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Maryland’s 2020 Elections

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Maryland primary elections were moved:

Primary Election – June 2, 2020 7 am until 8 pm

  • Early Voting for the Primary Election – Thursday, May 21, 2020 through Thursday, May 28, 2020 from 10 am until 8 pm.

General Election – November 3, 2020, 7 am until 8 pm

  • Early Voting for the General Election – Thursday, October 22, 2020 through Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 8 am until 8 pm.

Make sure you are registered to vote on the Maryland Board of Elections website

Don’t know what district you live in? Check it out here.

If you live in congressional district seven, the Maryland State Board of Elections has received the Governor’s proclamation (PDF) setting the dates for the special election for the 7th Congressional District.

  • The special primary Election took place on February 4, 2020; and
  • The special election general election will coincide with the presidential primary election on April 28, 2020 and will be Vote by Mail Only.

More information can be found here.

By |2020-03-25T16:03:34-04:00March 20th, 2020|Categories: Action Alert, Blog, Endorsements|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Top Environmental Advocacy Group touts legislative victories with truncated legislative session

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2020

Contact: Dannielle Lipinski,  dlipinski@mdlcv.org

Top Environmental Advocacy Group touts legislative victories with truncated legislative session

Annapolis, MD – For the first time since the Civil War, the Maryland General Assembly has ended ahead of schedule in order to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. Alongside crucial legislation to assist our state through this crisis, our elected leaders worked hard to protect our air, land, water, and communities.

“We applaud the members and staff of the Maryland General Assembly and the Department of General Services for their diligence, leadership and commitment during extraordinary circumstances. They exemplified that when we work together, we can achieve great things.  Marylanders are fortunate our leaders accomplished top priority actions while also protecting public health.” Kim Coble, Executive Director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

A few shining examples of their efforts include passage of an essential oyster bill and banning the dangerous pesticide, chlorpyrifos. The Oyster Fisheries Management Act creates a new collaborative process and opportunities to improve oyster fishery management. The ban on chlorpyrifos is one of the first in the nation to take effect. The legislators also worked on a suite of bills that assist with community resiliency around the climate crisis. Lawmakers passed these in the final hours of session. 

And some bills simply suffered from time running out and the legislative session ending early due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of our priority bills were passed out of one chamber but there wasn’t enough time for the second chamber to move the bills. These organizational priorities were the Transit Safety and Investment Act to fully fund MTA, the Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act, and the Plastics and Packaging Reduction Act, which would have prohibited the use of single-use bags. 

While some bills were not able to cross the finish line because of lack of time in an abbreviated session, several were blocked by negative votes or deliberate inaction including removing trash incineration from the Renewable Portfolio Standard, the Clean Coal Community Transition Act, and a bill to electrify the MTA Bus Fleet.

Advancing strong environmental legislation is essential as we face the global crisis of climate change. Maryland LCV will be keeping a close watch over the special session planned for May and has plans to release a 2020 Environmental Scorecard in the coming months.

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

By |2020-03-18T20:38:41-04:00March 18th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Special Update: Coronavirus, the environment and the legislative session

By Kim Coble, Executive Director

At Maryland LCV we care deeply about our staff, supporters, and fellow humans across the country. That’s why we are putting in place all the precautionary measures we can. For the immediate future, Maryland LCV has suspended all activities that would require people to come together in the same room. All staff are teleworking, all meetings will be via video conference and all events are cancelled.

If nothing else, the COVID-19 outbreak highlights the importance of a government that quickly and efficiently funds and enacts policies that benefit people and our communities. This public health crisis has made me more determined than ever to ensure we have a government and elected officials who are responsive and accountable to each and everyone of us.

As of this writing, the Maryland legislature is adjourning on Wednesday, March 18th. The first time since the Civil War that the legislative session has been cut short. However, our important work to protect Maryland’s air, land, water, and communities is continuing and we are urging the Maryland General Assembly to focus on a few key environmental bills before they close the doors on Wednesday.

And we could use your help! You can take action from the comfort of your home by checking out our Action Alert Center and sending an email to your legislators today. To find out who your state legislator is, please click here.

The environmental priorities that are a top priority and could pass in the next two days include:

I hope you are taking measures to stay safe and informed. And when you are not sending emails to your legislator, you can find updates on the Covid-19 outbreak from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland’s health authorities.

Thank you and take care,

Kim Coble, Maryland LCV
Executive Director

Stay connected with us while practicing social distancing:

  

Maryland LCV Announces Delegation Scores from LCV’s 2019 National Environmental Scorecard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12, 2020
Contact: Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org , 443-617-7257

Maryland LCV Announces Delegation Scores from LCV’s 2019 National Environmental Scorecard

Annapolis, MD – Maryland LCV today released the Maryland delegation’s scores on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2019 National Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard is the primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of every member of Congress, and is available for download here, in Spanish here, and online at scorecard.lcv.org

“As the Trump administration continues to roll back environmental protections and actively put our health at risk, Congressman Andy Harris refused to stand up for Maryland’s air, water, land, and communities,” said Maryland LCV’s Executive Director, Kim Coble. “Instead of rubber stamping Trump and Mitch McConnell’s polluter agenda, we need our representatives in Congress to fight for Maryland’s communities — and thankfully we can count on Senators Cardin and Van Hollen to push back. We’re more determined than ever before to hold members of Congress accountable for denying our families’ fundamental rights to clean air, safe drinking water and a healthy environment.”

The 2019 Scorecard measures votes cast during the first session of the 116th Congress. In Maryland, seven House members and Senators Cardin and Van Hollen earned a score of 95 percent or greater, while one House member earned an abysmal score of 10 percent or less. The average House score for Maryland was 85 percent and the average Senate score was 100 percent. The full delegation’s scores for 2019 are:

Senator Cardin – 100%

Senator Van Hollen – 100%

Representative Harris – 0%

Representative Ruppersberger – 97%

Representative Sarbanes – 97%

Representative Brown – 97%

Representative Hoyer – 97%

Representative Trone – 97%

Representative Cummings* – 100%

Representative Raskin – 100 %

 “We are grateful to Speaker Pelosi and her pro-environment majority for prioritizing climate action and protections of our air, water, lands, wildlife, and democracy,” said LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “While pro-environment leaders supported policies that will protect communities across the country, especially low-income communities and communities of color, from the negative impacts of climate change-fueled extreme heat, natural disasters, and toxic pollution last year, Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s refusal to act on hundreds of important House-passed bills put the health of our children and families at risk for the benefit of his corporate polluter friends.”

When Congress fails to protect our fundamental rights to clean air and safe drinking water, our communities are the ones most impacted,” said National Director of LCV’s Chispa program, Johana Vicente. “We are incredibly thankful for the environmental champions in both chambers of Congress who stood up and fought for us in 2019. We will not forget the senators who voted against the health of our families when they sided with Trump and polluters time and again.”

The 2019 Scorecard includes 35 House votes that span the chamber’s assaults on clean air and water, lands and wildlife protections, investments in clean energy and so much more. In the Senate, the majority of the 14 votes scored are confirmation votes on Trump’s anti-environmental nominees.

LCV has published a National Environmental Scorecard every Congress since 1970. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, climate change, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, and spending for environmental programs. The votes included in the Scorecard presented members of Congress with a real choice and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. More information on individual votes and the Scorecard archive can be found at scorecard.lcv.org.

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By |2020-03-12T12:24:56-04:00March 12th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stuart Clarke and Steve Lafferty Join Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ Board

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2020

Contact:
Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257

Stuart Clarke and Steve Lafferty Join Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ Board

Annapolis, MD – Maryland League of Conservation Voters has announced that University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives’ Stuart Clarke and Baltimore County’s Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Lafferty have joined its board of directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome these two long-time environmental champions onto our board,” said Ed Hatcher, chair of Maryland LCV’s board. “Maryland LCV is working to make Maryland a national leader in demonstrating what can be done at the state level to combat climate change. Stuart and Steve will be important players in our efforts.”

Before joining UMCES, Clarke served as the executive director of the Town Creek Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to a sustainable environment. His previous philanthropic experience includes assignments as a program officer with the Turner Foundation managing a grant-making portfolio including national water quality and environmental protection and as development director of the Southern Partners Fund supporting social justice organizing in the South. He has also served as co-chair of the Maryland Climate Commission, which provides governance for State initiatives to address climate change, and as a trustee for Greenpeace USA.

“I am pleased and grateful to have been invited to join the Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ board. Maryland LCV’s role in advancing environmental protections and expanding civic space is as important today as it has ever been. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to help keep Maryland at the forefront of environmental and democratic progress,” said Clarke.

Steve Lafferty served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2007 to 2019, where he was a leader on issues related to the environment and land use. He now serves as the sustainability officer of Baltimore County. He served as chair of the Baltimore County House Delegation, and chair of the Subcommittee on Land Use and Ethics and the Subcommittee on the Environment. A longtime resident of the Towson area, he has previously served as the Howard County deputy director of planning and zoning and as director of special projects for the Howard County Executive. Lafferty earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland, a master of arts from Bowling Green State University, and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

“It is a thrill to be asked to join the Board of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters,” said Lafferty. “I have had the opportunity to work with the staff and board members for nearly 15 years on major environmental issues in Maryland. They recognize that strong and thoughtful elected leaders will make the difference in setting policies for our state. I look forward to joining them in their advocacy for a better environment.”

Maryland League of Conservation Voters is the 501c4 organization that serves as the political voice for the environment. Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund serves as the 501c3 organization and helps to educate and engage citizens and elected officials on key environmental issues.

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Board of Directors:

Ed Hatcher, Chair
Maris St Cyr, Vice Chair
Mike Davis
Hon. Virginia Clagett
Stuart Clarke
Candace Dodson Reed
Verna Harrison
Melanie Hartwig-Davis
Lynn Heller
Bonnie Norman
Kitty Thomas
Stuart Clarke
Hon. Steve Lafferty

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund Board of Directors:

Chuck Porcari, Chair
Joy Blackwood
Beth Blauer
Lance Davis
Larissa Johnson

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

By |2020-03-10T10:49:31-04:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Catholics to Rally and Lobby in Support of Key Environmental Legislation in Maryland

SILVER SPRING, Md., February 28, 2020 – Catholics from around the State of Maryland will gather in Annapolis on Monday, March 2, for a Teach-In and Lobby Night in support of key environmental legislation advancing in the Maryland General Assembly. The event will be organized by Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home (MCCH), a lay-led group of concerned Catholics from parishes in both the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Working in cooperation with Chispa Maryland, the Latino outreach program of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, MCCH members will meet with their legislators to express their support for five bills that they believe exemplify key principles of Catholic Social Teaching:
• SB926 / HB 1425: Climate Solutions Act of 2020 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act
• SB 887 / HB 1545: Electric Generation Transition from Fossil Fuels – Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rate and Transition Account (Coal Transition)
• HB 368 / SB 424: Transit Safety and Investment Act
• HB 438 / SB 560: Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Eligible Sources
• SB 313 / HB 209: Plastics and Packaging Reduction Act

In addition to their personal advocacy, MCCH members will be bringing a statement of support for these five bills signed by hundreds of Catholics from across Maryland.

“I am eager to participate in lobby night in Annapolis as part of Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home,” stated Sandra Perez, a parishioner and staff member at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. “As an immigrant from Central America, I am well aware of the connection between climate and migration crises. As both a Catholic and U.S. citizen, I have a moral obligation to speak up and support policies that help to clean up our environment and promote environmental justice at home and abroad.”

“Catholic teaching connects the principle of care for creation with giving priority to the needs of the poor and concern for and solidarity with workers, and we think these bills reflect that comprehensive vision,” stated Bob Simon, a MCCH member and organizer for this event. “These five bills align Maryland’s climate goals with current science and international agreements supported by Pope Francis, heed his call to move from polluting sources of energy to renewables ‘without delay,’ address shortfalls in public transportation that disproportionately affect low-income communities, and address the blight of plastics pollution that is a consequence of what Pope Francis has described as our ‘throwaway culture.’ We hope the General Assembly enacts all five bills, as well as other legislation that would protect the environment of our common home.”

The MCCH event on Monday, March 2, will begin with a teach-in and prayer service at 4:30 P.M. at the historic Carroll House on the campus of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis. After the conclusion of the prayer service, participants will walk to the Maryland House of Delegates building to convene and then to fan out to appointments with Members and staff of the General Assembly from their districts.

Last year, MCCH focused its advocacy on the passage of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, as part of the broad coalition that sucessfully moved that bill to enactment.

Contact: Bob Simon
Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home
301-887-7458
robertmsimon@gmail.com

By |2020-02-28T14:02:12-05:00February 28th, 2020|Categories: Press|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Another Captain for the Planet

By Captain Donald Lawson

I am an avid sailor, educator, and in just a few months, I’m going to become the first African American man to attempt 12 world records, including the fastest person to sail around the globe, solo — thanks to a clean energy-powered sailboat.  

Growing up in Baltimore, I didn’t spend as much time near the water as you might think for living in a coastal community. But, when I was nine I had the opportunity to go sailing with the Living Classroom Foundation’s Lady Maryland program. This event introduced me to sailing and changed my life forever. The sense of freedom I felt steering the boat that day has stayed with me for all these years — it has influenced my dreams and shaped the direction of my career. 

The Captain of the Lady Maryland told me I could sail around the world one day — and I believed him.

From a young age, I noticed the stark racial and socioeconomic disparities of the boating and sailing community around the East Coast. Over the years, I have seen very few people of color on the water sailing, racing, or competing. In fact, African Americans currently hold ZERO world records in sailing and there are very few opportunities for young people of color to experience the joy of sailing as I did. 

As I went on to attend Morgan State University and studied engineering, I had the opportunity to teach sailing at the Downtown Sailing Center, Getaway Sailing and the US Naval Academy. It was important for me not only to excel on my own but to change this system. With my captain’s license from Annapolis School of Seamanship in hand, I was ready to share my knowledge for sailing with my community and invest in sharing my passion with young people —  just as my mentors Bruce Schwab and Dame Ellen MacArthur had done for me. I have spent years teaching and inspiring young people of color about the maritime industry, careers on the water, and the joy of sailing.

But, it wasn’t easy. Even with all my personal success as a sailor and educator, I struggled to find acceptance and support in certain areas of the maritime community. I was often doubted, rejected, and scrutinized for being a different face on the racecourse. But through the struggle, my drive only became stronger and my goals more meaningful. I knew it was my mission to change this narrative for others. That’s why I worked every day to give minorities and low-income students access to resources that I didn’t have starting off. 

And now, I am ready to do even more to change the sailing and boating community by beginning my journey to become the first African American man to set multiple world records in sailing. During this process, I will educate, inspire, and promote businesses owned by minorities and businesses that support the community.

What’s more, I will prove that you can win when you use sustainable energy sources by sailing with boats powered almost entirely by 100% clean energy. 

One thing that my decades of sailing experience have taught me is that being eco-friendly is not only a personal moral obligation but also an advantage when sailing.  My racing boat will be equipped with solar panels, hydro-generators, a wind vane, and a biodiesel engine. Each clean energy system will offer major speed and efficiency advantages at certain points of my voyage. In addition,

I’ll be able to go 15% to 25% faster than the average sailor since I won’t need to carry large quantities of fuel.

2020 is a big year for me, my team, and my sponsors. In the next few months, we will acquire the boat that will carry me through these records, and in the spring not only will my journey begin — but I will start a speaking tour to share my stories with communities across the country and make sailing more accessible for all people. And the educational opportunities don’t stop there. I will also be creating three separate documentaries with my non-profit partner, Independent Arts and Media, to chronicle my journey and create interesting, educational materials for sailors and non-sailors alike. Our first Documentary entitled: Dark Seas: The Legacy of African American Solo Sailors, will look into the stories of sailors who came before me, the history and rules of record-breaking and finally my program and our goals.

Becoming the first African American man to set a world record in sailing AND the fastest man to circumnavigate the globe means more to me than personal gain. It means elevating my community and bringing honor to my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. It means becoming the kind of role model to the young members of my community that I wish I had in my childhood. It means uplifting and carrying businesses and organizations that are led by and support people of color through this victory with me. But the most important goal I want to achieve is to leave a lasting Legacy in the world — and inspire others to follow their dreams to do the same.

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I am very grateful to have my team’s first set of partners: LCV, Harlem Brewing Company, Living Classroom Foundation, WSSRC, Alyte Consulting and IAM for believing in me and the vision.

 There is still an opportunity for additional businesses and organizations to join our crew! If you are interested, feel free to email us: donald@captaindonaldlawson.com

 If you want to get involved and support Captain Lawson with his project, please donate to his documentary fund: https://www.artsandmedia.net/cause/dark-seas-documentary

Originally posted on LCV

They say Never Fall in Love with a Bill

By Kristen Harbeson

The conventional wisdom in Annapolis is that you never should fall in love with a bill – because it’s too hard to let it go when it changes or dies.  I’ve never been very good at not falling in love with the bills on which I work. I spend countless hours getting to know each of them, crafting them, getting to know their quirks, strengths, and weaknesses, believing in their value, and fighting for them. I don’t know how to do that without falling in love – and in truth, I don’t think very many people do.

But as one of my favorite authors, Madeleine L’Engle, wrote about her marriage, “the growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys.”  The rest of the book (which is called A Two Part Invention if you’re interested) talks about how navigating those hills and valleys are about finding the way between where to hold fast and where to accept change, and also that sometimes when things are darkest, it’s important to take a minute to appreciate unexpected light.

This week, which saw hearings on two of our biggest priority bills.

The ban on Chlorpyrifos had several hours long hearings in both the House and Senate Committees. We put our best arguments forward – talking about the extreme dangers of the pesticide to the health of our communities, especially children, and our environment, and presenting the case for effective alternative treatments.  The opponents talked about the problems with banning the chemical, outlining the dangers of hard-to-kill pests to crops and the livelihood of the farmers, pleading for “last resort” exemptions.

The other bill is the ban on plastic bags and it was heard in the House of Delegates. Our coalition outlined the problems of plastic bags to the climate, waterways, and in our communities.  We explained how a 10c cost to paper bags at check-out ensures that businesses aren’t forced to raise prices, especially in low-income communities – and is necessary to drive the behavior change that actually reduces litter. Opponents argued there could be an unintended consequence to low-income communities from having to pay for bags that once had been given out for free.

The next step for both of these bills is to work with the committees to find the path through compromising and maintaining bill integrity to a bill we can support. How do we keep the legislation as strong as possible and address reasonable concerns outlined by opponents. How do we bring new people onto the path with us without losing key partners and allies? It can be a difficult process, and the path is definitely not a straight line.

These are the days, though, when I tend to look around at my colleagues (both in and out of the environmental community) and realize that I am not alone. We all have once again – for better or worse – fallen in love with our bills, but it’s really because we love Maryland, the General Assembly, and the process of passing laws we think make the world better. And that realization brings unexpected light in the deepest valleys.

Session step count: 184,432

Session mile count: 81.2 (From Waterworks Park in Annapolis to South Mountain Park in Boonsboro)

Mountain climbed: Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire in Mauritiuzs

By |2020-02-20T15:51:44-05:00February 20th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

Statement on Frederick County’s Introduction of a Strong Forest Bill

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2020

Contact:

Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257

TOP STATEWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP APPLAUDS FREDERICK COUNTY FOR INTRODUCING STRONG FOREST PROTECTION BILL

Frederick, MD – Maryland League of Conservation Voters joins environmental partners Preservation Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action,  Frederick County Councilmember Kai Hagen and Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner for introducing the Frederick County Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO). This bill will protect forests in Frederick County by creating a true no net loss program in Frederick County.

“We are grateful to County Executive Gardner and Councilmember Hagen for introducing a bill, if passed, will create the strongest County level forest conservation program in the state.” said Kim Coble, Executive Director at Maryland LCV.

“Years ago, Frederick County had a strong Forest Resource Ordinance that was repealed. We now see forests being lost to rampant overdevelopment that can be successfully curtailed with this bill,” said Ben Alexandro, Water Policy Director at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. 

The benefits of forests are immeasurable. They filter our waters, increase property values, reduce energy costs, provide clean air and wildlife habitat, improve public health, and are a critical solution in the fight against the climate crisis. 

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.  

30 West Street Suite C Annapolis, MD 21401 410-280-9855

www.mdlcv.org 

By |2020-02-14T12:16:12-05:00February 14th, 2020|Categories: Press|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Where you’ll find the lobbyists in Annapolis

By Kristen Harbeson, resident Lobbyist and Political Director

I love tracking my steps during session – wondering how many miles I logged in a day.  Although there are days when my feet ache from all the walking, there is at least as much sitting as there is walking: sitting in committee rooms (and occasionally on the floor outside of committee rooms); sitting around tables during coalition meetings and while talking to legislators; sitting in the public lounges for emergency conversations with colleagues.

One of the most likely places you’ll find me during much of the Session is in a wingback chair in the hallway on the second floor of the House Office Building.  From there, I can talk to Delegates and their staff pass by on their way to and from the Environment and Transportation and Economic Matters Committees.  I’m not the only one who tends to find herself there – it’s a spot where lobbyists from every kind of advocacy group will find a place to take a call, charge their phones, or catch a few minutes on their laptops between meetings.

These kinds of relaxed locations are where conversations happen that build community, and sometimes provide news in bits and pieces that, when taken together, can help provide context to help shape a legislative strategy.

Ramon Palencia-Calvo, our Deputy Director testifies for one of our priority pieces of legislation.

Ramon Palencia-Calvo, our Deputy Director testifies for one of our priority pieces of legislation.

This week there was a hearing on our first priority bill.  Ramon testified on the importance of fully funding the Maryland Transit Authority, which has a $2 billion shortfall over the next ten years according to a study released last summer. The MTA serves every jurisdiction in the state, but low-income and already disadvantaged communities suffer the most from failures due to inadequate maintenance. Additionally, a strong, affordable, and accessible public transportation system is essential to reducing Maryland’s greenhouse gas pollution. (Did you know that the transportation sector – especially highway traffic – represents more than 40% of our greenhouse gasses?!) This is always an important moment in a campaign.  It’s the first time that arguments for and against are presented side by side, and examined by the committees who make the decision of what happens next. It’s a little bit like a play, and a little bit like a polite boxing match.

In this case, the hearing was in front of the House Appropriations Committee which works with the State Budget.  Ramon, and all of our partners provided strong testimony after the bill was presented by Delegate Lierman.  The Department of Transportation spoke against the bill, which isn’t uncommon, especially for bills that require the Governor to spend money in a specific way. Next week, the same bill will be heard in the Senate, and then we work on the next step: A vote from subcommittee.

Sitting or standing, or running through the halls, you can count on your Maryland LCV staff working hard next week to pass strong environmental laws.  Next week we’ll have some marathon bill hearings, too, so stay tuned!