Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, May 24, 2021

congress_bigger_bolder_nyt_ad_may_21.pngIt’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 health crisis and the economic reality of mass unemployment and underemployment, and the structural reality of systemic racism.

Been to a statewide COVID Forum? Attended a Justice Task Force event? Have you taken part in a local organizing meeting for a County Chapter or Fair Elections? Supported 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 Progressive Maryland member
This and much more in the Memo.

Happy birthday today (Monday) to Bob Dylan, an 80-year-old White folk singer who in 1963 wrote and recorded “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” about the 1963 beating death of a Black barmaid by a drunken and abusive young White man, son of a tobacco-wealthy Charles County, MD, family. Allies everywhere. And everywhen.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 

Been to a statewide COVID Forum? Attended a Justice Task Force event? Have you taken part in a local organizing meeting for a County Chapter or Fair Elections? Supported 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 Progressive Maryland 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 health crisis and the economic reality of mass unemployment and underemployment, and the structural reality of systemic racism. This and much more in the Memo.

Happy birthday today (Monday) to Bob Dylan, an 80-year-old White folk singer who in 1963 wrote and recorded “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” about the 1963 beating death of a Black barmaid by a drunken and abusive young White man, son of a tobacco-wealthy Charles County, MD, family. Allies everywhere. And everywhen.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 

In Solidarity,

The PM Team

Quick Actions:

George Floyd anniversary observances 

                                                    

 Tuesday, May 25 

An in-person 7pm | Interfaith vigil to commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd's death

At Bishops Square Park, 3600 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. The Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway, Senior Pastor, Union Baptist Church, will preside. Parking is available across the street from the park at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 3601 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.                         

In-person 6:30pm | Remembering George Floyd, Bridging Communities to Stop the Violence

Observance in Greenbelt, PG County; PG DSA a cosponsor. Meet outside Greenbelt Community Center (15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt 20770) for remembrances and then walk to the Spellman Overpass, a bridge over the Baltimore Washington Parkway, where we will display our signs to the traffic below. Community leaders confirmed for brief remarks: Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd; Martin Mitchell, president of PG Young Democrats; Krystal Oriadha, PG Change Makers.

   

Statewide Updates:

Statewide Justice Task Force

Canvass Training TODAY 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

 

Re-entry Work Group

Textbank TOMORROW Tuesday, May 25th - Join us to send texts tomorrow, May 25th at 6pm to Build Support for an Executive Office on Returning Citizens Affairs. Prince George’s County is home to tens of thousands of formerly incarcerated men and women. Returning citizens have immediate needs when first released, and many have long-term needs for resources and services. Despite these numbers, there is no central office to coordinate services for them as they seek to re-establish a productive life. This is why we are calling on our County leadership to take action––and this starts with contacting our neighbors to build support. 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.


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.

Progressive Maryland’s Healthcare Justice Campaign End Medical Debt:

Last Chance — Tell Governor Hogan to Pass the Medical Debt Protection Act!

Despite your many calls and emails, Governor Hogan did not sign the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 (HB565 / SB514) during his bill signing session last Tuesday. This means the Governor now has just 8 days left to sign this critical legislation into law. What is he waiting for? The Act passed the MGA with unanimous support. More importantly, Maryland patients need these basic protections. 

Join us in one final push to demand that Gov. Hogan sign the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021. 

(1) Call Gov. Hogan's office at 410-974-3901. Leave him a voicemail letting him know you're a Maryland voter and a strong supporter of the Medical Debt Protection Act (HB565 / SB514) —  urge him to sign the bill. 

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

Already taken these steps? Great! Leave the Governor another voicemail — then ask your family and friends to do the same!

Do you have a personal medical debt story you'd like to share? Please reach out to Lindsey ([email protected]

Finally, 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.

 

Fight COVID-19,  Fight For Vaccines:

Local:

As of the past weekend 45.1% of Maryland’s population is fully vaccinated. That’s welcome news but we still have a long way to go. We call on the Hogan Administration and state agencies to  fully support local government, community, faith, and non-profit groups as they work to bring the vaccine to undervaccinated areas and groups.  An equitable, grassroots response is still greatly needed to get more shots into more  arms of Marylanders.  Please continue to express support where you can (at community forums, meetings with elected officials, etc.)  for that kind of response.

Global:

We won’t end the pandemic here in Maryland or the U.S. until we end the pandemic everywhere. Vaccines are the most effective way to win this fight. Join us in the campaign for global vaccine equity. This pandemic requires a fully funded, well coordinated, public health focused response when it comes to vaccine distribution and allocation across the world. We can’t let Big PHARMA stand in the way of vaccine production especially as cases spike in places like India, Japan, Colombia and Chile. The vaccine recipes and the know-how necessary to scale up  vaccine supplies, most of which were developed using public funds, need to be widely shared and not monopolized  by drug companies. We campaigned with other advocates around the country to help convince the Biden Administration to back the TRPs waiver (at the WTO) which is a great first step but our country and other wealthy countries must do more. The fight for vaccine equity is a fight for racial and gender justice. To get involved contact Josh or Patty.

   

Win Medicare for All:

congress_bigger_bolder_nyt_ad_may_21.pngThe Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, 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. We need more of the Maryland Congressional delegation, including Senators Van Hollen and Cardin to sign on as co-sponsors and to join Reps. Sarbanes, Mfume, Brown, and Raskin in doing so.  That’s why we’re expanding our organizing!  

---We’re planning Medicare For All Teach-Ins!. Please help us reach and teach fellow Marylanders and local groups about the issue. We have prepared a user-friendly slide show, education materials, and trainer resources. These tools along with our experienced advocates  can be used to support anyone who would like to try their hand at this.  We have a chance this year to turn growing public support for Medicare For All (M4A)  into meaningful action. The Teach-Ins will help us do this. You can be part of the effort! Contact Malocolm or Josh at [email protected] or [email protected].  

This Thursday May 27th we’ve been invited to present the Teach-In to the Montgomery County Organizing meeting of the Maryland  Poor People’s Campaign. We appreciate this opportunity and if you’re interested in the event you can register here https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpd-6rrD8qHdLmqiWXtqVl-_8LUyIU_Vxm?link_id=5&can_id=abd82f5df413fe75a81f2897c7a1730f&source=email-md-ppc-weekly-update-3&email_referrer=email_1180033&email_subject=md-ppc-weekly-update

---Local organizing to support City and County resolutions for M4A is also part of the state and national strategy to win. We had a strong victory in Prince George’s County earlier this month when the Medicare for All Resolution CR-27-202 was passed unanimously by the Council. Now it’s time to win resolutions in more counties. In Montgomery County we have a petition for residents to sign and share. Want to help with outreach to Councilmembers and to other residents to build support? Contact Josh.

 

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland

Baltimore County/ Frederick County/ Western Maryland

Progressive Montgomery

Montgomery County Policing Update:

In an extremely disappointing move during this budget season, the County Council did not remove funding from the proposed Community Resource Officer (CRO) program in our schools, and did not introduce baseline funding for culturally competent, licenced clinical social workers (LCSWs) to replace armed police.

While the Council passed a motion asking for clarity on the proposed CRO program, we know that anything short of actually  ‘reimagining’ of removing  school police from schools will not address the problem of create safe schools. Progressive Maryland, and our allies with the Montgomery County Defund Policing & Invest In Communities Coalition, demand the full removal of police from Montgomery County Schools.

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.

 

Baltimore City

 

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. Gov. Hogan CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pnghas announced nearly $200 million more for rental assistance, taking credit for federal largesse that got zero GOP votes in Congress. But the courts have not stopped OKing evictions.

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.

Important actions this week: Thursday, June 3rd: Green New Deal Network THRIVE Day of Action [reach out to Kaniela ([email protected]) with questions]

Expansive programs looking shaky -- As the Thrive Act struggles for cosponsors and the big bills on wide-ranging infrastructure and family support get chipped away in a looks-like-vain attempt at gaining some minimal GOP support, the Old Guard of congressional appropriators are emerging like locusts from the damp underground to get money for, yep, roads and bridges. Child care and family support, not so much. As the Politico Playbook observes, “It ... is seeming more and more like certain elements of an infrastructure package will go through the more traditional route of the Transportation & Infrastructure bill and then other things that there isn't bipartisan agreement on might go through budget reconciliation.” 

So the scramble is for roads, bridges etc. Maryland’s seven Democratic House members are among them, requesting earmarks for local transportation improvements (yes, there is some walkability and bikeability included). Maryland Matters has the list. 

Meanwhile, the buccaneering Australian company controlling Interstate toll roads in Virginia has a built-in contractual hedge against losing toll revenue to mass transit that could keep the rehabbed American Legion bridge crossing the Potomac from including a rail line. The Ozzie behemoth Transurban that inserted that contract provision -- kept in the dark since 2007 -- is also the Hogan administration’s preferred pirate to build toll lanes on the Maryland part of the Beltway and I-270.

People’s Action’s D.C. team reports “The Senate this week will largely be focused on the Endless Frontier Act which Dem Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to move through the Senate... .” [We note: Ever since the Reagan administration deep-sixed the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (“industrial policy” and “picking winners” were among the knee-jerk comments) no real revamp of the federal approach to R&D institutionally has been looked at. The restructuring of federal relations with supported research groups like the National Science Foundation and others is deeply needed though some politicians’ urge to have an enemy means] “there is problematic anti-China rhetoric unnecessarily a part of this debate. And, Senator Bernie Sanders is working to advance a few amendments through the discussion to improve upon what's in there and/ or make some vital points about what's problematic. Sanders' proposed amendments are to: (a) impose conditions on companies receiving billions in Federal Government subsidies, (b) include the findings related to democracy in the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, (c) strike the findings and statement of policy provisions from the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 division, and (d) provide $50 million over 5 years to educate workers and retiring business owners on the benefits of employee ownership to prevent American jobs from being outsourced.”

 

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 is this still good???

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

 

Tomorrow -- Tuesday, May 25 | 11am -- a Discussion of Climate Action at the local government level sponsored by the National Academies of Science.  Webinar: Applied Research Topics for Hazard Mitigation and Resilience—Incorporating Future Climate Conditions into Local Actions: Data Gathering Workshop 2REGISTER HERE  Prince George’s Activists please note because your Climate Commission is about to make a report for Council consideration.

 

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.