Maryland Needs Equitable Public Transit Expansion

With the climate crisis threatening our children’s future, we must reduce greatly our carbon footprint. The transportation sector is responsible for generating more fossil fuel emissions than any other. When we take buses or trains, instead of driving, we save money and the environment.

Some Maryland neighborhoods do have decent access to public transportation. But poor people, rural and inner-city residents, those with physical limitations, and predominantly black and brown communities are the least likely to have a range of options.

The Transit Equity Act, sponsored by Senator Jill Carter and Delegate Sheila Ruth addresses this injustice head-on and moreover will lead to annual reductions of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

The Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on this legislation on February 1st and the House Environment and Transit Committee is hearing testimony on February 2nd. Join our letter campaign by clicking here to email the members of these Committees and to urge them to issue a favorable report on the Transit Equity Act.

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It’s Time to Restore the Tax on Multi-Million Dollar Maryland Estates

Austerity imposed by lawmakers from both parties has frayed our social safety net and left far too many Marylanders vulnerable to soulless market forces. When progressive legislators and activists respond that society has a moral obligation to the poor, the elderly, and children, we are often admonished that resources are unavailable.

The obvious solution is to increase revenues from those more than able to pay. Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins has introduced legislation to do just that. HB-0268 restores the tax on multi-million dollar estates that would generate an estimated $116 million per annum. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 9th at 1pm.

If passed, Delegate Wilkins’ bill would reverse the 2014 law that raised from $1 to $5 million the minimum value of Maryland estates subject to taxation.

As the Maryland Fair Funding Coalition points out: The 2014 revision “provided a handout to a small number of ultra-wealthy heirs and made it harder for the state to invest in essential services. Estate taxes help support the public investments we all rely on, and they are a critical response to growing wealth inequality.”

You can make a difference by clicking here to email the members of the House Ways and Means Committee to urge them to restore the tax on estates of over $1 million.

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Publicly Financed Elections are Essential!

Delegate Jessica Feldmark has reintroduced legislation – HB0176​ – to authorize the expansion of public financing to candidates running for:

  • State’s Attorney
  • Sheriff
  • Register of Wills
  • Circuit Court Judge
  • Circuit Court Clerk
  • Judge of the Orphans’ Court
  • County Board of Education​.

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Let’s End Debtors Prisons in Maryland

Debtors prisons – a Dickensian vestige of the 19th century – live on in the Free State despite the Maryland Constitution’s explicit proscription: No person shall be imprisoned for debt. Sec. 38.

Fortunately, Delegate David Moon has re-introduced legislation to end this travesty. HB 127 is scheduled for hearing Wednesday January 25th in the House Judiciary Committee at 2:30pm.

Judges are empowered to imprison those found to owe monies if they fail to answer interrogatories or respond to subpoenas to appear at a deposition.

Demand an End to Debtors Prisons in Maryland here!

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Help Tenants Protect Themselves from Bad Landlords

Guaranteeing Marylanders quality affordable housing is one of our top priorities in the 2023 legislative session. Delegate Vaughn Stewart’s Tenant Safety Act would allow tenants living in a substandard apartment building or complex to join together in one suit against their landlord. Under current Maryland law, each tenant must file their own action even when neighbors are similarly situated.

Delegate Stewart’s proposal would afford renters the right to open a joint escrow account for rent withheld when a landlord fails to provide safe and habitable premises. If the landlord doesn’t remedy the defects, the tenants could file a collective action thereby saving crucial time and money.

Please Call or email your State Senator and Delegates to urge them to co-sponsor Delegate Stewart’s Tenant Safety Act. Tenants should have the ability to protect themselves when their landlord is violating the law. Click here for a list of all General Assembly members by county with phone numbers and email addresses.

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Help Pass Universal Single-Payer Healthcare in Maryland

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Our Revolution Maryland is promoting the Healthy Maryland Program Act sponsored by State Delegate Gabe Acevero. Introduced on January 11th, HB 25 would guarantee healthcare as a human right in Maryland.

If passed, Delegate Acevero’s bill would create a public corporation and a state government office to provide services for Maryland residents by 2025.

The corporation and office would be charged with delivering efficient cost-effective single-payer care by setting standards for eligibility, participation, benefits, payroll premiums and collective negotiations with health care providers. Continue reading

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In Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The words of Dr. King remain as powerful and relevant today as when
they were first written or uttered more than 50 years ago.

On Peace and Justice
1. If peace means accepting second class citizenship, I don’t want it.
2. If peace means keeping my mouth shut in the midst of injustice and evil, I don’t want it.
3. If peace means being complacently adjusted to a deadening status quo, I don’t want peace.
4. If peace means a willingness to be exploited economically, dominated politically, humiliated and segregated, I don’t want peace.
~ When Peace Becomes Obnoxious, 1956

On Racism
If the present chasm of hostility, fear and distrust is to be bridged, the white man must begin to walk in the pathways of his black brothers and feel some of the pain and hurt that throb without letup in their daily lives.
~ Chaos or Community, 1967
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Every Maryland Worker Deserves the Right to Bargain Collectively

When workers and the formerly middle-class are economically insecure, they may turn to authoritarians and extremists who promise them a better life in return for a loss of freedoms.

Over the last three centuries, unions have proven to be a critical bulwark against the corporate elites thereby safeguarding our democracy. In Maryland, however, many public sector workers who wish to bargain collectively do not have that right.

State Delegate Linda Foley (MD-17) is introducing legislation to right this wrong. Continue reading

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Help End Tax Breaks for Crooked Corporations!

With a Democratic Governor and large Democratic majorities in both the upper and lower houses of the Maryland General Assembly, the opportunity to pass progressive legislation here may be better than it is has ever been.

Currently, Maryland allows corporations fined for wrongdoing to deduct from their tax bill any restitution made to the government as part of a settlement.

This unjust privilege greatly reduces both 1) the incentive of corporate officers to comply with state and federal regulations and 2) the net value to taxpayers of any redress these bad actors ultimately pay. Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

We at Our Revolution Maryland wish you a happy, healthy and progressive New Year!

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