Friday, December 31, 2010

Montgomery County NOW Reception with Elected Officials

Montgomery County NOW Reception with Elected Officials
Monday, January 3, 2011 at 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Wheaton Regional Library
11701 Georgia Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902
Meeting Room downstairs

Several elected officials confirmed! Including Sen. Roger Manno,
Delegates Al Carr, Tom Hucker, Heather Mizeur,Jim Gilchrist, and Shane
Robinson, Councilwoman Nancy Floreen, Sheriff Darren Popkin, School
Board Member Christopher Barclay, Clerk of Court Loretta Knight. Many
others expected as well.

Montgomery County NOW congratulates those candidates who were victorious
in their election campaigns.

Please join us for an informal reception of invited State Senators and
Delegates, Councilmembers, School Board, and others. Pizza and potluck
served.
ALL PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT WOMEN'S ISSUES ARE INVITED

For more information contact info@mcmdnow.org

Save The Date! Free Speech and Fair Elections for the People Sunday, February 6th

Free Speech and Fair Elections for the People: A Public 'Teach-In' on Democracy Reform and Amending the Constitution
Sunday, February 6th Join us for this exciting and educational forum, featuring some of the top advocates of democracy reform.

2:00 - 4:00 PM
Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church
3215 Powder Mill Rd
Adelphi, MD 20783
Click Here for Directions


Call 443-766-0894 or email fairandcleanmd@gmail.com for more information

Topics will include national and state-level measures, including a Constitutional Amendment.

Panelists:
Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland's 4th district, speaking on the Constitutional amendment she has introduced to allow Congress to regulate the range of speech rights of corporate entities, and on other federal measures she recommends to reduce undue corporate influence on elections.

Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, American University Constitutional law professor, who represents Takoma Park and is a member of Maryland's new campaign finance task force, on proposed state legislation for campaign finance transparency and reform.

Anna White, Democracy Organizer for Public Citizen, on the growing national grassroots movement for a constitutional amendment and how Marylanders can get involved.

Jessica Sharp, co-founder and co-director of Fair and Clean Elections Maryland, on opportunities to lobby for pertinent Maryland legislation and take part in other supporting activities.

Sponsoring Organizations Include:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roger Manno writes: ‎"Political Pulse" TV Interview.

Maryland Senator Roger Manno (D-19) writes: ‎"Political Pulse" TV
Interview. Please tune in to "Political Pulse" [channel 16 on Montgomery
County cable TV] this week for my conversation with Charles Duffy.
Topics include the recent state elections, my appointment to the Senate
Budget & Taxation Committee, Maryland's fiscal picture, the new 19th
District Delegation, pension reform, and others. 12/30 at 9:00 p.m.,
12/31 at 6:00 p.m., 1/1 at 6:00 p.m., 1/2 at 6:00 p.m., and 1/4 at 9:30 p.m.

See: http://www.stoptransfer.org/STOP_manno-to-discuss_29_12_2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thanks to You, "the Dream Shall Never Die."

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
  -- Ted Kennedy at the Democratic Convention in 1980

You are necessary! Thanks to you, the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is making progress in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the USA.

As we move into 2011, the work goes on. With your help, the dream shall never die. NO OTHER ORGANIZATION is involved and promoting progress on such a wide range of issues and efforts! But we need you to keep MCPA going and growing. MCPCA is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. We can only keep working with generous member donations. We will not be able to pay for social networking tools such as Meetup.com, rent venues for special events, print flyers and other materials, and keep organizing for progress without your support.

Please donate safely and easily online: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UW2R635KZPP9L or bring your donation to our meetings and events. Note: donations to MCPA are not tax deductible.

We organize events, support candidates, and inform you about progressive efforts in our area and have been since 2003. We have big plans to work with our friends and allies in the county and state on healthcare, peace, the environment, equality, and more! MCPA is organizing, supporting, and promoting all kinds of events--and with your help--we'll do so better than ever in 2011.

Help keep us working for you! Please support the MCPA with a generous donation now.

We hope you will give $25 or more, but we appreciate any help you afford in these tough economic times. You can donate safely and easily online here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UW2R635KZPP9L or bring your donation to our meetings and events. Note: donations to MCPA are not tax deductible.

Join us 7 to 9 PM Tuesday, January 4th 2011 Combined MeetUp/Meeting for MCPA, DFMC, PDA, and more.

Progressive Coalition Meeting to plan future events and actions.

Saigonese Restaurant
11232 Grandview Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902 

Public Transportation: Short walk from Wheaton Metro (red line)
Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=11232+Grandview+Ave+Silver+Spring+MD+20902

Report on progress in our county and state on Healthcare, the Environment, Education, Labor, Transportation, Energy and other issues. We're building up our coalition and lobby efforts on the state and national level, planning special events, forming a steering committee, and working on meetings with legislators, and other organizations.

Stay In Touch With Us!


Please join the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/mcprogressivealliance
If you're on Facebook, please join the MCPA group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=3401340272&ref=ts
Join our Progressive Victory Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/progressive-victory/

What is the MCPA Again?


Four Meetup groups--Progressive Victory, Democratic Party / MCPA, Montgomery County Progressive Alliance and this one--get together with like-minded activists working for Progressive Victories in 2010 and beyond. We meet at least once each month to discuss and plan events and actions.

1. MCPA: The Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is a result-oriented coalition working on local, state, national and international issues. MCPA includes more than 1,000 local activists, mainly in and around Montgomery County, Maryland. The organization began in 2003 when Democracy for America Meetup members joined other Meetups and other groups. In 2005, 100s of Montgomery County for Kerry members and local Progressive Democrats of America members joined the MCPA. MCPA has held meetings or special events nearly each month since 2003.

2. DFA/DFMC: Democracy for America emerged from Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004, and has organized grass-roots activists to support socially progressive, fiscally responsible candidates. DFMC is Democracy for Montgomery County, a local DFA-inspired organization which is not directly or legally affiliated with DFA. DFMC has organized events and meetings; and endorsed and organized volunteers for several candidates. DFMC is currently seeking additional steering committee members. Please contact me, mikehersh@mikehersh.com if you're interested. You can sign up for DFA here: http://democracyforamerica.com/session/new

3. PDA: Progressive Democrats of America began just after the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Bringing together people from the 2004 Kucinich and Dean Campaigns with other progressives, PDA adopted an "inside/outside strategy" uniting activists working inside the Democratic Party with those working in peace and justice movements. PDA's core issues include clean, accurate and transparent elections; environmental protection; single-payer healthcare; economic and social justice; and peace. Sign up for PDA: https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/309/personal2.asp?formid=signup

Saturday, December 25, 2010

next meeting: 7-9 PM Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
 -- Ted Kennedy at the Democratic Convention in 1980

You are essential! Thanks to you, the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is making progress in Montgomery County and Maryland. As we move into 2011, the work goes on. With your help, the dream shall never die. But we need you to keep MCPA going and growing. MCPCA is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. We can only keep working with generous member donations. We will not be able to pay for social networking tools such as Meetup.com, rent venues for special events, print flyers and other materials, and keep organizing for progress without your support.  

We've been organizing events, supporting candidates, and informing you about progressive efforts in our area since 2003. We have big plans to work with our friends and allies in the county and state on healthcare, the environment, equality, and more! MCPA is playing a role organizing, supporting, and/or promoting ALL of the events below. NO OTHER ORGANIZATION is involved and promoting progress on such a wide range of issues and efforts!

Help keep us working for you! Please support the MCPA with a generous donation now. We hope you will give $25 or more, but we appreciate any help you afford in these tough economic times. You can donate safely and easily online here https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UW2R635KZPP9L or bring your donation to our meetings and events. Note: donations to MCPA are not tax deductible.

Join us at our next meeting: 7-9 PM Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Combined MeetUp/Meeting for MCPA, DFMC, PDA, and more. Progressive Coalition Meeting to plan future events and actions.

Saigonese Restaurant
11232 Grandview Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902 

Public Transportation: Short walk from Wheaton Metro (red line)
Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=11232+Grandview+Ave+Silver+Spring+MD+20902

Report on progress in our county and state on Healthcare, the Environment, Education, Labor, Transportation, Energy and other issues. We're building up our coalition and lobby efforts on the state and national level, planning special events, forming a steering committee, and working on meetings with legislators, and other organizations.

Please join the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/mcprogressivealliance

If you're on Facebook, please join the MCPA group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=3401340272&ref=ts

Four Meetup groups--Progressive Victory, Democratic Party / MCPA, Montgomery County Progressive Alliance and this one--get together with like-minded activists working for Progressive Victories in 2010 and beyond. We meet at least once each month to discuss and plan events and actions.

1. MCPA: The Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is a result-oriented coalition working on local, state, national and international issues. MCPA includes more than 1,000 local activists, mainly in and around Montgomery County Maryland. The organization began in 2003 when Democracy for America Meetup members reached out to other Meetup groups and other groups. In 2004, 100s of Montgomery County for Kerry members and local Progressive Democrats of America members joined the MCPA. MCPA adopted a mission statement, organized special events, and has held meetings nearly each month since 2003.

2. DFA/DFMC: Democracy for America emerged from Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004, and has organized grass-roots activists to support socially progressive, fiscally responsible candidates. DFMC is Democracy for Montgomery County, a local DFA-inspired organization which is not directly or legally affiliated with DFA. DFMC has organized events and meetings; and endorsed and organized volunteers for several candidates. DFMC is currently seeking additional steering committee members. Please contact me, mikehersh@mikehersh.com if you're interested. You can sign up for DFA here: http://democracyforamerica.com/session/new

3. PDA: Progressive Democrats of America began just after the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Bringing together people from the 2004 Kucinich and Dean Campaigns with other progressives, PDA adopted an "inside/outside strategy" uniting activists working inside the Democratic Party with those working in peace and justice movements. PDA's core issues include clean, accurate and transparent elections; environmental protection; single-payer healthcare; economic and social justice; and peace. See: http://www.PDAmerica.org/ You can sign up for PDA here: https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/309/personal2.asp?formid=joinusshort&c=5052037%EF%BB%BF

Help keep us working for you! Please support the MCPA with a generous donation now. We hope you will give $25, but we appreciate any help you afford in these tough economic times. You can donate safely and easily online here https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UW2R635KZPP9L or bring your donation to our meetings and events. Note: donations to MCPA are not tax deductible.

You are ESSENTIAL

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
 -- Ted Kennedy at the Democratic Convention in 1980

You are essential! Thanks to you, the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is making progress in Montgomery County and Maryland. As we move into 2011, the work goes on. With your help, the dream shall never die. But we need you to keep MCPA going and growing. MCPCA is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. We can only keep working with generous member donations. We will not be able to pay for social networking tools such as Meetup.com, rent venues for special events, print flyers and other materials, and keep organizing for progress without your support.  

We've been organizing events, supporting candidates, and informing you about progressive efforts in our area since 2003. We have big plans to work with our friends and allies in the county and state on healthcare, the environment, equality, and more! MCPA is playing a role organizing, supporting, and/or promoting ALL of the events below. NO OTHER ORGANIZATION is involved and promoting progress on such a wide range of issues and efforts!

Help keep us working for you! Please support the MCPA with a generous donation now. We hope you will give $25 or more, but we appreciate any help you afford in these tough economic times. You can donate safely and easily online here https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UW2R635KZPP9L or bring your donation to our meetings and events. Note: donations to MCPA are not tax deductible.

Join us at our next meeting: Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Combined MeetUp/Meeting for MCPA, DFMC, PDA, and more. Progressive Coalition Meeting to plan future events and actions.

Saigonese Restaurant
11232 Grandview Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902 

Public Transportation: Short walk from Wheaton Metro (red line)
Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=11232+Grandview+Ave+Silver+Spring+MD+20902

Report on progress in our county and state on Healthcare, the Environment, Education, Labor, Transportation, Energy and other issues. We're building up our coalition and lobby efforts on the state and national level, planning special events, forming a steering committee, and working on meetings with legislators, and other organizations.

Please join the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/mcprogressivealliance

If you're on Facebook, please join the MCPA group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=3401340272&ref=ts

Four Meetup groups--Progressive Victory, Democratic Party / MCPA, Montgomery County Progressive Alliance and this one--get together with like-minded activists working for Progressive Victories in 2010 and beyond. We meet at least once each month to discuss and plan events and actions.

1. MCPA: The Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is a result-oriented coalition working on local, state, national and international issues. MCPA includes more than 1,000 local activists, mainly in and around Montgomery County Maryland. The organization began in 2003 when Democracy for America Meetup members reached out to other Meetup groups and other groups. In 2004, 100s of Montgomery County for Kerry members and local Progressive Democrats of America members joined the MCPA. MCPA adopted a mission statement, organized special events, and has held meetings nearly each month since 2003.

2. DFA/DFMC: Democracy for America emerged from Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004, and has organized grass-roots activists to support socially progressive, fiscally responsible candidates. DFMC is Democracy for Montgomery County, a local DFA-inspired organization which is not directly or legally affiliated with DFA. DFMC has organized events and meetings; and endorsed and organized volunteers for several candidates. DFMC is currently seeking additional steering committee members. Please contact me, mikehersh@mikehersh.com if you're interested. You can sign up for DFA here: http://democracyforamerica.com/session/new

3. PDA: Progressive Democrats of America began just after the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Bringing together people from the 2004 Kucinich and Dean Campaigns with other progressives, PDA adopted an "inside/outside strategy" uniting activists working inside the Democratic Party with those working in peace and justice movements. PDA's core issues include clean, accurate and transparent elections; environmental protection; single-payer healthcare; economic and social justice; and peace. See: http://www.PDAmerica.org/ You can sign up for PDA here: https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/309/personal2.asp?formid=joinusshort&c=5052037%EF%BB%BF

Help keep us working for you! Please support the MCPA with a generous donation now. We hope you will give $25, but we appreciate any help you afford in these tough economic times. You can donate safely and easily online here https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UW2R635KZPP9L or bring your donation to our meetings and events. Note: donations to MCPA are not tax deductible.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Report: Scanners cost less than touch-screen machines

 
Rebecca Wilson
SAVEourVotes.org

SAVE our Votes is a nonpartisan grassroots organization working for
Secure, Accessible, Verifiable Elections in Maryland.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Save the Date: legislative forum Sunday afternoon Jan. 23rd

The Progressive Working Group will cosponsor a legislative forum with
General Assembly members

Sunday afternoon Jan. 23rd at IMPACT Silver Spring's office
25 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910
(entrance across from the Whole Foods, located at the old Hollywood Video).

More information to come.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

MoCo County Council President Valerie Ervin on the "Political Pulse" TV This Week

MoCo County Council President Valerie Ervin (D-District 5) will be on
the "Political Pulse" TV Show with Charles Duffy, Channel 16 on cable in
Montgomery county.

Topics will include MoCo budget issues and her views on what the MoCo
State Delegates and Senators should do on important issues that they
will be facing in Annapolis during the 2011 Legislative Session (like
the possible shift of some of the teachers pension expenditures to the
counties and Maintenance of Effort education funding).

Thurs, December 23rd at 9:00 p.m.
Fri-Sun, December 24th-26th at 6:00 p.m.
and Tues, December 28th at 9:30 p.m.

See:
http://www.stoptransfer.org/STOP_valerie-ervin-to-discuss-pensions_21_12_2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Help us protect public schools and services

Please contribute now to help STOP TRANSFER OF PENSIONS

Help us plan public events and organize support for sensible policies.

Transferring pension obligations to the counties and cities would devastate local economies, hurt public schools, prevent needed maintenance, and delay or deny new projects by overburdening our local governments. We have better choices–untapped potential revenues Please support our efforts! Contribute to STOP and contact us to get involved. (PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay online without revealing your credit card number. Contributions to STOP are not tax deductible.) See our website: http://www.stoptransfer.org/

Some background: During the Glendenning years, Maryland adopted the “corridor” formula which was not actuarially sound and therefore underfunded the pension systems. The recession–with the stock market and real estate shocks–depleted the value of assets in the pension trust funds. Also, poor investment decisions led to lower-than-expected return on investments. These three factors combined to leave the pensions underfunded.

STOP agrees Maryland must address this shortfall, but we propose real solutions to the underlying problems. If the state dumps some or all of these pensions obligations onto localities, the results will be disastrous. When the state stopped paying for Social Security for teachers some years back, class sizes increased dramatically and school construction ground to a halt. Students attended school in too-hot or too-cold trailers instead of classrooms.

Transferring pensions does nothing to address real problems.

It would merely pass the buck–really billions of bucks–in a way that would exacerbate local fiscal problems. The same crunch Maryland faces on the state level is also hurting localities, leaving budgets overstressed and putting jobs and services on the chopping block. The counties and Baltimore City cannot afford to shoulder the pensions burden. Shifting that burden will not make it any smaller or easier to bear.

Shifting pensions obligations would hit Montgomery County particularly hard, but all local jurisdictions will suffer. MoCo has a restrictive revenues formula, making it very difficult to increase revenues. If the counties and Baltimore have to pay for pensions, they will lose many of the best teachers, and have to slash public services, layoff workers, and close facilities including schools, libraries, and county offices.

We’ve seen this problem coming for some time. WTOP.com reported in January 2009: “[Montgomery County Executive Ike] Leggett plans to make sure that Montgomery County does not get stuck with the state’s bill for teacher pensions. The pensions [transfer] would add another $100 million to the county’s current fiscal shortfall of approximately $500 million.” Quoting Leggett’s analysis of the problem, “I don’t think that was some kind of conspiracy,” says Leggett, “It’s just simply a reflection of some of the errors and negligence that occurred at the state level.”

Fast forward to September 2010, and WTOP.com reported the same concerns. “[Ike] Leggett projects a more than $200 million shortfall for fiscal year 2012, or more depending on income tax returns and whether the state shifts more costs to the county. [Former] County Council President Nancy Floreen says it’s too early to say where cuts should come. ‘The other things on the table this year are what’s going to come out of Annapolis,’ Floreen says. One of the big questions is whether state lawmakers will require counties to pay for teacher pensions. Currently, the state pays teacher pensions.” See: http://www.wtop.com/?hlpage=255&nid=706&sid=1565430 (2009 article) and http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=2063361&nid=25 (2010 article).

STOP agrees Maryland lawmakers must take decisive action to address this shortfall, but we propose real solutions to the underlying problems, not treating the pension obligations like a hot potato. Last year, then-Delegate, current State Senator Roger Manno filed HB 10 to protect education and public services by fully funding pensions on the state level. He called for combined reporting, progressive taxation, and other state-level revenues to shore up the pensions trust funds. Combined reporting would close a loophole some corporations use to avoid paying all or part of their taxes on income earned in Maryland. Other states have enacted combined reporting, and found that it’s a fair and effective method to accurately determine how much corporations should pay to states. The formula is precise and detailed, leading some to claim it’s “too complicated.” The complexity is required to accurately assess tax burdens. See: http://mcprogressive.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/wth-is-combined-reporting-and-why-do-we-need-it/

An article prepared by the New Rules Project explains combined reporting: “Many retail chains earn profits at stores nationwide, but have developed an accounting scheme to evade paying their full share of state corporate income taxes. Tax experts believe the practice is costing states billions of dollars in lost revenue. It has also given chains an advantage over locally owned businesses, which must pay state income tax on all of their earnings. Twenty-one states are not vulnerable to these tax-evasion schemes, because they have enacted a policy known as combined reporting.” The article lists corporations using loopholes to avoid taxes in Maryland and other states including The Gap, Home Depot, Ikea, Kmart, Kohl’s, Limited Brands (which owns Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Payless Shoes, and other chains), Staples, and Wal-Mart as companies that escape taxes, but which would be forced to pay their fair share under combined reporting.

Also from the New Rules Project: “As of November 2010, twenty-three states have adopted combined reporting. These states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.” By contrast Maryland is one of the states that “have not adopted combined reporting and are vulnerable to chains escaping their state tax obligations by shifting income to subsidiaries.” See: http://www.newrules.org/retail/rules/level-playing-field-taxation/combined-reporting

Maryland can and should close this loophole, and STOP believes Maryland should use those and other revenues to address the pensions short fall–as outlined in HB 10. STOP remains open to any and all proposals that actually address the situation while protecting public schools and local services.

We need your help. Support public schools and local services. Please contribute to STOP. (PayPal is the safe way to pay online without revealing your credit card number. Contributions to STOP are not tax deductible.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

URGENT: Action needed on verifiable voting in Maryland ASAP!

URGENT: Action needed on verifiable voting in Maryland ASAP!

Time-sensitive request for help requested from one of our PWG member
organizations, SAVEourVotes:

Progressives have been pushing the state to switch to a new, reliable,
recountable voting system for years. A just released independent study,
funded by the MD General Assembly, has revealed what we have been saying
for years: the switch will not only protect our voting results, it will
save us millions!

Gov. O'Malley must include a very minimal amount of funding for the
switch in his budget announcement in mid-January or the new voting
system won't be in place in time for the FY 2012 elections. (While
minimal funding will be needed for the switch in FY 2012, it will be
recouped very quickly and lead to savings of $9.5M over the next 7-8
years.) We need the help of your members to ask the Governor to do this
BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!

Could you please send an email blast ASAP to your group's members asking
them to tell Gov. O'Malley to include the switch to a new optical scan
voting system in his FY 2012 budget before the holidays -- before the
budget is finalized? It's quick and easy. Just direct them to the action
alert at http://www.saveourvotes.org/opscan4md

Thanks very much for your help! If you have any questions, go to
http://www.saveourvotes.org and/or feel free to contact Shelley Fudge at
SAVEourVotes at shelley@saveourvotes.org or 301-580-9224.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saturday in Silver Spring Celebrate and Support Healthcare Progress

We are close to our final goal of fundraising for the Economic Impact Study for our state single payer health care bill: The Maryland Health Security Act http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/hb/hb0767f.pdf

We hope to have the final amount needed by the end of December so that we can have the results of the study available during the 2011 Legislative Session.

To celebrate we are having a party
This Saturday December 11th  1 to 4 pm
McGinty's Public House
911 Ellsworth in Silver Spring

Short walk from Silver Spring Metro. Free or affordable public parking near by.

Featuring the blues and swing sounds of Deadwood.

Bring your dancing shoes or sit back and sing along while you sip one of McGinty's many fine beers. Bring your friends and family and meet other single payer supporters. The cost of tickets is $20 in advance and $25 at the door and 100% of the proceeds will go towards the economic study.

We will also have canvas shopping bags available for sale. These limited edition bags include the logo for "Got P.I.I.S.D.*" (visible at www.md.pnhp.org) created by our Dr. Carol Paris, a practicing psychiatrist in Southern Maryland who is seeing an epidemic of this condition. Her diagnostic criteria for this disorder were recently published in Psychiatric Times: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/november/diagnostic-criteria-for-piisd-%E2%80%93-private-insurance-induced-stress-disorder. We guarantee that these bags will spark conversations wherever you take them!

If you are unable to attend this Saturday, please consider making a donation to the study online at http://www.mdsinglepayer.org/impact-study/.  Donations are tax deductible. Every amount helps. Please give what you can and help us pass the Health Security Act--a publicly financed, privately run, patient-directed health plan (aka single payer health care) in Maryland. Single payer saves lives. Our study will show how much money it will save our state as well.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Progressive Democrats of America/Maryland

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

support public schools and local services

STOP: Stop Transfer Of Pensions
We support the State of Maryland honoring its commitment to education by continuing to fund pensions.


Stop Transfer Of Pensions is a new grassroots organization dedicated to protecting public schools and local communities from a misguided proposal to shift hundreds of $millions in pensions obligations from the State of Maryland to the counties and Baltimore City. Maryland is facing serious financial / fiscal challenges. Past mistakes and the economic recession contributed to a huge shortfall in pension trust funds--estimated at $19 Billion last year, and growing. The proposed pensions transfer would shift 100s of $millions of obligations to the localities, dwarfing the amount previously shifted. With current overburdened local budgets, the results would be many times worse this time. We are working to Stop Transfer Of Pensions to the counties and Baltimore City for several reasons. Such a transfer would lead to increased crowding in classrooms, undermine achievement by Maryland's students, exacerbate fiscal stress in counties and in Baltimore, and cause cutbacks in services and many other serious problems. Please forward this email to concerned Marylanders!

Please contribute now to help STOP launch our website, plan public events, and organize support for sensible policies to address budget short-falls. Transferring pension obligations to the counties and cities would devastate local economies, hurt public schools, prevent needed maintenance, and delay or deny new projects by overburdening our local governments. We have better choices--untapped potential revenues Please support our efforts! Contribute and contact me to get involved. 


https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S8UX7PMBC5CE2
PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay online
without revealing your credit card number. (Contributions to STOP are not tax deductible.)

Some background: During the Glendenning years, Maryland adopted the "corridor" formula which was not actuarially sound and therefore underfunded the pension systems. The recession--with the stock market and real estate shocks--depleted the value of assets in the pension trust funds. Also, poor investment decisions led to lower-than-expected return on investments. These three factors combined to leave the pensions underfunded.  STOP agrees Maryland must address this shortfall, but we propose real solutions to the underlying problems. If the state dumps some or all of these pensions obligations onto localities, the results will be disastrous. When the state stopped paying for Social Security for teachers some years back, class sizes increased dramatically and school construction ground to a halt. Students attended school in too-hot or too-cold trailers instead of classrooms.

Transferring pensions to localities does nothing to address the real problems. It would merely pass the buck--really billions of bucks--in a way that would exacerbate local fiscal problems. The same crunch Maryland faces on the state level is also hurting localities, leaving budgets overstressed and putting jobs and services on the chopping block. The counties and Baltimore City cannot afford to shoulder the pensions burden. Shifting that burden will not make it any smaller or easier to bear.

Shifting pensions obligations would hit Montgomery County particularly hard, but all local jurisdictions will suffer. MoCo has a restrictive revenues formula, making it very difficult to increase revenues. If the counties and Baltimore have to pay for pensions, they will lose many of the best teachers, and have to slash public services, layoff workers, and close facilities including schools, libraries, and county offices.

We've seen this problem coming for some time. WTOP.com reported in January 2009: "[Montgomery County Executive Ike] Leggett plans to make sure that Montgomery County does not get stuck with the state's bill for teacher pensions. The pensions [transfer] would add another $100 million to the county's current fiscal shortfall of approximately $500 million." Quoting Leggett's analysis of the problem, "I don't think that was some kind of conspiracy," says Leggett, "It's just simply a reflection of some of the errors and negligence that occurred at the state level." Fast forward to September 2010, and WTOP.com reported the same concerns. "[Ike] Leggett projects a more than $200 million shortfall for fiscal year 2012, or more depending on income tax returns and whether the state shifts more costs to the county. [Former] County Council President Nancy Floreen says it's too early to say where cuts should come. 'The other things on the table this year are what's going to come out of Annapolis,' Floreen says. One of the big questions is whether state lawmakers will require counties to pay for teacher pensions. Currently, the state pays teacher pensions." See: http://www.wtop.com/?hlpage=255&nid=706&sid=1565430 (2009 article) and http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=2063361&nid=25 (2010 article).

STOP agrees Maryland lawmakers must take decisive action to address this shortfall, but we propose real solutions to the underlying problems, not treating the pension obligations like a hot potato. Last year, then-Delegate, current State Senator Roger Manno filed HB 10 to protect education and public services by fully funding pensions on the state level. He called for combined reporting, progressive taxation, and other state-level revenues to shore up the pensions trust funds. Combined reporting would close a loophole some corporations use to avoid paying all or part of their taxes on income earned in Maryland. Other states have enacted combined reporting, and found that it's a fair and effective method to accurately determine how much corporations should pay to states. The formula is precise and detailed, leading some to claim it's "too complicated." The complexity is required to accurately assess tax burdens. See: http://mcprogressive.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/wth-is-combined-reporting-and-why-do-we-need-it/

An article prepared by the New Rules Project explains combined reporting: "Many retail chains earn profits at stores nationwide, but have developed an accounting scheme to evade paying their full share of state corporate income taxes. Tax experts believe the practice is costing states billions of dollars in lost revenue.  It has also given chains an advantage over locally owned businesses, which must pay state income tax on all of their earnings. Twenty-one states are not vulnerable to these tax-evasion schemes, because they have enacted a policy known as combined reporting." The article lists corporations using loopholes to avoid taxes in Maryland and other states including The Gap, Home Depot, Ikea, Kmart, Kohl’s, Limited Brands (which owns Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Payless Shoes, and other chains), Staples, and Wal-Mart as companies that escape taxes, but which would be forced to pay their fair share under combined reporting.

Also from the New Rules Project: "As of November 2010, twenty-three states have adopted combined reporting. These states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin." By contrast Maryland is one of the states that "have not adopted combined reporting and are vulnerable to chains escaping their state tax obligations by shifting income to subsidiaries." See: http://www.newrules.org/retail/rules/level-playing-field-taxation/combined-reporting

Maryland can and should close this loophole, and STOP believes Maryland should use those and other revenues to address the pensions short fall--as outlined in HB 10. STOP remains open to any and all proposals that actually address the situation while protecting public schools and local services.

We need your help. Support public schools and local services. Please contribute to STOP:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S8UX7PMBC5CE2
PayPal is the safe way to pay online without revealing your credit card number.
Contributions to STOP are not tax deductible.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Local Civil Rights Restoration Act

  • The Local Civil Rights Restoration Act aims to (a) reiterate Fourth Amendment standards constraining suspicionless data collection / intelligence gathering, (b) create enforceable remedies to address racial & ethnic profiling, and (c) impede collaboration between local police agencies and federal agencies (including ICE and the FBI) unrelated to criminal law enforcement.

  • Suggested talking points in "plain English" are posted online.

  • A recent blog post explains the strategy and why these particular reforms are compelling in the wake of SB1070 and recurring FBI scandals. 

  • Our request of grassroots groups at the outset is simply for their "name only" support of these proposed reforms, around which we can mobilize further support.  As allied groups join the coalition, we can shift into a more public phase including mobilization and outreach to officeholders. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

celebrate progress on healthcare THIS Saturday!

We are close to our final goal of fundraising for the Economic Impact Study for our state single payer health care bill: The Maryland Health Security Act http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/bills/hb/hb0767f.pdf

We hope to have the final amount needed by the end of December so that we can have the results of the study available during the 2011 Legislative Session.

To celebrate we are having a party
This Saturday December 11th  1 to 4 pm
McGinty's Public House
911 Ellsworth in Silver Spring

Short walk from Silver Spring Metro. Free or affordable public parking near by.

Featuring the blues and swing sounds of Deadwood.


Bring your dancing shoes or sit back and sing along while you sip one of McGinty's many fine beers. Bring your friends and family and meet other single payer supporters. The cost of tickets is $20 in advance and $25 at the door and 100% of the proceeds will go towards the economic study.

We will also have canvas shopping bags available for sale. These limited edition bags include the logo for "Got P.I.I.S.D.*" (visible at www.md.pnhp.org) created by our Dr. Carol Paris, a practicing psychiatrist in Southern Maryland who is seeing an epidemic of this condition. Her diagnostic criteria for this disorder were recently published in Psychiatric Times: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/november/diagnostic-criteria-for-piisd-%E2%80%93-private-insurance-induced-stress-disorder. We guarantee that these bags will spark conversations wherever you take them!

If you are unable to attend this Saturday, please consider making a donation to the study online at http://www.mdsinglepayer.org/impact-study/.  Donations are tax deductible. Every amount helps. Please give what you can and help us pass the Health Security Act--a publicly financed, privately run, patient-directed health plan (aka single payer health care) in Maryland. Single payer saves lives. Our study will show how much money it will save our state as well.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Your friends at Healthcare-Now of Maryland and Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program

Sunday, December 5, 2010

stop transfer of pensions to the counties and Baltimore

STOP: Stop Transfer Of Pensions

We support the State of Maryland honoring its commitment to education by continuing to fund teachers' pensions.
We are working to stop transfer of pensions to the counties and Baltimore City for several reasons. Such a transfer would lead to increased crowding in classrooms, undermine achievement by Maryland's students, exacerbate fiscal stress in counties and in Baltimore, and cause cutbacks in services and many other serious problems.

Please contribute now to help Stop Transfer Of Pensions (STOP) launch our website, plan public events, and organize support for sensible policies to address budget short-falls. Transferring pension obligations to the counties and cities would devastate local economies, defund public schools and public safety, prevent needed transportation repairs and new projects, and bankrupt our local governments. We have better choices. Please support our efforts with a generous donation!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S8UX7PMBC5CE2

(Contributions to STOP are not tax deductible)

PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay online without revealing your credit card number.

Join our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=180969857516&ref=mf

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tuesday, December 7th Progressive Coalition Meeting to plan future events and actions.

Combined MeetUp/Meeting for MCPA, DFMC, PDA, and more.
Location:Saigonese Restaurant Inc
Time:7:30 PM Tuesday, December 7th

Progressive Coalition Meeting to plan future events and actions.

If you haven't already: Please contribute $15 for 2011 to keep this
meetup going. Pay online:
http://www.meetup.com/progressive-victory/dues/ or bring to a meeting.

Saigonese Restaurant,
11232 Grandview Ave
Silver Spring (Wheaton), MD 20902
Public Transportation: Short walk from Wheaton Metro (red line)
Google Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=11232+Grandview+Ave+Silver+Spring+MD+20902

Report on progress in our county and state on Healthcare, the
Environment, Education, Labor, Transportation, Energy and other issues.
We're building up our coalition and lobby efforts on the state and
national level, planning special events, forming a steering committee,
and working on meetings with legislators, and other organizations.

Please join the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance Google Group:
http://groups.google.com/group/mcprogressivealliance

Four Meetup groups get together with like-minded activists working for
Progressive Victories in 2012 and beyond. We meet at least once each
month to discuss and plan events and actions in a coalition with 3 other
organizations:

1. MCPA: The Montgomery County Progressive Alliance is a result-oriented
coalition working on local, state, national and international issues.
MCPA includes more than 1,000 local activists, mainly in and around
Montgomery County Maryland. The organization began in 2003 when
Democracy for America Meetup members reached out to other Meetup groups
and other groups. In 2004, 100s of Montgomery County for Kerry members
and local Progressive Democrats of America members joined the MCPA. MCPA
adopted a mission statement, organized special events, and has held
meetings nearly each month since 2003.

2. DFA/DFMC: Democracy for America emerged from Gov. Howard Dean's
presidential campaign in 2004, and has organized grass-roots activists
to support socially progressive, fiscally responsible candidates. DFMC
is Democracy for Montgomery County, a local DFA-inspired organization
which is not directly or legally affiliated with DFA. DFMC has organized
events and meetings; and endorsed and organized volunteers for several
candidates. DFMC is currently seeking additional steering committee
members. Please contact me, mikehersh@mikehersh.com if you're
interested. You can sign up for DFA here:
http://democracyforamerica.com/session/new

3. PDA: Progressive Democrats of America began just after the 2004
Democratic National Convention in Boston. Bringing together people from
the 2004 Kucinich and Dean Campaigns with other progressives, PDA
adopted an "inside/outside strategy" uniting activists working inside
the Democratic Party with those working in peace and justice movements.
PDA's core issues include clean, accurate and transparent elections;
environmental protection; single-payer healthcare; economic and social
justice; and peace. See: http://www.PDAmerica.org You can sign up for
PDA here:
https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/309/personal2.asp?formid=joinusshort&c=5052037

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Silver Spring fundraiser for universal healthcare

Want universal healthcare at a reasonable price? Think healthcare is a human right? Got P.I.I.S.D. (Private Insurance Induced Stress Disorder)? Want a solution?

Please join us at McGinity's Pub (911 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring, MD) on December 11th from 1 to 4 PM for a fundraiser for the Maryland Economic Impact Study.

We are getting very close to our goal of $40,000 and this event could put us there. Come dance to the sounds of DEADWOOD. Get a ticket in advance by making a donation of $20 or more to the study here. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Checkout the flyer for more details. If you have time, please download the flyer and post it where appropriate.

Thanks for your support,
Healthcare-NOW! of Maryland

Healthcare-NOW! of Maryland survives on the generosity of our supporters.
Please consider making a donation.

www.MDSinglePayer.org | info@mdsinglepayer.org

Criminalizing Dissent: WikiLeaks, FBI Raids, Maryland Police Spies and YOU*

Criminalizing Dissent: WikiLeaks, FBI Raids, Maryland Police Spies and YOU*

Sunday, December 5 · 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Busboys and Poets, 5th and K st. NW

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1025+5th+St+NW+Washington+DC+20001
Closest metro stop: Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center (Green/Yellow
lines)

(*You - could be anyone of good conscience)

Information and Organizing meeting for activists and civil libertarians
to discuss recent (ongoing) government attempts to criminalize dissent
and what we can do to counter such attacks on our civil rights.

From the September FBI raids of peace and solidarity activist homes in
Minneapolis & Chicago; the campaign to discredit Julian Assange and
WikiLeaks; Maryland State Police spying o...n local activists and more,
our government is intent on quashing dissent (especially when it has to
do with foreign policy) using a variety of tools and tactics. And we can
fight back.

Pass a local Civil Right Restoration Act to safeguard our civil rights
and civil liberties in DC, MD and VA

Develop a rapid response network to demonstrate our solidarity with
allies under attack

More ideas are welcome!

Sponsored by Bill of Rights Defense Committee, DC National Lawyers
Guild, CodePink, Defending Dissent Foundation, Peace Action, Progressive
Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice

David Swanson will discuss and sign his new book War Is A Lie

David Swanson will discuss and sign his new book War Is A Lie.
http://warisalie.org

6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 18th

Busboys and Poets 5th & K Sts.
1025 5th St NW
Washington DC 20001

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1025+5th+St+NW+Washington+DC+20001
Closest metro stop: Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center (Green/Yellow
lines)

Cosponsors:
Chesapeake Citizens
CODE PINK
Democracy for Montgomery County
Democrats.com
Free Speech TV
Global Exchange
Montgomery County Progressive Alliance
Progressive Democrats of America
PDA - Maryland
WarIsACrime.org
Washington Peace Center

"David Swanson's War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar
statement available in the English language." --Kevin Young

"Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more
brilliant, or truer book been published." --Geoffrey Millard

"David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare
intelligence. I learn something new on every page." --Jeff Cohen

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hands Off Soc Sec and Medicare Capitol Hill on Nov 30

You've probably heard that the National Fiscal Commission is looking to carve up Social Security and Medicare like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Join  activists on Capitol Hill on Nov 30th at 10am for a Lobby Day to tell Members of Congress directly to keep their hands off Social Security and Medicare.  If the Deficit Commission were serious about reducing the deficit they would look to a single-payer health care system that would save $400 billion annually on the national level, cutting the military budget, or taxing the rich.

Details:
10:00am - Pick up packets at room 2226 of the Rayburn Building

For questions, please contact Andrea Miller at amiller6210@gmail.com.

For Improved Medicare for All,
Katie Robbins
Healthcare-NOW! National Organizer

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Support Maryland's Commitment to Education

We support the State of Maryland honoring its commitment to education by
continuing to fund teachers' pensions.

We are working to stop transfer of pensions to the counties and
Baltimore City for several reasons. Such a transfer would lead to
increased crowding in classrooms, undermine achievement by Maryland's
students, exacerbate fiscal stress in counties and in Baltimore, and
cause other serious problems.

Please contribute now to help Stop Transfer Of Pensions (STOP) launch
our website, plan public events, and organize support for sensible
policies to address budget short-falls. Transferring pension obligations
to the counties and cities would devastate local economies, defund
public schools and public safety, prevent needed transportation repairs
and new projects, and bankrupt our local governments. We have better
choices.

Please support our efforts with a generous donation! Contributions to
STOP are not tax deductible:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S8UX7PMBC5CE2
PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay online without revealing your
credit card number.

Join our Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=180969857516&ref=mf

The election's winner? Big money Baltimore Sun

The election's winner? Big money Letter to the Editor published in the Baltimore Sun
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-campaign-finance-reform-letter-20101119,0,3579976.story

Now that the election is over, the tallies are in, and the numbers are shocking — and no, I'm not talking about the votes. I'm talking about the record-breaking amounts of anonymous money poured into campaign coffers by shadowy front groups like American Action Network and American Future Fund. American Action Network spent over $16 million on electioneering in 2010 but did not disclose where a single penny came from. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent over $31 million, but they also did not disclose their donors. They are not alone. The percentage of organizations disclosing their electioneering communications donors has fallen from 97 percent in 2004, to 34 percent in 2010, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Thank the Supreme Court. In case after case, including the landmark Citizens United v. FEC, they have chipped away at barriers between corporate influence and democratic elections. While some may applaud the court's ruling for bestowing every American, from BP to your grandmother, with the right to anonymously spend millions of dollars on elections, the ability of foreign and domestic corporations and unions to launder large independent expenditures through front groups is just another way the voices of individuals are being drowned out.

Action is being taken to mitigate this. Congress has a second chance to pass the Disclose Act, which would require groups to identify their donors. And in Maryland we are lucky enough to have a similar package going to the General Assembly, introduced by Sens. Jamie Raskin and Brian Frosh, which would guard our local officials from anonymous smear campaigns and pay-to-play politics. I hope Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller will understand the need for these protections and use his extensive experience in the General Assembly to advocate for passage of these important bills.

Jessica Sharp, Laurel

We support the State of Maryland honoring its commitment to education

We support the State of Maryland honoring its commitment to education by continuing to fund teachers' pensions. 

We are working to stop transfer of pensions to the counties and Baltimore City for several reasons. Such a transfer would lead to increased crowding in classrooms, undermine achievement by Maryland's students, exacerbate fiscal stress in counties and in Baltimore, and cause other serious problems.

Please contribute now to help Stop Transfer Of Pensions (STOP) launch our website, plan public events, and organize support for sensible policies to address budget short-falls. Transferring pension obligations to the counties and cities would devastate local economies, defund public schools and public safety, prevent needed transportation repairs and new projects, and bankrupt our local governments. We have better choices. Please support our efforts with a generous donation! Contributions to STOP are not tax deductible:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S8UX7PMBC5CE2

PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay online without revealing your credit card number.
Join our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=180969857516&ref=mf


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Upcoming hearings for the House of Delegates in Rockville

Monday, December 6, 2010

House Hearing for local bills - 7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 - Local bills refer to legislation affecting issues specific to Montgomery County.

Click here to sign up to testify.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

House Hearing for bi-county bills - 7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 - Bi-County bills refer to legislation that requires the approval of the Montgomery County and the Prince George’s County Delegations. 

Click here to sign up to testify.

Free Speech for People--We're making a difference!

Dear friend -

Great news: we’re seeing a tremendous response to our campaign, just in the past few days since our last message.   In fact, it’s been one of our strongest responses ever.  It’s clear that people are ready to stand up and fight to take our democracy back from the corporations.  

There’s also been a ton of press coverage on all the money spent in the recent election.  And that coverage gives us an important opening to make our case for a constitutional amendment, using letters-to-the-editor to reach policy-makers and the public.  

Can you take 5 minutes right now, to send a letter to your newspaper?  We’ve made it easy by providing sample letters and an online tool to help you send one to your paper, here:

       Send a quick letter to the editor now.

Letters-to-the-editor are really powerful: they’re widely read, especially by elected officials, who pay extra close attention to get a feel for what the voters are thinking about.  

After the election, you can bet they’re watching to see if we’re going to roll over and accept the latest power grab by corporations, which just spent hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the last election, with the Supreme Court’s blessing.  Or, if we’re standing and fighting.

Which will you do today?

       Click here to stand up and be heard.

Our constitutional amendment will make it clear once and for all that free speech and other constitutional rights are for people, not corporations.

Your letter will help tell the world that the fight for the future of our democracy is on.

Thanks again for standing with us.

Sincerely,

- John

John Bonifaz
Free Speech for People
November 17, 2010

Baltimore Activist Alert Nov. 17 – Dec. 2, 2010

Baltimore Activist Alert Nov. 17 – Dec. 2, 2010

 

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.

The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com.  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.

 

The Baltimore IndyMedia Center publicizes peace-related events. Go to http://www.radicalendar.org/group/_baltimore.

 

1] Books, buttons and stickers

2] Web site for info on federal legislation

3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists  

4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLA  

5] Used stamps for humanitarian causes

6] Bring the World Home continues    

7] Cease violence contest through Dec. 6/event Dec. 10

8] You can buy Shiori's book of poetry – which is available Dec. 15

9] "Freedom's Sisters exhibit – through Jan. 17

10] Join the 25% campaign

11] Tell Sarbanes Vote Yes HR 4812 – Nov. 17

12] Philadelphia peace vigil – Nov. 17

13] Westminster WIB vigil – Nov. 17                                

14] Chestnut Hill, PA vigil – Nov. 17

15] Affordable housing discussion – Nov. 17

16] Gitmo prisoners' poetry – Nov. 17

17] Help plan a Pentagon protest – Nov. 17

18] Palestine/Israel Roundtable – Nov. 18

19] Book MOTHER FROM GAZA – Nov. 18

20] Restorative justice Conference – Nov. 18-20

21] FBI Vs. Democracy – Nov. 18

22] Save Maryland's education budget – Nov. 18

23] Protest at the Pentagon – Nov. 18

___

 

1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  "God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions" stickers are in stock. Donate your books to Max. Call him

at 410-366-1637.

 

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.


3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

 

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to donmuller@msn.com.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

 

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe.  It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing.  To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to ncnrnotices-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. You will get a confirmation message once subscribed.  If you have problems, please write to the list manager at ncnrnotices-admin@lists.riseup.net.

 

4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA CafĂ© Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale.  For more details and to download the order form, go to http://friendsoflatinamerica.typepad.com/hocofola/2010/02/hocofola-cafe-quetzal-order-form-2010.html.

 

Be sure you indicate ground (G) or bean (B) for each type of coffee ordered. Make the check out to HoCoFoLA and send it with your order form to Nancy Meier, 10 Pepperdine Circle, Catonsville, MD 21228.  Contact Pat McLaine at 410-964-0960 or pamcl@aol.com.  The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up.

 

5] – Brad Hathaway spearheads an effort to sell donated used stamps to raise money for different humanitarian causes around the world. Go to www.mattapoisettquakers.org, and click the link for the stamp ministry.  Carefully clip canceled postage stamps and send to Quaker Missions, PO Box 795, Mattapoisett, MA 02739. Send no small flag stamps or Liberty Bell Forever stamps.

 

6] – Catch the "Bringing the World Home" exhibit in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps!  The exhibit is in the UMBC Library Rotunda through the end of the semester and consists of 5 display cases featuring photos and artifacts from UMBC's faculty, staff and students who have served in the Peace Corps, including many current and alumni Shriver Peaceworker Fellows.  The center case features pieces from the Peace Corps founding era (a tribute to Sarge Shriver!) and the surrounding case highlight experiences from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and the Americas.  There is no formal "opening," but mark Tues., Nov.16 from 7 to 9 PM in your calendars for the "Practical Idealist Evening" event in the Library during which the exhibit will be featured.  If you are coming from off campus, give Joby Taylor a call at (410) 455-6398, and he will give you a tour.

 

7] – Shiori was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1951 on August 15, six years after the day the initial announcement of Japan's surrender to the Allies was made, the official end of World War II. She describes herself as hapa, half-American, and half-Japanese— the child of the enemy amor.  In her first chapbook collection of poetry from Finishing Line Press, the debut author weaves memoir and historical record into a lyrical and moving portrait of post-war immigration to the United States. Shiori's work has appeared in many publications, and she has won several awards including Thomas Merton poetry prizes.

 

Finishing Line Press is a poetry publisher based in Georgetown, Kentucky, and the Chapbook Series will be published on Dec. 3.  However, early orders can be made by ordering online at http://www.finishinglinepress.com/ or directly from the publisher [$12, check or money order] at Finishing Line Books, PO Box 1626, Georgetown, KY  40324. Email finishingbooks@aol.com or call 859-514-8360.  You may also contact Kathleen Hellen at khe1721111@aol.com or khellen@coppin.edu.

 

8] – Now through Dec. 6, Baltimore City and County School Students who submit an essay, poetry, or artwork for the David B. Wright Memorial Foundation, Inc. "Cease Violence / Increase Education Campaign" will be entered to win a Holiday Gift Card! To participate email SHAWNTE WRIGHT at snjwright@gmail.com.  The Selected Student's Essay Winners will win a $100 card by Mon., Dec. 20.  Submitted materials will not be returned and will be kept by the David B. Wright Memorial Foundation, Inc. for future displays.  At the DBWMF, INC. Holiday Event on Fri., Dec. 10 from 6 to 10 PM, families and students can enjoy an evening of essay/poetry reading, art and culture and fitness dancing! Essay Winners will be Announced! The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Register at www.DavidBWrightMemorialFoundation.org. Local business sponsors and vendors are needed! Call 443-438-5302.

 

9] – Catch the exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture, 830 Pratt St.—"Freedom's Sisters," which runs through Jan. 17.  Twenty remarkable African-American women are profiled, including Coretta Scott King.  Call 443-263-1800 or go to www.africanamericanculture.org.

 

10] – Fund Our Communities campaign is a grass roots movement to get support from local organizations and communities to work together with their local and state elected officials to pressure our Congresspersons and senators to join with Congressperson Barney Frank and Ron Paul, who have endorsed a 25% cut to the federal military budget.  Then bring these savings home to state and county governments to meet the local needs which are under tremendous budget pressures.  Go to www.OurFunds.org and www.PeaceActionMC.org.

 

11] – On Wed., Nov. 17, Progressive Democrats of America will be joined by CODEPINK and others in holding brownbag vigils outside (or inside) offices of members of the House of Representatives.  Brownbaggers are demanding commitments to vote against more money for war and for progressive legislation. Slogans on their posters include: "Healthcare not Warfare," "Corporations out of Politics," "Bailout Main Street not Wall Street," and "Brownbaggers not Teabaggers".  Go to http://tinyurl.com/brownbagvigil.

 

  The Pledge of Resistance will go to Rep. John Sarbanes' office, 600 Baltimore Ave., Suite 303, Baltimore, MD 21204, on Nov. 17 at 4:30 PM.  While inside, we will deliver a letter to urge the representative to pledge to vote against further funding of wars.  He did sign on to HR 4812: the Local Jobs for America Act.  From 5 to 5:30 PM, we will demonstrate on Bosley Ave.  against U.S. wars in the Middle East. 

 

12] – Each Wednesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the House of Grace Catholic Worker holds a weekly vigil for peace in Iraq outside the Phila. Federal Building, 6th & Market Sts. The next vigil is Nov. 10. Call 215-426-0364.

 

13] – WIB does a silent vigil mourning all violence the third Wednesday of the month.  The next vigil is Wed., Nov. 17 from 6:30 PM to 7 PM at the intersection of Martin & Patrick Sts in downtown Frederick.  Wear black, but bring no additional signs. Call 301-834-7581 or wibfrederick@mizmail.com.

 

14] – Each Wednesday, the Northwest Greens hold a peace vigil from 7 to 8 PM outside the Borders Book Store, Germantown Ave. at Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, PA. The next vigil is Nov. 10. Call 215-843-4256 or email nwgreens@yahoo.com.

 

15] – On Wed., Nov. 17, join the Homeless Persons Representation Project which is presenting its third speaker in a four-part series, Trudy Parisa McFall of Homes for America, who will discuss affordable housing.  Then a panel of experts will consider the possibilities in Baltimore.  The Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., will host the event in its Wheeler Aud. from 7 to 8:30 PM.  Call 410-396-5430.  Go to www.prattlibrary.org.

 

16] – Guantanamo poetry is to be featured in a Baltimore concert.  Pioneering U.S. composer Annea Lockwood is about to present In Our Name, a new composition featuring poetry written by Guantanamo Bay prisoners, at An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles St., 2nd Floor, on Wed., Nov. 17 from 8 to 9 PM.  Tickets are $12 for the general public, and $5 for students.

 

The performers are Thomas Buckner, baritone, David Behrman, guitar and laptop, Annea Lockwood, electronics and voice, and Ted Mook, cello.  Lockwood's In Our Name, a collaboration with Buckner, builds on excerpts of poetry written by Jumah al Dossari and Osama Abu Kabir while incarcerated without trial at Guantanamo Bay. To request images or to arrange interviews with the composer or performers, contact Raymond Beegle at booking@thomasbuckner.com.

 

17] – Consider being on a National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance conference call on Wed., Nov. 17 at 9 PM EST to continue to plan a climate chaos action of nonviolent civil resistance at the Pentagon on Apr. 8, calling for an end to the wars and for an end to policies that make the Pentagon the biggest polluter of our earth.  Call Max at 410-366-1637 or email him at mobuszewski at verizon.net to get the call-in number and access code. 

 

18] – The WEEKLY ROUNDTABLE SEEKING A JUST PEACE IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL takes place from 12:30 - 1:30 PM on Thursdays at Potter's House, 1658 Columbia Road NW, WDC.  Join a civil discourse which explores the history, issues, myths, realities, and truth of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Contact Alice Azzouzi at 202-232-5483.

 

19] – Laila El-Haddad, author of MOTHER FROM GAZA, will speak on Thurs., Nov. 18 from 12:30 to 2 PM at the Palestine Center. She describes her life as a Palestinian journalist who must live under occupation.  Call 202-338-1958 or email info@thejerusalemfund.org.

 

20] – Maryland's 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference starts on Thurs., Nov. 18 from 6 until 8 PM and continues on Fri., Nov. 19 from 8 AM to 6 PM.  Howard County Community College is hosting these two days.  The theme is "Expanding the Circle: Schools, Communities, Courts."  

 

The conference will continue on Sat., Nov. 20 from 10 AM to 1 PM at Towson Univ. This year's featured presenters are Melissa Hook and Lorraine Stutzman-Amstutz.  Visit http://www.crimaryland.org/.

21] – On Thurs., Nov. 18 from 6 to 8 PM at the Belmont House, 1830 Belmont Ave. in NW in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood, join the discussion on FBI vs. Democracy & How to Stop Government Surveillance.  There are a number of sponsors including the Defending Dissent Foundation. Go to www.bordc.org or email info@bordc.org.

 

22] – Join Prince George's School Superintendent William Hite, budget experts and education advocates for Falling off the Edge: Maryland's Education Funding Cliff to learn what you can do to maintain funding for Maryland public schools! This event takes place on Thurs., Nov. 18 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Bowie High School, 15200 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD 20715.  Maryland faces a $1.1 billion budget deficit and federal stimulus funding will be lost after this fiscal year. The impact of state education funding cuts could be devastating to classrooms statewide. To ensure that all Maryland students are receiving an adequate education as guaranteed by the state's constitution, the ACLU is working with the Maryland Education Coalition to hold a forum to discuss the upcoming General Assembly session and what people can do to support education during these difficult economic times. RSVP by contacting Frank Patinella at 410-889-8550 x123 or patinella@aclu-md.org.  If you need a ride from Baltimore City, call Charlie Cooper at 410-578-8291.

 

To be continued.

 

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net

 

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs