Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 5, 2020

CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngLots 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 reent blog posts. Read the Memo!



 

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 5, 2020A

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!

STATEWIDE ALERTS

Marylanders note: Effective October 1st, the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act (FEPLA) went into effect nationwide. This program provides 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees who would be eligible for the same amount of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) Act. Benefits will be available for those whose child was born or adopted on or after October 1, 2020. If interested in more information on implementation and eligibility, check out the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) website. -- Hat tip to People’s Action info folks.

Statewide Justice Task Force Meeting: Thursday 10/8

Justice reform is on the ballot this year in Maryland. At our Justice Task Force Meeting on Thursday, October 8th, we’ll be discussing important races and ballot initiatives across the state that are consequential to our movement. 

RSVP for our Statewide Justice Task Force Meeting next Thursday at 5:30pm.

 

Election 2020 Update

Make Your Plan to Vote

Decide on your plan today! Election Day, November 3, is four weeks away. Early Voting in Maryland is three weeks away and ballots are starting to arrive in the mail.   Check out Progressive Maryland’s  website to learn more about our endorsed candidates. Information about candidates and about important ballot questions can be found on our social media.

 

Quick take: Why Vote? 

The 2020 election results could  help us move many significant  issues in the months 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 fate of the Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of the great 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 we all have a stake in every level of government. Your vote helps us move a progressive agenda in every arena from local to federal. 

Reach out to our local organizers to learn more or contact Patty Snee at patty@progressivemaryland.org with questions about the election and/or our efforts.ballot_box.jpg

 

Refresher: How Do I Vote?

To vote by mail be sure to complete the Request for an Absentee Ballot.  The deadline to apply is October 20. If you have not already received a request for an Absentee Ballot, contact your local Board of Elections. Or request a ballot application by going online.  You can also text  VBM to 77788 to get the application.   Complete the request form as soon as you get it and mail it back immediately in the envelope provided.   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.

 

What Are the Options for Turning in my 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.

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 will become available in October -- check with the State  Board at this website for information about County sites for drop boxes.

 

Can I Vote in Person?

Yes. You can vote during early voting from October 26 through November 2. 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 big 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.

           https://www.progressivemaryland.org/volunteer 

 

Other Things I Should Know?

If you aren’t registered to vote, register here. The deadline to register to vote or change registration is October 13 unless you register in person during early vote or on election day, which is also an option. 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 

 

COVID -19 UPDATE--Maryland

A national week of mourning has been organized this week to honor and remember the people who have died from COVID-19, now estimated at close to 210,000 people from all over our country.  Reaching this milestone is all the more painful knowing  that many thousands of the deaths and infections in our country were preventable. The Trump Administration and Republican elected officials have flouted numerous public health guidelines, ignored the recommendations of medical experts, and lied about this public health crisis. Now a number of Republican leaders and staff, including Donald Trump, have tested positive for the virus. Far too many Republican officials have failed to seriously respond to this health and economic crisis  and their failure has exacted an enormous toll. Their inaction is a threat to all of us,     especially to Black and Brown Americans, to people living and working in elder care facilities and to thousands of workers deemed “essential.”. 

CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngIn light of all that’s happening related to COVID-19, we need to recommit to the measures that are proven to help  reduce the chance of  being exposed to the virus:  properly covering our noses and mouths with a mask when around others, avoiding close contact with others, washing our hands often, monitoring our health, and staying alert to possible symptoms. We need to follow local county public health guidelines. We should  support the public servants who are providing accurate information and upholding the recommendations that safeguard our health. We should use our power to urge elected officials across the board to make the pressing  health care and economic needs the number one focus of their work. To learn more:

Join us at  our virtual Statewide Community Forum on COVID this  Wednesday evening October 7 at 6:30

Progressive Maryland and our allies from the Right Care Alliance and the Montgomery Education Association have organized a meeting to  share information about the virus in Maryland, discuss the latest on COVID and schools, and to hold a community conversation about the concerns that Marylanders have.   . RSVP here: 

COVID-19 Forum Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpfuCrrTgpEteA2zxxH_ikctZN-pbJ90FD

To hear more about the COVID Statewide Forum or PM’s healthcare work email Malcolm at malcolm@progressivemaryland.org or Patty at patty@progressivemaryland.org.

COVID-19 UPDATE -- NATIONAL ASKS

From our national affiliate, People’s Action: Please continue to keep the pressure on Republican senate majority leader Mitch McConnell by using the Phone2Action portal we’ve been running for the last month or contact his office directly. Call him out for failing to pass the next COVID-19 relief package and fast tracking the SCOTUS nominee procedural process. Note that the Trump nominee, Judge Amy Barrett, is a self-declared danger to the Affordable Care Act and to peoples’ health care in general. With less than 30 days before the election’s Sen. McConnell needs to continue to hear how people’s livelihoods and basic needs are dwindling as we contend with this deadly virus and steadily declining economy. Call. Vent some.

 

 

 

OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George’s

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!

 

PMD Montgomery

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

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/

PMD Baltimore



EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES EVERYWHERE

 

Wednesday, Oct 7 | 7:00 PM

Just Transition – Transformative Strategies on the Frontlines of Struggle

Panelists discuss how their impacted communities are navigating climate chaos, growing right-wing and racist violence and a global pandemic by tackling their root systemic cause. Local sponsor is Labor Network  for Sustainability, Takoma Park. Access here.

Thursday Oct. 15 Online Environmental Justice Training – Thursdays at 7 PM, October 15-November 12

The online program launches on Thursday, October 15 with an introduction by Reverend Canon Chris McCloud, the Canon for Mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and speaker Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North American Director of 350.org. Tamara will be speaking about environmental and health disparities caused by human-induced environmental pollution and the history of the environmental justice movement. RSVP here. Learn more about the speakers here. Virtual event

 

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 woodlanham@gmail.com

September 28, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 28, 2020

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 

September 21, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 21, 2020

In the Memo this week: Action urging a special session of the Maryland General Assembly; COVID-19 keeps hitting hard in Maryland; beginning-to-end explainer on how we’ll vote in our state (hint: not all on Nov. 3); notes on the crisis outside our state -- in Congress and the White House; progressive events in MoCo, PGC and AA counties plus our other chapter news; events from our allies and our recent blog posts. Your go-to weekly source for progressive thought and action in the Free State.

 September 18, 2020 Progressives vow to maintain pressure for special session despite surprise leadership cameo

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.

August 26, 2020 Hogan personnel practices have odor of grift as delegates dig deep

The knives come out, more than a little, as a House of Delegates committee explores the latest Hogan personnel scandal and the long memories of Maryland Matters founder Josh Kurtz and others are tapped. Is this the precursor of a full-bore inquiry into not just misbehavior but wrongdoing, as personnel and big money bounce around pinball-style in Hoganland? The hearing yesterday, Kurtz says, “can only be described as one of the political low points of [Hogan’s] 5-1/2-year tenure.”


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 woodlanham@gmail.com. 

>>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