We hope you had a restful and enjoyable long weekend. As we reach the midway point of the legislative session this week, we are bringing you an array of important actions you can take to call on our Maryland General Assembly members. Let's make the most of this halfway mark and work towards creating positive change in our communities.


We are also excited to bring you a jam-packed schedule of events that you can take part in. From community meetings to rallies and other direct action initiatives, there's plenty to look forward to. Whether you're passionate about healthcare, housing, reentry servies, environmental justice, or any other vital issue, there's an event tailored just for you. Your active participation is essential in shaping the future we all aspire to see.


Let’s continue to make a meaningful impact together.


In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team





Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

    • TLDR: Actions!
    • TLDR: Events!
    • Black History Month

    • PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns Updates
    • Local Chapter Updates
    • State & National News

Quick Actions to take:


Each week, we’ll highlight black leaders, past and present, in different categories to honor the living force that is Black history. This week’s category: Art

Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936 – February 13, 2010) was an American poet, writer, and educator from Buffalo, New York. She attended Howard University with a scholarship from 1953 to 1955, leaving to study at the State University of New York at Fredonia. In 1958, Lucille Sayles married Fred James Clifton, a professor of philosophy at the University at Buffalo and a sculptor whose carvings depicted African faces. In 1967, the Cliftons moved to Baltimore, Maryland. Her first poetry collection, Good Times , was published in 1969, and listed by The New York Times as one of the year's ten best books. From 1971 to 1974, Clifton was poet-in-residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore. From 1979 to 1985 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. Clifton was also a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. A prolific and widely respected poet, Lucille Clifton's work emphasizes endurance and strength through adversity, focusing particularly on African-American experience and family life.

Amy Sherald (born August 30, 1973) is an American painter. She works mostly as a portraitist depicting African Americans in everyday settings. Her style is simplified realism, involving staged photographs of her subjects. Since 2012, her work has used grisaille to portray skin tones, a choice she describes as intended to challenge conventions about skin color and race. Sherald graduated with a B.A. degree in painting in 1997 from Clark Atlanta University. After an apprenticeship with Lindsay, painting for free for five years. Sherald attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, receiving an M.F.A. degree in painting in 2004. While attending MICA, Sherald studied with abstract expressionist painter Grace Hartigan, from whom she learned the "dripping method" of painting. Spending much of her career based in Baltimore, Sherald documents contemporary African-American experience in the United States through large-scale portraits, often working from photographs of strangers she encounters on the streets. After Sherald won the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, she was chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama to paint her official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery. 

Murjoni Merriweather is a sculptor based in Baltimore, MD. Graduating with a B.A. in Ceramics and Film from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Murjoni uses clay to press firmly against European beauty standards by creating striking, life-size sculptures based on Black people and their lived experiences. Her work addresses and eliminates stereotypes through clay portraits. With this, she enjoys centering the beauty and nuances of Black life, and normalizing what is natural about Black bodies; loving and accepting them as they come. Murjoni's work serves as mirrors for the Black community as a way to celebrate African-American art, culture, and style. It's also a way to see Black people in art and as art. Through the artwork, connections and reflections with herself and others based on shared experiences, Murjoni plans to continue eliminating stereotypes and prejudices while uplifting the Black community. 

PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns Updates

Returning Citizens Task Force & Black Workers Center


RCTF’s next project is a reentry hiring fair/expungement and health clinic this coming Saturday, February 24 between 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 5 in Lanham.  This event is for returning citizens who urgently need jobs and a second chance to get their life back after release from prison. 


Returning citizens, who often facing unique challenges upon reintegration into society, will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogues, connect with employers, access health resources, and explore expungement options during this pivotal event. The aim is not only to facilitate job placement but to empower individuals to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose. We will have light entertainment and refreshments. Register here.


We will discuss the Fair and future plans at our RCTF meeting tonight from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. For more information about the meeting and other RCTF initiatives, please contact Kurt.


Healthcare Justice: Fight Corporate Greed, Elevate People’s Needs in the 2024 Legislative Session


Our Priority Bills are Moving! Let’s Keep Pushing!


Join us next Monday, February 26th for the Healthcare Justice Rally in Annapolis!


This is a great opportunity to tell our lawmakers that we want a healthcare system that puts people over profit! At the Rally we’ll show our support for important bills that give the Prescription Drug Affordability the power it needs to lower Rx costs, that lays the groundwork for overdue health insurance reform that deals with care and claim denials, that will expand access to the Maryland Health Exchange for thousands of Maryland immigrant residents, and that invests in the needs of our healthcare workforce. Sign up today for more details.


In the meantime, please take a minute to urge our State Senators to support the Lowering Prescription Drug prices bill by sending them an email with a click of a button.


If you want to submit testimony, share your story, or learn more about our healthcare work please contact Patty.


Environmental Justice Task Force


After much anticipation, round 2 of the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act (HB166) has a hearing date for Thursday, March 7, at 1p before the Economic Matters Committee chaired by CT Wilson. To gain press attention around this event, and garner community support, the RREA coalition will host a Press Conference and Rally on Thursday, February 29th, from 11:30am-12:30pm, at Lawyers Mall. If you would like more information about this, please reach out to SirJames.


Housing Justice


On Thursday, February 15, the Progressive Maryland Enclave Tenant Association in Silver Spring elected its first board! The board is organizing a rally on March 9 at 2 PM to continue holding corporate landlords accountable and fighting for policy that protects renters. 


And Congratulations to the newly elected board members!

          President: Abu Bakarr Conteh

          Vice President: Pascale M Lemaire

          Communications Chair/ Secretary: Franklin Lowa Lowe Nouketcha

          External Affairs Chair: Tonia M Chestnut

          Membership Chair: Jalaludin Naseri

          Member-at-Large: Sergine Yango

Local Chapter Updates

South Prince George's County

The Progressive Maryland South Prince George’s County chapter is having an organizing committee meeting on February 28th! Come to help decide what our first campaign will be and come make your voice heard! Email Anton for more information.

News You Can Use: News You Can Use: Climate plans (but not enough, some say) and other state initiatives

What's new? The oldest of old-- Larry Hogan, fresh from eight years of degrading Maryland's environment, finances and reputation, has announced a run for the Senate. Does he know what he's stepping in? We'll see. Meanwhile, the Assembly churns on and we have details, plus news from the states and the (choke) federal government saddled with the current House of Representatives. All-Star Weekend is definitely over.

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.

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Progressive Maryland
P.O. Box 6988
Largo, MD 20792

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...