Yesterday in Annapolis I spoke with several legislators and others as I lobbied with voting and environmental activists. We're looking at astounding legislative success in Maryland, and I have assurances from our progressive elected officials and other activists that we'll keep working if we come up short on exciting landmark legislation this year.
Progressive Democrats of America-endorsed winners State Senator Jamie Raskin and Delegates Tom Hucker, (both District 20) and Roger Manno, (District 19) as well as Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez, Jane Lawton and Jeff Waldstreicher (all District 18) welcomed concerned citizens' help with progressive legislation this session. They're all supporting efforts to replace dysfunctional touch-screen Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting machines with reliable paper ballot-based voting and to curb global warming in Maryland, as well as other progressive initiatives.
Del. Manno is working on a "Green Fund" bill in Maryland which would assess a charge on each square foot of new development to help pay for environmental and other costs. He told me it'll be tough to get through Maryland this year, but hopes we can implement this approach in Montgomery County. He's working with another PDA-endorsed winner, Marc Elrich on the County Council to push this reform. We're achieving progress on a wide range of issues, thinking in new ways, and creating a better future.
I hope progressives in Maryland will hold a convention in Maryland in the coming months, and PDA is leading progressive efforts in our state. I'd also like to help create a Progressive Caucus within the Maryland Democratic Party. We hope to bring together many organizations and activists to support initiatives in the legislature as well as PDA Board Member and Maryland State Democratic Party Chair Terry Lierman's efforts to make Maryland a progressive trailblazer on health care, voting, the environment, living wage and more.
We can achieve local and state breakthroughs on our issues, and influence national policy by organizing and lobbying here in Maryland. Setting up a Progressive Democratic Caucus in Maryland will help support and focus the attention of Local, State and Federal officials in Maryland including Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sen. Ben Cardin and DCCC Chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen - all of whom should hear from us on a regular basis and understand our strong support for progress.
We can bring our support and pressure to bear working with our friends in Maryland to take a quantum leap forward for progress. Please contact me at Mike@PDAmerica.org
and join PDA at www.PDAmerica.org
to work with us.
Mike Hersh is the Maryland State Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America