Don't get too relaxed... after Labor Day (and even before) there are important PM events in Prince George's, Montgomery and Howard counties -- plus musical opportunities to support our neighbors struggling after the Long Branch apartment explosion.

Progressive Maryland‚Äôs Weekly Memo ‚Äď pre-Labor Day edition

Labor Day weekend is almost here. If you haven‚Äôt paid much attention to election stuff until now, this is your last chance to do so before risking the laughter of your friends and co-workers ‚Äď because after Monday, September 5 the political world will be at full throttle. Term limits issues and campaign finance dominate local ballots, though a US Senator and all eight of the state‚Äôs House members will be on offer.

In Montgomery, there may be a term limits measure on the ballot. That is still in dispute, though it looks likely despite some apparent official foot-dragging.

In Prince George’s, where term limits have been in effect for decades, an apparent attempt to circumvent them and allow county council members who would otherwise be term-limited to run for new at-large seats is raising considerable controversy. The at-large seats will be a ballot question for the Nov. 8 election.

Howard County activists, including Progressive Maryland, are pushing what the Howard County Times called a ‚Äúnew publicly funded campaign system that matches small campaign donations using public funds and aims to limit the influence of special interest money.‚ÄĚ The need to cut the big money plaguing even local elections is great, Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford told the paper: "We need to incentivize campaigns to seek out smaller contributions instead of only focusing on those who give very large checks to campaigns; that increases accountability. Much more accountable to the people. That matters in terms of our policy."

Next event pushing this project is a house party Tuesday night (Aug. 30) in the county. Click here for more information.

Progressive Maryland Action: Prince George’s County

Thursday, September 8 -- Progressive Prince George's membership meeting regarding the Zoning Re-write.  The Planning Staff will be present to answer all our questions about the Zoning Rewrite.  Module 3 of the Zoning Re-Write will have just come out; therefore this will be an opportunity for us to directly question to them as why they think it is legitimate to limit our rights to appeal.  This meeting will be especially important for those people who want to understand the reasons why the community is so concerned about what the Planning Staff has so far released -- and to find out what is being done to make certain the new zoning law puts residents' needs over developers' greed.

6:30 - 8:00 pm; 8400 Corporate Drive, Landover


Monday, September 12 -- Walmart Hearing Regarding Special Exception for Capital Plaza Store.  Show your support at the Capital Plaza Walmart Appeal Hearing before the Prince George's District Council in the County Administration Building.  The MD Planning Board approved Walmart's original Detailed Site Plan.  This decision was appealed on the grounds that Walmart should have filed their plan as a Special Exception.  The District Council will hear the appeal on September 12 and cast their vote to grant the special exception or uphold the Planning Board's decision.  A show of community support for the Special Exception can have an influence on the decision.  Please attend wearing a red shirt so that a large group can have an impressive impact. Walmart should not be allowed to wreck a neighborhood in pursuit of profit. 10 a.m., County Administration Building, 14742 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro

Note -- it is recommended to park at the Equestrian Center/Show Place Arena and catch a shuttle bus to the County Administration Building as parking at the CAB is metered.

Progressive Cheverly Events: Thursday, Sepember 1: New Directions for the Classroom -- Progressive Cheverly's monthly forums resume with a talk by Teresa Dudley, Educator and President of the Prince George's County Educators' Association at 7 p.m., Hoyer Education Center cafeteria, 2300 Belleview Ave., Cheverly.  Recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act  (ESSA) affords opportunities for changes in the classroom, reducing time spent on standardized testing and other cookie-cutter requirements under "No Child Left Behind."  Cheverly's Abel Olivo, parent and current school board candidate, will also be with us for our meeting and forum.  All are welcome.  Please join us in our public discussion of our local schools.

¬†Progressive Maryland Action: Montgomery County Outside the electoral arena, Progressive Maryland held canvasses in Silver Spring and Bethesda at the start of Montgomery County Restaurant week where we collected over 200 signatures to our petition calling on the Council to include tipped workers in the wage increase to $15 ‚Äď bringing the total number of signers to over 500.¬†
The next Montgomery County chapter meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept 15th at 6:30 p.m. RSVP here:

 Going on this weekend, fun for progressives:

In Prince George’s the 62nd annual Greenbelt Labor Day Festival goes on for four days starting Friday night, Sept. 2 with carnival rides, musical entertainment, Info Day on Saturday to catch up on local political and cultural movements, and an awesome used book sale that starts Friday night. Greenbelt, founded by New Dealers as a working-class planned community in the suburbs, was a favorite project of Eleanor Roosevelt, who is locally revered, and retains some of the features of its progressive origin.


The organization Progressive Neighbors sets a musical fundraiser Wednesday night, August 31 from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at  El Golfo Restaurant, 8739 Flower Ave. in Silver Spring featuring:  Lea Lilo Gonzales and family, Maureen Andary,  with special guests, the Carpe Diem Ukebeats.  Donated funds will be distributed by the Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP).


And on Sept 10: Montgomery County Chamber Music Society BENEFIT CONCERT at 4:00 p.m. at Living Faith Lutheran Church, 1605 Veirs Mill Road at Broadwood Drive Rockville, Md 20851 100% of all concert donations¬†will be given to and¬†distributed by Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW) to those impacted by this tragedy. If you¬†are unable to¬†attend the concert, please donate online at ¬†Program info at or contact [email protected]

Just to note: many organizations and individuals are rushing to be included in Progressive Maryland’s August fundraising push before the month vanishes in a puff of calendar on Wednesday night. You can join them… just go to and do your part to support progressive causes and activities in the Free State.


READING THE PM BLOGS ‚Äď readers and fans of the PM BlogSpace can get a copy of the Weekly Memo delivered directly to their email inbox. It includes an update on the week ahead as well as links to the blogs that have appeared in recent weeks. Never miss a blog post. Sign up at

 FOR EXAMPLE: we recently published these:

August 27, 2016 The PM Weekend Reader... county officials frolic in O.C., pay gaps and other things Our weekend roundup of interesting reads, including a report from the Maryland Association of Counties' annual get-together, black women's pay gap, health care policy choices and more...

 August 23, 2016 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo: Our neighbors' struggles continue, plus links to past blog posts Heading for Labor Day, life is quiet for many of us but quite hard for some of our neighbors.

 August 22, 2016: Good Reads for the Week from Progressive Maryland:

Local budgeting; housing affordability struggles and racialized housing policy, locally and nationally; more ideas about alternative economics; and more.

August 17, 2016 Gov. Hogan’s Hypocrisy About Playing Politics with the Budget

Gov. Larry Hogan is doing some twists and turns on withholding money that the Legislature insisted he spend on the state's public education system, while rewarding private schools with taxpayer funds. His claim that he won't play politics with the budget is ringing pretty hollow these days.

 August 15, 2016: Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for August 15-21

How to help victims cope with disasters in Silver Spring, where an apartment blew up with deadly results, and in the slow recovery from flooding in Ellicott City -- plus the slow, stealthy disaster of tipped workers in Montgomery County with a separate minimum wage of $4 an hour. Plus summaries and links for our recent blog posts.

 Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace since June 2015 are all available with descriptions and links 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...