These times demand that our elected representatives take decisive action to aid the people of our state.
However this is not happening. Hard-pressed Marylanders increasingly call on the General Assembly to reconvene for a special session to address our current crisis. Our executive director, Larry Stafford Jr., weighs the options here and explains why today, Progressive Maryland is joining with 70 labor, faith, and community organizations in the demand for a special session of the Maryland General Assembly.
In times of crisis the true character of leadership is revealed. Over 1 million Marylanders have lost their jobs through the course of this pandemic in which over 96,000 have tested positive for COVID19 and over 3000 have died as a result. These times demand that our elected representatives take decisive action to aid the people of our state; however, this is not happening. Recently there has been a great deal of discussion on the potential need for the state’s general assembly to reconvene for a special session to address our current crisis. I’ve had the opportunity to hear several perspectives and understand the challenges and difficult decisions such a special session may pose. None of these challenges outweigh the consequences of inaction on the part of our state’s General Assembly. That’s why today, Progressive Maryland is joining with 70 labor, faith, and community organizations in the demand for a special session of the Maryland General Assembly.
Right now, during a global pandemic of historic proportions over 347,000 Marylanders are at risk of eviction and our Governor has failed to act. Now a homelessness crisis is emerging in the midst of a public health emergency. We’re also facing a crisis in our electoral process in which the Governor’s refusal to move to a mostly vote by mail system has already caused irreversible damage to the process of administering the November election. We’re also facing a potential $300 million revenue loss due to business tax breaks in the federal CARES Act that can only be addressed by decoupling the state from these federal tax provisions. The state is already facing a $900 million shortfall due to the pandemic and legislators cannot sit idly by when inaction could lead to such a large loss in revenue. This is money that we could invest in public health infrastructure, support for schools transitioning to distance learning, and rent and mortgage relief. Despite the urgency of these issues, our state representatives are sitting on the sidelines as Marylanders face an increasingly perilous time.
Today we are calling for Maryland legislators to get back to work in the interest of the many Marylanders who are suffering. In the coming weeks Progressive Maryland will be asking our members and the thousands of progressives in our state within our base to take action to hold our representatives accountable for their inaction. If you want to volunteer to help us in this fight click here. We will also be engaging in a digital advertising campaign around calling for a special session. Any donation to help fund that campaign would be greatly appreciated. You can click here to make a donation.
We stand at the crossroads of a historic moment and the actions or inaction of our state representatives will be remembered. The true measure of a leader is revealed in what they do during a time of crisis.It’s become clear that we must demonstrate that Maryland voters will not stand for their representatives neglecting their public responsibilities. If you are a Marylander who believes our General Assembly should be addressing this crisis and not sitting on the sidelines, sign up on the link in the description to join our campaign.
Larry Stafford Jr.