As the election draws closer we continue to remind you of the little things it takes to make sure your vote counts. If you are tired of seeing them here, that's understandable. The way to conveniently ignore that information is to vote early, vote absentee, get it done.
Meanwhile the Weekly Memo is otherwise populated with insights to keep you and your community chugging ahead to make change. Make it happen.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 12, 2020As
Happy Indigenous Persons Day, formerly named after a well-regarded inquisitive and probably well-meaning Italian explorer of the late 15th century who, on behalf of Spanish monarchs otherwise engaged with pushing the much more advanced Islamic culture out of the Iberian peninsula, absent-mindedly sent him off to bring disease and oppression to peoples on two much larger continents to the West who were also as advanced as Eurasians in most ways except lacking the highly civilized features, gunpowder and armor.
We live on land violently stolen from those peoples and are learning to honor their understanding of, and relation to, that land. Slowly. Too slowly. Here is the “Columbus Day” proclamation by Trump World, chapter and verse on what desperate, revanchist fascism sounds like. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-columbus-day-2020/?fbclid=IwAR3NepjoO6pr6n3fIJaRHzNKhrCHRENdqosqV6VWmZQ69apNqaKuU2YF-WE
--Woody Woodruff, blog moderator
STATEWIDE and NATIONAL ALERTS
One strategy we’re using in our campaign to win Medicare for All is to win local M4A resolutions at the local level. Dozens of resolutions have been introduced and passed in towns and cities in a range of states. To learn more about this effective organizing strategy join us this Wednesday, October 14 at 8:00 pm for a Medicare for All resolutions webinar put on by People's Action and Public Citizen. This is a 101 training with folks who want to learn more about this campaign. to pass a local
Progressive Maryland, with help from our friends at Right Care Alliance and the Montgomery County Education Association, held a virtual statewide community forum on COVID last Wednesday, October 7. Find a link to some of the resources our speakers shared here.
Please continue to be vigilant and diligent in following the public health guidelines issued by medical and public health experts. Adherence to the guidelines plays a critical part in keeping us all safe and in reducing the spread of the virus. Wear face coverings, keep physical distancing, get tested if you have symptoms or think you were exposed, and avoid gatherings of more than ten people and indoor public activities.
At the Forum we discussed the state’s response to the pandemic, our community concerns, and the situation with COVID and schools. We heard from Logan Endow, a health coordinator in the Baltimore City school system and from two elementary school teachers, Betty Goldstein from Calvert County and Latechia Mitchell from Montgomery County. We learned about safety considerations, the risky and incomplete plans and measures being proposed for an in-person return to classes, about problematic decision making processes and issues around equity. Everyone appreciated hearing the panel’s perspective on the challenges school staff, students, and families are facing. Meeting participants zooming in from across the state expressed support for the efforts of educators to secure better plans and more collaboration and support from school officials at this critical time.
We’ve been organizing for COVID relief programs and for comprehensive COVID policies and strategies for months. Unfortunately the Hogan Administration’s management of this public health crisis continues to come up short. It’s been marked by conflicting messages, inadequate relief efforts for renters, poor management of the state’s Unemployment Insurance system, and a lack of strong steady support for teachers and staff at public schools and for other public workers on the job in a variety of settings. Transparency and communication remain a significant issue with Governor Hogan, as illustrated in this Baltimore Sun article about the decision by Hogan’s team to withhold information about cases.
We need to hold the Governor accountable. Sign and share this new petition.
Progressive Maryland and our national partner, People’s Action, along with other health advocacy and public interest groups is creating and launching a campaign for a safe and effective COVID vaccine. This is an urgent, emerging public health issue and like oher COVID related matters the Trump Administration can’t be trusted to follow sound science and protocols and to put the public’s well being first. We need to pressure our Federal Agencies to do the right thing. We’re holding a masked, physically distant, in- person action next Wednesday, October 21 in D.C. The event begins at 12:30.
ELECTION 2020 -- MAKE YOUR PLAN TO VOTE
Decide on your plan today! Election Day, November 3, is three weeks away. Early Voting in Maryland is two weeks away--it begins October 26 and goes through November 2. Ballots are arriving in the mail, it’s go time!
If you have not yet done so and you want to vote by mail instead of in person be sure to request an Absentee Ballot. The deadline to do this is Tuesday, October 20. You can request a ballot application by going online. You can also text VBM to 77788 to get the application.
If you need information about some of the races and ballot measure questions before you cast your ballot check out Progressive Maryland’s website and social media sites to learn more about the campaigns where we’ve made endorsements.
Quick take: Why Vote?
The 2020 election results could help us advance many significant issues in the months and years to come. Health care, civil rights, voting rights, and environmental justice are on the ballot.The way our government handles the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency; and the potential fate of the Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on the ballot. Here in Maryland we will also be voting on important offices for City Council, Mayor, School Board and the Judiciary in many places. Please vote on all the races up and down the ballot as the issues we support are often addressed at every level of government.
Reach out to our local organizers for more information or or contact Patty Snee at [email protected]
How Do I Vote?
VOTE BY MAIL: complete the Request for an Absentee Ballot (see above.) To track the status of your request use the state’s voter lookup tool.
After you receive your actual ballot read the instructions for marking the ballot. Examine all the candidates and questions and cast your vote. Be sure to sign the oath that accompanies the ballot. Failure to do so may result in the ballot not being counted.
To Turn in Your Ballot:
You can mail your completed ballot in the envelope provided. It must be postmarked no later than 8:00 pm November 3rd in order to be counted. Please return your ballot as soon as you can in order to help ensure prompt delivery.
Or you can drop it off at a secure designated drop off box: Check your local Board of Elections website for locations and dates of operation for secure drop boxes. Ballots must be dropped no later than 8:00 on November 3. These boxes are being set up now and throughout October. Check with the State Board at this website for information about County sites for drop boxes.
VOTE IN PERSON: You can vote during early voting from October 26 through November 2, on any day during this time frame. Each county will have a number of designated locations and will set up safe, physically distanced voting sites. Check your County Board of Elections website for locations and hours.
You can vote on Election Day, November 3, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Every county will provide a number of polling locations for a safe in-person voting environment on Tuesday, November 3. Check your local Board of Elections website for information.
Anything Else I can Do: Yes! We need a massive voter turnout this year. Please help us reach voters and turn out the vote. It makes a difference and it’s fun to be a part of this effort.
Other Things I Should Know? If you aren’t registered to vote, register here TODAY! The deadline to register to vote or change registration is Tuesday, October 13. YOU CAN ALSO REGISTER in person during early voting or on election day. The League of Women Voters has a guide to how voting will work for this fall’s election. https://www.lwvmd.org/covid_19_and_the_upcoming_elections
If you or anyone you know experiences any issues getting or casting a ballot (in-person or by mail) call the Election Protection Hotline. 1-866-687-8683.
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
TONIGHT! Town Hall set on Prince George’s County’s proposed Public-Private Partnership for new schools
What are the rewards and pitfalls of engaging the private sector to finance and build public schools in Prince George’s County, providing long-term profits to private businesses -- and long-term public obligations -- in return for rapid action on needed public schools? Progressive Maryland and Progressive Prince George’s along with Our Revolution PG and other community groups co-host a public virtual meeting (webinar format) to explore this question. “As Prince George's residents, parents and taxpayers, how do we evaluate if this is a good deal or if this is a boondoggle? With the Purple Line project - also a P3 - having collapsed around us in the last month, what is the confidence with which we can approach this proposal?” "It's incredibly important that Prince George's County residents are made aware of the very real risks associated with this 30-year long corporate deal,” said Raaheela Ahmed, member of the Prince George's County Board of Education. “The people need to know the truth. Nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer funds are on the line here, and ultimately, our kids will be the ones to fund it for decades to come."
Prince George’s Weekly Election Phonebank
Making calls is the most powerful thing we can do to make sure folks know who will be on the ballot, and why we are throwing our support behind them – and we’ll be calling Prince Georgians every Wednesday night until Election Day.
Join us this Wednesday at 5:30 PM to be a part of our core team of callers: https://secure.everyaction.com/Qxd6rvaoO0CVTidGlSl3mA2
We'll be talking with voters about our endorsed school board candidate in District 4, Shayla-Adams Stafford, as well as some others on our slate. We’re also checking in with voters to make sure they’ve requested their ballots and have a plan to vote. This is incredibly important since the deadline to do so is quickly approaching. On Wednesday, we’ll begin with a quick training and then start dialing!
Election Phone Bank for MOCO Chapter for our candidates Marylin Pierre for Circuit Judge and Sunil for School Board At-large!: Thursday October 15 6:00-7:30.Please RSVP here:
LSPC has sent out this message to its network about the need to vote quickly rather than at the last minute. https://us18.campaign-archive.com/?e=95edce160f&u=bcb616fdd9945fc2c5e497238&id=60f6f9e024 -- and join LSPC for a text bank with Progressive Congressional Candidate Kara Eastman this Wednesday at 5 PM. RSVP here, https://www.mobilize.us/eastmanforcongress/event/341580/
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES
Thursday, October 15th Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights invite you to participate in a 5-week environmental justice training program for faith communities, starting next Thursday, October 15th, 7-8:30 PM The virtual classes will cover disparities in environmental access and protection, climate justice and how to protect vulnerable communities, and how to use advocacy tactics to restore justice. Later sessions will include time for group conversation and planning. Thursdays, October 15th to November 12th. Click here to register.
Saturday October 17 | 11 AM - 1 PM
Rally standing in solidarity with black women -- hosted by PG Change Makers Coalition
At 4519 Rhode Island Avenue North Brentwood -- in front of the Prince George’s African American Museum
Chalk the street with messages of love and hope for Black women
Monday, October 19 | 6:45 PM
Reel and Meal (Virtual movie showing) Featuring “The Definition of Insanity,” the story of a jail diversion program for the mentally ill in Broward County Florida. This change in police, court and social service practice (pre-pandemic) is far more supportive and helpful, rather than punitive. The film and discussion, facilitated by filmmaker Gabe London, will be streamed on Zoom. Registration required.
OUR RECENT BLOG POSTS
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]
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."
October 05, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 5, 2020
Lots of election info here, see below. And watch for our most recent endorsements, which will be announced all this week. Watch and follow our Facebook & Twitter pages for updates on our candidate endorsements! Plus statewide alerts, our chapter news and events, allies events and our recent blog posts. Read the Memo!
September 28, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 28,
Getting some action out of our General Assembly lawmakers is still on the table; find out how. Meanwhile, the raw deal they have left us to handle on our own requires solidarity and knowledge. You provide the community solidarity, we've got chapter and verse on how to vote, how to stay safe and fight back in pandemic time, where we fit in the national activism scene and more -- all in the Weekly Memo. Read on.
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
Despite the surprise appearances of House and Senate leaders at a rally to show how a special Assembly session could work, their disappointing refusal to call such a session brought progressives' vow to keep the pressure on. Read about what happened Wednesday and what happens next.
September 16, 2020 Maryland transit cuts are hurting essential workers, low-income communities
Maryland's transit systems -- buses, MARC and more -- are about to take a $150 million hit. It is unsurprising but outrageous that "these cuts... would be devastating to many Marylanders that live in low-income communities, communities of color, and people with disabilities." Sixty-four Maryland activist groups across the political, community and environmental spectrum wrote this letter demanding the cuts be reversed and the Transportation Trust Fund tapped to ease the plight of essential workers, who largely come from the most impacted communities.
September 15, 2020 Voters want legislators to be working for them. Now.
“Our state’s government isn’t intended to be run by just one person,” observes state budget expert Ben Orr. “… Gov. Hogan is operating without oversight and with no provisions for accountability on the part of the General Assembly. Billions of dollars have come to Maryland and [been disbursed] — or not — without the input of the legislative branch.”
Get the General Assembly to do its job by assembling at a rally in Annapolis tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 16). We'll show them how a people's legislature can meet safely instead of hiding behind the pandemic.
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