Loading… A New Era: PM Weekly Memo for Monday, May 3, 2021
Progressive Maryland is proud to celebrate the successful launch of The New Era Political Action Committee (PAC), part of The New Era Project. This is the start of a political revolution here in Maryland. If you missed our big virtual launch this past weekend, see below for the event recording and ways you can still contribute.
We are getting ready for another busy month of organizing with both The Maryland People’s Leadership Institute (MPLI) and The New Era PAC underway! This month also symbolizes our solidarity with union workers with multiple important International Workers’ Day events this past weekend and the important PRO Act to support workers’ rights. This and much more in the memo.
- Support our New Era PAC
- Help pass the PRO Act by calling your Senator at 866-832-1560 - here’s some talking points & more info
- Support our campaigns and organizing! Become a full member of Progressive Maryland
- Join us on Slack to continue the conversation
*We have a New Member Welcome Meeting this month on Tuesday, May 11th. If you are not yet a full member, make sure to join before then so you can attend the meeting!*
New Era PAC
If you missed our fantastic launch event filled with incredible speakers and great music, don’t fret! You can watch the Facebook Livestream recording here. You can also continue to contribute to this effort of electing progressive leaders across our state - any contribution makes a big difference! Donate now.
Progressive Maryland’s People’s Leadership Institute
Progressive Maryland is excited that its MPLI program is underway. Check out the article in Maryland Matters about our 2021 training and cohort participants. And meet our 2021 Spring Cohort!
The MPLI is supported with programming from People’s Action, PM’s national affiliate; the Working Families Party, of which PM is a chapter; and by a number of Progressive Maryland’s state affiliates like CASA, SEIU 1199, and the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Educators Associations. Everyone at PM is excited to work with nationally recognized trainers who will be providing their expertise at many of the sessions. These movement strategists and campaign veterans include Nigel Tann, Kwesi Chappin, Vidal Hines, Amaris Leon, and Ted Fertik.
Progressive Maryland signed onto Baltimore Renters United’s campaign to kill the predatory Security Deposit Alternatives bill (Baltimore City Council Bill 21-0022), and will host a phonebank this Thursday, May 6 from 6-8PM. During a time of crisis and mass evictions, the Security Deposit Alternatives bill poses a significant risk to renters by promoting predatory “insurance” products, which would only create more barriers to access housing and heavier financial burdens for tenants. During our phonebank we will ask Baltimore City residents to call their city councilperson, to tell them to support a veto of this bill. Check out this article from the Baltimore Brew for some background about this bill.
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
It's been nearly a month since the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 (HB 565 / SB514) passed out of the General Assembly with unanimous support, but the bill is still waiting on a signature from Governor Larry Hogan to become law.
Supporters of this critical legislation have sent hundreds of emails to the Governor urging him to sign the bill. It's time to do even more.
Join Progressive Maryland and End Medical Debt Maryland for a virtual phone bank TOMORROW, Tuesday May 4 from 6–8pm. We'll call Marylanders across the state and patch them through to Gov. Hogan's office to leave voicemails asking him to listen to the will of his constituents and sign the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 into law.
Never participated in a phone bank before? Don't worry! We'll go over the software and script together before we start making calls, and we'll check in with one another throughout the process.
You can sign on here to show your support for the End Medical Debt Maryland campaign and receive occasional email updates. Please contact Lindsey Muniak ([email protected]) with any questions or to learn how to get more involved.
Global vaccine inequity is keeping hundreds of countries and millions of people from getting access to life saving vaccines. The world still needs billions more shots this year. We must address this crisis and make sure that the vaccine supply and vaccination rates start to go up dramatically, especially in the global south. It’s the humanitarian thing to do and the most effective action to take in order to end the pandemic. Join us in pressuring the WTO (World Trade Organization) to issue a patent waiver (known as TRIPs) at its meeting this week. Come to a rally this Wednesday May 5 at 2:00 in D.C. to support global equity. Here's the event. (wear a mask and use physical distancing)
We’re sending postcards to the White House: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/send-a-postcard-to-the-white-house urging the President to stand up to Big Pharma and push the WTO to temporarily waive patents; to call for sharing production know-how; and fund vaccine production and distribution.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Vaccine Week of Action last week and for helping us get physical postcards written and sent to the White House. Vaccines protect and save lives which is leading public health experts all over the world to call on the United States government to help bring down the barriers to manufacturing and distributing vaccines. We need to make our voices heard on this vital racial justice and public health issue. If you want to help, please contact Josh or Patty.
Medicare for All:
The Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, has been introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal. 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. Four members from Maryland’s U.S. House Delegation, Representatives Raskin, Mfume, Sarbanes and Brown have signed as co-sponsors. 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 kicked off the first of a series of Medicare For All Teach-Ins on April 22. Thanks to all our members and supporters who attended. If you would like to learn more about the Teach-Ins and get involved please contact Malcolm at [email protected] or [email protected] Stay tuned for details about the next Teach-Ins which will take place in late May and early June.
--There are promising new developments on Medicare at the Federal level. Several progressive Democratic lawmakers are asking the Biden-Harris Administration to include changes to the Medicare program as part of their proposed American Families Plan. The changes would reduce the Medicare eligibility age, expand Medicare benefits to include dental, hearing and vision care and implement drug price negotiation powers which would result in significant savings. Hats off to Senators Van Hollen and Cardin who have signed on to a letter that calls for these measures that will bolster Medicare. A strong case for this action is laid out here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/04/bernie-sanders-medicare-expansion-eligibility-covid
--Local organizing to support City and County resolutions for M4A is also part of our strategy to build grassroots public support.
Prince George’s County supporters:The Medicare for All Resolution CR-27-2021 passed in the Committee of the Whole with some language changes and amendments. References to Medicare For All remain throughout the text so local activists consider the action to be real progress. A vote of the full Council is expected soon. You can show your support by signing this petition to the Council asking them to pass the Resolution. Contact Josh or Patty or Kendall at [email protected] for more information.
Montgomery County activists: You can help 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 sign and share the petition and ask groups that you’re a part of to sign an organizational letter of support. Individuals and groups who live in or who are doing work in the MoCo portion of CD-6 are especially needed. Contact Josh on how to get involved.
Everyone: If you’d like to support or learn about how to start a campaign where you live please get in touch.You can help us build support across the state through a local resolution campaign, a petition or email campaign directed at Members of Congress, or by helping to organize a Medicare For All teach-in.
Local Chapter Updates:
-The next Southern Maryland Chapter Meeting will be on Tuesday, May 11, from 6-7pm - RSVP here.
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.
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:
From our friends at #MEAction Maryland:
There’s very good news in the fight against Long COVID! In late April the COVID-19 Long Haulers Act was introduced in the United States House. The bill focuses on ways to improve the Long COVID patient experience by educating the public and clinicians about Long COVID, by synthesizing research on symptoms and treatments, and by supporting recommendations on how to improve the health care system’s response to long-term symptoms of COVID–19. A one-pager on the bill is available here, and legislative text will be posted here as soon as it is finalized. To learn more about this urgent topic check out this coverage from the PBS NewsHour.
We struggle sometimes to find the right words & phrases to help our progressive vocabulary of change fit into the everyday discourse we need for effective outreach. This keyword list from "Words that Win" in harness with our comrades at People's Action can be helpful toward regularizing the non-reformist reforms that help families immediately and let them know who helped them.
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 last week 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:
Wednesday, May 5 | 2-4pm | Free The Vaccine Rally at 4th & Madison SW, National Mall in DC
We know governments can do much more to end the global pandemic, including sharing vaccine recipes and helping the world make billions more doses. Join us May 5th in Washington, DC for a Rally for a People’s Vaccine and to call on the Biden administration to ensure urgent access to safe and effective COVID-19 treatments and vaccines for everyone, everywhere.
Saturday, May 8 | National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day
Join us as we mobilize on May 8th in the name of John Lewis at one of over 125 events across the nation to amplify the critical need to pass HR1/S1: For The People Act, HR4: The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and HR51/S51: the Washington DC Admissions Act (DC Statehood).
Maryland and Washington D.C. events: Demand action to protect the freedom to vote: Pass S1 and HR4. Let’s speak out against voter suppression and make government officials hear our voices! Join the events with the For The People Act-Maryland Coalition in Baltimore, Silver Spring Annapolis, Marriottsville, and Washington DC. Progressive Maryland has signed on to the For The People Act.
Saturday, May 8 | 7:30pm | DC Labor Chorus 23rd Annual Spring Sing-Along Concert
Join the DC Labor Chorus for a virtual celebration of spring with some of our favorite songs! The chorus has chosen the best sing-along songs from their 23-year repertoire — some of your old faves as well as new songs inspired by recent events. Join on Zoom or livestream on Facebook! Free, but donations gratefully accepted.
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].
April 14, 2021 Wins on police reform, plus lots more to do -- a report
Maryland Coalition for Justice & Police Accountability (MJCPA), advocates and individuals impacted by police brutality, celebrate the successful organizing that has advanced police transparency and accountability, but say Maryland’s historic police reform package still does not meet the moment. That moment -- when George Floyd's memory is being defiled by the desperate defense of Derek Chauvin while more Black people die at police hands in seemingly every news cycle -- required more from our Assembly than they delivered, and will require more from Progressive Maryland activists and allies to meet these still-dangerous moments coming every day.
We need to prepare for the next phase and push for COVID relief and for healthcare for all. Please come to the Healthcare Task Force (HCTF) meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 13, at 7pm for this important discussion. The meeting will give us a chance to talk about how we can keep making progress toward greater equity, access and justice in our healthcare system. RSVP HERE
Spending for social needs, which was pretty much on hold during the Trump administration, is back on the table this spring and suddenly the schedule is everything. In an excellent roundup from People's Action's campaigns director Sondra Youdelman, we see that timelines for work in the House and Senate are complicated by juggling both the Biden admin's budget, which has huge increases for education, health and the environment, and the big infrastructure bill, which demonstrates how social needs and the transportation, power grid and broadband deficiencies are deeply intertwined. Activists are going to have to learn fast and follow the back-and-forth of events almost daily to know when to put our muscle to work to keep this legislation oriented toward people and not corporations and the rich.
From the Diamondback student newspaper, a bill passed this week by House and Senate in the General Assembly is favored by a union organizing workers at numerous campuses because it would enable one master agreement with the University System of Maryland.
>>Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org.