Howard County Chapter
The chapter in Howard County has been in operation since late 2016, first with an
organizing committee and temporary officers, and, since early 2018, with a team of
Issues in the county are not that different from those in other Maryland counties,
although there are seemingly emphases on county (mis)development, school plans and
crowding, transportation, the environment, and immigrant justice.
We at ORHoCo have subgroups or committees working in a number of areas, with a
special emphasis on healthcare, communications, environment/climate-change, labor,
internal education, and electoral activity (both campaigning and legislative support).
Our current officers, in place through early 2019, are the following:
Paul J. Baicich Chair
Megan Johnson Secretary
Patrick Keesling Treasurer
Nick Johnson Fundraising
Harry Dunbar at large
Pat Hersey at large
Dave LeGrande at large
Mustafa Mirza at large
Alisa Niefeld-Batiz at large
We usually have official member meetings on the second Wednesday evenings of each
month. We try to keep the meetings short (an hour and a half) focusing on reports and
immediate upcoming activities.
We have found that our usual monthly member meetings (held on Wednesdays) are
jam-packed with “important business” where there is often little time for in-depth
discussion or easy-going give-and-take. With that in mind, we have organized some
educational (non-candidate) meetings, focusing on panels, lunchtime discussions, or
broadcasts. Some of our recent successful events have been:
23 Jan – “Improved Medicare for All: An Idea Whose Time Has Come” – a panel with
Ken Zinn (National Nurses United), Mark Dudzic (Labor Campaign for Single Payer),
and Eric Naumburg (Physicians for a National Health Program). The main speaker,
however, was OR President Nina Turner, who inspired the group on the importance of
“Medicare for All” as a central concern to Marylanders as well as for the rest of the
country. A “drop-in” visit by ORMD endorsed candidate for governor, Ben Jealous, was
a real added bonus
3 Feb – “An Inconvenient Sequel” the first of our Saturday “Lefty Lunches” on the topic
of Al Gore’s climate-change follow-up movie. Pat Hersey and Alisa Niefeld-Batiz led the
17 Mar – “College for All” another Lefty Lunch on making debt-free college possible in
Maryland and across the country. Nick Johnson and Paul Baicich led the discussion.
19 Mar – “Inequality in America” – we gathered at Glory Days restaurant in Ellicott City
to watch an exciting internet broadcast with Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth
Warren, Michael Moore, and others on this vital subject. Beer, snacks, and meals!!
28 Apr – “Protecting Our Immigrant Neighbors” a Lefty Lunch on the status of
immigrants – documented and undocumented – in Maryland and the country and the
need to defend and expand their rights. George Clack led this engaging discussion.
For the 26 July 2018 Democratic Primary, we have endorsed only five local/county
candidates beyond the statewide governor’s race. Here are all the relevant
Send to Annapolis:
Ben Jealous and Susie Turnbull Governor and Lt. Governor
Clarence Lam Maryland Senate District 12
Jen Terrasa Maryland Delegate District 13
County Offices Candidates:
Harry Dunbar County Executive
Hiruy Hadgu County Council District 3
J. Ward Morrow Judge, Orphan’s Court
We will be door-knocking for endorsed candidates every Saturday afternoon (c. 1-4pm)
in areas of Howard County that were most favorable to Bernie Sanders in 2016. We will
also leaflet at early-voting locations in June (14-21 June) and at as many voting sites as
possible on election day itself.
From January: Panelists (l-r): Ken Zinn (National Nurses United),
Mark Dudzic (Labor Campaign for Single Payer), and ERic Naumburg (Physicians for a National Health Program)
Nina Turner at the podium. Ben Jealous at the podium.