Early voting begins next week and tomorrow is the deadline for requesting an absentee -- "mail-in" ballot. Read all about it in the Memo, plus updates on how the Hogan administration is doing in the struggle to cope with COVID (spoiler alert: not good), how to contest the corporate darling Judge Amy, and working to support progresssive down-ballot candidates in jurisdictions all over the state. Check it out in this week's Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 19, 2020
THE ELECTION, YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR VOTE
Be sure to vote! Many community, healthcare, and racial justice issues are at stake in 2020.
The Maryland State Board of Elections notes that tomorrow -- Oct. 20th -- is the last day to request a mail-in absentee ballot.
“If using the online system, you may request your mail-in ballot at any time before 11:59 pm on October 20. Using the online system, you can choose to receive your mail-in ballot in the mail or by email. If you choose to have the mail-in ballot mailed to you, it will come with a pre-paid postage return envelope. If you choose to have your ballot emailed to you, you will need to print your ballot and pay the postage to return it.”
Election polling place veterans also note that if you print out your own ballot and mail it in, it will add an extra step at the receiving end before your ballot can be processed and included in the count, slowing the process and the eventual final vote count down.
If you miss that mail-in ballot request deadline there is still plenty of opportunity to make your voice heard and your ballot counted. “Early voting will be held for 8 days [beginning] on October 26, 2020 [and lasting] through November 2, 2020, which includes a weekend. You can vote at any early voting center in the county you live in.” Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Official voter registration in Maryland ended Oct. 13, but “you may also register to vote or update your voter registration information in person during early voting or on Election Day. If you update your address on Election Day, you will be asked to complete a provisional ballot. An election judge will assist you with this process.”
Be sure to vote! Cast your vote for President and all of the offices up and down the ballot. Check Progressive Maryland’s website and social media to find out about our endorsed candidates. Note too that there are ballot questions to weigh in on everywhere in the state so be sure to vote on these measures, too.
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 on Wednesday, October 7. Find a link to some of the resources our speakers shared here.
We discussed the importance of continuing to adhere to public health guidelines during this period. Following the recommendations can help reduce the spread of COVID and keep us all safe. Please wear face coverings, keep physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, 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. Meeting participants from across the state expressed support for educators and all that they’re doing to push for a safe, comprehensive, equitable return to in-school learning. We also focused on the fact that the Hogan Administration’s management of this public health crisis continues to come up short.
The Governor does not consistently communicate on key aspects of this crisis with residents and local officials, leading to confusion and lack of coordination when it comes to managing our response as a state. He’s failed to meet the needs of tens of thousands of vulnerable renters and thousands of unemployed residents who are not receiving checks because of ongoing problems with the UI system. The Governor hasn’t expressed real appreciation and given necessary support to public school staff and to other public workers around the state. We need our Governor to show more empathy and leadership during this crisis. Please sign and share this petition to him.
Transparency remains a significant issue with his Administration, as illustrated in this Baltimore Sun article about the decision by his team to withhold information about cases of the virus in our schools.
Vaccine Campaign: Rally and Action at HHS this Wednesday to Demand a People’s Vaccine
We know that we need a vaccine to help us save lives and bring the pandemic under control. Public safety and equity need to be at the center of the development of a COVID vaccine. Join Progressive Maryland, our allies, activists, leading public health officials, health workers, and families of loved ones lost to COVID to demand a safe, effective, available to all vaccine. We will gather behind the Botanic Garden at 100 Maryland Ave SW t 12:30 for a short march and procession to the Department of Health and Human Services (330 C St. SW) where we'll make our grassroots demands.
National Progressive Action Notes
People’s Action phone2action tool on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is a way to continue to drive attention and action on the Senate to delay the confirmation. Help us to drive contacts to your Senators so we can secure both Democratic and Republican Senator commitments to demand that our voices be heard, and our votes will be counted.
Despite her refusal to answer questions in last week’s hearings, we already knew everything we needed to know about Judge Barrett – a champion for corporations and an adversary of the people. Her record reveals that she sided with corporations 9 out of 10 times and has similarly egregious records when it comes to cases involving workers, immigrants and issues with discrimination. She is a positive danger to our health care during the COVID emergency because the Supreme Court has scheduled a vote on a lethal challenge to the Affordable Care Act within weeks after her potential confirmation.
The full Senate is anticipated to proceed with voting the week of October 29, so this is our final chance to move people into action to delay this confirmation outright.
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
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.
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!
Official discussion and OR PG debrief on PG County’s public-private partnership deal for school construction.
Today -- Monday, Oct. 19 the PGCPS CEO Monica Goldson and County Exec Alsobrooks hold a 6 PM telephone town-hall on the construction program approved by the County Council last week. To join call (855) 756-7520 Ext. 67775# . Our Revolution Prince George’s follows with an 8 PM People's de-brief of the PGCPS town-hall and all issues surrounding the P3 and our Capital Improvement Program. Progressive Maryland is a co-sponsor of the coalition questioning public-private partnerships in such matters. Live-stream this event on the Our Revolution PG County Chapter page.
Election Phone Bank for MOCO Chapter for our candidates Marylin Pierre for Circuit Judge and Sunil for School Board At-large!:
These last 2 weeks will be critical in deciding the outcomes of elections up and down the ticket. This Thursday from 6:00pm-7:30pm on zoom, Progressive Maryland will be calling voters to urge them to vote for the two amazing candidates we have endorsed in Montgomery County.
Our next Fair Election Taskforce meeting will be this Thursday at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. https://secure.everyaction.com/AOnWt6H4T0SJYSQGqoW7FQ2
Our Fair ElectionTown Hall will be on Tuesday the 27th from 7 to 8 pm. https://secure.everyaction.com/whaEprsurES1U1y8jm-PxQ2
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 -- PMD Baltimore
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES
Monday, October 19 | 6 PM and 8 PM
Official discussion and OR PG debrief on public-private partnership deal for school construction.
Today, the PGCPS CEO Monica Goldson and County Exec Alsobrooks hold a 6 PM telephone town-hall on the recently approved program. To join call (855) 756-7520 Ext. 67775# . Our Revolution Prince George’s follows with an 8 PM People's de-brief of the PGCPS town-hall and all issues surrounding the P3 and our Capital Improvement Program. Live-stream this event on the Our Revolution PG County Chapter page.
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 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 12, 2020
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.
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
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