woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 13, 2021 in Home 2021-09-13 16:31:42 -0400
The overdose crisis has reached new levels of harm and devastation in our country and communities. Last year more than 93,000 people in the United States died of preventable overdose. Sadly but not surprisingly the number of people struggling and dying has increased during the pandemic. It’s long past time to end the overdose crisis and to invest in public health solutions like treatment and harm reduction. Progressive Maryland’s Drug Policy Task Force is meeting with lawmakers, gathering stories, working with allies and holding a special event this Wednesday evening, Stories From the Overdose Crisis (see below for more details) in order to sound the alarm. We need a new approach, one that prioritizes policies and programs that offer people help. Let’s come together now to do something about this crisis and to demand accountability from Big Pharma and to demand that drug policies be overhauled and updated. Let’s turn our concern into action.
woody woodruff published Eviction risk sharpens as rental assistance flags in Maryland, nationally in Home 2021-09-10 12:16:50 -0400
The last protections against eviction during the still-raging pandemic have fallen in many states, Maryland included. How did the feds' $46 billion in assistance get bogged down? We hear about it from Maryland Matters (our state failure) and The New York Times about today's bleak landscape and, well, supply chain issues plus appalling factors like "the reluctance of local officials to ease eligibility requirements for the poor," a familiar-sounding concern. We are on our own in Maryland and will have to watch our neighbors' backs as evictions continue and landlords (who could have worked with tenants to make this money flow much more quickly) instead march their lawyers into court to continue criminalizing poverty.
woody woodruff published BRIDGES Coalition Launches Campaign Advocating for Overdose Prevention Sites in Home 2021-08-31 20:26:18 -0400
The BRIDGES Coalition launches the “Yes On My Block” Campaign to promote community support for overdose prevention sites (OPS) in Baltimore. The campaign launches on Overdose Awareness Day 2021 in recognition of the desperate need to support bold new strategies to save lives from overdose.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 30, 2021 in Home 2021-08-30 15:08:43 -0400
As the virus resurgence and eviction crisis collide, we see more than ever how neglect of health security and housing security issues intersect (landlord rights win again; we have got to reverse that trend). We are at a crossroads for healthcare AND housing security in our country. As we speak, Congress is hashing out what could be the largest expansion of Medicare in years! And they are looking at how to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision last week to strike down the eviction moratorium.Let’s be sure that our lawmakers take the path that leads us to funding critical Medicare expansion and which leads to protections for people who are behind on rent. Federal funds allocated for rent relief are also going unused. In many cases it’s too hard and complicated to apply for relief-we need to make sure the funds reach those in need. Housing and healthcare should be a universal right. People need shelter. The less shelter, the less distancing and… you know what happens. Let’s do something.
Thank you for being part of this moment and this movement. Because of the Labor Day holiday Sept. 6 you'll see the Memo next on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
The PM Team
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 23, 2021 in Home 2021-08-23 15:10:32 -0400
We are at a crossroads for healthcare in our country. As we speak, Congress is hashing out what could be the largest expansion of Medicare in years! Let’s be sure that our lawmakers take the very best path forward. The path that leads us to funding critical Medicare improvements and expansion which could result in: lower costs for prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate on Rx prices; coverage for vision, dental, and hearing; a younger eligibility age to enroll in Medicare; and lower copays. We can do this with your support.
woody woodruff published Time to trim lobbyists' privileged access to Assembly members in Home 2021-08-19 16:24:25 -0400
Officials fromaroundd the state are gathering in Ocean City this week at the Maryland Association of Counties annual meeting. The officials will be surrounded by deep-pocketed types aiming to influence the way they make law and policy. We have come to call them lobbyists.
Jimmy Tarlau, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, checks off the ways high-paid lobbyists distort the public policy process with financial contributions and provides a checklist of how the Legislature should check the lobbyists power.
As soon as they stop eating the lobbyists' crab cakes.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 16, 2021 in Home 2021-08-16 15:43:14 -0400
Maryland’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium expired Sunday without an extension of the state of emergency by Gov. Larry Hogan, despite a letter Friday from House Speaker Adrienne Jones and her top lieutenants urging Hogan to extend it.
“This is a preventable public health crisis,” WMAR quotes Public Justice Center attorney Matt Hill, who said up to 4,500 Maryland families were at risk of eviction without Hogan’s extension. Support your neighbors in trouble and let your local officials know how you feel about Hogan’s do-nothing pandemic response.
woody woodruff published The political "duopoly" keeps Maryland divided, conquered by mediocrity in Home 2021-08-10 08:55:24 -0400
“ 'Bipartisan' sounds like it includes all viewpoints, but it’s just another word for control by the duopoly," concludes veteran journalist and observer of folly Len Lazarick in this column on how Maryland's state politics stay in the grip of centrism.
As he might have noted, county-level Central Committees, particularly of Democrats, consolidate the parties' grip on their locales by appointing replacements for Assembly members who die or leave office, magically creating the electoral power of "incumbency" for their in-house favorites.
So the parties pick their voters, not the other way round.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 9, 2021 in Home 2021-08-09 15:37:18 -0400
Stop evictions? MD has the money PM Weekly Memo for Monday, August 9, 2021
Progressive Maryland joins our friends in the labor, civil rights, and social justice movements to memorialize Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO, who died last Thursday. He was a fierce fighter for working people and a powerful movement leader. Sadly we’ve lost him at a significant moment in the campaigns for the right to organize workplaces and for greater economic security for all Americans. Statement from the AFL . Mike Podhorzer, Special Advisor to President Trumka, lifted up this quote in his tribute to Trumka: “There’s no evil that’s inflicted more pain and more suffering than racism--and it’s something we in the labor movement have a special responsibility to challenge. It’s our special responsibility because we know, better than anyone else, how racism is used to divide working people.” Let’s honor his legacy by staying committed to the struggle for racial and economic justice.Read more
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 2, 2021 in Home 2021-08-02 15:39:32 -0400
Maryland is still lagging in helping local governments get relief to those threatened with eviction as the moratorium on evictions expired at midnight Saturday. Gov. Hogan and the sometimes-contradictory federal program(s) do not help. Get the least confusing information and help here, in the Memo. And share it. Keep people housed in our communities.
Thank you for being part of this movement.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 26, 2021 in Home 2021-07-26 15:46:10 -0400
Medicare For All is making more sense to more and more people (it has always made sense to us). Montgomery’s Council joined many others in backing it last week. Just in time for its birthday Friday, July 30. You can sign on too; see below.
Thank you for being part of this movement.Read more
woody woodruff published MoCo Council adds biggest county to those backing Medicare for All in Home 2021-07-21 17:29:57 -0400
Progressive Maryland and The Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition Celebrate the Montgomery County Medicare For All Resolution as the Montgomery County Council passes a resolution calling on Congress to enact Medicare For All. Organizations and individuals including small business owners have backed this effort. Read more below.Read more
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 19, 2021 in Home 2021-07-19 14:43:05 -0400
Medicare for All is making more sense to more and more people (it has always made sense to us). Resolutions backing the national campaign passed in Annapolis’ council last week and looks to pass in Montgomery’s council this week. The New Era project is under way and the critical needs of our communities are on the line -- including health care and the welfare of kids, in the classroom and out.
And we lost Rep. John Lewis, champion of civil rights and voting rights, a year ago this week. The bill named for him, which would help ward off anti-voter craziness such as the Texas GOP is up to, is struggling in Congress. Join that struggle. Check it all out in this week’s memo.
Thank you for being part of this movement.
woody woodruff published The War on Drugs is a war on people like me in Home 2021-07-16 15:06:51 -0400
"The War on Drugs has been with us for more than fifty years, and hasn’t been a war on drugs at all. It’s been a war on people: people like me, and my family. Black people. The part where it was supposed to decrease drug use? That part failed."
Prince George's resident Alfrieda Hylton reminds us of the devastation Nixon's deliberate attack on his perceived enemies has brought to communities of color everywhere.
woody woodruff published Hogan admin stymied in attempt at early Unemployment Insurance cutoff in Home 2021-07-13 10:55:06 -0400
As reported yesterday in the emailed Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo, enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the Biden administration will last at least well into August despite attempts by Larry Hogan to burnish his credentials as a standard GOP oppresser of working families by unilaterally discontinuing their payment.
As reported this morning in Maryland Matters, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill issued a ruling before 10am that will maintain Maryland’s participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefits past the end of his own temporary injunction. More below.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 12, 2021 in Home 2021-07-12 15:10:14 -0400
What’s on this week? The wearying but exciting awareness that the 2022 primary is less than a year away and progressive candidates are converging on that opportunity. We will support them. The New Era project is under way and the critical needs of our communities are on the line -- including health care and the welfare of kids, in the classroom and out. Check it all out in this week’s memo.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, July 6, 2021 in Home 2021-07-06 14:26:16 -0400
As Frederick Douglass pointed out going on two centuries ago, the “high freedoms” celebrated on the Fourth were and are much discounted by the uneven distribution of freedoms among ALL of our people. Proceeding from the comforts of a partially renormalized holiday, we have many rocks to push uphill, just a little more every day, from Statehood for DC to a federal standard for fair elections that will pre-empt right-wing state repression to getting big corporate money out of our politics. Just a few checkmarks on a long list for real democracy. We can do it. Get started every week in the Memo.
woody woodruff published Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 28, 2021 in Home 2021-06-28 14:54:47 -0400
As Pride Month comes to an end, we want to acknowledge that the fight for LGBTQ freedoms and visibility goes on. As many brands and corporations are taking down their rainbow flags after collecting their profits from colourful capitalism, we are proud to say that ours will be here for a while. We have been and will always be committed to Queer and Trans liberation. If you’d like to join us in this commitment, please contribute to our New Era PAC to support our efforts of electing LGBTQ candidates into office across the state.
Also, we are officially one year away from the June 28, 2022 Primary!!! This and much more in the Memo.
Thank you for being part of this movement.
woody woodruff published Unfinished business in the Assembly: where is the progressive impulse? in Home 2021-06-25 09:06:20 -0400
A former progressive member of the Maryland General Assembly asks: Why doesn’t more progressive legislation get passed in the General Assembly? Year after year, there are overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House of Delegates and the state Senate, but critical legislation does not get passed by the General Assembly.Read more
woody woodruff published How the War on Drugs has warped priorities and ruined lives for 50 years in Home 2021-06-23 10:28:50 -0400
We're passing the post on the 50th Anniversary of the start of the War on Drugs. After enduring 50 years of the War on Drugs and witnessing its devastating effects on our communities, we feel it is important to change this policy now and pursue a public health and harm reduction approach. Join us to make change in this crucial area.Read more
Solidarity is critical, in and outside of Prince George's County. Big money and corporate thinking just about run the show and we the people must become the showrunners.