Blog Posts

  • Maryland League of Conservation Voters Announces 2017 Awardees for the Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner

    For Immediate Release                                                     Contact:  Karla Raettig, MDLCV Executive Director
    May 1, 2017                                                                            202-674-3174 (c)  kraettig@mdlcv.org

    Maryland League of Conservation Voters Announces 2017 Awardees for the Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner

    ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – In preparation for the largest environmental event of the year,  Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) announced the awardees for the 2017 Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner. Maryland LCV bestows the Chesapeake Champion Award to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, awards the Legislator of the Year Award to House Chair of the Environment and Transportation committee, Delegate Kumar Barve, and the John V. Kabler Memorial Award to the 2016 Prince George’s County Promotores Class.

    Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Chesapeake Bay. Serving as a watchdog, they fight for effective, science-based solutions to the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Their motto, "Save the Bay," is a regional rallying cry for pollution reduction throughout the Chesapeake's six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to more than 17 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals. As CBF celebrates their 50th anniversary we thank them for their commitment to Maryland's environment and we are pleased to present them with the Chesapeake Champion Award.

    Delegate Kumar Barve has championed many environmental issues over the years that have helped protect Maryland’s air, land, water and people. This year, he is receiving our Legislator of the Year award for his work passing legislation to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Maryland.  While this was certainly the highest profile environmental victory this year, as Chairman of the Environment and Transportation Committee, he has helped guide many successful campaigns this year- from protecting pollinator habitats, to advancing the cause of clean energy, to ensuring sustainable oyster fisheries.

    Chispa Maryland’s 2016 Class of Environmental Justice and Action Promotores are 13 women who were selected to participate in Chispa Maryland’s highest volunteer program. Chispa’s Environmental Justice and Action Promotores elevates Latino leaders and offers training on grassroots organizing within our own communities while building relationships of respect and dignity with members of the community. Since their graduation, these 13 leaders have been working to bring environmental issues, education and activism to fellow Latinos and people of color in schools, churches, community centers, parks, and around our county.

    “It was a banner year for the environment in the 2017 Legislative session, thanks to the leadership of Chairman Kumar Barve. We are honored to award him Legislator of the Year for his passionate defense of the environment and his work to ban the dangerous practice of fracking,” Karla Raettig, Maryland League of Conservation Voters Executive Director.

    Please follow us on twitter @MDLCV and the hashtag #GreenAwardsMD to follow along during the event.

    John V. Kabler Memorial Award

    Established in 2001, the John V. Kabler Memorial Award honors the vision and accomplishments of John V. Kabler (1942-1996). Motivated to act on behalf of the environment in the wake of the Three Mile Island crisis in the late 1970s, Kabler inspired his environmental colleagues to become active in political campaigns. Together these leaders founded the Maryland LCV in 1979. Until his death in 1996, Kabler was a key leader of the Maryland conservation movement. Past recipients of the John V. Kabler Memorial Award include Governors Parris Glendening and Harry Hughes, U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski, Joseph Tydings and Paul Sarbanes, U.S. Representatives Wayne Gilchrest and Chris Van Hollen, Maryland State Senator Brian Frosh, EPA Administrator Russell Train, the Chesapeake Waterkeepers, former Maryland DNR Secretary John Griffin, 1000 Friends Executive Director, Dru Schmidt-Perkins, Maryland LCV Founders Nancy Davis and Ajax Eastman, Adam Ortiz, and the Central Maryland Beekeepers.

  • Take action today to pass CB 30 in Howard County!

    The Citizens’ Election Fund is building momentum among various constituencies ahead of the anticipated May 1st vote. On April 2nd, Environmentalists for Citizens’ Election Fund drew activists from as far as Washington DC to discuss the connection between strengthening democracy and protecting the environment. The next day, Howard County Council introduced the bill, now known as CB30. Later that week on April 7th, Ben Jealous headlined Women for Citizens’ Election Fund, which focused on how the program would increase access to elected office for minorities and underrepresented residents.

     

    Since then, Fair Elections Howard coalition partners have launched canvasses and hosted grassroots action days intended to build on the groundswell of support. The culmination of these events was last Wednesday’s press conference and public hearing. Before the proceedings, Congressman Sarbanes joined co-sponsors Jon Weinstein and Jen Terrasa to deliver a rousing address, touting the program and its potential to make history. The hearing that followed drew 70+ proponents and inspired diverse testimony in favor of the legislation. With the threat of an executive veto looming, the large turnout was a good portend for the necessary 4-1 veto-proof margin.

     

    Looking forward to Monday’s legislative work session and the tentative May 1st vote, we are reminded that there are miles to go before we sleep. Accordingly, Council Chairman Weinstein cautioned, “Don’t get complacent because this issue needs to be fought for here [and now].” To make this dream a reality, we need you to continue advocating for the bill in public and private circles and emailing Council. Additionally, we are still recruiting residents of Councilwoman Sigaty's District to lead an in-person visit and ensure that we have her vote.

     

    Take a second NOW to email Council in support of CB30. If you live in District 4, contact me for help with scheduling an appointment with Councilwoman Sigaty.

     

    Onward,

    Devon Hawkins-Anderson

    Public Funding Organizer

    Maryland LCV Education Fund

  • MARYLAND LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS AND PARTNERS GAIN TRACTION IN 2017 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

    Maryland’s Environment Had A Banner Year

    Annapolis, MD – The Maryland General Assembly closed the 2017 session with powerful affirmations of the importance of protecting Maryland’s people and environment.  Maryland gained national acclaim by banning hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), as well as limiting the over-use of antibiotics in agriculture.

  • Statement of the Signing of the Fracking Ban

    From our Executive Director, Karla Raettig:

    Annapolis, MD- Maryland League of Conservation Voters is proud to stand with the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition in the bipartisan victory in banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state of Maryland today with Governor Hogan’s signature making it law.

  • Let’s Keep Up the Momentum

    I only have one word for the incredible turnout at the Environmental Legislative Summit- W-O-W! This was my eighth summit with Maryland LCV, and I’ve never seen so many Marylanders attending the Environmental Legislative Summit. I can't thank you enough!

    Download the agenda and summit packets here.

    Throughout the years, all the progress we’ve made as an environmental community has been because of you. So many people attended, that there were lines to get into the room and into the building. What an incredible force we are, I am so proud to be a member of this community with you.

    One of my favorite parts of the evening was Speaker of the House Mike Busch proclaiming, “…No matter what happens in DC,… We are not going to back down one iota on the environment!" Protecting our natural resources is what makes us Marylanders, and I’m grateful to have local leaders who demonstrate my community’s values. 

    As you may have heard, our Maryland General Assembly voted earlier to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the 2016 Clean Energy Jobs Act. I have no doubt this happened because of you joining your voice with your neighbors and advocating loudly to your legislators. And they LISTENED.
     
    There were over 450 Marylanders that came to the Environmental Summit last week to hear about our other priorities:

    • Banning fracking in Maryland
    • Limiting the use of antibiotics in livestock for non-therapeutic purposes
    • Defending septics regulations

     You are the reason we work so hard to ensure a bright, healthy future for all Marylanders. Thank you for standing with me, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the environmental community, and the natural resources of Maryland.
     
    I look forward to many more successful actions this Session with you, 

    Dannielle Lipinski, Communications and Outreach Manager

  • Statement from Karla Raettig, ON THE PASSAGE OF THE CLEAN ENERGY JOBS ACT

    Today we at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters celebrate an early victory this session with one of our major climate bills, The Clean Energy Jobs Act, passing out of the Maryland General Assembly today, despite Governor Hogan’s veto of the bill last session.

    We applaud the General Assembly for standing up for Maryland’s clean energy economy and increasing our state’s renewable energy. This bill continues Maryland’s leadership on combatting climate change and reflects what we all know; Maryland voters want action on climate.

    We can no longer depend on the national administration to take action against climate change, and action at the state level is more important than ever. We are enthused to have a General Assembly taking up the reins of leadership on climate change.

  • Governor Reports Through the Years

    Today we at Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) give Governor Hogan a mark of “Needs Improvement” on his first environmental report card, noting that the Governor’s actions don’t always match his words when it comes to prioritizing the environment and public health. With a new President who has promised to rollback federal protections and nominated an environmental cabinet that denies climate change, the organization looks to Governor Hogan to show that conservation is not a partisan concern and that supporting public health and protecting natural treasures are good for business.  

    Here is the 2017 Governor's Report Card   and a copy of the press release

     

  • Priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session

    From the desk of Karla Raettig, Executive Director:

    On January 11th in Annapolis, our legislators will reconvene in the state house at 12:00 pm. As they take their seats, the clock will start ticking on our 90 day legislative session and our opportunity opens to pass some great environmental laws.

    In conjunction with the statewide Maryland Climate Coalition and legislative champions in both the Senate and House of Delegates, we are working to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill ensuring that Maryland gets 25% of its electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020. Additionally, we have prioritized banning hydraulic fracturing in the state, a practice that has been linked to disastrous water and air pollution along with serious public health hazards.

    We are also lending our support to limiting the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock to stop the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. These bacteria sicken millions of Americans every year and kill tens of thousands. We will also be working on banning Styrofoam statewide. This would be mean no establishment or institution can serve on Styrofoam materials, including restaurants and bans the sale Styrofoam containers or packaging peanuts.

    We additionally join with our partners to protect smart growth policies related to septics regulations in reaction to the Governor’s statement this summer on rolling back on Chesapeake Bay restoration.

    Related to all environmental legislation, Maryland LCV will be defending the budget for environmental agencies and enforcement of current environmental laws.

    The truth is that we need you now more than ever. With the federal political climate, we must take a stand to defend the progress we’ve made here in Maryland. Make sure you stay tuned to your inbox for upcoming action alerts and updates from this legislative session.

     

    We need to hold strong as a community and make sure that the great progress we’ve made continues into the future. Thank you for standing with me and the future of our beautiful state,

     

     

     

    Karla Raettig

    Executive Director

    Maryland League of Conservation Voters

    PS: Don’t miss our 2017 Environmental Legislative Summit in Annapolis on January 26th, register here.

  • How to Have a Successful Meeting with Elected Officials

    In the week following the election, one thing has become clear:  There has never been a more important time to be working to protect strong environmental policies. It has been heartening to have so many people around me looking for ways to be more active in communicating with their elected representatives. This advice comes both from my experience as a lobbyist for Maryland LCV, but also my years as a legislative staffer.  I’ve been on both sides of the desk, and this is what I’ve learned.

    Go ahead.  Try it at home.

  • It's time for good news

    We were all surprised on Tuesday night. Many of us were left wondering- where do we go from here?

    I am concerned about  potential rollbacks of the progress we have made on so many environmental issues but I am encouraged by the good that came out of this election. In Maryland, I am proud to work alongside a dedicated staff, board of directors, and coalition of environmental groups who will keep fighting climate change, restoring the Chesapeake Bay and waterways, and protecting our natural legacy for future generations.

    Some good news here in Maryland:

    • Voters in Howard County took a stand for democracy by passing Question A, which will create a Citizens Election Fund to elevate everyday voters in our county elections. This ballot measure will help tear down barriers to running for office and ensure Howard County residents always have the access to their elected officials that they deserve. But this is bigger than just one county. Our nations ineffective campaign finance laws have long been a topic of local and national discussion. At Maryland LCV, we feel that we can never make true progress on the environment until we get big money out of politics. Tuesday night was a big step in the right direction and we are proud to have played a role in organizing the campaign. 

    With your help, we also endorsed candidates for Baltimore City Council this year and did pro-environment mail in Baltimore City, supporting a message of clean water and air for all Marylanders regardless of where you live. We believe in environmental justice for everyone and we are proud to be working on this issue every day through the Latino community organizing we do with our Chispa Maryland program. And voters sent climate champions to Congress to fight for our future.

    We should all be proud of the work we did individually and collectively to make progress in Maryland and regionally this election cycle. We will take lessons learned and come back even stronger to elect climate champions at every level of government in 2018.

    You can bet that we will also continue working hard to hold our elected officials accountable and we'll need your continued support every step of the way. In the coming months, we'll be asking you to do your part by calling, emailing, and meeting with your legislators as we work to bring clean energy to Maryland, protect Maryland from the harmful impacts of fracking, and protect our waterways and open spaces.

    But if you're ready to get to work and start making a difference today, sign up to volunteer with Maryland LCV or support us in other critical ways.

    States, particularly Maryland, have an opportunity and an obligation to continue demonstrating what environmental values look like and why it’s imperative we move forward together on addressing climate change – still the biggest threat to future generations.

    Heartfelt thanks to all of you.

    Sincerely, 

    Karla Raettig, Executive Director Maryland LCV