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.

  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 8, 2022


    We hope you’ve seen the news and are applauding the tremendous victory yesterday! The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a plan that invests hundreds of billions of dollars in climate change, reins in some of the power and worst practices of Big PhRMA, and will require more corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Sulma Arias, Executive Director of People’s Action (our national affiliate) issued this statement “These investments are another step forward won by the organizers and grassroots leaders who demanded political leadership that answers to people, not corporations. Lowering carbon emissions and drug prices will give our people more breathing room in a tough economy, and making sure corporations actually pay taxes is a huge step toward a more just, people-oriented economy.”


    The legislation puts the U.S. on track for the first time to meet its crucial climate commitment. It targets reducing greenhouse emissions by an estimated 40% by 2030 by making big investments in clean energy. This legislation authorizes Medicare to negotiate prices with big drug companies (at long last!)  and will cap annual out of pocket costs. We prevailed on these reforms despite the millions of  dollars in advertising and lobbying that Big PhRMA  spent in the last two weeks.   


    Larry Stafford, Jr., Executive Director of Progressive Maryland said “As corporate and CEO greed drives people’s costs higher and higher, we need the relief provided by this agreement. Almost 100 million people in this country have in recent months cut their food intake, skipped treatments, or missed  a payment for basic necessities like utilities so they could afford to cover a health care expense. This bill will help get health care costs and energy costs down.”  Read more in the Memo...


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  • Senate finally delivers on BBB; Hogan fumes on toll roads plan delay

    In this week's News You Can Use, There’s no doubt that national-level news stands out this week – the stunning upholding of reproductive health protections in Kansas’s constitution and the passage of a cascade of bills in the US Senate – bills that boost US productivity in the critical chips sector, support veterans who suffered chemical injuries on active duty, and most of all passed the stripped-down but still high-potency Inflation Reduction Act in a marathon weekend of votes and countervotes.

    But in Maryland, though less exciting, Larry Hogan's cherished toll roads on our friendly neighborhood Interstate get a setback, Anne Arundel County will vote on Fair Elections, and more.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, August 1, 2022


    memo_logo.pngThanks to the great organizing efforts of our friends at West Virginia Citizen Action Group and a strong national grassroots movement, Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Sen. Manchin have agreed to a revised version of the Build Back Better bill (passed by the House but stalled in the Senate). The bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, has strong provisions on climate action, raising corporate tax revenue, and curbing Rx drug prices. Call our Maryland Senators (202-224-3121) and urge them to support the strongest version of the Act before they go on recess! 


    We are also very concerned about the candidates that Maryland Republicans elected at the top of their ticket. The views of Dan Cox (the Republican nominee running for Governor with support from Trump) and Michael Peroutka (the Republican nominee running for Attorney General who has ties to neo-Confederate organizations)  pose a serious threat to some of our most vulnerable people and communities and to our democracy.  We can’t take the outcome for granted in the general election! It’s critical that we inform voters all over the state about what’s at stake. Please help us power our campaign in the next 99 days. See more and find out how to fight back in the Weekly Memo


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  • Awareness: about your rent, your electric bill, your schools, reproductive health and the Manchin dance

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngLots here you might miss: The Public Service Commission gives your local Exelon franchise unmonitored access to federal $. State panel mulls how to improve teaching while state school board extends provisional teacher tickets two more years; pressure applied to build the Beltway toll lanes; Dems push another pause in student loan repayment. And more.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 25, 2022

    memo_logo.pngWhat a week and what a Primary Season it’s been! We’re still awaiting final results in several races and jurisdictions but a number of outcomes are clear, especially for many of our 2022 Slate Candidates.   


    But first, let’s highlight the statewide results. Democrats chose Wes Moore and Aruna Miller for Governor and Lieutenant Governor; Anthony Brown for Attorney General; and Brooke Lierman for Comptroller. All of these candidates and their campaigns garnered support across the state, made hundreds of speeches and appearances in which they talked about equity, justice, and building a better Maryland. Moore and Brown are both Army veterans, Miller and Lierman are both experienced lawmakers and proven progressive champions. Congratulations to all of them!


    And congratulations to the Progressive Maryland Slate (launched last November) for their incredible campaign efforts over the past year. They have inspired us and galvanized tens of thousands of progressive voters from Frederick to Charles County and from Baltimore to Salisbury. We've got the whole story in the Memo; read on...


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  • Slow election count keeps winners, losers a daily news diet

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngWinners and losers are still fresh news in the primary election results every day because Maryland makes election offices wait to process mail-in ballots until the polls close. So last Tuesday’s primary was just the beginning. Larry Hogan, having guaranteed that election results would trickle in slowly just in case yahoos needed time to fan claims of fraud, now dismisses his party's chances in the gubernatorial general election and moves serenely on to preach Maryland-style "moderation" with a side of presidential aspirations. But some other news you can use is fighting its way through the muddle. Read it here.


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  • It's all about the turnout -- base and more. MD has a decisive primary.

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngTomorrow is the Primary Day, and election news doesn't stop bubbling right up to the deadline. But it is on the individual voter now, the only poll that counts. But: friends don't let friends miss elections; support one another in the solidarity of democracy.


    Note that Progressive Maryland’s Weekly Memo will be sent early tomorrow (Tuesday, Primary Election Day) and it’ll be about… well, guess what?


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, July 11, 2022


    It’s here! Voters are voting by mail, heading to early voting sites July 7-14, or making their plans to vote on Election Day, next Tuesday, July 19th. Sample ballots contain information about early voting and Election Day locations. If you requested a ballot please complete and mail by next Monday or drop at a secure drop box in your jurisdiction. 


    If you’re still reviewing the candidates and weighing your choices, check out our full list of endorsed candidates.


    We’d love to see a strong turnout and great victories for all the dedicated progressives who are running up and down the ballot. Please help us achieve these outcomes! Your vote makes a difference!


    Volunteers can make a difference, too, especially in this final week and on Election Day. Join us at a phone bank, at an early voting site to distribute literature, or for a text bank or a canvassing shift. Our volunteers are having really good conversations with voters. Help us increase our voter engagement in these final 8 days! 


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  • Moneymoneymoney starts to give our elections that awkward look

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngSomebody's GOP-compulsive idea of a lean, mean state government left us nearly defenseless when real crisis came along. Meet the crisis's chief enabler, the Guv.

    And shake your head about the way dark and not-so-dark money is distorting some of our most competitive Maryland races. News you can Use.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, July 5, 2022


    It’s here! The time we’ve been waiting for in Maryland, our first statewide election since 2018! It’s time to cast our votes and forge a strong ticket of progressive candidates who will run this November up and down the ballot. 


    Your vote makes a difference! Please make a plan to either vote by mail, or in person at early voting sites July 7-14, or on Election Day on Tuesday July 19. Volunteers can make a difference, too, especially in the final two weeks. Join us at a phone bank, at an early voting site to distribute literature, for a text bank or a canvassing shift this week!


    Join our growing election team! We’re knocking, calling and covering polling sites for Early Voting and Election Day. We need to reach another 10,000 voters and we can only do it with your help. 


    Progressive Maryland’s Board of Directors, chapters, staff and leaders spent a number of months assessing the political landscape for 2022, surveying candidates and allies, and looking at the positions and the track records of candidates who filed to run.  We can’t weigh in on every race up and down the ballot but we do have several great recommendations for our members and supporters: see our endorsed candidates here.


    We factored in how much the 2022 elections offer us an opportunity to increase the number of women and people of color representing us on the local and state level. We hope you will, too!

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  • SCOTUS goes home leaving wreckage to navigate in MD and elsewhere

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngBoth the Supreme Court and Congress went off for short or long breaks leaving rubble to clean up and victims to rescue. Here's news you can use from Maryland and national activists to remind us: preserving democracy and defending working families is a task never completed. What helps? Solidarity, working together to make life better for all of us even though our political environment sometimes makes us feel all alone. Get the scoop here.


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  • Defending democracy = working for change at the ballot box





    What do we do when our democracy is under attack? We turn our anger into action.


    And most importantly, we organize! For us in Maryland right now, that means we vote and we volunteer for progressive candidates who will do something about the growing national and state-level threats from the Republican party. Let’s help the candidates who are standing up to big money PACs and corporate interests, the same super wealthy businessmen who fight unions, working people, and all of us working for a stronger democracy. Together, we are anything but helpless. Read on to find out what you can do.

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 27, 2022

    memo_logo.pngYou probably know by now the news about the outrageous Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey on Friday, and you may have seen or been part of  the sweeping response from hundreds of thousands of people across the country. It was great to be at demonstrations and rallies around Maryland throughout the weekend to voice our opposition to this ruling and the right wing extremist majority dominating this third branch of government. Three of the rallies hosted more than 200 people (on short notice) and at some of the events, people shared their personal stories, in some cases for the first time in public. Powerful. We’re grateful to our allies in the Maryland Abortion Access Coalition for organizing the protests. We also put out a statement on the SCOTUS decision. 


    How can we ensure Maryland remains a state where abortions are safe and legal?  Here’s what we can do right now: Elect dedicated pro-choice candidates, including more women and LGBTQ individuals, who will take bold action on issues like abortion rights to counter the moves that the GOP Justices and their supporters in the Senate are making to turn back the clock on our basic rights and protections. Let’s keep turning our anger into action.

    More about what we can do is here, in the PM Weekly Memo.


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  • Fighting back on the Dobbs abortion decision -- and a few more challenges


    While the nation reels at the duplicity of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees under oath ("Roe is settled law") and the pent-up, vengeful Dobbs opinion authored by Alito overturning Roe, Larry Hogan keeps playing his games.

    Maryland, which put abortion rights into law via referendum years ago, has shaped a role as a sanctuary state for those who need reproductive health care but live in medieval states. West Virginia and Virginia residents may soon need the sanctuary; Pennsylvania is a maybe.

    But Hogan, playing footsie with GOP orthodoxy while still trying to present the Facebook-fueled Good Guy Larry persona that got him stealth-elected twice, refuses to release properly appropriated funds intended to prepare Maryland’s health care system for the rough times to come.


    More about the fight against Dobbs, up-n-down news on gun safety, and a big step on overdose prevention -- also in News You Can Use this week.

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    The Memo will appear here after the email version has been sent.

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  • Congress in one-week sprint but Maryland summer-sleepy

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngThe Congressional circus is back for one more sprint and they are hot on Trump’s trail, but also working on guns and maybe a downsized Build Back Less Bad bill, maybe… it all needs to be packed into this week, before the two-week July 4 recess…


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 13, 2022


    It’s a busy time of year! Graduations, end of school, weddings, vacations, visitors, swim meets, softball tournaments, gardening, community festivals, outings, and more. Not to mention work, juggling family needs, and trying to keep up with and process the news of the day. One big event this summer that deserves our full  attention no matter where we live or what our schedules may be: the Primary Election in July. The simple act of voting not only keeps our democracy going, it  gives us a chance to express our support for candidates who want to make positive progressive change. Every vote matters! Four years ago, the outcome in the County Executive race in the Montgomery County Primary was decided by 80 votes (out of about 130,000 votes cast). 


    Our individual votes matter and this year we are working to collectively gather our voices and votes to make a difference for progressive candidates. Find out how to make change happen -- together -- in the Memo. Read on.


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  • Hope for modest gun law reform in DC, prepping for more pandemic (s?) in MD

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngPossible good news, for a change, in Congress -- some modest tightening of access to guns may pass.

    Meanwhile, in Maryland, prepping for more of this pandemic plus the next one (?); a Hogan veto increases election results uncertainty and (for sure) opens up more time for Big Lies to grow; Dem Guv hopefuls feel pressure on education futures; state's higher ed schools show variety in recovery from COVID pause.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 6, 2022

    memo_logo.pngThe Memo will be posted here Monday after the email version is sent

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  • News You Can Use: Swan-song veto pushbacks; pre-primary fever spreads (a little?)

    News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngIn a final veto dump on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, Gov. Hogan erases laws for better transit, more transparent and easy voting and protecting tenants against eviction. What's not to like? We have the reaction to that and more in state action, plus the prospect of a week when both US House and Senate will be in at work and dodging questions about, you know, guns and dead elementary school students. Read on ...

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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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