Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 4, 2021

apocalypse.jpg‘What do we want? A Caring Economy! Medicare expansion and lower Rx prices! More good jobs! Climate Action! A Pathway to Citizenship! Corporate accountability and tax fairness! When do we want it? Now!’ 

We’re marching in the streets, contacting Members of Congress, mobilizing our base, and lifting up progressive messages and progressive champions to counter the tired old Joe Manchin and mainstream narrative.

"We" of course means you, all of you ready for change from your neighborhood to Annapolis to DC, and holding elected officials accountable to work to improve your lives, not those of lobbyists and corporate CEOs. Read on to see how.

Keeping Up The Fight: PM Weekly Memo for Monday, October 4, 2021

 

‘What do we want? A Caring Economy! Medicare expansion and lower Rx prices! More good jobs! Climate Action! A Pathway to Citizenship! Corporate accountability and tax fairness! When do we want it? Now!’ 

We’re marching in the streets, contacting Members of Congress, mobilizing our base, and lifting up progressive messages and progressive champions to counter the tired old Joe Manchin and mainstream narrative. Congress recently authorized about $780 billion a year in spending for the Pentagon and said yes just a few years ago to the Trump/McConnell tax giveaway to the ultra rich. We can surely afford  to invest $3.5 trillion over a ten year period in a budget that delivers relief and services for families, workers and our communities. At a Hold The Line rally last week, we saw this sign which probably resonates with lots of Marylanders: “Stop Blah, Blah, Blah. Pass Build Back Better.”  See the report we released last week from People’s Action and Demos and more about how you can get involved in this week’s memo. 

Thank you for caring and for being part of this movement. 

 

Join 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 do a variety of things to help us expand our reach and increase our impact. They canvass, text bank, lobby, help our communications team, lead task forces and donate $5-$15 a month. Members help decide our electoral and issue priorities. There’s a lot at stake in Congress right now and that will be coming up during the MGA session in Annapolis so we need more members in the fight. 

 

Quick Actions:

 

 

Statewide Updates:

Let’s Build Back Better

At a press conference last Monday in front of the Largo Town Center Metro Station, Progressive Maryland and frontline workers, along with Rep. Anthony Brown (Dem., CD-4), called on Congress to support the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. The event was livestreamed on Progressive Maryland's Facebook page in two parts which can be found here and here. Thank you to our guest speakers and local leaders Raymond Jackson, Sherri Howard, and Gozi Egbuonu for advocating for our communities. 

Check out this timely report from People’s Action and Demos which we released last week.

 

Throwdown Thursdays 

Phonebank and textbank with our team every Thursday at 6 p.m. Every week we'll be calling or texting voters across the state for a number of important issues. Soon we'll be transitioning to calling and texting in support of progressive candidates that need our help to win! Click this link to let us know you’re coming!

This Thursday, we’re making calls to demand Cannabis be legalized! Today in Maryland we still have about 15,000 arrests per year that are related to Cannabis-- this puts far too many people at risk and needlessly clogs our justice system It’s long past time for full legalization. 18 other states and the District of Columbia  have already legalized Cannabis and none have experienced the ill-effects that legalization opponents claimed would happen. That’s why this Thursday we are making calls to constituents in Speaker Jones’ district to ask them  to contact her and urge her to ensure that cannabis legalization becomes law next year in Maryland.

 

New Era PAC Friend & Fundraiser

Join the New Era Project in Howard County Monday, October 11th for Jake Burdett’s New Era Party Friend & Fundraiser! Speakers will include DelegateJen Terrasa of District 13 and former Circuit Court Candidate Stephen Musselman. We’ll talk about key issues facing Howard County like the often overlooked but important Zoning and Land Use problem. RSVP by CLICKING HERE.

Feel free to invite others. 

We look forward to seeing you next Monday.  Whether or not you will attend, please also show Jake your support by:

 

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 get involved. [email protected] 

 

Healthcare Justice Campaign

Fight to Expand Healthcare:

Make phone calls to expand Medicare! We’re pushing back against PhRMA’s  outrageous $20 million lobbying campaign to take away Jdrug price negotiating power in the budget deal--help us call out  some of the Democratic House members who are siding with PhRMA instead of seniors and everyone else who would benefit from lower prices for medicines. Join a phone bank this Wednesday from 7 pm to 8:30. As in previous phonebanks, we'll make calls to ask  constituents to leave patch-through messages for their Representative.

Congress needs to keep holding the line on the Build Back Better Act. Contact your Member of Congress today. Use this phone 2 action  to call your Representative to urge them to vote no on the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill unless and until the reconciliation bill moves to the floor for a vote. 

If you have questions or want to volunteer please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Fighting COVID:

We learned a great deal about community vaccination efforts and the ongoing situation for frontline healthcare workers at our Statewide Forum last week.. Thanks again to Danielle Haskin from the Frederick County Health Department, David Glenn from PM’s HCTF, Aasha Henderson and Bronte Nevins from CKAR CDC, Tasnuva Khan from RESOVE’s Faint & Vaccines initiative, and Christopher Stevenson from 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East for speaking at the event. The state’s public health response has resulted in curbing transmission, getting 3,879,000 people fully vaccinated, and setting up some pretty good guidelines for schools and other workplaces as they re-open. But we remain in a challenging and precarious place with this pandemic.  Vaccination rates are too low in many rural areas as well as in some urban neighborhoods. COVID has taken a heavy toll in our communities and thousands of residents and workers still require resources and support to help them rebound. Schools still need physical plant upgrades and additional resources.  Tens of thousands of Marylanders  are at risk of eviction and we stand with the advocates who are fighting to keep people housed. This is no time to let up! Tell our state leaders that.

 

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel Fair Elections

Our Anne Arundel Fair Elections Taskforce will be meeting this Wednesday September 29th at 7pm! Come learn about our efforts to get the Anne Arundel County Council to adopt a FAir Election Fund this fall and ways you can help this important effort! RSVP here.

Progressive Baltimore County 

Contact Zach for updates and how to get involved in local campaigns. 

Progressive Harford County 

The website for Progressive Harford County is finally finished. Check out progressiveharco.org today.

Progressive Harford County is starting a series of town halls with local and statewide candidates. Our first town hall will be with Ashwani Jain, a gubernatorial Democratic candidate, on Oct. 27 from 6:30-8 p.m. Jain will be asked about his background, policies and vision for Maryland. Attendees can also submit questions to be asked during the town hall. Register for the event today.

Progressive Montgomery:

Interested in joining our environmental justice or election work groups? We’re seeking MoCo folks who want to get involved.  Contact [email protected] if you’re interested. 

 

State and National News:  

New Maryland laws affect police, voting, LGBTQ+ rights - Here's the Capital News Service roundup of new laws that went into effect starting Oct. 1st, including Anton's Law!

Dateline Washington, D.C.- The goal is to go big in Congress -- right now -- because the US, richest of rich counties, has so many unmet human and public-service needs and such a wide inequality gap stemming not only from Trump’s tax cuts but from decades of  unfair tax cuts for the rich and racist economic and social policies.  Justice is long overdue and interest has accumulated.
State of Play after last week’s  Freaky Friday: a Maryland Sentor’s perspective: … 

“The key takeaway from Friday is that President Biden agrees that the fate of BIF and BBB are intertwined,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told [Politico] Playbook. [Monday morning’s version] “Next step is to get [JOE] MANCHIN and Sinema back to the table at the White House to compromise in order to salvage the core of Biden’s BBB agenda. The president needs to make clear that they have an important role to play, but also need to listen to where the overwhelming majorities of the Democratic Caucus stand. It cannot be a one-way street.”

People’s Action’s Monday blast  is happy to report  “It was a week of drama on the Hill, progressives won the fight to #HoldTheLine and more and more revelations about what’s at stake and who’s behind pushing back against what the people want emerged. If you didn’t see it, here’s our report and a piece that came out about it. And, here’s a recent WashPost piece and a Guardian piece about the corporate pushback.” Despite all that, at least for last week, the People beat Corporations in the Build Back Battle..and the fight continues. 

The battle returns to us here in  MD, the update continues: “DISTRICT ACTIONS: Your House members will be in district starting this week for the next two weeks and Senate members will be home next week (week of Oct 11) , . Consider continuing to highlight the importance of ALL the elements in the Build Back Better plan and HOLDING THE LINE and SEALING THE DEAL. Consider  meetings with your Representatives & Senators, joining our phone call and email campaign (see above)   holding vigils at their offices, through OpEds in local papers, through negatively targeting the Republicans and/ or Democratic moderates standing in the way, through continuing to lift up the role of corporations in the mix, etc. Stay tuned to hear from Progressive Maryland and our allies as we map out activities.  

MARYLAND FOCUS: “Md. Advocates, Lawmakers Look Ahead to Legislative Session to Strengthen Abortion Protections” – An account from Josh Kurtz in Maryland Matters.

 

Events From Our Allies:  

October 10th 5-7pm | Youth Intro to Restorative Justice Practices (RJPs): How to Stop Harm  

You can get more information and register your youth to attend here.

Monday, Oct. 18 | 7pm

Reel & Meal presents "PFAS Diaries" – A series of documentary shorts details the effects of PFAS contamination. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been used at military installations throughout the country for decades as a constituent chemical for firefighting foam; they leach into our soil and water and are released into the air through incineration.   

Register here for remote access –  Intro 6:30pm; films begin at 7pm

Sunday October 17 2-5 pm 

Jews United for Justice:

 

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].  

October 04, 2021 Media discourse keeps the "both sides" illusion alive

As the full horror of Donald Trump's attempt to seize power and dump democracy fades in the public mind, the mainstream media -- which collectively had been pointing out the difference between facts and lies -- have slumped back into he said-she said vanilla coverage. Take the word "strict," analyst Sean Dobson suggests -- a word with a lot of positive connotations for most readers. Does it make sense to describe as "strict" scuh recent state-level atrocities as Mississippi's or Texas's draconian new abortion laws, or the blatant voter-suppression laws being passed by Republican legislators in a dozen-plus states where they have control? Or is the press slipping back to its old duck-and-cover strategy to avoid being tagged as "liberal"?

September 29, 2021 Progressive Maryland Statement Against Corporate Meddling Following Dēmos and People’s Action Report

A new report from People's Action and Demos details the avalanche of corporate spending to stop or trim important measures that would expand Medicare, childcare, paid family leave, community health programs, green jobs and critical climate initiatives.

“It’s not surprising that these businesses that represent billionaire and multi-millionaire CEOs and stockholders are lobbying hard to keep the status quo in place -- big tax breaks for them, higher prices and lower wages for us -- and that they are spending tens of millions of dollars to vocalize their demands and to drown out the peoples’ voices” said Larry Stafford, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 20, 2021

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 13, 2021

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