Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, June 22, 2021

juneteenth_art.pngWe are sending this on a Tuesday since the Progressive Maryland offices were closed yesterday in recognition of Juneteenth, a day celebrating the end of slavery that also happens to be a day in the midst of Pride Month. Following the Congressional vote to make June 19th a federal holiday, the PM Justice Task Force issued this Statement on Juneteenth 2021 that we encourage you to read.

There is much going on this week as we continue the fight for Medicare For All, Police Reform, and The THRIVE Act. You will find PM staff and leaders at the #WeCantWait Rally & March in DC this Thursday as we advocate for climate, care, jobs and justice. This and much more in the Memo.



 

We are sending this on a Tuesday since the Progressive Maryland offices were closed yesterday in recognition of Juneteenth, a day celebrating the end of slavery that also happens to be a day in the midst of Pride Month. Following the Congressional vote to make June 19th a federal holiday, the PM Justice Task Force issued this Statement on Juneteenth 2021 that we encourage you to read.

 

There is much going on this week as we continue the fight for Medicare For All, Police Reform, and The THRIVE Act. You will find PM staff and leaders at the #WeCantWait Rally & March in DC this Thursday as we advocate for climate, care, jobs and justice. This and much more in the Memo.

Thank you for being part of this movement. 

In Solidarity,

The PM Team

Quick Actions:

Statewide Updates:

Statewide Justice Task Force

Make calls to support community oversight in policing! Join us for our next Virtual Phonebank, happening tomorrow, Wednesday 6/23, from 5:30pm–7pm. We’ll be making calls to folks in Southern Maryland, talking with them about the importance of community oversight in policing, and asking them to hold their legislator accountable. We will start with a brief training on the script, and then make some dials. RSVP here!



Healthcare Justice Campaign 

Medicare For All: 

Want to learn more about what Medicare for All is and how it will benefit our families, our workplaces, and our communities? Have questions about the Improved Medicare For All Legislation, HB 1976? Or about our grassroots organizing campaign? Then join us for a Teach-In June 24!

 

Live in Montgomery County? The County Council will take up a local resolution for Medicare For All next month. Please sign our petition and share.

 

Global Vaccine Equity:

Wealthy countries and the WTO need to move urgently to remove the barriers to COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution.We can protect and save lives around the world by pushing for access to patents and technology. Join our campaign to pressure President Biden to do more with his voice and our country’s power. Contact Josh or Patty  to learn how to get involved. This Thursday June 24 at 10 am a protest is planned at the European Union Delegation HQ in Washington, D.C. Help us call out the EU for blocking negotiations at the WTO on the TRIPS waiver. You can RSVP here 

 

 

Environmental Justice Campaign

We are supporting the #WeCantWait Rally and March in DC this Thursday, June 24th at 11:30am EST at Union Station! Anyone is welcome to join us and our many ally organizations, like CASA and The Green New Deal Network, as we advocate for Congress to pass The THRIVE Act for climate action, green jobs and justice for our communities to be able to thrive. Learn more about the event and how you can participate from the Facebook Event here. Please help us get the message out using this social media toolkit. And you can learn more about The THRIVE Act here.

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Drug Policy Task Force

If you missed our esteemed event on the 50-year anniversary of the start of the War on Drugs, you can tune in to the recording here to learn about the harmful impacts the War on Drugs has had on our communities.

 

Economic Justice Campaign

Governor Hogan’s decision to end emergency Unemployment Insurance payments prematurely will leave tens of thousands of Marylanders and their families at risk during a time when the economy is still not even close to full recovery. The additional federally funded weekly UI payment of $300 provides some security and safety.  Last weekend, Marylanders gathered in Annapolis to protest the end of unemployment insurance benefits.

Make your voice heard, too. Call Gov. Hogan today 410 974-3901 and tell him to reinstate the payments!

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Montgomery

Help us get our County Council to pass a Medicare For All local resolution. Please sign the petition and share. Want to help with outreach to Councilmembers and to other residents to build support for the campaign? Please contact Josh this week!

State and National News:  

What trends might be underway in Political Maryland as we open the week? Here are some news clues from The Week That Was/is

Getting around:  The state’s MARC Rail and Commuter Bus lines will return to full service on August 30, the Maryland Transit Administration announced on Monday.

Drug prices -- How long till we get it done? A pattern sometimes emerges about Maryland -- we are pioneers on some progressive project and then get bogged down. Out front on offshore wind, Maryland has taken approximately forever to get the project up and running, while projects off Massachusetts/Rhode Island and Virginia, announced later, are getting hardware in the water first. Now Maryland’s first-in-the-nation drug price control panel is stuck in process while other states announce later but move more quickly, as we read from Maryland Matters. One consultant-observer said “Colorado’s law is stronger than Maryland because it offers potential cost savings to consumers sooner [because] Maryland’s law is more cumbersome.”

 

ON THE NATIONAL SCENE (with input from our national affiliate People's Action):

Juneteenth Followup -- On Joe Biden’s first day in office, Jan. 20, he signed a Racial Equity Executive Order that, along with four more orders signed later, offer some pathways to change on the wings of the Juneteenth national holiday. Here is an explainer on how this can happen from a staff analyst at the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It includes how to respond (by July 6th!) to an Office of Management and Budget request for ways they can put a racial lens on their decisions.

 

Events in DC move fast or not at all -- by the time you get this Memo the fate of the Joe Manchin compromise on voting rights may be settled. Stacey Abrams and even Barack Obama said they could live with Manchin’s proposal but it will likely go down this week as the threat of a GOP filibuster is brandished. Meanwhile, Infrastructure bill down to the wire: GOP nit-picking on pay-fors complicates what gets cut, what stays in. A thorough read from Politico.

 

Warding off the Eviction Tsunami -- in Maryland and elsewhere, the end of a moratorium on evictions would mean a cascade of shelter loss and huge increases in homelessness. This morning (Tuesday) the New York Times is reporting “The White House is considering extending by one month a federal moratorium on evictions scheduled to expire on June 30, in a bid to buy more time to distribute emergency housing aid…” though there are lots of hazards that could slow this action.

 

And the long-term solution: Homes Guarantee National Tenants Bill of Rights: -- This explainer from the social media kit for the People’s Action NTBOR campaign has the scoop: “We as tenants don't have the power we need, especially compared to the people who own our homes. That’s why we’re launching a campaign for a National Tenants’ Bill of Rights, a critical stepping stone on the path to our North Star vision, a Homes Guarantee to build the power of the tenant movement, establish tenants as a political class of citizens, and ultimately transform the conditions for tenant organizing.” 

Pride Month Events 🌈:   

Parades, marches, and community events are taking place around the state in June (virtual and in-person). Show your pride and solidarity at one of these events.



Events from Our Allies:

Thursday, June 24 | 11:30am in DC - Union Station | #WeCantWait Rally & March for climate, care, jobs, justice


Sunday, June 29 | noon: solidarity rally for union workers, climate action, and the “American Jobs Plan” on the National Mall. CCAN is a sponsor; follow the link for complete info.

 

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].  

June 21, 2021 Solidifying the past, looking to the future

New research finds the general well-being of children here has fallen from 21st among the states to 24th, with 157,000 children living in households with income below the poverty line. And that was before the pandemic. Access to the full report is included in the article from Maryland Matters.

 June 18, 2021 JTF Statement on Juneteenth 2021

More than 150 years after abolishing chattel slavery in the Confederate States, we join the United States of America as it celebrates what has always been an important tradition for Black Americans. 

As we celebrate, we understand that being 150 years removed from a 400 year institution of depravity means that the fight for the real liberation of Black Americans is not over ...

 June 17, 2021 JTF Statement on racist police violence in Ocean City

The Progressive Maryland Justice Task Force is appalled and disgusted to witness the violence and excessive use of force displayed in the viral videos that ended with the arrests of five young men in Ocean City on June 6th and June 12th, 2021.

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 14, 2021

June 08, 2021 Let's "check" what we are doing to make liveable communities in Prince George's

A high school history teacher who attended a recent rally in Prince George's against gun violence found himself "discouraged that some of the speakers at the gun violence event seem to blame Black people for gun violence without addressing the root causes of the violence." As he points out, the historic wealth gap between Black and White households has meant a lack of good-paying jobs, affordable health care and mental health access, and other evidence of disparities. "What good is it to have Black men 'checking' other Black men’s behavior when the real problem is a lack of resources?"

June 04, 2021 Housing advocates urge Hogan to fund legal aid for tenants in eviction

A new law gives tenants threatened with eviction a right to a lawyer -- but the companion bill funding the law  failed to pass in the 2021 Session. Lawmakers and tenant advocates urge the governor to fund the law, leveling a playing field in which landlords generally, but tenants seldom, have representation. Maryland Matters has the coverage.

June 03, 2021 Hogan UI cancellation spurs Dems' focus on his vetoes, too

Though he was late to the game, Gov. Hogan's attempt to drive workers back to possibly unsafe jobs has galvanized the state's Dems. They were looking the other way from his outrageous late vetoes of progressive measures, but may have to focus on them after all. Lawmakers are reportedly asking about a special session.

>>Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org.