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, July 12, 2021

    STAND_WITH_US.jpgWhat’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.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, July 6, 2021

    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.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 28, 2021

    pride_june_2021.pngAs 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. 


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  • Unfinished business in the Assembly: where is the progressive impulse?

    MD_state_house_sketch.jpgA 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.

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  • How the War on Drugs has warped priorities and ruined lives for 50 years

    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.

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, June 22, 2021

    juneteenth_art.pngWe are sending this on a Tuesday since the Progressive Maryland offices were closed yesterday in recognition of Juneteenth, a day celebrating the end of slavery that also happens to be a day in the midst of Pride Month. Following the Congressional vote to make June 19th a federal holiday, the PM Justice Task Force issued this Statement on Juneteenth 2021 that we encourage you to read.

    There is much going on this week as we continue the fight for Medicare For All, Police Reform, and The THRIVE Act. You will find PM staff and leaders at the #WeCantWait Rally & March in DC this Thursday as we advocate for climate, care, jobs and justice. This and much more in the Memo.


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  • published Solidifying the past, looking to the future in Home 2021-06-21 09:49:59 -0400

    Solidifying the past, looking to the future

    unk_flowers_june_2020.jpgThe establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday has energized civic consciousness in Maryland and throughout the US -- more truth spoken about the past. The future? In Maryland, one of the nation's most affluent states? New research finds the general well-being of children here has fallen from 21st among the states to 24th, with 157,000 children living in households with income below the poverty line. And that was before the pandemic. Access to the full report is included in the article from Maryland Matters.


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  • published JTF Statement on Juneteenth 2021 in Home 2021-06-18 19:52:30 -0400

    JTF Statement on Juneteenth 2021

    juneteenth_art.pngMore than 150 years after abolishing chattel slavery in the Confederate States, we join the United States of America as it celebrates what has always been an important tradition for Black Americans. 

    As we celebrate, we understand that being 150 years removed from a 400 year institution of depravity means that the fight for the real liberation of Black Americans is not over -- especially here in Maryland, where slavery did not end until November 1, 1864 and forced apprenticeships and property requirements for voting kept those formerly enslaved in a posture of subordination.


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  • JTF Statement on racist police violence in Ocean City

    police_violence.pngThe Progressive Maryland Justice Task Force is appalled and disgusted to witness the violence and excessive use of force displayed in the viral videos that ended with the arrests of five young men in Ocean City on June 6th and June 12th, 2021.

    In two now-viral videos, a young man with his hands up is tased and hog-tied; another young man, already handcuffed, is tased, held down by almost a dozen officers, and kneed in his torso at least five times, all in the act of enforcing compliance.

    The JTF demands that this appalling abuse of police powers get a response from legislators beyond the predictable tsk-tsk -- that our elected representatives enhance this Session's watered-down version of police reform with provisions for community oversight in policing to ensure that police are held accountable for such heinous actions.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 14, 2021

    pride_june_2021.pngOur opportunities for activism are ranked around Juneteenth, a Saturday of celebration anchoring a week that’s also at the heart of Pride Month, including our PM Pride Logo which you may notice across our website and social media.

    Our gains in health and safety in Maryland, plodding but real, bring us closer to the wider organizing options we’ve been waiting for. We will increasingly find our fulfillment in high-impact mobilizing for progressive change. THAT’s the new, better normal. This and much more in the Memo.


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  • Let's "check" what we are doing to make liveable communities in Prince George's

    funding_our_future_report_cover_cropped.jpgA high school history teacher who attended a recent rally in Prince George's against gun violence found himself "discouraged that some of the speakers at the gun violence event seem to blame Black people for gun violence without addressing the root causes of the violence." As he points out, the historic wealth gap between Black and White households has meant a lack of good-paying jobs, affordable health care and mental health access, and other evidence of disparities. "What good is it to have Black men 'checking' other Black men’s behavior when the real problem is a lack of resources?"

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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 7, 2021

    pride_june_2021.pngProgressive Maryland continues to celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ Community, this month and always. We are proud to honor the progress flag in our new PM Pride Logo which you may notice across our website and social media.

    Also, as our scope and capacity are amplified by the (too-slow) gains in health and safety in Maryland, we will increasingly find our fulfillment in high-impact organizing for progressive change. THAT’s the new, better normal. This and much more in the memo.


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  • Housing advocates urge Hogan to fund legal aid for tenants in evictions

    maryland_state_house.jpgA new law gives tenants threatened with eviction a right to a lawyer -- but the companion bill funding the law  failed to pass in the 2021 Session.

    Lawmakers and tenant advocates urge the governor to fund the law, leveling a playing field in which landlords generally, but tenants seldom, have representation. Maryland Matters has the coverage.

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  • Hogan UI cancellation spurs Dems' focus on his vetoes, too

    hogan_in_shades.jpgThough he was late to the game, Gov. Hogan's attempt to drive workers back to possibly unsafe jobs has galvanized the state's Dems. They were looking the other way from his outrageous late vetoes of progressive measures, but may have to focus on them after all. Lawmakers are reportedly asking about a special session.


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  • Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, June 1, 2021

    pride_june_2021.pngIt's the first day of "Meteorological Summer" and a great one to launch purposeful organizing. Oh, right, you were already doing that...

    Happy Pride Month! 🌈  Progressive Maryland continues to celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ Community, this month and always. We are especially lifting up Queer and Trans people of color. We are proud to honor the progress flag in our new PM Pride Logo which you may notice across our website and social media.

    Thank you for being part of this movement. 


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  • Gauntlet thrown as Senate GOP says "what insurrection?" on Jan. 6

    capitol-riot-documented-1_saul_loeb_AFP-Getty_Images.jpgThe Senate GOP late last week bowed to the bidding of Mitch McConnell (and Trump) and blocked a bipartisan panel to seek the full story of the infamous insurrection at the US Capitol. That outrageous refusal to face facts fits into the larger right-wing plan to gain and hold power at the expense  of  democracy -- a plan outlined in the PM BlogSpace last week by analyst Sean Dobson. Here's a recap of that deep-diving, four-part series on "The Once and Future Takeover."


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  • The Once and Future Takeover IV -- Democracy advocates must take working class issues to heart

    apocalypse.jpgWe have seen in this week’s deep exploration of the GOP right wing’s strategies – taking advantage of resentments among the former culturally dominant but now dwindling white working class, finding weaknesses in the US’s antiquated system to reverse electoral outcomes at the state and federal level – that only an informed and active pro-democracy movement can protect our future elections by making executive, legislative, behavioral and other changes at every level.

    Analyst Sean Dobson, who is board chair of Progressive Maryland, outlines the surprisingly broad agenda – both difficult and energizing – that progressives and their pro-democracy allies  must tackle NOW to ward off a right-wing takeover of government that, if not fought early, could be very difficult to reverse and result in a permanently authoritarian nation.

    Pro-democracy forces "need to truly and massively deliver to the working class – white, black, and brown -- in a way that tangibly hoists median living standards. The obvious need to jump-start the economy, fight climate change, and invest in (green) infrastructure offers historic opportunity to do so – but only if Democrats finally act on their professed principles and ignore their big campaign donors."

    You can read the earlier installments of this week-long analysis at

    https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeoverhttps://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover_ii  and https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover_iii_plugging_gaps_in_our_institutions

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  • The Once and Future Takeover III -- plugging gaps in our institutions

    capitol-riot-documented-1_saul_loeb_AFP-Getty_Images.jpgIn the first two parts of analyst Sean Dobson’s account this week, we have seen the shape of the failed Trump coup in 2020 and the many flaws in our electoral system that could be far more exploited by an organized post-Trump white-supremacist GOP rightwing core at the next opportunity. What are the ways that pro-democracy forces could contest those strategies – not only the obvious ones that happen before, during and even after Election Day but the less-visible vulnerabilities that require legislative and executive action sooner rather than later?

    In the third of four parts, Dobson -- Progressive Maryland's board chair and a progressive historian of modern politics -- the activist path is laid out that will be required to mount the best defense against a likely more coherent GOP takeover attempt. Keeping police and the military neutral and militias weak are critical tasks, as is reining in the unchecked power of social media and the Russian trolls who surf it.  As we find, “Nothing in the US Constitution or federal law specifically mandates that the President be popularly elected” and that leaves the field open for a lot of GOP mischief that must be fixed legislatively.

    Here is how the fixes can be accomplished. This full essay can be read here.

    photo:Saul Loeb/getty images

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  • The Once and Future Takeover II -- vulnerabilities and vengeance

    capitol-riot-documented-1_saul_loeb_AFP-Getty_Images.jpgIn the second of four parts, analyst Sean Dobson outlines the weaknesses in our ageing constitutional system that could be exploited by right-wing zealots, especially elected Republicans in federal and state office. Existing strategies of voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering (the GOP is much better at the latter) will combine with further attacks on the judicial system, top to bottom, as well as internal party attacks to remove GOP officials who remained loyal to the democratic electoral system, as Dobson, who is board chair of Progressive Maryland. Further, the already-flawed Electoral College system is further open to exploitation by GOP state legislators. Each part of the strategy is well known to be vulnerable to manipulation but, added up, the dangers this poses to democratic process are truly alarming and will need to be addressed.

    This is the second of four parts being published on the PMBlogSpace this week. The complete essay may be read at https://seandobsonprogressive.wordpress.com/category/blog/ 



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  • published The Once and Future Takeover in Home 2021-05-24 20:53:06 -0400

    The Once and Future Takeover

    The right-wingers at the core of today’s GOP demonstrated January 6, 2021 that they have no interest in American democracy if it interferes with their goal: political, financial and cultural dominance of this nation. In this deep-diving essay, Maryland progressive leader and analyst Sean Dobson shows how close this frothing minority came – and could come, in the future – to overcoming the democratic processes that we are used to thinking of as normal elections. Donald Trump was the clear perpetrator of the attack on the Capitol and Congress in January but the sentiments and strategies of the Republican right predated him and will be rehabbed by his clumsy failure. A next round could succeed in upending democratic electoral processes by targeting their dangerously fragile 18th-century roots with 21st-century strategies, as Dobson -- board chair of Progressive Maryland -- shows here. In the first of four parts we see how Trump’s and Trumpism’s assaults on the election before, during and after Election Day, imperfect as they were, nearly succeeded in undoing the majority rule on which our process is grounded. A coup has failed, for now; a future one has better chances unless understood and fought against.

    This is the first of four parts being published on the PMBlogSpace this week. The complete essay may be read at https://seandobsonprogressive.wordpress.com/category/blog/


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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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