Maryland Healthcare NOT Warfare comes to Maryland

PDA joined Fund Our Communities coalition partners presenting a huge town hall meeting at the Civic Center in Silver Spring, MD September 20, 2011. 300 attendees learned about and discussed "taking back the budget debate," including ending the wars and redirecting funds to human needs. Panelists included: MD State Senators Roger Manno and Jamie Raskin; Center for American Progress Senior Economist Heather Boushey; and Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Karen Dolan. Participants learned about budget policies, and the economic situation in Maryland and nationally. Panelists discussed misplaced priorities and ways to resolve fiscal deficits by ending the wars and investing in human needs. Elbridge James, President of Progressive Maryland, moderated the panel.

Congresswoman Donna Edwards was delayed by votes in Congress, but rushed over to meet with attendees as the event ended. Elected officials including Delegates Tom Hucker and Ben Kramer; and County Council Member Marc Elrich also attended. After the Q&A session, participants gathered in seven breakout groups to plan ongoing actions. PDA Maryland State coordinator Mike Hersh led the group focusing on engaging the Super Committee especially MD-8 Congressman Chris Van Hollen, through lobbying, outreach and other efforts. PDA Deputy Field Coordinator Andrea Miller designed the fact-filled program for the event. PDA National Board Member Steve Shaff networked at the event.

The event was sponsored by the following members and partners of the Maryland Coalition to Fund Our Communities, Bring the War Dollars Home: Progressive Democrats of America; Progressive Democrats of America, Maryland; Baltimore Nonviolence Center; Bethesda Friends Meeting; CASA de Maryland; Center for Peace, Fred. Co.; Chesapeake Citizens; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Citizen-Soldier Alliance, Baltimore; Columbia Christian Church; Democracy for America, Mont. Co.; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Friends Meeting, Annapolis; Generations for Peace & Democracy; Gray Panthers, Metro DC; Green Party, Anne Arundel Co.; Green Party, MD; Green Party, Montgomery Co.; Healthcare-Now of MD; Homewood Friends Meeting; Little Friends for Peace; MD Black Family Alliance; MD United for Peace & Justice; MCCRC; Montgomery County Progressive Alliance; Muslim Amer. Society/MD; NAACP/MD; Network of Spiritual Progressives, MD; Orthodox Peace Fellowship; Pax Christi/MD; Peace Action, Anne Arundel Co.; Peace Action Montgomery; Peace & Justice Coalition, Prince Georges; Pledge of Resistance, Baltimore; Progressive Cheverly; Progressive Maryland; Progressive Neighbors; Prosperity Agenda; River Road Universalist Unitarian/Social Justice Council; Peace Committee, Sandy Spring Friends Meeting; Sheet Metal Workers International, L 100; SCLC/Montgomery County; UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO; Veterans for Peace, Baltimore; Veterans for Peace, Metro DC; Voters for Peace; WeGreen USA; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom/DC; Montgomery County Peace & Justice Studies Association; American Friends Service Committee—DC; Social Security Works; Coalition on Human Needs; National Priorities Network; Peace Action; AFL-CIO/MD & DC.

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Minimum Wage Increase Passes in Montgomery County

Minimum Wage Increase Passes in Montgomery County

When I proposed minimum wage legislation in August of this year, I wanted to do something that would make a real difference in the lives of people who are suffering in our region. I wanted to close the increasing gap in real wages that plagues our country right now. Although I wish we passed a true living wage yesterday, I recognized when I proposed this legislation that we’re simply not there yet politically. But the increase we passed is meaningful and real. Today, Prince George’s County under Council President Andrea...

Marc Elrich Councilmember At-large 29 Nov 2013 Hits:444 Maryland

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Fracking Press Conference

Fracking Press Conference

Recently, a fisherman caught not one but two huge 8 foot long bull sharks in the Potomac River. Scary as that was, a far more deadly threat is looming. If oil and gas companies have their way, they will frack in our state, and poison our water with arsenic, benzine, radioactives and other deadly chemicals. We can't allow this fracking toxic waste in our drinking water.  When someone mentions fracking, you should imagine that da da da music from Jaws--because this is just as deadly. Water treatment facilities cannot cope with such...

Mike Hersh, PDA Communications Coordinator 13 Sep 2013 Hits:359 Maryland

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In deep-blue Maryland, deep misgivings about another war

In deep-blue Maryland, deep misgivings about another war

Protesters rally to oppose U.S. action in Syria   A group of peace activists rally outside the office of Rep. Elijah Cummings, asking him to vote against military intervention in Syria. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun video )   He knocked on doors in Ohio for President Barack Obama's campaign last year and is active in Maryland's Democratic Party, but Dave Kunes nevertheless opposes the president on what has become the central issue of his second term: whether to launch a military strike in Syria. Kunes, a 24-year-old Silver Spring resident, joined several dozen protesters who rallied in Rockville...

ohn Fritze and Matthew Hay Brown | Baltimore Sun 05 Sep 2013 Hits:588 Maryland

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Martin O’Malley outlines ‘16 candidacy

Martin O’Malley outlines ‘16 candidacy

Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley spoke more candidly than ever Saturday about the likelihood he will run for president in 2016 as he lamented “a crisis of confidence” facing the country. “By the end of this year, we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework of the candidacy for 2016,” he told a handful of reporters over a beer in the Hilton bar here.   The term-limited governor, at his final National Governors Association meeting, noted that he has delivered a series of high-profile talks recently to flesh...

James Hohmann | Politico 04 Aug 2013 Hits:468 Maryland

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Local Unions Notch A Victory At Baltimore’s New Casino

Local Unions Notch A Victory At Baltimore’s New Casino

BALTIMORE–Local labor organizations are claiming victory this week after brokering a pair of agreements that will ensure the use of union labor in every aspect of a new $375 million downtown Baltimore casino project. Backed by special legislation from the Maryland state government, the proposed Horseshoe Casino is expected to create 1,200 permanent jobs. UNITE HERE and several other unions say they are very close to an agreement with Caesars Entertainment Corp. to smooth the way for the casino's permanent staff to be unionized. The event follows a separate “Project Labor Agreement” deal with construction unions finalized April 2 that specifies...

Bruce Vail | In These Times 25 Apr 2013 Hits:564 Maryland

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Is Life Without Parole Any Better Than the Death Penalty?

Is Life Without Parole Any Better Than the Death Penalty?

  Maryland has executed only five inmates since 1976, and in March the state legislature passed a bill abolishing the death penalty entirely. Of the 32 states that still have the measure on their books, 13 have not carried out any executions in the past five years. This gradual retreat from capital punishment is celebrated by activists who note that U.S. use of the death penalty, long abandoned by the rest of the developed world, places it in the company of human rights abusers such as Bahrain and North Korea. But this...

Rebecca Burns | In These Times 22 Mar 2013 Hits:313 Maryland

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Maryland Death Penalty: Lawmakers Approve Measure To Ban Capital Punishment

The Maryland General Assembly approved a measure Friday to repeal the state's death penalty. The House of Delegates voted 82 to 56 Friday to pass a bill already approved by the Senate, according to the AP. Maryland makes the 18th state to ban capital punishment. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is expected to sign the bill. The AP reports: Supporters of repeal argue that capital punishment is costly, error-prone, racially biased and a poor deterrent. Opponents say it's a necessary tool to punish those who commit the most egregious crimes. Maryland has five men on death...

The Huffington Post 15 Mar 2013 Hits:253 Maryland

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Busboys and Poets coming to Takoma, and may head to Brookland next

Busboys and Poets coming to Takoma, and may head to Brookland next

Shortly after Andy Shallal opened Busboys and Poets on 14th Street NW in 2005, he said he began receiving a stream of e-mails and phone calls from residents of the Takoma neighborhood of D.C. and its Maryland neighbor, Takoma Park, a neighborhood long known for its counter-culturism. Would Shallal, an Iraqi-American whose opposition to the invasion of Iraq helped put Busboys on the map, consider opening a location there? The e-mails never stopped, and on Tuesday, Shallal decided that he would answer them by signing a...

Jonathan O'Connell | Washington Post 01 Mar 2013 Hits:531 Maryland

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Maryland Stands Up for Social Security, Fair Taxes

Maryland Stands Up for Social Security, Fair Taxes

Maryland PDA and other activists called upon Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as let tax rates go up for people in the highest income brackets Monday December, 10th.

25 Dec 2012 Hits:654 Maryland

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Democrats consolidate power in Maryland with victories for Obama, Congress, questions

Democrats consolidate power in Maryland with victories for Obama, Congress, questions

In a state already dominated by Democrats, Maryland voters further consolidated the party’s power Tuesday. The voters defeated the longest serving Republican congressman, clobbered congressional challengers to six Democratic incumbents, and approved all the ballot measures the great majority of Republican legislators had opposed, including same-sex marriage and expanded gambling. As expected, President Barack Obama carried the state with 62% of the vote. But that victory – the same margin he won in 2008 – was again won in six big jurisdictions, with Mitt Romney carrying...

Len Lazarick | Maryland Reporter.com 07 Nov 2012 Hits:598 Maryland

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Both sides gear up for same-sex marriage fight

Both sides gear up for same-sex marriage fight

By Caitlin Johnston | Capital News Service ANNAPOLIS — Gay rights activists, religious leaders and politicians are gearing up for two months of campaigning on the Maryland referendum to strike down same-sex marriage legislation that passed in March. Hot off the political conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, volunteers will be staffing nightly phone banks, canvassing door-to-door and finding ways to make same-sex marriage a personal issue for voters. “This is not something that’s esoteric or theological,” said Maryland Sen. Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, the only Republican senator to support same-sex marriage. “These are real...

Caitlin Johnston | Capital News Service 12 Sep 2012 Hits:657 Maryland

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In Maryland, Gay Marriage Seeks a ‘Yes’ at the Polls

In Maryland, Gay Marriage Seeks a ‘Yes’ at the Polls

WASHINGTON—When Marylanders go to the polls in November, the state could become the first to affirm same-sex marriage in a popular vote. In March, lawmakers in Maryland approved a measure to allow such unions, but it came with a built-in escape hatch: it would not take effect until 2013. The waiting period was intended as a compromise with opponents of the measure and as an insurance policy for supporters. Lawmakers feared validating marriages for a period, only to have them overturned by a popular vote later, as happened with Proposition 8 in...

Rebecca Berg | New York Times 26 Aug 2012 Hits:810 Maryland

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Overstated Iranian 'threat' puts U.S. on path to war Maryland's congressional leaders shou…

Overstated Iranian 'threat' puts U.S. on path to war Maryland's congressional leaders should take a stand for peace

Originally published by the Baltimore Sun, March 19, 2012 A neocon joke, at the beginning of the Iraq war, was: "Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran." It wasn't funny then, and it isn't funny now. Unfortunately, those "real men" who want to wage war on Iran are making so much noise that they may prevail—and hardly anyone is pushing back. Take Maryland's U.S. senators. Barbara...

Jean Athey and Alex Welsch 16 Mar 2012 Hits:759 Maryland

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Donna Edwards Joins PDA in Hyattsville

Donna Edwards Joins PDA in Hyattsville

Hyattsville, MD--Thursday March 15, PDA National Director Tim Carpenter, PDA National Vice Chair emeritus Stephen Shaff, PDA National Deputy Field Director Andrea Miller and I welcomed speakers Rep. Donna Edwards (Md-6), Professor Eric Kingson from Social Security Works, and Alex Lawson from We Act 1480 AM Radio to Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, Maryland. Current and former PDA National Board Members Medea Benjamin, Joe Libertelli and Steve Cobble, Healthcare NOT Warfare co-chair Donna Smith, and Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky also helped welcome progressives to Prince George's County's newest...

MikeHersh 16 Mar 2012 Hits:1095 Maryland

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Save Maryland Women's Heritage Center

CALL AND EMAIL Governor O'Malley's Office on Tuesday, March 6th at: 410.974.3901 or 1.800.811.8336 OR http://www.governor.maryland.gov/mail/ with the following message: WE URGE GOVERNOR O'MALLEY TO INCLUDE FUNDING FOR THE MARYLAND WOMEN'S HERITAGE CENTER IN HIS SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET THIS YEAR!!! The Center opened its doors in 2010, after 30 years of the Maryland Women's History Project. From the beginning, the Maryland Women's History Project and the Maryland Women's Heritage Center were a public-private partnership. They were initiated and supported by the Maryland Commission for Women, the Maryland State Department of Education and...

Jill Moss Greenberg 05 Mar 2012 Hits:693 Maryland

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Baltimore Mayor Signs Order to Prevent Police from Asking About Immigration Status

Baltimore Mayor Signs Order to Prevent Police from Asking About Immigration Status

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has signed executive order prohibiting police officers from asking people they come in contact with about their immigration status. "Police are working to make our city safe. We are not working as immigration agents," Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. The announcement comes just days after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it would begin implementing the Secure Communities program in Baltimore--the controversial federal program that sends booking information from local jails to a joint database shared by the FBI and ICE. The order bars discrimination against immigrants,...

Jorge Rivas | Colorlines 05 Mar 2012 Hits:901 Maryland

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Md. becomes eighth state to legalize gay marriage

Md. becomes eighth state to legalize gay marriage

With Gov. Martin O’Malley’s signature Thursday, Maryland joined seven other states that, along with the District, have legalized gay marriage. A crowd of supporters descended on Annapolis for a scheduled 5 p.m. ceremony at the State House and erupted into sustained applause after O’Malley signed the bill. Both houses of Maryland’s General Assembly narrowly approved gay marriage last month, ending a yearlong odyssey for the legislation that sidelined many other issues in state government while it occupied center stage. Thursday’s signing gave O’Malley (D) a chance to bask in...

Aaron C Davis | Washington Post 01 Mar 2012 Hits:734 Maryland

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Same-sex marriage bill passes Maryland House of Delegates

Same-sex marriage bill passes Maryland House of Delegates

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage won approval in the Maryland House of Delegates on Friday night, capping a dramatic turnaround from a year ago and all but assuring the measure will be sent to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) for his promised signature. After a day of emotional and contentious debate, the Democrat-led House voted 71-67 in favor of the bill, sending it to the Senate, which approved a similar measure last year. No senators have announced plans to change their votes. Maryland is poised to...

John Wagner | Washington Post 17 Feb 2012 Hits:862 Maryland

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Occupy Baltimore Hunkered Down Through Nor’easter

Occupy Baltimore Hunkered Down Through Nor’easter

In the relentless Saturday rain, we visited Occupy Baltimore to see how they were doing after a morning of “wintry mix” (i.e., wet snow) and a night of intermittently pounding rain and temperatures in the high 30s. Most were apparently huddled in the tents, though a few were out at the food tent, eating donated pizza and talking to passersby. “It was pretty horrible out here last night,” said William Kutschbach, a Vietnam vet who has been sleeping in the back fountain area at McKeldin ...

Fern Shen | Baltimore Brew 30 Oct 2011 Hits:542 Maryland

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Community Resolutions Against the Machine

Community Resolutions Against the Machine

Communities all over the United States are reeling from budget cuts. Military contractors, meanwhile, have remained fat and well-fed on the one part of federal spending that so far hasn’t been touched by budget-cutting fever: the Pentagon. One community recently decided to call attention to this disparity. In Montgomery County, a relatively wealthy Maryland suburb of Washington, DC, Peace Action Montgomery got together with a group of City Council members to craft a simple, straightforward resolution. It urged Congress “to make major reductions in...

Jean Athey and John Feffer 16 Oct 2011 Hits:1046 Maryland

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Norman Solomon in Maryland on Sunday

Norman Solomon in Maryland on Sunday

Norman Solomon is running to carry on the work Lynn Woolsey brought to Congress for peace and people. Rep. Woolsey is retiring, and Norman is hoping to carry on her progressive legacy. You can help this Sunday! Norman has lived in many places, but he was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland! Stand up for Norman! WHEN:  SUNDAY, October 2,  2:00-4:00 WHERE:  David Hart’s place 4519 Cheltenham...

Jeff Cohen 26 Sep 2011 Hits:468 Maryland

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