A legislative forum sponsored by Progressive Neighbors and the Progressive Working Group took place Sunday afternoon at the offices of IMPACT Silver Spring. Members of the Montgomery County delegation to Annapolis — including Senators Jamie Raskin (Dist.20), Roger Manno (Dist.19), and Rich Madaleno (Dist.18) and Delegates Sheila Hixson, Heather Mizeur, Tom Hucker (all Dist.20), Bonnie Cullison (Dist.19), Eric Luedtke (Dist.14), and Ana Sol Gutierrez (Dist.18) — were on hand to discuss issues advocated by Progressive Neighbors and their allies around the county, as well as proposals and issues advocated by activists in the audience.
Progressive Neighbors and PWG deserve everyone’s thanks and applause for organizing the forum, as well as for prioritizing and advocating a well-chosen progressive legislative agenda including
- Combined reporting (of in- and out-of-state corporate revenues for tax purposes)
- Equal access/transparency in government
- Offshore wind farms
- Single payer health care in Maryland
- Public campaign finance
- Cutting military spending: “Fund our communities, bring war dollars home”
Kit Bonson (MCCRC) talks with other activists before
the event. Click here for a slideshow of the forum.
Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition activists were on hand as well, and Kit Bonson, Amy Fusting, Thomas Nephew, and Martine Z. discussed both the Civil Rights Restoration Act agenda and the WMATA random bag search issue with attendees and legislators, and found a good deal of interest and encouragement from other activists, the legislators, and the legislative agenda itself.
For example, Del. Gutierrez raised the issue of local immigration enforcement — a natural fit with sections of the MCCRRA. She put her remarks under the heading “Maryland is not Arizona” and urged the issue be considered a seventh progressive legislative priority. The “Our Funds” initiative (organizing around the 6th priority above) has an excellent presentation noting that increased militarism restricts freedom at home, expands government surveillance, and corrodes the rule of law — also parts of what the MCCRRA pushes back against.
Civil rights and civil liberties are part and parcel of the kind of healthy, thriving society every activist and legislator attending Sunday’s forum wants for our county, our state, and our country. Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition activists and supporters are part of a great community — one we want to help make even better.