Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, May 17, 2021

People’s Recovery: PM Weekly Memo for Monday, May 17, 2021

 

Been to a statewide COVID Forum? Attended a Justice Task Force event? Have you taken part in a local meeting for a County Chapter or Fair Elections? Support our drug policy work?  If the answer is yes to any or all of these: thank you! Now we ask you to take a next step to help us expand our work and impact on these issues-- join hundreds of other local PM supporters and become a member

It’s People’s Recovery Lobby Week this week so we are pushing Congress to pass a comprehensive American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan as large as the physical reality of the climate crisis, the economic reality of mass unemployment, and the structural reality of systemic racism. This and much more in the Memo.

 

Quick Actions:

 

Statewide Updates:

Statewide Justice Task Force

Canvass Training next Monday, May 24th - Join the Justice Task Force for a Virtual Canvass Training next Monday, May 24th from 5:30pm–7pm. In this training, we will cover our talking points for our Police Reform campaign, specifically around the importance of community oversight in policing. We’ll then workshop our personal stories and practice conversations with others so that folks walk away feeling empowered to canvass their own constituencies and participate in future voter contact events with us! Sign up here

 

New Era PAC

You can still contribute to the effort of electing progressive leaders across our state! Any contribution makes a big difference - Donate now.

 

Progressive Maryland’s People’s Leadership Institute (MPLI)

Progressive Maryland is running a great training program through its Leadership Institute again this Spring.  Check out the article in Maryland Matters about our 2021 training and our cohort participants.  Stay tuned for news and updates about some of this year’s participants as well as news about some of  our 2020 MPLI alum who are seeking elective office in 2022. The Primary election is thirteen months from now so we are laying the groundwork for voter and candidate education and engagement. Speaking of elections the MGA 2021 session produced some excellent reforms that will expand our democracy and add transparency to the electoral process. Read a summary from Common Cause Maryland here.

 

Anne Arundel Fair Elections Campaign

Our next Anne Arundel County Fair Elections Task Force meeting will be on Wednesday, May 26, from 6:30-7:30pm - RSVP here.

 

Healthcare Justice Campaign

End Medical Debt:

It’s been several weeks since the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 (HB565 / SB514) passed the General Assembly with unanimous support. Governor Hogan has a bill signing session scheduled for TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 18, but the Medical Debt Protection Act isn’t included among the bills he plans to sign. Let’s reach out one more time to urge him to add this to the list of legislation to sign. We need the bill and the common-sense safeguards it puts in place to protect Maryland patients. 

(1) Call Gov. Hogan's office at (410) 974-3901 let him know you're a Maryland resident who supports the Medical Debt Protection Act (HB565 / SB514), and ask him to sign the bill. 

(2) Take 2 minutes to email Gov. Hogan urging him to sign the Medical Debt Protection Act into law.

Do you have a story about medical debt you'd like to share? Please reach out to Lindsey ([email protected]) or Malcolm ([email protected]). You can sign on here to show your support for the End Medical Debt Maryland campaign and receive occasional email updates. Please contact our team with any questions or to learn how to get more involved.

The Fight Against COVID-19:

Local:

It’s good to see COVID-19 cases declining and positivity rates going down..  However, cause for concern remains as public health officials report a drop off in the rate of vaccinations. Many Marylanders, particularly high-risk individuals and more socially isolated people and families, have not yet been reached by state and local vaccination programs. More needs to be done to bring doses to our vulnerable neighbors and to educate those who don’t have good information about the value of getting vaccinated.The pandemic is not over and continues to require a strong, equitable, and well resourced community centered response. We need to persist in our demands for this kind of comprehensive response. We know there’s confusion, too, about the new CDC guidelines that caught elected officials and the public off guard. Please check your local county health department sites for the latest numbers and guidance and continue to exercise some caution as we are at just 42% of the state population being fully vaccinated.

Global:

We are  stepping up our efforts along with People’s Action, Justice is Global  and other advocates to call on drug companies, the WTO, and our elected officials to focus on getting the rest of the world, especially the global south, access to a much greater supply of vaccines as quickly as possible. COVID is killing tens of thousands of people every day across the globe especially in recent days   in India. Too many elected officials and drug company executives are refusing to share the know how that’s needed  to get the tens of millions of shots we need to be getting getting shots into arms in every country in the world.Wealthy countries and the drug companies who have received huge infusions of public funding to develop vaccines and medicine need to do their part and make vaccine  distribution a priority. We can and must protect and save lives-- please join us in this campaign. Contact Josh or Patty to get involved. 

Our allies at Lower Drug Prices Now kicked off Tax Day (yes, it’s actually Tax Day today) with a  a great action at the IRS.

Please check out and share this powerful video. 

It's Tax Day, so we got up early to leave a message for #BigPharma at the IRS headquarters: It's high time for Congress to crack down on the Pharma's tax dodging and price gouging! 

#LowerDrugPricesNow #HR3

Medicare for All:

The Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal,  now has 116  co-sponsors in the U.S. House including four of our Democratic Members of Congress (Reps. Raskin, Mfume, Sarbanes and Brown) . This landmark legislation would improve and expand Medicare; providing a way for all Americans to get health coverage no matter their age, income, location, employment status, or medical situation. It’s time to get other members of the Maryland Congressional delegation, including Senators Van Hollen and Cardin to sign on, too. That’s why we’ve stepped up our organizing!  

---We’re planning Medicare For All Teach-Ins this spring, summer, and fall. Please help us reach and teach fellow Marylanders  and local groups (large and small) around the state. We’ve received some great feedback about the slide show and training and are making edits that will make this a very user friendly training. We have trainer guides, a toolkit, and experienced folks who can support anyone who would like to try their hand at this.  Given the growing public support for MFA, we have a chance this year to turn people’s concerns into action for healthcare justice. The Teach-Ins will help us do this. And you can be part of the effort! Contact at [email protected] or [email protected].  

---Local organizing to support City and County resolutions for M4A is also part of the state and national strategy to build grassroots public support.  

We had a big victory in Prince George’s County earlier this month. The Medicare for All Resolution CR-27-202 was passed unanimously by the Council. Congratulations and huge shout out to the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition (MPHC) and to its dedicated Prince George’s leaders and activists whose persistence paid off. Thanks as well to all the local PM members who signed the petition, submitted testimony,  and supported the work of the MPHC.  

Montgomery County activists: Help us win in MoCo! Start  by signing the petition to the MoCo Council asking them to pass a Medicare for All Resolution. We expect Council action in the next several weeks. Please share the petition with your family and friends. Ask groups that you’re a part of to sign an organizational letter of support. Contact Josh on how to get involved.

 

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland

Baltimore County/ Frederick County/ Western Maryland

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. 

Progressive Prince George’s

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus (Affiliate Chapter) our monthly meeting is the first Thursday of the month. Check our website for more.

 

State and National News:  

Eviction crisis in Maryland -- because state courts have opened up and are -- rapidly -- processing eviction requests using “rocket dockets” that make poorer tenants unable to defend themselves, county execs from big counties are demanding that Gov. Larry Hogan impose protections against eviction. Read more in our blog, updated several times, and in today’s latest advice from the Public Justice Center.

What is the Thrive Act and why do we need it? We have Biden’s infrastructure and family-support bills, and we know they will  be a heavy lift in this retrograde Senate. But the Thrive Act, which was introduced two weeks ago by legislators we know and trust, adds critical elements directly from  the Green New Deal and focuses on the frontline peoples otherwise downplayed in the Biden plan. Bringing these elements into the mix is just not something we can ignore as we move forward on the whole (incomplete) program. Read the fact sheet on the Thrive Act here.

 

Events from our allies:

All Week - People's Recovery Lobby Week

We have the opportunity to come together in unity and power to harness the strength of our intersections and make our collective voices heard. We're organizing a People’s Recovery Lobby Week during the week of May 17th where we will talk to our elected officials about a few bills that will have a bold and progressive impact on everyday people like ourselves. REGISTRATION LINK

Tuesday, May 18th @ 6PM - 8PM EST | CASA Teach In: 2021 Legislative Session Victories, Losses & Next Steps

Description: Just weeks ago, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned from their 90-day legislative session. Immigrant families and immigration reform advocates across the state organized and mobilized in extraordinary ways, producing victories in Annapolis that we have not seen in decades. Legislators voted to 1) end state and local partnership with ICE to detain immigrants (including existing IGSAs) 2) extend the earned income tax credit to immigrant taxpayers with ITINs 3) stop ICE from accessing the MVA (and other agencies') database 4) establish a Governor's Office of Immigrant Affairs...and so much more. Join this Teach-In on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 to learn more about the bills that passed this session, get your questions answered about what did/didn't pass, learn about the veto and veto override process, and next steps for getting key legislation to the finish line. Register here

Tuesday, May 18th @ 7PM EST | Stop Asian Hate Teach-In 

Targeted violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) is on the rise - particularly against women and the elderly. This is fueled by anti-Asian rhetoric and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic. Join People’s Action for a special town hall event on Anti-Asian Hate and learn from incredible organizers about how anti-Asian racism is deeply ingrained in this country and what it will take to keep our communities safe. Register 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].  

-Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, May 10, 2021

May 05, 2021 Looming eviction crisis as emergency ebbs brings multiple calls for official relief

May 04, 2021 Progressive Maryland launches PAC to back progressive candidates with the mother's milk of politics

-Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, May 3, 2021

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