image_for_annapolis_rally.jpgBe sure to join progressives in Annapolis Wednesday as we show the General Assembly members that doing their duty can be done safely  -- they can conduct a Special Session and save Marylanders from incompetence at the national and executive level. The Weekly Memo covers the latest voting information, health care struggles and progressive pushback against business as usual when ... well, when there isn't any usual. Plus our recent blogs. See it all in the PM Weekly Memo.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 14, 2020


Top of the week: We will no longer watch our representatives simply sit on the sidelines while hundreds of thousands of Marylanders are losing their jobs, unable to pay rent and are being evicted from their home. We need our representatives to get back to work now. 

Join us this Wednesday, September 16th, in Annapolis to demand that the Maryland General Assembly reconvene for a Special Session to support the people. Click here to RSVP and receive the location info.

 Our General Assembly has been making the excuse that it is unsafe for them to reconvene during this time for too long now so we are going to show them how this can be done. Families across the state are suffering and our representatives are doing nothing to help. The goal of this action is to gather in unity to show the legislature that it is possible for them to reconvene and that our families can’t wait any longer for relief! Safety is of utmost concern so we are taking all necessary precautions very seriously - masks are REQUIRED and you must adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Click here to safely participate.

 Annapolis Action: Maryland Special Session Now!   Wednesday, September 16th 


*location details will only be shared with those who register* We hope you will join us on Wednesday!image_for_annapolis_rally.jpg

More about this ongoing issue and the coalition building around it here, here and here -- from our blogs.



Make Your Plan to Vote: 

Decide on your plan this week. There are  just seven weeks to go until Nov. 3 and six weeks  to Early Voting.  Here’s some information to help you make your plan:

Why Vote?

The 2020 election will decide our country’s future and the fate of many community, health and racial justice issues including the way our government handles the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. Here in Maryland, we will cast our votes for President and for our U.S. House Members. In many jurisdictions we will also be voting on important offices for City Council, Mayor, School Board and the Judiciary. Please vote on all the offices and ballot measures up and down the ballot. 

Critical ballot measures around issues like campaign finance reform and tax policy are also in play. Check our social media posts to learn about our endorsed candidates and positions on ballot measures. Reach out to our local organizers to learn more or contact Patty Snee at [email protected] with questions about the election and/or our efforts.

How Do I Vote?

Vote by mail: Request an Absentee Ballot 

--Step 1 

Absentee ballot request forms have started to be mailed so look for them in the mail. Complete the request form upon receipt and mail it back immediately in the envelope provided. That will  help ensure that you receive your actual  ballot as soon as possible.   

If you have not received a ballot request form in the mail, you may request a ballot application directly by going online. Fill out the online form and your request will be processed and a ballot sent. Or you can text  VBM to 77788 to get your ballot application. To track the status of your request use the state’s voter lookup tool. 

You must request your ballot no later than October 20. Don’t wait that long. Act now and urge your community to do the same. 

Once you receive your application for a ballot, fill it out and mail it back right away.

--Step 2

After you get your actual ballot, review the vote by mail instructions for returning your ballot. The two best options to turn in/cast your physical ballot: 

  •  Mail your ballot back using the envelope provided
  •  Drop it off in person at a secure drop box at one of the officially designated locations

            in your county.


Can I Vote In Person?


During Early Voting from October 26-November 2. Each county will have some designated sites and will set up safe, physically distanced voting places. Check your County Board of Elections website for locations and hours.

Or on Election Day November. 3  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. Help us reach voters and turn out the vote:


Some Election Resources:

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.

The state Board of Elections and your County Board of Elections can answer requests and questions, too.

If you have any questions or problems with any aspect of voting call: 866 Our Vote 

(866) 687-8683   


Health Care Update

We continue to push for support in the United States Senate, along with our partners at People’s Action, for the Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act. The Senate is back in session so please take a minute to click the link and email Sen. Van Hollen to ask that he co-sponsor this critical bill. The Act would provide health care through Medicare to  thousands of Marylanders who have lost their health care or who need help paying co-pays and deductibles. 

We held a virtual Montgomery COVID-19 Forum in late August to discuss the status of the local government response, and to provide information and resources about testing and various County programs. We were joined by Councilmember Albornoz and also had a chance to hear from County Executive Marc Elrich. We appreciate their efforts and engagement with the community when it comes to this ongoing public health crisis. We’re contacting CE Elrich to ask that he consider some additional steps. Montgomery County residents please send: 

We will hold a statewide virtual Healthcare Forum on Sept. 30. Stay tuned for details and contact Malcolm or Patty if you have a healthcare story to share or want to be involved with the event.  [email protected]   [email protected] CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.png


National picture -- widening slump in household incomes as CARE act UI supplement expires, Trump taps FEMA emergency money.

Trump is seeking a “hero of capitalist labor” medal for his executive order to add $300 to state unemployment benefits. And? Many have seen little of that money as states’ antiquated UI payment systems choke again on the new requirements. CNN reported in late August “Trump's move... is ‘too little too late,’ Goldman Sachs analysts said, warning that consumer spending may take a hit this month. The expiration of Congress' $600 boost will result in a roughly $70 billion decline in monthly personal income in August, and the data suggest that the jobless have already started paring back their spending, the analysts said.”

Worse, Trump tapped into FEMA disaster funds for the money, while the hurricane season is unusually active (hello, Sally) and the West Coast sometimes seems to be one big wildfire with many names. FEMA planned to “send states three weeks of funding and then make additional disbursements until the $44 billion allotment runs out,” as the WaPo said Sept. 11 was rapidly happening. “The money is expected to provide only four to five weeks of supplemental payments,” CNN said. 

THRIVE agenda gets propitious launch with wide support

Meanwhile Congress remains deadlocked on new COVID relief as the House returns to session. A bright spot is the wide support for the THRIVE agenda, which lays out the unifying principles necessary to build a society that enables dignified work; increased racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice; healthy communities; and a stable climate. Joy Blackwood reports from People’s Action that the launch of the THRIVE agenda last week Thursday (Sept. 10) was a success. More than 200 leading unions, racial justice, climate and other progressive groups joined forces with over 80 members of Congress endorsed/co-sponsored this bold economic renewal plan. Senators Chuck Schumer, Ed Markey and Rep. Debbie Haaland led the press launch -- follow that link for the full story on THRIVE.


Progressive Prince George’s 

PMD Montgomery

Frederick County Progressives

Take Action Anne Arundel County

Talbot Rising

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus -- LSPC announced a PAC for progressive change at its Sept. 3 meeting.

PMD Baltimore



Tonight, Monday September 14 | 8 PM

Black Health + Black Liberation: Why do we have racial health disparities?

A virtual panel discussion with topic specialists grounded in science. Jointly presented by People’s Action and DSA. Information at the link above.

Tuesday, September 15 | 5 – 7:30 PM


At 5200 Silver Hill Rd, District Heights, MD 20747-2045 -- DEMAND that police are removed from PGCPS, and more money is invested in school counselors and mental health specialists. The school board will be voting on this issue on Sep 17th -- LET THE SCHOOL BOARD KNOW WE WANT COUNSELORS NOT COPS!! Hosted by PG Change Makers Coalition, info at Facebook event link.


Wednesday, September 16 -- 7:30 PM

Progressive Cheverly Prince George’s County School Board Candidates Forum 
Two nonpartisan candidates running for one seat, Shayla Adams-Stafford ( and Bryan Swann ( incumbent) will attend our forum.  Get updates and access info here


Wednesday September 16 | 5:30-7:30 PM

Rally for Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis

Demand legislators meet to support Maryland families racked by job loss, rent demands and illegal evictions -- instead of sitting on the sidelines. Show them how groups can convene safely -- which we will do. Co-sponsors include Progressive Maryland.  Click here to RSVP and receive the location info before the event.Friday,


September 25 -- 7:30 PM
Progressive Cheverly Legislative Forum with Maryland District 47 Representatives
Senator Malcolm Augustine and Delegates Diana Fennell, Julian Ivey are confirmed and Del.  Wanika Fisher (invited) -- virtual event with Q&A in chat. Get updates and access info here


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]


September 11, 2020 MD's flagship university flagging in addressing inequalities in campus life

A UM student writing in The Diamondback takes the pandemic-hobbled College Park campus administration to task for leaving a critical stakeholder out of planning participants, and exposing campus workers to hazardous conditions as students return to an uncertain semester.


September 08, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, September 8, 2020

In the Memo -- planning to vote, rescuing the census, take care of each other (mental health too), and getting the General Assembly to do its job. All that plus events and doings of progressives around the state.


September 06, 2020 Unions are best when bargaining "for the public good" -- but can police unions do that?

 "Many people who support labor unions in principle, who view them as a countervailing force against the power of employers, have only recently come to view police unions as problematic – as entities that perpetuate a culture of racism and violence," says a scholar of the union movement. How can that be? "...police unions differ fundamentally from almost all trade unions in America." As issues of police brutality and criminal justice reform are sparked around the nation by protests, a Labor Day consideration published Sept. 4  by Maryland Matters.

September 04, 2020 Happy Labor Day! Maryland's protections for public employees are weak

Happy Labor Day! Maryland ranks with Kansas (Kansas!) in the strength of our labor protections for public employees, a roundup by the Economic Policy Institute shows. A little better than a right-to-work state like Virginia, but that is not a high bar.

September 02, 2020 We need a special session, and you need to make your move to vote

Message One: Where are our legislators when we really, really need them?
Message Two: Don’t let all this official incompetence get between you and your vote – make your move, and vote in time to be counted.

Read on

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.”

August 25, 2020 O.C. spending big to lobby against wind project popular with public

Eastern Shore progressive activist Jared Schablein salutes the Maryland PSC move to approve turbine specs and placement for offshore wind development well over the horizon near Ocean City. He also laments the increasing and very expensive lobbying effort to stop the project by Ocean City’s oligarchs and their partners in government (a quarter-million bucks to Bereano over four years?). As we see in the gratuitous notes below Schablein’s opinion article in Maryland Matters, the race between Maryland and Virginia to be slowest in achieving offshore wind reality is still neck and neck.

August 21, 2020 Rallies around Maryland to support Postal Service set for tomorrow

Activists around Maryland are planning events Saturday (Aug. 22) in support of the embattled US Postal Service and its key role in mail-in voting as the pandemic makes in-person voting risky for some. Find where they are here.

August 19, 2020 Wednesday Wrap -- Postal reversal, Bay decline, other scandals

As the week rolls on it's easy to miss some of the juiciest outrages affecting Maryland -- the USPS slowdown and its aftermath doesn't give Congress DeJoy; bye bye to a Hogan staff chief who cashed in too visibly (Larry is more careful); Hogan's "rain tax" gambit besmirches his stewardship of the Bay, and more. Should we be ashamed of always looking at the downside? Well, maybe -- but we aren't.

August 15, 2020 Major Step Towards Special Session! Maryland AG Lays Pathway for Conducting Session During Pandemic.

In a major victory for organizations demanding solutions from the Maryland General Assembly to address the looming eviction crisis on Friday August 14th, a letter from the Maryland Attorney General lays out a pathway for the General Assembly to reconvene.

August 13, 2020 ‘Too Much at Stake’ to Wait Till January, Special Session Advocates Say

Progressive Maryland joined activist groups representing workers, tenants, immigrants, parents, students and others who pledged on Wednesday to ramp up their campaign to bring the Maryland General Assembly back to Annapolis for a special session. This article from Maryland Matters outlines our campaign.

 August 12, 2020 We must have a Special Session -- ramping up the campaign

 These times demand that our elected representatives take decisive action to aid the people of our state. 

However this is not happening. Hard-pressed Marylanders increasingly call on the General Assembly to reconvene for a special session to address our current crisis. Our executive director, Larry Stafford Jr., weighs the options here and explains why today, Progressive 

Maryland is joining with 70 labor, faith, and community organizations in the demand for a special session of the Maryland General Assembly. 

August 11, 2020 Progressive Maryland launches leadership development program

Progressive Maryland "has launched a program to train and educate potential candidates for office and other political advocates " as we see in this article from Maryland Matters, the insightful statewide political blog. The site's founder/editor, longtime state political observer Josh Kurtz, outlined the plan and the people in an article posted yesterday (Monday, Aug. 10).

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


woody woodruff


M.A. and Ph.d. from University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism, would-be radical, sci-fi fan... retired to a life of keyboard radicalism...