Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, February 16, 2021

CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngWelcome to our Tuesday post-holiday Weekly Memo.

Both chambers of the General Assembly have overridden Gov. Hogan’s vetoes of the bills enabling and funding the rescue of our state education effort (the Kirwan plan). Our schools are fighting the triple crisis (COVID, economy, historically inadequate school funding) and Gov. Hogan’s 2020 veto as the pandemic’s grip tightened was a major setback.

As Black History Month continues, we are continuing to put Black futures at the forefront to affirm, celebrate, and defend all Black lives. See below for information on various events this month to educate yourself and support Black communities. 

This and much more in the Memo.



 

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, February 16, 2021 


Dear [first name or Friend],

Welcome to our Tuesday post-holiday Memo.

Both chambers of the General Assembly have overridden Gov. Hogan’s vetoes of the bills enabling and funding the rescue of our state education effort (the Kirwan plan). Our schools are fighting the triple crisis (COVID, economy, historically inadequate school funding) and Gov. Hogan’s 2020 veto as the pandemic’s grip tightened was a major setback. This and much more in the Memo.

 

As Black History Month continues, we are continuing to put Black futures at the forefront to affirm, celebrate, and defend all Black lives. See below for information on various events this month to educate yourself and support Black communities. 

Thank you for being part of this movement. We hope you enjoy the Memo!

In Solidarity,

The PM Team

Quick Actions:

  • Become an official member of Progressive Maryland 
  • Step into leadership in one of our statewide task forces 
  • Join us on Slack to continue the conversation
  • Tweet at Gov Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) and say this: “Undocument immigrants pay taxes too. They deserve to be included in all COVID relief just like everyone else!!”

 

Statewide Updates:

MPLI Applications are open for the 2021 Spring Cohort!

The Maryland People’s Leadership Institute (MPLI) is a program Progressive Maryland offers  to train prospective candidates and campaign staff who want to run for or manage campaigns for state and local office. If you are interested in this program please complete an application here. Applications are due by February 28. Our curriculum is grounded in grassroots movement politics and covers topics like:  how to target and run strong voter contact programs, fundraising for a successful campaign, building relationships/building teams, and using effective messaging and communication strategies. Our next group of participants will be selected in March for the Spring 2021 Cohort. Thanks to our affiliates and partners, too, for their support of the program.

 

Environmental Justice Campaign Update:

We are actively working to make environmental justice a priority this legislative session, along with our continued support for COVID relief. The communities that are facing disproportionate impacts to climate change and other environmental hazards are many of the same communities that are also being hardest hit by the pandemic. We believe that we can consecutively push for recovery of both people and the planet, which includes lifting up low-income communities of color by removing barriers to basic environmental human rights like clean air and water. If you are interested in joining our Environmental Justice Task Force, please reach out to [email protected]

 

Local Chapter Updates:

Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland

    Fair Elections Task Force Meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 6:30pm -- Register here

The Progressive Maryland Campaign for Fair Elections in Anne Arundel County is now on social media! Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We are working to get big money out of politics!!pm_chapter_map.jpg

Baltimore City

Baltimore County/ Frederick County/ Western Maryland

Progressive Montgomery

Help fight for more inclusive housing in Montgomery County: 

Use this form to tell the Montgomery County Council & Montgomery Planning Board to support missing middle housing near transit! Councilmember Will Jawando has introduced Zoning Text Amendment 20-07, which would make it easier to build duplexes, townhomes, and small apartment buildings within one mile of Metro stations.

Allowing more housing types in transit-oriented neighborhoods that currently only allow single-family detached homes helps promote inclusivity, affordability, sustainability, and prosperity. Montgomery County has been studying and discussing missing middle housing for several years, and now it's time to act!

Feel free to customize the email below to share your story about housing in Montgomery County.https://secure.everyaction.com/cPQ-vA9DQka9a1mCxIIt0w2 

Petition for Medicare for All in Montgomery County 

Guaranteeing healthcare as a human right is critical if we are going to recover from this pandemic. The best way to ensure that right is to pass Medicare for All, the single payer health care bill supported by folks like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Part of the push to pass this legislation is happening right here in our communities. Pressure from local governments is key to push our electors leaders in the Senate and the House. Local resolutions supporting Medicare for All have already been passed by 50 different city and county councils across the country. We hope they can play a key role in pressuring members of congress to vote for and co-sponsor Medicare for All.

Please sign your name to the petition below calling on the Montgomery County Council to pass a resolution supporting Medicare for All. https://secure.everyaction.com/coteAj6iNEaluzGbkf3r2A2 

 

Progressive Prince George’s

 

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus (Affiliate Chapter)

 

STATE AND NATIONAL ALERTS

 

Maryland Governance -- the 2021 Legislative Session


It’s the top of the hill in the Assembly session -- deadlines for new bills have passed, so we get to see the steepness of the slope we will sled down toward adjournment, with over 2,270 bills in the hop;per and maybe a few more to come, our allies at the Legislative Coalition figure. Get their picture of the week(s) ahead.

And here is a detailed calendar of the hearing dates through Feb. 26 with tips on how to make your voice heard in Annapolis, again from our allies at the Legislative Coalition.

Progressive leaders in the Assembly are trying to untie the hands of local governments working to remove police officers from schools. A two-year-old law mandates and funds the School Resource Officers statewide but repeal advocates, including Progressive Maryland, argue that Black and Brown students are disproportionately disciplined by officers. Two Montgomery delegates have proposed two different changes to their fellow House members.

 

COVID-19

We continue to see the death toll across the state and across the world rise. We mourn all those who have been killed by the virus and we are more committed than ever to organize for a comprehensive and compassionate response to the pandemic. The Progressive Maryland Agenda for A Full and Equitable Response:  We are pushing for legislation that will advance racial equity, support essential workers, and provide funding to meet the needs of all Marylanders who have been affected by the pandemic.

--Workers on the frontlines continue to need PPE and other protections like paid leave and hazard pay to stay safe and supported on the job. Here’s a first hand account from the field by a healthcare staffer and 1199 SEIU member:

That perspective has to be considered in the deliberations about the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act. We’re hearing of  potential opposition from some members of the Senate Finance Committee. Stay tuned to PM’s FB and social media accounts for ways to take action on the bill and more in this Memo next week.

--Racial equity should be centered in all the major pandemic related public policies being considered  in Annapolis, particularly when it comes to health equity. That’s why we support efforts to pass the Health Equity Act which would establish Health Equity Resource Communities to bring more clinics and health care services to underserved communities. HB463 and SB172 would allocate several million dollars, generated by a penny increase in the alcohol tax, to provide grants and incentives for health providers to offer new kinds of care that are missing in neighborhood clusters  with some of our state’s worst health outcomes. 

--Comprehensive financial aid is desperately needed  for folks everywhere in the state. The Governor and MGA have agreed to a roughly $1 billion package of financial aid to assist families, individuals, small businesses and nonprofits. Unfortunately and unbelievably the measure leaves out, according to CASA,  approximately 86,000 Maryland taxpayers. Why? Because the Governor refuses to include immigrants who are working hard, paying taxes, and trying to deal with the economic and health fallout of COVID-19 just like their neighbors, employers, and customers. It’s been reported that when some Prince Georges’ legislators objected to Hogan’s stance on aid to immigrants, the Administration sent its lobbyists to threaten them with pulling support for minority owned businesses. Governor Hogan’s callous disregard for Maryland’s immigrants has been seen elsewhere, too, in his treatment of public employees, teachers, and local public health leaders and advocates across the state. His attitude is putting people’s health and financial well being at risk. Read more here.



Vaccine News and Updates

President Biden announced at the NIH last Thursday that the United States will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate 300 million people by the end of the summer. Approximately 26 million doses have been administered in the first three weeks of the Biden-Harris Administration. All of this bodes well for our country’s ability to succeed in fighting the pandemic as spring and summer approach.  

Unfortunately, vaccine supplies are still not sufficient to meet the number of people the Governor has declared eligible in Maryland. There’s growing concern among local health officials and County office holders around the state about the management and distribution of supply and the lack of coordination with local governments from the State. So much so that the Maryland Association of Counties sent a two page letter to the Hogan Administration last week to address a number of vaccine related concerns.  (As our readers probably know, many of the county officials in MACo are Republicans despite Maryland’s deep-Blue reputation -- so these are Hogan’s own people telling him to please listen, Larry…)

We share this point of view and call upon the Governor to release state funds to help local health departments in order to add staff and capacity in this critical undertaking. It’s local health departments who are best positioned to ensure that public education efforts are  happening and that equitable distribution systems are created. We also would like to see a streamlined and user friendly registration system that could help ease the strain on everyone from users to providers.  In the meantime we urge patience and consideration of the folks who are most vulnerable and in need of the vaccine.  Please keep in mind, too, that public health guidelines like double masking, washing hands, social distancing and staying at home as much as possible, are still critical to reducing the spread of the virus.

 

Healthcare Justice Campaign Update

In addition to our work around COVID relief we are focused on other important local, state, and federal campaigns outlined below. 

End Medical Debt: Hearings are set this week on the pro-consumer, pro-patient bills that we support. We owe thanks especially to Del. Lorig Charkoudian for her leadership and work on the Medical Debt Protection Act (HB565/SB514).Sign on to show your support as an individual and receive email updates here. Please contact Lindsey Muniak ([email protected]) with any questions or to get more involved in the campaign.

Medicare for All: Legislation that will improve and expand Medicare and would provide a way for all Americans to get health coverage no matter their age, location, employment status, or medical situation, will be introduced again in Congress in February. We appreciate Rep. Raskin and Sarbanes signing on again to co-sponsor. We now need to get more of the Maryland Congressional delegation to join them. To help persuade these Members we are urging some of our local County Councils to pass resolutions urging the Delegation  to co-sponsor the Jayapal and Sanders’ bills. 

Montgomery County residents: Please take a moment now to sign the petition and share widely with your MoCo friends and family.

We are also helping a similar effort in Prince George’s County and are very interested in doing the same in other counties and cities. Local resolution campaigns are going on around the country. Please contact Josh or Patty if you’d like to be part of this effort:  [email protected], [email protected]

  

National Action Alerts

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s Nomination to head HHS: Progressive Maryland along with our national affiliate, People’s Action, strongly supports Xavier Becerra’s confirmation as Health and Human Services Secretary. A confirmation hearing is scheduled for next week before the Finance Committee. Sen. Ben Cardin is a senior member of the Committee and we had an opportunity to meet with his staff last week. Thanks to our member leaders for guiding the conversation! Sen. Cardin supports Becerra but his staff told us they expect some Republican opposition in the Committee. Here’s an op-ed by former HHS Secretaries Shalala and Sebelius outlining the strong case for moving quickly to install Becerra. 

If you have questions or want to get involved in this effort, please contact Mike Walsh, a PM Healthcare Task Force leader, at [email protected].  

Our People’s Action allies remind us that the Biden-Harris Administration has re-opened HealthCare.Gov through May 15, 2021 for all Americans to have the opportunity to sign-up for health insurance that could alleviate some of the issues many individuals and families are facing due to this global public health pandemic. To learn more about this, please link to the Statement on the 2021 Special Health Insurance Enrollment Period.

More from People’s Action: This is a cusp period for getting a clean people’s bailout across the finish line in Congress. The House is finishing up work on a bill that can be passed as budget reconciliation by a majority vote in the Senate, though the Biden-Harris Administration continues to woo GOP senators. But it can happen without them. Here’s the ask from Joy Blackwood at People’s Action: “District Meetings or Advocacy Support Resources: Let’s keep our drumbeat going while your Representative and/or Senators are returning from President’s Day recess and let your elected official know we need to pass the American Rescue Plan before March 14 [when some current protections expire].. We’ve prepared a mini-resource package of materials including (a) Background on the Biden-Harris American Rescue Plan, (b) our 2021 COVID Priorities, (c) Meeting Request Template, (d) Sample Agenda and (e) Talking Points. Links to everything is below. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me or our campaigns director, Sondra Youdelman .”

 


Housing Crisis: Our People’s Action Homes Guarantee campaign/team has been working diligently in making sure our members stay in their homes by fighting to cancel rent and mortgages during this pandemic. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-XX) will re-introduce the Emergency Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act hopefully this week which has been one of the driving pieces of legislation our Housing Justice/Homes Guarantee team has galvanized around. The Biden-Harris administration has announced a coordinated extension and expansion of forbearance and foreclosure relief programs, which is excellent for many. We need support from everyone to get additional House co-sponsorship to join Rep. Omar and amplification on everyone’s social media sites to ensure our members and the individuals and families we advocate for stay in their homes during this pandemic. Please contact Tara Raghuveer for more details on how you can assist in our efforts.  

 

Events from our allies: 

A lineup of some awesome Black History Month Events:

The Maryland Democratic Party is excited to present a new Black Lives Matter panel for Black History Month, Black Lives Matter: Building Black Wealth — Wednesday, February 17th at 7:00 PM. Join moderator Wes Moore, Author and CEO; Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones; State Senator Melony Griffith; Executive Vice President for City First Bank Shannan Herbert; and Director and Head of Talent at Schmidt Futures Tony Woods for a conversation on building Black wealth, equality, and long-term prosperity in America. RSVP at mddems.org/blmnextsteps

 

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation “Policy for the People” Virtual Summit Series presents a two-part Health Equity Summit on February 18: 

-Part One: Understanding the Impact of the COVID-19 Vaccine on the Black Community. February 18, 2021 10-11AM EST. Register here. 

-Part Two: Mental Health Realities for Black America. February 18, 2021 2-3PM EST. Register here.

 

Wednesday, February 24, 8- 9:30am City-County Climate Action Collaboration: A Climate Action Coffee Forum from Takoma Park Mobilization: how the City of Takoma Park and Montgomery County can collaborate on climate action with a focus on actionable items -- virtual access here.

 

Where Water & Justice Meet | Feb. 25th, 6pm CST (8pm EST). Water is complicated. Too much and we face flooding, too little and we face disease, war, and famine. The use of lead water pipes endangers our communities and puts people of color at particular risk. Shutoffs make it hard for people to follow basic hygiene guidelines in the middle of a pandemic. Learn how you can take action to protect healthy drinking water in your community and preserve water in this webinar. We will share quick action items as well as free curriculum available for educating your House of Worship or community. Register here.

 

Seminar Series: Advancing Ecology and Environmental Data Science for a More Just and Equitable Future by The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Diversity Committee This seminar is free and open to the public. 'Wealth, Race, and Wildlife: The Impacts of Structural Inequality on Urban Wildlife'. Wednesday, March 3, 11am-12pm PST (2-3pm EST). Join the Zoom webinar: https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/83031551654




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].

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 8, 2021

It’s Impeachment Week in the halls of Congress! And it’s Veto Week in Annapolis! Trump faces a reckoning, piloted by lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin of MoCo, and Hogan faces veto overrides in the General Assembly to get moving on rescuing our state education effort in the way the triple crisis (COVID, economy, historically inadequate school funding) demands. This and much more in the Memo.

February 05, 2021 WEEKENDER: Working together to tackle the bad state of the state

What is crushing our communities during the COVID emergency? In many ways, they are the same social factors that keep our vulnerable communities under stress at most times – but the COVID crisis has cruelly exposed those factors. Hogan's "State of the State 2021" chatfest dodged big issues and made current miseries sound like our fault, not his. But there are paths we can take that will get us out.

February 03, 2021 Americans need COVID relief NOW, not footsie with Mitch McConnell

Marylanders across the progressive spectrum know: Corporate politicians and billionaires getting rich during the pandemic may not understand that folks are suffering, but everyday people do. We need a real COVID relief plan, not a watered-down bill to make Mitch McConnell happy.

Congress is shaping the next COVID-19 bill this week, but it’s clear that some politicians and their billionaire backers either don’t understand or don’t care what’s happening across the country. Time for all of us to remind them who they are working for.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 1, 2021

Greetings to Progressive Maryland activists and supporters who are new to the Weekly Memo!

Most Mondays, the Memo sums up the news you can use throughout Maryland, focusing on Progressive Maryland’s multi-issue scope growing electoral and civil power in tandem. Events across the state and across the progressive action landscape are right at your hand here, and the thoughts and actions of those fighting for working families are embodied in our blog posts. Get what you need here.

January 25, 2021 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 25, 2021

Your activist calendar for the week, plus info on health, politics and... well, the crossroads where they meet, which is our whole lives right now.

Start with Progressive Maryland's Environmental Task Force meeting in just a few -- 5pm to 6pm TODAY, Monday Jan. 25. See the Memo about that and more.

January 13, 2021 As legislature opens, recovery agenda for state is clearly stated

Does the Maryland General Assembly, opening today, have the resilience to do the people’s business in a worsening pandemic, under unprecedented conditions and rules for both legislators and members of the public -- who wants them to attend to the emergency we have now? And who wants them to be open about what they are accomplishing, or not accomplishing? See what a People's Recovery Agenda must include and how we will fight for it.

January 05, 2021 Assembly Session challenge: focus on pandemic learning loss

Repairing the damage to learning brought by the pandemic, a veteran Maryland education official argues, "legislators should be guided by two basic rules. One is to follow the science. The other is to have the resolve to make tough, triage-like policy choices. Research also teaches that tutoring in the early grades will be most effective during regular school hours by paid, well-trained tutors and integrated into a school’s framework of tiered interventions for struggling readers." Given the inevitable shortfall in finances, "legislators must resist intense political pressure to simply spread the learning loss money among many competing relief proposals," and focus on what research shows would be the highest-return policy.

>>Keeping up with Progressive Maryland’s 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 2017-19 starting from here  and the blogs 2019-2020 here.

Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org.



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