The efforts of activists and volunteers have given us a window to better days, an effective campaign to defeat and recover from COVID-19 and bring relief -- and improved living and working conditions -- for all people, especially those left out during the "good old days" that were good only for the privileged.
Now the task is to push that window wide open and make government work for everyone. Join Progressive Maryland, as Thanksgiving approaches, in gratitude for the narrow escape that we fought for and won, and the chance for improvements that last. If we fight for them.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 9, 2020
From Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford Jr. -- “Thank you for voting! Thanks to all our volunteers who helped us contact, inform, and turn out voters for elections across the state.” (plus anything Larry or Christianne add…)
Progressive Maryland will as always be pushing the winners in last week’s election to benefit working families, not profiteers. Join us to keep Maryland and the nation on a path to fairness and justice. And save the date for a Progressive Maryland virtual statewide membership Annual Meeting January 9.
The General Assembly begins the 2021 Session on January 13. The operating procedures that will be in place,
Operating instructions for the 2021 General Assembly session beginning Jan. 13 ”represent a dramatic departure from how the chambers normally conduct their business.” Maryland Matters has reported. “They resemble in some ways the restrictions that were rushed into place in March, as the state’s infection rate ticked upward during what turned out to be the closing days of the 2020 session.” One new feature due to the precautions: Bottom line: access for the public will be severely restricted. More here.
Statewide Justice Task Force Meeting - Postponed from 11/12 to next Thursday, 11/19 at 5:30pm. RSVP here.
Supreme Court ACA Case; California v. Texas
Progressive Maryland will join our national affiliate People’s Action and other national organizations at a rally tomorrow morning, Tuesday November 10 at 9:00 am in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Please join us if you can. RSVP for the event here https://secure.everyaction.com/FdYtk-GDTESKXAmGlbjh_Q2
We’re concerned that the Trump stacked court could overturn ACA coverage and its protections around pre-existing conditions.
COVID cases are rising to dramatic new levels, setting records for infection and putting more people in the hospital. During the biggest public health crisis our country has seen in decades we need more health care for more people, not less. But this important case brought by Republican officials and backed by Trump could result in about 20 million people losing care. More than 135 million people benefit from pre-existing condition protections (and this number is growing rapidly as COVID cases rise) and the Court could reach a ruling that removes those protections. And prescription drug corporations would receive a massive tax break from the repeal amounting to $2.8 billion annually and the richest households in Maryland and the country would also see a windfall. All this at a time when we need tax dollars for COVID and economic relief. There is a potential negative implication for Medicare For All, which we support, should the Court rule the ACA unconstitutional.
November 12-13 - Meeting the Moment: Building a more resilient nation (a virtual gathering), hosted by the Progressive Caucus Action Fund and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. Click to register; there’s a great line-up of speakers expected, including People’s Action director George Goehl, who plans to discuss our deep canvassing efforts. All member group leaders, advocates and grassroots activists are invited to participate.
The United States has now surpassed ten million cases of Coronavirus; hospitalizations and deaths are rising. Please take a moment today to think about the people whose lives have been lost and the people whose lives have been impacted. Congress must pass another strong package of relief measures and funding. President-elect Biden needs to share his plan and start putting together a team and set of measures that can deal more effectively and responsibly with the pandemic than the Trump Administration has. In Maryland, we need to do our part. Everyone needs to mask up, keep physical distancing, wash hands frequently and to avoid as much as possible indoor activities. This will help reduce the spread of the virus. If you need help with COVID related circumstances please contact one of our organizers, Malcolm Heflin at [email protected] or Patty Snee at [email protected]
Governor Hogan and the General Assembly must do more to increase the state’s response so that it can better meet the health and economic problems we face.
We’re confronting a number of pandemic related problems: the significant racial disparities in COVID cases and health outcomes, thousands of renters on the brink of eviction, and far too many unemployed residents still not receiving UI benefit payments due to all the processing problems in the system. And yet the Governor does not regularly communicate with residents, community groups, and local officials about how he’s managing the crisis. This has led to a great deal of confusion when it comes to developing protocols and policies that will keep residents and communities safe. We also think it’s past time our Governor expresses tangible support for our public school teachers and public workers. We need empathy, support, and leadership from the Governor. Please sign and share this petition to Governor Hogan TODAY.
The United States has surpassed ten million cases of Coronavirus; hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise. Congress needs to pass another package of relief measures and funding. In Maryland, Governor Hogan and the General Assembly need to step up the state’s response to have it meet the crisis at the scale it needs.
Politico reports -- “Pandemic on course to overwhelm U.S. health system before Biden takes office,”
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
Baltimore County -- Supporters and community leaders are applauding the passage of Question A, a Baltimore County Charter Amendment to establish the Citizens’ Election Fund and Commission. As of 10 AM on Saturday, November 7th, the unofficial vote count for the Baltimore County elections has Question A passing with 55.7% of the vote, outpacing the “against” votes by nearly 30,000 votes. This is a monumental step forward towards more inclusive, fair, and representative campaigns in Baltimore County. Progressive Maryland organizers joined other pro-democracy advocate groups to support this first move to democratize the county’s increasingly expensive elections and get big money out of politics in Baltimore County.
Victory in school board and judge races
- In District 1, we re-elected Progressive David Murray to the Board of Education.
- In District 4, we prevailed against a powerful incumbent and elected Shayla Adams-Stafford to the Board of Education. With Shayla on the Board, we will increase teacher salaries, remove SROs from schools, and end the school-to-prison pipeline.
- In District 5, we re-elected Progressive Raaheela Ahmed to the Board of Education
- In District 7, we elected Kenneth Harris, who will expand universal pre-K, increase teacher salaries, and remove SROs, to the Board of Education.
- In District 8, we re-elected Progressive Ed Burroughs to the Board of Education.
- In the county-wide circuit court judge race, we elected Gladys Weatherspoon, who has spent her career fighting back against injustice and working to protect the rights of marginalized people.
Progressive Prince George’s Post-Election Stats:
- 30 volunteers in total completed a phonebank shift and/or poll canvassing shift
- 22 canvassing shifts at the polls completed by Progressive Maryland volunteers during Early Voting and Election Day
- 5,721 total calls into District 4 made between 9/23-10/28
Activist organizations, including Progressive Montgomery, campaigned successfully against Montgomery County’s Question B, an austerity charter amendment that would have capped local taxes and severely impaired the county’s ability to support public services. Montgomery County Question B (prohibit override of property-tax limit) • For: 118,543; • Against: 166,169
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES STATEWIDE
Saturday Nov 14 is the deadline to sign up for the 2021 cohort of Emerge Maryland, which seeks Democratic women who are committed to effective political leadership and are interested in running for elective office and who have: Evidence of political leadership experience or potential, and meaningful involvement in workplace or community; Interest in running for political office. -- see more here including application materials
Wednesday Nov 18 | 6:30-8:30
The newly ratified Prince George’s Branch of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America will introduce ourselves to our fellow Prince George’s and Maryland progressives in a virtual outreach event. Join us for speakers and workshops focused on ending the school to prison pipeline, on housing, health care, police accountability, progressive legislation, imagining a different community. For Zoom link, click here
Tuesday, Nov 17 | 6 PM and Thursday, Nov 19 | 2 PM
Virtual reports and analysis (6 PM Nov. 17) and panel on building an antiracist state budget in the 2021 General Assembly session (2 PM Nov. 18) presented by the Maryland Center on Economic Policy. Info and registration at link.
Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blog posts are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at [email protected]
November 03, 2020 VOTE TODAY. And vote informed
Nearly 2.3 million Marylanders have voted in early voting or by mail. If you or someone you know were not among them, today is the day to put a bow on it. Safely. Aware of scams.
Even if you are not registered you can make your voice heard today by casting a ballot. See how, and more, below. Updated with scam warnings.
Election Day is tomorrow -- an election in the midst of a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic that is Topic A in the political discussion. Nationally and even locally we may have to defend a complete count. Let's be alert. As always, the PM Weekly Memo has what you need for the week -- pandemic info, voting info, our endorsed candidates and details about how progressives plan to win, defend democracy -- and govern. Read on.
October 28, 2020 Where is it easiest (and hardest) to vote? Where is Maryland?
Maryland's barriers to voting are few compared to some other states, but that doesn't mean we should be complacent. And in states where voting IS hard, we might consider how to help our friends and their neighbors get their votes counted. See where our state falls in the rankings, easiest to hardest.
Progressive Marylanders: Early voting statewide begins TOMORROW – Monday, October 26 – and continues through November 2, the day before Election Day November 3. It includes Saturday (Oct. 31) and Sunday (Nov. 1) and runs from 7 AM to 8 PM in most locations. On how to vote, and who Progressive Maryland is backing, read on...
October 12, 2020 Fines, fees dog returning citizens here -- not just in Florida
Marylanders shocked by Florida's vindictive requirement that ex-felons must pay off all fees before they can vote should know that equally onerous requirements hobble returning citizens iin Maryland as well. In Florida, GOP legislators connived to suppress votes after the state's voters, in a referendum, determined that ex-felons should enjoy the right to vote. In Maryland, not so dramatically, the impediiments to resumng life in society pile up with equal, remorseless tenacity. Maryland Matters's Hannah Gaskill recounts testimony from the Job Opportunities Task Force, our progressive ally organization focusing on the ways poverty is criminalized and perpetuated in our state.
Time is running out for the Maryland General Assembly to do what its clear duties require and meet in Special Session to finish their work from the cut-off session in spring 2020 and remedy the shortfalls of the Hogan administration in keeping the state's people and economy protected from the effects of COVID-19.
Here, a participant in the recent People's Special Session recounts how the leaders of the Assembly tried -- and failed -- to pre-empt or muffle these demands by crashing the People's Special Session.
As Rashad Lloyd says here in a Maryland Matters commentary, "The people won’t forget the harm the General Assembly has caused by failing to take action. We certainly won’t forget this moment when they’re up for reelection in 2022."
September 23, 2020 Progressives line up against MoCo Question B with citizen group
Progressive Marylanders in Montgomery County have been fighting, with allies, to defeat the right-wing stealth measure Question B that would cripple public services in the county with a tax-break windfall for the rich. Adam Pagnucco in the Seventh State blog updates that fight as a new umbrella coalition is launched by a citizen group with many of those allies. Stay updated with Montgomery Neighbors Against B Coalition at mocoagainstb.org and at our Facebook and Twitter @mocoagainstb
REMEMBER – these blog posts are frequently expressions of political opinion from our wide-ranging membership and circle of allies. They are not expressions of opinion by Progressive Maryland. Don’t be surprised if they sometimes vary in their political content. You might even disagree with them – a good reason to contribute a blog of your own. Send it to the moderator, Woody Woodruff, at [email protected]
>>Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace from June 2015 through December 2016 are all available with descriptions and links here. You can follow blogs for 2017-18 starting from here