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Happy AAPI Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month everyone! This May, we celebrate and honor the rich history, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Jewish Americans to our society. As we mark these important observances, we are reminded of the power of grassroots organizing and the importance of building solidarity across communities. We remain committed to highlighting the voices of those often left out of mainstream narratives and working to create a more inclusive and welcoming society for all.

 

So, let's celebrate this month by taking action and standing in solidarity with our communities. Read on for important updates on our chapter work and issue campaigns, as well as concrete actions you can take to make a difference. Together, we can build a better future for all.



 

Happy AAPI Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month everyone! This May, we celebrate and honor the rich history, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Jewish Americans to our society. As we mark these important observances, we are reminded of the power of grassroots organizing and the importance of building solidarity across communities. We remain committed to highlighting the voices of those often left out of mainstream narratives and working to create a more inclusive and welcoming society for all.

 

So, let's celebrate this month by taking action and standing in solidarity with our communities. Read on for important updates on our chapter work and issue campaigns, as well as concrete actions you can take to make a difference. Together, we can build a better future for all.

 

In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team

Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

  • PM task forces & issue campaigns: HCTF, EJTF & RCTF
  • Local chapter updates: Harford County & PG County
  • State & National news

Updates: PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns 

Healthcare Justice Campaign 

One of the biggest obstacles thousands of us face when it comes to getting health care is the health insurance industry. That’s right, the companies holding our health plans often stand in the way! That’s because monthly premiums are too high for too many families, individuals and lots of small businesses who are trying to provide health benefits to their workers. Some policymakers in our state like to  point to our low rate of uninsured residents and boast that we’re in good shape. We agree that it’s generally better to have more people with health coverage policies than without given how  our current system is set up. But it’s wrong to say that we’re in good shape! Not when everyday people are so underinsured that they avoid medical appointments and treatment because of steep co-pays and deductibles. To make matters worse, more and more people are having their claims denied or are being turned down for Rx drugs, tests, and procedures that medical professionals are telling them they need. Health insurance companies should not be denying care! It’s time to fight back! It’s time for Care Over Cost! Take a minute to sign our petition.

 

Help us bring this critical campaign to communities across the state this summer and fall. You can sign up for a door knocking shift, take our healthcare issues survey, and send Patty a note to get involved. If you have had a bad experience appealing a claim denial, share your story here.

Returning Citizens Task Force

Progressive Maryland’s Returning Citizens Task Force meeting on Tuesday, May 2 featured a talk by Dr. Felix Martinez-Sanchez – a lecturer at Howard University and a community-liaison police officer in Riverdale in Prince George's.  His talk focused on the acute housing crisis facing the immigrant population of the community (80% Latino) in which four families – parents and children alike -- often share a single one-bedroom apartment, one bathroom amongst all, sheets dividing rooms affording individuals no privacy at all.  Even in these conditions, the tenants often face rising rents which work barely covers, with the danger of homelessness a constant threat if they fall behind in payments. As a result, children are often left to fend for themselves, out on the streets. Such circumstances mean far too many fall afoul of the law, getting arrested, having a criminal record, then making a way out of such conditions even harder. 

 

The ten RCTF members who attended the virtual meeting all felt the urgency of the problems and the need to refocus on our energy in addressing the lack of housing opportunities many returning citizens face as a particular need that must be addressed as part of the larger problem of lack of affordable housing in Prince George’s. Two members (Alfreida and Kurt) gave a report to the RCTF meeting about a discussion that had with Council Member Ed Burroughs who reaffirmed his commitment to support for returning citizens and, in particular, the building of a pre-release transitional house in the County and an all-women’s transitional home.

 

Additionally, Alfrieda reported on the first successful project of the newly formed John R Lewis Reentry Reform Services – a pilot everyday leadership class held for at-risk youth.  The program was successful, a subsequent one will be held for youth and for returning citizens.  More information will be provided in a subsequent update.

 

Our next RCTF meeting will be held via zoom on Tuesday, May 16 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Contact Kurt for more details.

Environmental Justice Task Force

On Monday, April 24th SirJames and members of the Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) testified at the Department of Public Works hearing at Arlington Elementary. 

 

SirJames and EJTF brought attention to the lack of an endgame for Bresco trash incinerator in the 192-page solid waste draft, as its contract is set to expire in 2031. SirJames and Mikal, a South Baltimore community member that lives in Cherry Hill, testimonies spurred reporter Mark Reutter to quote them in the Baltimore Brew--"Pollution from the BRESCO incinerator "likely to continue ..."

 

The EJTF is gearing up for a high-level campaign planning meeting in early June next: higher leverage strategies to hold elected officials accountable to closing the 38-year Bresco incinerator will be revealed. If you would like to take action against this incinerator and engage the EJTF reach out to SirJames.

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Harford County 

Don't forget to sign up for Progressive Harford's next chapter meeting on May 15 at 7 p.m. on Zoom

Progressive Prince George's 

State and National News:

Larry Hogan has for now ruled himself out of the contest to take the seat of departing Sen. Ben Cardin. Even in a state where he remained inexplicably popular despite his many policies that disadvantage working families and the poor, he may have realized that the data would catch up to him, as we see in the first story below about the Bay's decline on his watch.

We'll see if he continues to resist the temptation.

 

Meanwhile, see our whole News You Can Use roundup for this week, including People's Action fed watcher Megan E.'s thorough take on the stakes in the MAGA GOP's playing around with a default on the national debt. It’s News You Can Use for this fast-moving time. Don’t miss it!

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Progressive Maryland
P.O. Box 6988
Largo, MD 20792

woody woodruff

About

M.A. and Ph.d. from University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism, would-be radical, sci-fi fan... retired to a life of keyboard radicalism...