to COVID.

restiamo_a_casa.jpgPMD Montgomery -- MOCO Update

Progressive Maryland is supporting mutual aid efforts for folks and communities in need. We continue to do outreach and organizing using on-line tools, phone calls, and social media.

Along with our allies we’re monitoring the County’s response as well as the state and national response to the emergency; we’re pushing for health and economic measures and action that will directly aid families, workers, renters, and low wealth residents.

 Local Update and Action Needed:

--Progressive Maryland supports the Montgomery County Education Association’s call to the School District and the County Council and Executive to fully fund our public schools. Read House Speaker Adrienne Jones’s emphatic call for this statewide.

 In our view the public school system should be considered central to any and all economic recovery efforts.

 Thank you for taking action on these issues even during these challenging times.  Contact  Josh Raznick at josh@progresssivemaryland.org or Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org if you want to learn more and get involved in the MOCO Chapter’s education, election, or other issue work.

 

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

PMD Baltimore

EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES

Wednesday, May 13 | 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Green Stimulus Bills
Presented by Greenbelt Climate Action Network
This month, we will explore the topic of a “Green Stimulus Plan” As a nation we are currently facing three converging crises: the COVID19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession; the climate emergency; and the extreme inequality in how this pandemic affects different populations. We will explore some proposals that climate and social policy experts have developed - a sort of “menu of solutions” - that would collectively comprise a Green Stimulus to meet these challenges.

Wednesday, May 13 | 8:00 to 9:00 PM
Everybody Votes:The State of Voting in Maryland
Multi-organizational confab on the changes made to the upcoming June 2 MD election, the impact these changes have on different groups of voters, and how to ensure you are able to exercise your right to vote.


Sunday MAY 17 | 1-3 PM
Our Revolution Montgomery virtual chapter meeting 1-3 PM includes a rally for endorsed candidates in the June 2 election. Register here.


>>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 woodlanham@gmail.com

We recently published these blog posts:

May 10, 2020 Severe housing emergency during lockdown demands state action

Progressive Maryland/Marylanders United, two sibling groups developing mutual aid networks and advocating state and local policy actions to meet the needs of working families during the coronavirus pandemic, held their fourth statewide virtual meeting Thursday, May 7.

Topping the agenda was an increasingly acute set of housing issues. Hear from Del. Jheanelle Wilkins and housing activists on what actions we demand, and see 50 Delegates' letter to the governor.

May 07, 2020 Today: Marylanders United Statewide Weekly Planning Meeting

THIS AFTERNOON: Marylanders United Virtual Organizing Meeting –

Thursday, May 7 5:30-7:00PM --

Join us in our multi-issue campaign to emerge from this health emergency better, with more justice and equity.

May 05, 2020 Why is MoCo’s boundary study important? One student’s experience

"I love my high school and believe that I am getting a high-quality education. I wonder if more diverse demographics in my school would lead to less hate and intolerance. I wonder if we could have more courageous conversations. ... I have come to realize the idea that zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of education you get!"

May 04, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, May 4, 2020

IN THIS ISSUE OF THE MEMO: Find out more about Progressive Maryland’s work during the pandemic... AND GET INVOLVED.

RESOURCE BANK: Get familiar with Marylanders United: a COVID-19 action center we created to serve our communities and help you take action during this crisis. Check it out to view a comprehensive list of useful resources and learn about what you can do to volunteer. https://marylandersunited.org

PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL ORGANIZING WITH US!

May 01, 2020 Wars and military spending harm the people

Among our allies in the effort to humanize our system and put resources where people need them is Prevent Nuclear War Maryland and its campaign to move "Back from the Brink" of nuclear exchange risks. Three activists outline the campaign and the huge costs of militarism that drain public resources from people's needs.

April 29, 2020 Turning danger into an avenue for change -- a People's Action video

The health emergency we are in, and the economic collapse it has brought, have left many of us in disarray. That makes this time doubly dangerous, because those well off enough to be in less disarray may be ready to take advantage. This video, in plain language, shows how to fight back.

April 14, 2020 Progressive Maryland joins 40-plus allies to demand more support for workers in Covid-19 crisis

Progressive Maryland has joined more than 40 nonprofit groups demanding the state’s  “government must implement every possible measure to protect” frontline state workers “as well as the millions of Marylanders confronting extreme financial hardship.”

Maryland Matters has the story and a link to the original letter, sent yesterday (Monday, April 13).

April 01, 2020 It’s Time to Think About What Comes After the Apocalypse

Despite the obvious strains on resources a crisis can bring about, this crisis reveals that our society has long had plenty of the material resources to meet people’s basic needs. If ‘normal’ means a return to an inadequate health care system and widening economic disparities, we must not return to normal.

>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 woodlanham@gmail.com.

>>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