Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 15, 2021

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Thank you for your ongoing support! Today’s Memo has updates, calls to action, news about our upcoming events, and ways to stay involved. We hope you’ll continue to support our issue campaigns and check out our opportunities to volunteer for the 2022 elections!

 

Thanks for being in this together.

 

In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team



Thank you for your ongoing support! Today’s Memo has updates, calls to action, news about our upcoming events, and ways to stay involved. We hope you’ll continue to support our issue campaigns and check out our opportunities to volunteer for the 2022 elections!

Thanks for being in this together.

In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team

Become a donating member of PM:

Our members power our work! 

Progressive Maryland is organizing at the grassroots level for economic, social and political justice. We have a chance for our message and our policy priorities to break through now and in the coming months in Washington and Annapolis. Help us gain more ground by becoming a member of Progressive Maryland.

Our members strengthen our grassroots organizing and through their financial support help us reach Marylanders all over the state. In turn, PM provides its members important updates, invitations to some great leadership and political training sessions, and opportunities to help guide our chapter building, our issue and electoral priorities and other decisions. Join today so we can build a better Maryland.

Quick Actions:

 

  • Tell Congress to act: pass the Build Back Better Act now! Call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your representative

 

Statewide Updates:

📣 Event Alert — Meet the 2022 Candidates Transforming Maryland Politics!  📣 

Join us this Wednesday, November 17th at 6:00pm EST for the virtual launch of the inaugural Progressive Maryland Working Families Party Slate. The 2022 elections are coming up fast, and it’s time to rally behind the candidates running on the progressive values we share. We can’t wait to introduce you to the phenomenal leaders ready to shake up Maryland politics in 2022! 

RSVP here to join us Wednesday evening and build a path toward a better future 

 

Throwdown Thursdays 

Phonebank and text bank voters across the state with our team every Thursday at 6pm. We’ve activated folks on key issues, and now we’re going to talk to them about the  2022  elections including a special election taking place in January! We need your help to get progressives elected.  Click this link to let us know you’re coming! You’ll have fun and meet fellow Marylanders.

Want to volunteer with our  election team? We need you! We’re recruiting folks who can knock on doors, make phone calls, distribute literature, and talk to voters. We’ll provide training and support. Every day matters and each and every conversation and volunteer will make a difference. Please Contact Yves or email us today at [email protected] to sign up.

 

Drug Policy Campaign

Our Drug Policy Taskforce is working to demand that Congress pass the MAT Act (Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment) which will allow folks suffering from substance use disorder easier access to lifesaving treatment like Buprenorphine. Email Jesse if you want to learn more at [email protected].

 

Healthcare Justice Campaign

End Medical Debt Maryland

Thanks to your help, End Medical Debt Maryland passed the Medical Debt Protection Act of 2021 earlier this year! This legislation established some important protections for Maryland patients, but there’s much work left to be done. We’re working to pass comprehensive medical billing reform, educate Marylanders on their rights as patients, and eliminate barriers to healthcare. Will you join us? Sign on to join our coalition 

 

Prescription Drug Pricing, Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

The Build Back Better Act will provide real financial relief for seniors and families by lowering prescription drug prices, expanding  child care to millions of children, and providing paid family and medical leave. Call your Member of Congress today at (202) 225-2121 and tell them to say no to Big PhRMA and yes to building back better for everyday Marylanders. Want to get involved in our healthcare work? Please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

 

Fighting COVID

We need a just and equitable recovery from the pandemic. Tell our state leaders we need to address the needs of workers and all who have been affected by this devastating public health crisis.

 

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Baltimore County: 

In case you missed it — listen to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney Candidate Forum!

 

Progressive Harford County: 

Progressive Harford County is hosting weekly happy hours before heading to the Harford County Council hearings on Tuesday evenings. All can attend, regardless of age. RSVP here and we’ll email you the location and time of the happy hour. You can also check out the calendar on our website for more upcoming events!

Progressive Harford County is recruiting candidates to support during the 2022 elections. If you're interested in running for office, fill out our form and we'll contact you about supporting your campaign.

 

Progressive Montgomery:

Help us build our voter outreach efforts! We’re seeking MoCo folks who want to get involved in local organizing for 2022. Contact [email protected] if you’re interested. 

 

Anne Arundel Fair Elections Taskforce:

Want to help get big money out of Anne Arundel County politics? Join the Fair Elections Task Force to textbank tonight (November 15) at 6:00pm. You can also attend our next Task Force meeting on Tuesday November 30th at 6:30pm.

 

Progressive Prince George's:

Activists get more done when we work together! "Prince George's Deserves Better" and we can make it happen. Contact PM organizer DaJuan at [email protected] to get involved.

 

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus:

The Maryland General Assembly is seeking public input on redistricting for our state legislative and congressional/federal election districts. Your public comments will have a direct impact on how our state and federal legislative districts will look for the next ten years. For this reason, several community leaders, organizations, and concerned Eastern Shore residents have come together to form Chesapeake for Redistricting A Better Maryland (CRAB MD). Join us and add your voice!



State and National News:

Maryland news: Working families in Maryland still struggle with issues like child care and off-and-on regimes for in-person schooling complicated by school transportation issues: bus driver shortages. And every time renters look over their shoulders, the burden of rebalancing the uncertainties of eviction cascades and erratic rental assistance seems to fall on them. 

Child care is in short supply because the former workers have moved on to take advantage of the higher wages – and benefits – in other sectors, and the Maryland State Department of Education, which oversees them, is scrambling. “Although 97% of licensed child care providers are open, around half are operating with half as many children as they had, which makes it even more difficult to pay for fixed costs and other expenses,” Maryland Matters reports. And although child care costs are “usually the second or third largest household expense for families, according to the Maryland Family Network” and can outstrip what family members can earn, a scholarship program run by the state is stumbling, the report says. Child care center operators complain that MSDE is “piling on” ore regulatory requirements instead of making it easier for the centers to survive the bumpy environment.

Families hope to go back to work once their children are back in actual school but because school bus drivers are poorly paid they, too, have been lured by the wages and benefits of other sectors. Drivers’ “average starting salary is considerably less than any other commercial driver license holder,” and state lawmakers are worried and holding hearings. Around 75% of Maryland public school students use school buses as their main source of transportation to school, but only three county systems report having a driver for4 every bus in a patchwork where some counties own their own fleets and others have contractors. New hires are slowed by what drivers and systems call a clogged system at the state MVA for commercial driver license tests. The state and county systems are talking to one another more effectively by all appearances and scrambling to raise wages for drivers, but reliable school hours for parents who need them are only slowly coming into line.

Working families with children, struggling to manage bumps in school arrangements and get back to work safely, have the additional worry of keeping a roof over childrens’ and adults’ heads, as well. Maryland, like all too many states, fumbled early use of federal money intended for rental assistance and to keep evictions at bay.  “State and local leaders struggled to ramp up their rental relief programs — and now a major deadline looms. Maryland’s U.S. senators have warned that the state may be at risk of losing key federal funding,” says another Maryland Matters report. – though they feel the state has dodged the bullet. Still, “As much as $1.2 billion in unobligated funds could be taken back from underperforming state and local governments, according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. … and Maryland is among the state governments that didn’t meet that 30% Treasury benchmark by the end of September, having spent 26% of its allocation by then.” Today (Nov. 15) is the deadline for showing the feds that enough money is out the door to keep Maryland from losing any of its allocation. 

Evictions are still happening, just under cover of other, sexier news. Low-income Maryland renters fear becoming part of the casualty list as Goldman Sachs projects three quarters of a million families evicted for nonpayment nationally by the end of 2021, as the financial mag The Economist reported in mid-October. The New York Times reports that eviction is not the “tsunami” that was feared. “Instead, what’s emerging is a more gradual eviction crisis that is increasingly hitting communities across the country, especially those where the distribution of federal rental assistance has been slow, and where tenants have few protections. …

“Most tenants are forced to leave their rental units not because of formal eviction proceedings, but because they’ve been illegally locked out or their utilities have been shut off, or because they want to avoid an eviction being added to their record by leaving on their own.,” the Times account continues. And the profit motive is strong: “...even now, experts say, the available numbers dramatically undercount the number of tenants being forced from their homes either through court-ordered evictions or informal ones, especially as rising rents make seeking new tenants increasingly profitable for landlords.” When new tenants move in, The Economist also noted, is the moment that rents routinely rise.

 

AND speaking of help for working families: Today, Monday, November 15, marks the last day for eligible Maryland households to apply for the 2021 Child Tax Credit. If you apply today, you are still able to receive each missed payment, which is up to $1,800 per child under 6 and $1,500 per child over 6, on December 15, right before the year ends. Any remaining amount not received this year can be claimed when you file your taxes in 2022 [message from Congressional electeds]

 

National Update: President Joe B was to sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill Monday afternoon at 3, right around our deadline for this Memo, so we’ll consider it done. More interestingly, a former mayor who was in the trenches bringing New Orleans back from the sudden shock and slow, slow recovery from Katrina will be point person on getting the most out of the ~$1.2 trillion in that (smaller) big bill. That would be Mitch Landrieu.

From Megan Essaheb at People’s Action: “The House and the Senate were in recess last week and will be back in session this week. As a reminder, the conservative Democrats promised in this statement to vote for the Build Back Better Act this week so long as the fiscal information released from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is consistent with the numbers they have seen. CBO is out with some new numbers though they will not have a complete final score this week. According to the statement, we expect that the CBO information will be enough for the conservative Democrats but we will see. National Economic Council Director Brian Deese indicated Sunday that the White House still expects a vote on the bill in the House this week. If the latest data from CBO indicates that the bill has a cost (is not budget neutral or has a surplus), there will likely be changes to make it so.

Meanwhile the Senate parliamentarian has to rule on whether the BBB bill is all budget, as required for passage without danger of filibuster. “After House passage, Senator Schumer will begin debate on the bill, which could take many days depending on how long  Republicans will delay with procedural fights.” Any guesses Monday about which Dem senators will or won’t vote for it will probably change tomorrow, so we’ll just say keep the pressure on. Under the posturing of electeds, the corporations are greedily busy – PA and allies demonstrated at Goldman Sachs last week.  “The groups focused on Goldman Sachs as a proxy for the corporations spending millions to tank popular, progressive provisions in the social spending package that would deliver direct assistance to struggling people,” Essaheb reported. 


Events From Our Allies: 

 Tonight! Monday, Nov. 15 at 7:00pm (virtual) — The Maryland Poor People’s Campaign hosts its monthly statewide meeting, RSVP here.

 

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 10:00am–2:00pm (Washington, D.C.) — Our allies at People for the American Way, the League of Women Voters, Black Voters Matter, the Declaration for American Democracy, and the Democracy Initiative are hosting a No More Excuses Rally in Washington, D.C. to call on President Biden to pass urgent federal voting rights legislation. 

 

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 12:30pm–1:30pm (virtual) — The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition – our End Medical Debt Maryland coalition partner! – is hosting a Healthcare Town Hall with Senator Chris Van Hollen and Maryland State Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. You can tune in to the event livestream here.

 

Various Dates & Locations (in-person and virtual) — Join the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment at one of their upcoming Community Meetings to discuss their Climate Action Plan. You can find dates and locations for the upcoming public meetings here

 

Saturday, Nov. 20  — We observe the national Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the memory of the many transgender people whose lives have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Join Baltimore Safe Haven, Bmore Blxck, and FreeState Justice in Baltimore this Saturday afternoon to honor the lives of our fallen siblings. 

 

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, November 8, 2021

We’ve had a busy start to November and we can’t let up until Congress votes to pass the Build Back Better budget deal, the Freedom To Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  

November 03, 2021 — "We should never stop learning" — a teacher's journey to respect diversity in the classroom

"[It's easy to fall for the] myth that the fight for LGBTQIA rights was only about protecting wealthy white people like Caitlyn Jenner. I discovered the irony of this false narrative when I started to investigate …a deep dive into human history reveals just how fluid the idea of gender has always been in cultures around the world.”

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 1, 2021

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 25, 2021

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 18, 2021

Progressive Maryland's Executive Director Larry Stafford Jr. highlights the pro-urban and pro-Baltimore elements embedded in President Biden's Build Back Better plan. It's important to keep it intact as GOP indifference and some neolib Democrats want to dismantle it. Protecting it is vital, for Baltimore, for Maryland and for democracy. 

 

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