woody woodruff

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.


  • Open Letter to Assembly leaders: Choose the best District 1 map option

    ballot_box.jpgProgressive organizations in US House District 1 as well as some statewide have written to the leaders of both Assembly chambers to express "our support for a new Congressional map that restores balance to Maryland’s First District, and protects our democracy from radicals who would overturn the will of the voters for political gain. We urge you to use your power to create a competitive First District where anti-democratic extremists are not immune to accountability from the voters." If this effort for a fair redistricting map falls short, "we would hate to look back with regret that we did not do more to save our democracy."



     

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 29, 2021

    not_bluffing.jpgWe hope you had a safe and happy holiday weekend!

    Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, and we hope this year you’ll choose to make a gift to support our grassroots advocacy efforts at Progressive Maryland. As a grassroots organization, we rely on small donations from progressives like you to bring our vision for a better Maryland to life. You can donate at this link — no gift is too small, any amount makes a difference

    Thanks to your help, we’ve been able to develop strong issue campaigns on the local, state, and federal levels, and we’ve trained dozens of electoral candidates on how to run successful campaigns. We're entering the final stretch of 2021 on a strong note because of supporters like you. 

    Check out campaign developments and additional opportunities to get involved in this week's memo.

    In Solidarity,

    The Progressive Maryland Team



     

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  • COVID, BBB, COP and other acronyms in the news that affect you

    Progressive Maryland tries to keep activists up to date on the matters that really matter. Here is our account from last week, starting with federal issues that affect every worker and working family in Maryland.

    Media conventional and unconventional give us a perspective on the pandemic's latest threat, the enduring climate threat, Build Back Better in the Senate sausage machine, and other issues.



     

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  • Honoring indigenous people in Maryland today and always

    chesapeake_bay_scene.jpgThis Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month, we acknowledge the Accohannock Indian Tribe, Assateague Peoples Tribe, Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, Piscataway Conoy Tribe, Piscataway Indian Nation, Pocomoke Indian Nation and Youghiogheny River Band of Shawnee Indians as the original stewards of Maryland's lands.

    It is our responsibility as settlers to acknowledge the ongoing effects of settler colonialism, and to recognize that we benefit from the displacement, genocide, and past and present violence against Indigenous people on whose ancestral lands present-day United States, including the state of Maryland, stands. 



     

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  • Making our state healthy again means understanding everybody's starting line

    congress_bigger_bolder_nyt_ad_may_21.pngHow you are doing has a lot to do with where you start. In an age when many politicians like to point to a "level playing field" we need to check out the history of inequality to make good judgments on how to make change that works for all of us --including our state's use of federal funds.

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 22, 2021

    not_bluffing.jpgAs we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re taking time here at Progressive Maryland to focus on gratitude and giving. 

     

    We draw instruction and inspiration from social justice movement leaders everywhere, especially during these tumultuous times. We’re so grateful for their work and perspective. Our grassroots members, supporters, and volunteers who persisted with us in the struggle to get the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Build Back Better Act last Friday inspire us, too. Now it’s time to take the fight to the Senate!

     

    November is Native American Heritage Month, and we hope our efforts honor our Native American brothers and sisters.

     

    Thanks for all you do — have a safe and happy holiday!

     

    In Solidarity,

    The Progressive Maryland Team

     



     

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  • Robbie Leonard endorsed for BACO state's attorney by a progressive alliance

    robbie_leonard.pngProgressive Maryland and Working Families Party have announced their allied endorsement of Robbie Leonard, a "proven champion of justice," for Baltimore County State's Attorney. "Voters are ready for real criminal justice reform ..."

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 15, 2021

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    Thank you for your ongoing support! Today’s Memo has updates, calls to action, news about our upcoming events, and ways to stay involved. We hope you’ll continue to support our issue campaigns and check out our opportunities to volunteer for the 2022 elections!

     

    Thanks for being in this together.

     

    In Solidarity,

    The Progressive Maryland Team



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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 8, 2021

    memo_logo.pngWe’ve had a busy start to November and we can’t let up until Congress votes to pass the Build Back Better budget deal, the Freedom To Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  And given the attacks by right wing lawmakers around the country on reproductive rights and on policies that support unions and the right to organize we should also be urging the House and  Senate to  pass legislation that will  guarantee abortion health care for women and workplace democracy for workers. Congress did pass and the President did sign the infrastructure bill (BIF) last week. We preferred to see Infrastructure and BBB voted on at the same time but there is a promise and a plan coming together for a vote next week on the budget deal. There are things to cheer about in the infrastructure bill: job creation, funding to  help mitigate environmental and health hazards posed by lead water pipes and Superfund sites, and investments in public transit and the manufacture of solar panels and wind farms that will help us green our energy supply. But we have more to do. Read on, and find out how to pitch in.



     

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  • "We should never stop learning" -- a teacher's journey to respect for diversity in the classroom

    maryland_rainbow.jpg"[It's easy to fall for the] myth that the fight for LGBTQIA rights was only about protecting wealthy white people like Caitlyn Jenner. This false narrative is currently spread by numerous online commentators, who are hostile to the idea of transgender people. I discovered the irony of this false narrative when I started to investigate the history of trans-gendered people across the world. The white supremacy that caused racist whites to segregate schools based on race was the same white supremacy that attempted to invalidate the fluidity of gender and sexuality identities.  

         While it may seem like endless letters are being added to the LBGTQIA label, a deep dive into human history reveals just how fluid the idea of gender has always been in cultures around the world.



     

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, November 1, 2021

     

    congress_bigger_bolder_nyt_ad_may_21.pngOn the eve of the nail biting Virginia elections and Supreme Court hearings on reproductive rights it may be hard to feel optimistic or to stay determined. We get it--right wing groups and the public officials who support them seem at times to be holding sway even though our positions on issues are popular among voters. The public knows that things like the Build Back Better Act will help many people, especially folks facing health and housing insecurity issues, workers, seniors, kids and everyone who lives in a community that desperately needs public resources and government support. That’s why we need to keep organizing; we can’t let others discourage us from speaking up and speaking out for better laws and public policies.

    This week the Build Back Better (BBB) agenda may finally get a vote, along with the infrastructure bill (BIF.) These budget proposals and policies in their final form will not contain all the things for which we have been advocating. But if taken together (BBB and BIF)  the approach that the Congressional Progressive Caucus has insisted on,  they will create a framework for delivering hundreds of billions of dollars in investments for education, universal pre-K,  jobs, healthcare programs, home care, housing, clean energy and climate initiatives, The passage would mean that long overdue upgrades to human and physical infrastructure can finally begin to happen.  We have also not  given up on getting Rx price negotiations into the final package; nor will we  back down on demanding that the Medicare expansion piece include dental and vision care.  Many organizations and dozens of Congressional Democrats, not a single Republican it should be noted, have joined together to save Medicare expansion (see below.)   

     

    Thanks for keeping the faith and for rallying, texting, phone banking and volunteering to win the transformative change we need.

     

    In Solidarity,

    The Progressive Maryland Team



     

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, October 25, 2021

    CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngWe can build a better Maryland with grassroots supporters like you! We need to push local, state and federal officials to address the investments we need in our communities and to make positive changes to our social and economic systems. We’ll all do better when our public policies put people first.  That’s what the Build Back Better Act  does and  why we’re laser focused on getting it across the finish line in Congress. This Thursday we’re hosting a Town Hall conversation with Senator Van Hollen to discuss the impact of BBB on Maryland and our nation. Our national affiliate People’s Action is supporting this timely event, too, and has been helping to lead the fight to expand Medicare, lower child care and housing costs, reduce prescription drug costs and to invest in green jobs and solutions to the climate crisis, all of which are currently contained in the Build Back Better Act.

     So we need to keep the pressure on!



     

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    bailout_sig.jpgThe Fight for Justice and More:  PM Weekly Memo for Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    As we marked another Indigenous People’s Day yesterday around the state and around the nation, we were moved by the Native elders, activists and faith leaders who came to Washington, D.C. to demand that President Biden declare a Climate Emergency. We’re inspired by the courage, vision, and determination of these front line activists who are raising awareness about the need to  save our waterways and restore our ecosystems. For decades, their communities have witnessed first hand the environmental destruction caused by the fossil fuel and other extractive industries. We should heed their call to “build back fossil free” and institute public policies that put the planet and people first. Congress can take a major step forward by keeping  the climate provisions in Build Back Better and then getting to work on a robust Green New Deal. 

     

    Federal action is needed now to address the existential threat of human induced climate change. Such measures will help all of our communities, particularly those that have suffered environmental degradation, like many areas of Baltimore. Read the post in today’s Maryland Matters by PM’s Executive Director about this topic: Build Back Better has the pieces for a better Baltimore

     

     

     

    Thanks for reading our update and for being part of this movement.

     

    In Solidarity,

    The Progressive Maryland Team

     



     

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  • Build Back Better has the pieces for a better Baltimore

    CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngProgressive Maryland's Executive Director Larry Stafford Jr. sees the pro-urban and pro-Baltimore elements embedded in President Biden's Build Back Better plan. It's important to keep it intact as GOP indifference and some neolib Democrats want to dismantle it. Protecting it is vital, for Baltimore, for Maryland and for democracy. This piece first appeared as a guest commentary in Maryland Matters on Monday, Oct. 11.



     

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  • Media discourse keeps the "both sides" illusion alive

    As the full horror of Donald Trump's attempt to seize power and dump democracy fades in the public mind, the mainstream media -- which collectively had been pointing out the difference between facts and lies -- have slumped back into he said-she said vanilla coverage. Take the word "strict," analyst Sean Dobson suggests -- a word with a lot of positive connotations for most readers. Does it make sense to describe as "strict" scuh recent state-level atrocities as Mississippi's or Texas's draconian new abortion laws, or the blatant voter-suppression laws being passed by Republican legislators in a dozen-plus states where they have control? Or is the press slipping back to its old duck-and-cover strategy to avoid being tagged as "liberal"?



     

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 27, 2021

    CampaignMiscImage_1594309709.6756.pngCongress is back and we are stepping up the  Build Back Better campaign! We can’t let a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of a plan that will  enact $3.5 trillion dollars of funding for much needed investments in Medicare expansion, community health programs, green jobs, paid family leave, and the framework that will create a path to citizenship for those who need it. Let’s remind Congress as we did last week at the Welcome Back rally that they work for us, not for Big Pharma, the U.S.Chamber of Commerce and Big Oil. Join the fight!  More on this in our updates and news sections below.



     

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, September 13, 2021

    opioid_RIP_toon.jpgThe 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.



     

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  • Eviction risk sharpens as rental assistance flags in Maryland, nationally

    eviction_scene.jpgThe 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.



     

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  • BRIDGES Coalition Launches Campaign Advocating for Overdose Prevention Sites

    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.



     

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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...
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