Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, February 19, 2019

pm_folks_with_banner.jpgThe General Assembly session is finishing up its first of about three months of sausage-making, and there is a lot to be concerned about. We are tackling our broader progressive agenda, prioritizing the fight for the $15 minimum wage at Progressive Maryland’s own Lobby Night March 4. See more below.



 

The General Assembly session is finishing up its first (of about three) months, and there is a lot to be concerned about. Progressive Maryland’s top priority is the $15 minimum wage.

STATEWIDE

The Maryland General Assembly is beginning its second month (sine die is April 8) and Progressive Maryland, in harness with manymovement_politics_promo_for_March_16.png progressive allies, is working to advance a progressive agenda during the session as well as in all of 2019. And we’ll be conducting Movement Politics Training, where we show how important organizing in your community between elections, if you really want to have impact at the ballot box. Movement politics training is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 beginning at 10 AM. Here’s more:

Are you interested in running for office, working on a campaign, or volunteering on one in 2020? Then we've got the perfect training for you. Progressive Maryland is excited to announce our the first one-day Movement Politics Training of 2019! 

We'll cover a range of topics from the process and rules of filing to run for office and how to run a campaign, including fundraising, campaign strategy, endorsements, field operations, communications, and budgeting. Click here to RSVP.

You'll also learn how the political system functions, why it’s currently failing Maryland voters, and what trainees can do to change that as we get ready for the next election cycle.

We want to empower passionate folks like you to have the skills and tools you need to change the political landscape in Maryland. In just one day, you will learn the tools of the trade from experienced organizers and will leave with the skills needed to launch and WIN your own electoral campaigns.

The training will be held in Baltimore on Saturday, March 16th. Space is limited so RSVP today! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Alexiss at 301-684-6715 or by email at alexiss@progressivemaryland.org


LOBBY NIGHT

march_4_pm_lobby_night.jpgProgressive Maryland has scheduled a Lobby Night for Monday, March 4, 5 PM to 8, in Annapolis to take our issues and agenda directly to our legislators . We want our progressive folks in individual legislative districts – you know who you are – to contact your regular progressive peers in that district and form district lobbying teams. Soon we’ll be setting up meetings with your delegates and senator for that evening.

Our top priority in the Assembly is the Fight for $15 – a statewide $15 minimum wage law that is gaining lots of traction this session. The Senate Finance Committee hearing is this Thursday, Feb. 21. See more coverage here. and for full context, read our recent blog post and watch for our testimony on the bill in the BlogSpace tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 20). You can attend the hearing. Do you want to testify (3 minutes) about what it would mean to you and people in your community? Email Jay Hutchins.

What you need to know: House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 280 would phase in the wage increase over five years and tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index. According to a reliable and authoritative poll released this week by Goucher College, as the bill has gotten more and more coverage – including pushback from business interests – public support for a $15 minimum wage has only grown. Now, a full two-thirds of respondents across the state (67 percent) support the $15 minimum wage.

  The House Economic Matters hearing on House Bill 166which has already taken place -- can be viewed at this link http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/mga/play/c5bb038c-6f72-48b3-bb9d-f77eb549220c/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c    Pamela Wood covered the hearing for the Sun. The committee will vote later on whether to move the bill forward.


Appeals about progressive bills in the legislature are coming from our allies:

During the late, nasty and possibly once and future federal shutdown, we saw how much collateral damage was dealt to contract and contingent employees of the US government. That happens in Maryland more than you would think. A new bill aims to remedy that:

HOUSE BILL 491 State Contractual Employees – Paid Leave 

State contractual employees lose pay each time the executive branch unexpectedly closes the government.  Most recently, the closure for GHW Bush's funeral resulted in lost pay for thousands of workers.  House Bill 491 will change that, allowing for paid leave for contractual employees.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, February 21.  We are gathering testimony to present at the hearing.  If you are a contractual employee and have suffered pay loss on unexpected occasions, we would like to hear from you.  Written statements will be submitted at the hearing.  All who are willing and able are also encouraged to come to Annapolis to show support.  The session begins at 1 p.m. but no specific time for the bill to be heard has been posted. Please submit your statements to Ronda Cooperstein -  rondacooperstein@hotmail.com  

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“Prescription drugs don't work if people can't afford them. That's why Marylanders need a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set fair and affordable rates for high-cost prescription drugs. Please contact your legislators)  and urge them to co-sponsor legislation to be introduced by Senator Kathy Klausmeier and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This bill will help make all high-cost prescription drugs more affordable for Marylanders. We need this because the high cost of prescription drugs is making it hard for everyone to get the medications they need and driving up our premiums.” More here from the Maryland Center for Economic Policy

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And according to a news release from DontWiden270, a MoCo citizen group, they are urging support for legislation to protect their homes and neighborhoods from Governor Hogan’s unpopular highway plan to add toll lanes to I-270. The legislation, HB-102, known as the “County Consent” bill, would prohibit construction of toll roads, highways, or bridges without the consent of a majority of the affected counties. The bill expands a current state law under which Eastern Shore counties have that privilege. For the bill text and a list of co-sponsors, see https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/HB102/2019. To read a petition urging passage of the bill, visit www.dontwiden270.org/supporthb102 . To read more about the toll roads controversy, see our BlogSpace post here or below in our week’s blog roundup.

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The Maryland Legislative Coalition is bird-dogging numerous progressive bills, most of which are in our wheelhouse if not always on our priorities list. Find out more here. And check out their essential list of upcoming committee hearings here.  


OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George's

Saturday, February 23, Participatory Defense Community Meeting at 01:00 PM, NAACP PG Headquarters in Upper Marlboro, MD rsvp


 

  PMD Montgomery


Take Action Anne Arundel County

Take Action AAC Events & Actions

Environmental Action

Take Action AAC is working with grassroots organizations in the Earth Coalition on 4 key legislative bills focused on clean energy, banning polystyrene foam, banning chlorpyrifos (pesticide), and the right to a clean environment.

Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm -- Public Hearing on Foam Ban Bill at Anne Arundel County Council Chambers, 44 Calvert Street

Bill 5-19 -- Ordinance -- Licensing Polystyrene Foam Foodservice Products -- Public hearing on Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm at Anne Arundel County Council Chambers, 44 Calvert Street 

Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien is sponsoring this bill along with co-sponsors Councilwoman Lacey, Councilwoman Pickard, and Chairman Pruski -- thank you to our county council representatives who are championing a bill that will reduce pollutants in our watershed.

5G/Wireless Action

Thursday, February 21 at 1 pm - Public Hearing on 5G Wireless Industry Bill at the House of Delegates in Annapolis 

Economic Matters Committee Meeting  Room- 6 Bladen Street Annapolis MD

The telecommunications industry is back paving the way for 5G/Wireless small cell antennas to be placed on public utility polls within 50 feet of homes and businesses.

This is a bad bill. It removes local jurisdictions’ authority to review the placement of these small cell antennas and removes the public from the review process. 

Testify against this bill and ask your state delegate to support local authority and vote no for House Bill 654

Other Anne Arundel Events

Saturday, March 2 at 1 pm -- Women's Unity March in Annapolis, hosted by March on Maryland 

This year, our Women's Unity March centers around Coretta Scott King's powerful words: "Women if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul."

Our March is a call for women and allies to come together, to discuss how we can uplift and amplify the most marginalized, underrepresented, and oppressed members of our community. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.

Each speaker will give the attendees information on the challenges that their community faces and also offer tangible next steps for us to support their efforts. We hope to offer insight, information, and inspiration to people who want to improve the lives of our fellow humans.   

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 Progressive Howard County

Note that the Howard County Times has a roundup of local bills in the Assembly...

Wednesday, February 27 Howard County Executive Calvin Ball delivers “State of the County” Address to the county Chamber of Commerce. 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM at Turf Valley Resort, 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City.  County Executive Ball expected to speak at approximately 12:30 p.m. For more information about the event, visit here.

 


Talbot Rising

 


Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Check out the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus’s legislative agenda, including the Trust Act, Fight for $15, Medicare for All, clean air issues and more. Plus an explainer: why ranked choice voting would be good for the Shore.

Also, read the Caucus chair’s take on 2020 candidate mania – plus a recent blog post from the leadership team.


PMD Baltimore – We’re still talking about Medicare for All- -- You’ll see at the link, though, that our mission and values are much broader.


EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES

Sunday, February 24 Sierra Club Prince George’s Group Potluck Social and Climate Change Update:, 5-7 pm, Watkins Regional Park Nature Center, Kettering -- Dr. Astrid Caldas, Senior Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, will provide an update on climate change and its impacts… $5/person if your party brings a dish, $10/person if it doesn't Please RSVP

 
Sunday FEB 24  2:00 PM Co-operatives in Montgomery County Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850

In partnership with Impact Silver Spring, MoCo DSA members are organizing a series of educational discussions on the cooperative economy. What does an alternative to capitalism look like?


Monday, Feb. 25
Sierra Club Lobby Night on Feb 25 in Annapolis; bill info here ; to RSVP go to  https://act.sierraclub.org/events/details?formcampaignid=7010Z000001PW4IQAW


Wednesday, March 6
Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform Lobby Day 10:15am - 1:00pm
Meet at House Office Building Room 142 6 Bladen St, Annapolis, MD 21401. More info, issues and RSVP here.


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 weeks 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

We recently published these blog posts:

February 15, 2019 PM Organizing Director onboarded, ready to involve you

Our new Organizing Director for Progressive Maryland, Nikki MG Cole, introduces herself and her organizing experience and invites our progressive activists to renew their effort to win on the Fight for $15 and other PM priorities in the General Assembly, and beyond that to change our politics by changing who wins office.

February 14, 2019 Hogan admin dumps mass transit, wants only toll lanes on Beltway and I-270

Larry Hogan's GOP instinct for paving the world emerged unmistakably in the latest move by his state transportation department -- "Hogan admin rejects transit options preferred by public, limits I-495, I-270 plans to adding lanes -- announcement bulldozes public comments, concerns of highway neighbors," says a /Feb. 14 2019 news release from the MoCo citizens group Don’t Widen 270/.

February 13, 2019 Ray Lewis: Solar workforce development can transform disadvantaged communities

By increasing Maryland’s share of renewables from 25 percent to 50 percent through passage of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, leaders in Annapolis can help ensure that our Power52 Foundation success story -- creating careers and employment for historically underserved populations in the growing clean-energy field -- is multiplied across the state.

February 12, 2019 PG District Council defers decision on Bladensburg concrete plant

A potential win for communities fending off developer pressure in Prince George's, where it frequently reigns supreme. Activists in Bladensburg and neighboring communities in the Port Towns along the Anacostia have been fighting off a dust-generating "concrete batching plant" on an industrial site ill-placed in the middle of a mixed residential area. This week the Prince George's council, sitting as a zoning board (bad idea in itself) has temporarily yielded to the full house that greets every iteration of this decision. Persistence, at the cost of many hours of sitting through packed agendas, continues to pay off for the Port Towns Environmental Action group and for the health of the community.

February 11, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 11, 2019

The General Assembly session is finishing up its first of about three months of sausage-making, and there is a lot to be concerned about. We are building turnout for the Fight for $15 bill at Lobby Night Monday, Feb. 18 and tackling our broader progressive agenda at Progressive Maryland’s own Lobby Night March 4. See more below.


 >>REMEMBER – these blog posts are 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