Blogs this week: See articles on food deserts, concerns about a good census in Maryland, the struggle for education improvement and introducing our lead organizer in Baltimore. See below. Plus crossing the Bay, a Spanish-language workshop on school improvement, and cell transmitter health worries in Anne Arundel.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday September 30 2019
Blogs this week: See articles on food deserts, concerns about a good census in Maryland, the struggle for education improvement and introducing our lead organizer in Baltimore. See below. Also, late-breaking meeting on incident of police violence, see below also.
Progressive goals and proposals are continually under attack by the people in power – not only the wealthy and corporate business interests in Maryland, but also the corporate Democrats who parrot neoliberal “wisdom” about staying in the middle of the road because that keeps their campaign coffers filled.
You know them when you see them, and so do we.
Their dependence on big money and its big spenders endangers the interests of everyday working families in Maryland – for instance in the corporate and neoliberal pushback on the necessary steps to restore our schools to excellence, move to clean energy and end mass incarceration. To achieve those goals we have to build power with movement politics – winning elections and holding elected officials accountable to the people. Find out where our chapters are, below. Get more information about Progressive Maryland membership, and join us.
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND DAY IN, DAY OUT
Our ideals are broadly and concretely represented by the campaigns we wage. At Progressive Maryland (and with our progressive allies) we work for environmental justice, reform of the criminal justice/policing system and cutting the school-to-prison pipeline, fair elections that loosen the grip of big money on our politics, and reform of the systems that keep our families trapped in poverty in the midst of wealth. We are formulating our part in campaigns for Medicare for All (see below) and for education reform in the path being laid out by the Kirwan Commission; Progressive Montgomery recently kicked off its participation in the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools (AROS), a statewide initiative with county-level focus. Progressive Prince George’s has been working in parallel with PGC Educators Association on the AROS agenda and the important Kirwan focus on community schools – there are forty-plus schools in Prince George’s that will become Community Schools in the next two school years. Watch for the next public meeting of the AROS coalition and learn more about the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools at https://reclaimourschoolspg.org
Progressive activism around the Free State, both Progressive Maryland’s action and those of our allied organizations and individuals, are in the Weekly Memo early every week (usually Monday unless a holiday intervenes). It’s a clearinghouse for folks who are building power together; and you can be in that environment of collective action. You can get the Weekly Memo by email; just sign up here.
Hyattsville community meeting Tuesday (Oct. 1) on police shooting last week. Mayor Candace Hollingsworth of Hyattsville told residents "Join me, the council, City Administrator Douglas and Chief Awad in a community conversation on Tuesday, October 1st at 630pm at University Christian Church 6800 Adelphi Road Hyattsville, MD.” Hyattsville and Prince George's officers killed a man at Prince George's Plaza. More here https://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2019/09/hyattsville-residents-get-space-to-voice-frustrations-after-deadly-police-shooting/
A Spanish-language community schools workshop for the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools has been set for Thursday, October 3 at the Casa de Maryland headquarters (“La Mansion”) in Langley Park. Here are the details: “jueves, 3 de octubre, 2019 5:30 PM
“Sea líder en su escuela de sus escuelas comunitarias -- Academia Cívica -- Escuelas Comunitarias
“Venga a aprender que es una escuela comunitaria, que significa para usted, y el impacto que tendrán en sus comunidades este año. Habrá refrigerio y cuidado de niños -- jueves, 3 de octubre, 2019 5:30 PM
CASA De Maryland (La Mansión) -- 8151 15th Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20783
THE PUSH FOR MORE SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS is at the heart of the Kirwan Commission proposals to improve Maryland’s schools. A new poll shows that about three out of four Marylanders want more money spent on public schools but have low information on what’s being proposed. Here is the excellent summary from the Maryland Reporter’s state roundup last week, which has links to full coverage in several outlets:
POLL: 74% WANT MORE ED SPENDING; BUT WHAT's KIRWAN? Marylanders overwhelmingly say they are willing to pay more in taxes to improve public education, according to a new Goucher College poll. Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports that in the survey conducted Sept. 13-18, 74% of Marylanders said they support personally paying more in taxes to improve public education, while only 26% were opposed.
- But the landmark proposal known as Kirwan, which could funnel as much as $3.8 billion a year into public schools, is virtually unknown: 77% of residents say they have heard "nothing at all" about it. Of the minority who have heard of Kirwan, roughly a third cannot identify its purpose, Erin Cox reports for the Post.
- But only about 22% of those polled said they were aware of the work of the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, which has rolled out a decade-long reform plan that could cost about $3.8 billion more each year once fully implemented, Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters.
Progressive Maryland activists and your communities can find out more about the Kirwan proposals: The “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” coalition, including Progressive Maryland and teachers’ organizations statewide, has set 23 information sessions from the mountains to the Shore – the next one is this Wednesday in Ellicott City -- see them all here.
CROSSING THE BAY
Open houses continue through October to discuss preliminary alternatives as part of the Chesapeake Bay Crossing: the next one is tomorrow. Gov. Larry Hogan, however, has already said which one is going to happen, as far as he is concerned. Citizens who want to see something other than more cars, cars, cars – maybe some mass transit alternatives – could have something to say for the record when, as is probably inevitable, the Hogan administration is sued for riding roughshod over the deliberative process. And opponents, including both local business interests and the state environmental community (Same Page City!) are lining up.
MDTA has scheduled the following open houses for public review and comment:
- Tuesday, October 1, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Middle River Middle School, 800 Middle River Road, Middle River, Md.
- Wednesday, October 2, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Anne Arundel Community College, Student Union Dining Hall, 101 College Pkwy., Arnold, Md. Parking available in Lot A.
- Thursday, October 3, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Talbot County Community Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway, Easton, Md.
- Wednesday, October 9, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Kent Island High School, 900 Love Point Road, Stevensville, Md.
ANNE ARUNDEL ACTIVISTS WARN ON SMALL CELL TRANSMITTERS
These bills will ease regulations on “small cell” transmitters of 5G signals for mobile phones and other devices so telecom industry interests can scatter them throughout the county with weak-to-absent oversight or official control, especially on community health effects of their placement.
Take Action AAC activists ask you read the Environmental Health Trust’s fact sheet on 5G and “small cell” installations and health effects and call or email AA Council members ahead of the October 21 Council meeting to object to these industry-friendly bills. As Registered Nurse Randye Williams of Take Action AAC argues, “We're already exposed to enough harmful wireless signals … At least you can turn [your home] wireless devices off at night. But these 5G small cells will be on 24/7, 365 days a year irradiating you in your home.”
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
PGCEA/AROS-PG to the community
The Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, a core member of the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools-PG, addressed parents, students and the community: “It is important that you are aware of the huge opportunity we have as a community to raise our voices to make sure that all of our schools and students have the funding that they need. For the first time in 20 years, the state is revising the school funding formula. This is great news because districts like ours have been underfunded for quite some time and the formula revision is our opportunity to change that.
“Now we need a long-term solution to the underfunding of our schools. The General Assembly’s revision of the funding formula this school year is our opportunity to do just that. Students need programs like career technical education, pre-k, and more that will prepare them for the jobs of the future and help our economy. And at a time when half of Maryland educators are working a second job to make ends meet, we need to do more to support the school employees who dedicate their lives to our kids.
“To make sure that your voices are heard, we are hosting several town hall meetings across the county so that elected officials can hear from parents, students, and educators about the importance of fully funding the Blueprint legislation and the recommendations from the Kirwan Commission and ending the underfunding of our schools. We hope to see you at one of the town halls listed . You can learn more and register to attend at marylandblueprint.org. “
A list of power-building events with Progressive Maryland in Montgomery County. Find one that works for you and join us!
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES
Tuesday, October 1 Hyattsville community meeting on police shooting last week. Mayor Candace Hollingsworth of Hyattsville told residents "Join me, the council, City Administrator Douglas and Chief Awad in a community conversation on Tuesday, October 1st at 630pm at University Christian Church 6800 Adelphi Road Hyattsville, MD.” Hyattsville and Prince George's officers killed a man at Prince George's Plaza. More here https://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2019/09/hyattsville-residents-get-space-to-voice-frustrations-after-deadly-police-shooting/
Wednesday, October 2 "Not One Campaign Against Domestic Violence" with Prince George's State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy, domestic violence survivors and special guest speakers, 6 - 8 PM at Prince George's Community College (Rennie Forum located at the Largo Student Center).
Thursday, October 3 Progressive Cheverly Forum -- Immigration: Counteracting the crisis here in PG County, MD, at 7 PM, multipurpose room at Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School (3324 64thAvenue; direct access to multipurpose room available via 63rdAvenue entrance), Cheverly. Speakers are Trent Leon-Lierman, Lead Regional Organizer for CASA, and Tana Stevenson of the Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Saturday, October 5 -- Coffee and Conversations - Achieving Racial Equity in Prince George's County -- 9 AM to 1 PM at Reid Temple AME Church 11400 Glenn Dale Boulevard, Glenn Dale, MD 20769. RSVP at link.
Sunday, OCT 6-- Eastern Shore Environmental Legislative Summit, 1- 4 PM (Doors open at noon) hosted at Washington College - 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620
The Eastern Shore is ground zero for climate change in Maryland. It is here where we need to make a stand for ourselves and our children. Explore the issues that face the Shore (and the state), what steps have been taken, and what obstacles we must overcome to defeat the existential crisis of Climate Change and other pressing environmental issues. https://www.facebook.com/events/361641874764169/
THUR October 10 AROS Forum On New Funding Formula For Prince George’s Public Schools at LAUREL HIGH SCHOOL, 8000 Cherry Lane Laurel 20707 at 6:30 PM Parents, students and engaged community members are invited to hear about the Kirwan commission proposals and possibilities of well-funded schools — and make their voices heard. Sponsored by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. ALSO WED October 23 at Bowie Performing Arts Center, 15200 Annapolis Rd. Bowie 20715, 6:30 PM: WED November 12 at Prince George’s Community College, 301 Largo Rd. Largo 20774, 6:30 PM and MON November 18 at OXON HILL HIGH SCHOOL 6701 Leyte Drive Oxon Hill 20745 6:30 PM. Follow link for details.
Baltimore progressives, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful activist calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous week 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]
We recently published these blog posts:
September 27, 2019 Saving Shoppers Food for our workers and communities: Del. Dereck E. Davis
We folks at Progressive Maryland are not always fans of Prince George’s Del. Dereck E. Davis (nor vice versa). He is nailing it here, however -- an asset-stripping corporate predator is threatening one of the region’s stable and beneficial businesses, Shoppers Food, which has come to be a reliable provider of full-line grocery goods in many marginalized neighborhoods where other chain groceries have edged back. But is he overlooking the opportunity to actually involve workers and communities in the public interest?
September 25, 2019 State officials pressed on outreach effort for MD census count in 2020
“The top indicators for places that tend to be undercounted during the Census: low-income communities, communities with a lot of renters, communities with a lot of female-headed households, and communities where people have only recently moved in,” as this Maryland Matters report states. Progressive activists want to make sure these constituencies don’t get left behind in many respects, including the critical state census count, and members of an appointed “Complete Count Committee” are pursuing the question.
September 24, 2019 New Lead Organizer in Baltimore City brings experience, passion to the task
As Maryland progressives gear up for the 2020 election cycle and the 2020 General Assembly session, strategy and personnel mesh. We introduce here Progressive Maryland's new Baltimore City Lead Organizer Kenyarn Maxfield, who brings organizing at the college level and over a half-decade of work around the country in electoral campaigns to the work of building power for working families in his home town, Baltimore City.
September 23, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 23, 2019
In this week’s Memo, we have news about school improvement activism at the grassroots level across communities, the fuss about crossing the Bay, Medicare for All needs a signal boost in the House and the Prince George’s Council chair needs to introduce public safety bills. Plus our Progressive Maryland resources. Read on.
As Hogan and his GOP minions jealously guard the budget against school improvement plans, the state Dems have urged him to wise up about the state's priorities and an advocacy coalition has scheduled 23 town-hall type information events around the state in the next several months.
>>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