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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

LARRY HOGAN’S OVERALL GRADE: Needs Improvement

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Needs Improvement

TRANSPORTATION: Needs Improvement

ADMINISTRATION AND APPOINTMENTS: Mixed

LAND PRESERVATION AND OPEN SPACE: Excellent

WATER QUALITY: Needs Improvement

DEMOCRACY: Mixed

Follow #HoganGreenReport on social media.

And the report cards through the years:

2011 Governor Martin O’Malley

2008 Governor Martin O’Malley

2006 Governor Robert Ehrlich

2001 Governor Parris Glendening

1997 Governor Parris Glendening

 

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00January 24th, 2017|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

MARYLAND LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS ANNOUNCES LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 2017 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Contact: Karla Raettig, 202-674-3174 (c)

January 11, 2017                                                                                 Email: kraettig@mdlcv.org

MARYLAND LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS ANNOUNCES LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 2017 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

Environmental Group Outlines Legislative Priorities Beneficial to All Marylanders

Annapolis, MD – On the first day of the 2017 Maryland General Assembly Legislative session, Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) announces their environmental priorities. They will work with diverse coalitions across the state, made up of other environmental advocates, faith leaders, labor unions, business leaders, and social justice groups.

“We look forward to working with the General Assembly this session to aggressively address issues of climate change, water pollution, environmental justice, and trash,” says Karla Raettig, executive director of Maryland LCV. “Maryland legislators have a responsibility to their constituents and all Marylanders to protect the environment for generations to come.”

In conjunction with the statewide Maryland Climate Coalition and legislative champions in both chambers, Maryland LCV is working to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the 2016 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, Maryland LCV has 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.

The organization is lending its 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. Maryland LCV 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.

Finally, Maryland LCV joins with its partners to protect smart growth policies related to septics regulations in reaction to the Governor’s statement this summer rolling back 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 Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide, nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land and water. Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates and holds elected officials accountable through legislative scorecards. A leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis, we have advocated for smart environmental policies for more than 35 years, working to make Maryland a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities. Maryland LCV protects public health by fighting for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, preserving green spaces, promoting smarter growth and increasing Maryland’s investment in clean energy.

By |2019-12-07T13:26:17-05:00January 11th, 2017|Categories: Press|0 Comments

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.

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00January 10th, 2017|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

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.

General Things to Remember

1)    Politicians are not (usually) evil.  They are: neighbors, family members, activists, public servants, committed to their community, champions, living away from their families, sacrificing their careers, not experts on your subject, and trying their best.

2)    Lobbyists are not (usually) evil. Instead, they are generally: professionals, subject experts, educators, committed to their issues, important resources and critical to the process.

3)    You can lobby, and you should.

4)    You aren’t calling an office, you are calling a person.  The person who answers the phone is a human, and like most humans they respond better to people who treat them like humans.  Their job is to help you.  They want to hear from you.

Find out who represents you here: http://mdelect.net/

Tips for a successful meeting

1)    Know what you want, know what you need, and know the difference: If what you want is a tricked out high-end Tesla, but what you really need is a method of transportation, then don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, but know that it might not be feasible. You can always try to upgrade later.

2)    You have personal stories to share. They are important.  A personal connection to policy helps the legislators understand that there is a human face to the sterile legal language of bills and fiscal notes.

3)    Stay on message, and stay positive. Be prepared to be brief, always be polite and respectful, never take anyone’s positions for granted (pro or con), legislative reform is a long-term proposition – don’t expect to get everything you want on your first go. keep your eye on the prize.

4)    Treat legislation as project advocacy. Respect staff and make them your friends. Treat the legislators as partners, not adversaries. Know your allies (and enemies). Remember that money is a zero-sum game.

5)    Be a good human. Never lie (even if you think other people do), if you don’t know an answer, don’t pretend you do (use the opportunity to follow up later), do your best to be consistent and trustworthy, and never ever attack legislators (present or otherwise) or other advocates.

There will be lots of opportunities to practice these skills with not only your national representatives, but your state and local elected officials as well. Come to one of our Legislative Previews, get involved, stay educated and become an advocate for your community.

We need each other more than ever,

Kristen Harbeson
Political Director

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00November 16th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

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

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00November 14th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

2016 ELA: Capacity to Lead

This evening marks Maryland LCV’s 16th annual Environmental Leadership Awards. Tonight’s honorees have demonstrated that the best way to empower everyday citizens is to build greener, more sustainable communities throughout Maryland. Likewise, the best way to restore power to voters in our elections is to get money out, and the solution for Howard County is Question A.
 

Question A is a microcosm the for public campaign funding movement swelling throughout the country. Led by Howard County Councilmember sponsors Jen Terrasa and Jon Weinstein, Howard County Council sent the proposed amendment to the county charter to the ballot last March. If Question A passes on November 8th, The Citizens’ Election Fund would become the second public campaign funding system for local elections in the state of Maryland and the first in the country to appear on the ballot all by itself.
 

We all can agree that elected officials are more accountable to the interests of voters when they are not beholding to corporate and big dollar campaign donors. Maryland LCV believes that protecting the environment means increasing government responsiveness to the concerns of voters, especially at the local level. That is why Maryland LCV is fully invested in scoring a win in Howard County this fall (#HoCoYesOnA) and building capacity for Howard County electeds to lead on the environment, just like the honorees of the 2016 Environmental Leadership Awards.


Cheers,

Devon Hawkins-Anderson

 
By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00October 13th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Field Trip for Offshore Wind

My day-to-day world as an environmental lobbyist tends to be very small: meetings, conference calls, legislator visits, policy research, and data entry and analysis, most of which happen between our Maryland Avenue office and the legislative campus just two blocks away.  On October 5th, however, I had the opportunity as a representative of the Maryland Climate Coalition and the Political Director of Maryland LCV, to join a small delegation of legislators and other stakeholders to visit the off-shore wind project off the coast of Rhode Island.  It was a whirlwind (pun intended) tour of the first off-shore wind project on the East Coast, showcasing the extraordinary power of off-shore wind, the cutting-edge technology, as well as the beauty of the turbines in action.

After being met at the airport by a representative of the Maryland Business Network for Off-Shore Wind, the delegation – which included Senator Kathy Klausmeier (D8-Baltimore County), Delegate Tawanna Gaines (D22-Prince George’s County), and Delegate Sally Jameson (D28-Charles County), as well as representatives from the Town Creek and Abell Foundations – joined scientists, industry representatives, government agency staff, and environmentalists on a small touring boat as it charged through active seas out to the newly completed turbines.

You can see from the pictures that the weather was variable, ranging from clear blue skies to more blustery and ominous cloud cover.  Many of us found the experience of facing the wind and the rough sea to be a challenge, but it was clear that the turbines were perfectly designed for the elements. Although the project experts gave us a great deal of detail about each of the elements of construction, I think that many of us were somewhat caught off guard by the sheer size, as well as the beauty – of what we were looking at.

Each blade is nearly one-and-a-half times the length of a football field, and each fully-assembled turbine, including the platform, stands twice as high as the statue of liberty.  The five turbines together generate 30 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 17,000 homes and lower carbon emissions by an estimated 40,000 tons annually. The pride in the success of the project developers, as well as the laborers who were involved in the construction, was apparent in both the formal presentations and informal conversations as the boat wended its way around the project.

Equally important to each of member of the delegation was the great potential for the expansion of wind energy down the coast, and the urgency of moving forward on Maryland’s offshore wind project.  Thousands of people were employed in the construction and maintenance of the Rhode Island project, many of whom were hired locally and provided with on-the-job training and advancement opportunities in a growing field.  The projects, sited and constructed with environmental sensitivity, can provide welcome jobs for Marylander while reducing our reliance on climate-destroying fossil fuels. I was especially impressed by my conversation with the representative from The Nature Conservancy, who explained the care with which the project construction was organized to minimize the impact to both seabirds and  marine life, especially the migration of the endangered right whales. The scientific monitoring is extensive, and the cooperation between the environmentalists and the project managers is tight.

Take action today and add your name to our Offshore Wind petition>>

During our trip back to shore, and then back to Maryland, we all found ourselves talking about the project and the potential, in Maryland.  We talked about, among other thing, the need to override the Governor’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and the importance of pressing forward with solid and visionary climate and energy legislation.  It was clear that, despite the long day, everyone found themselves energized – and that we were energized with wind power.

Kristen Harbeson
Political Director of Maryland LCV

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00October 11th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Connecting the Dots between Money and Voting Rights Challenges

On Tuesday evening, more than 35 people gathered at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Columbia for the national pilot of Democracy Initiative’s new “Road to Democracy” training. The  mix of high school students, Fair Elections Howard staff, and popular democracy advocates took time to feel out each other and the room before settling into their seats. Touching on the U.S. Supreme Court decisions of Citizens United v FEC (2010) and Shelby County v. Holder (2013) decisions, Democracy Initiative’s Senior Strategist and Organizer Angie Wells helped attendees connect the dots between big money in politics and voting rights challenges in various forms during the two-hour workshop.

 

After a talk by Wells and a short video, four groups formed and huddled near the corners of the room. Participants worked through interactive exercises that challenged them to think like diverse stakeholder groups and respond to different issue prompts. The take-home message for the day was that the road to popular democracy is paved with public campaign funding and voting rights protection. When public campaign funding empowers citizens to demand responsiveness and accountability from elected officials, we move toward a truer version of democracy. When everyday citizens make their voices heard at the polls, we are reminded of the force of popular will. Most importantly, progress is the direct result of continued efforts to level the playing field.

As such, the evening concluded with a discussion of the Fair Elections Howard Citizens’ Election Fund #VoteYesonA led by Common Cause Maryland’s Policy Manager Damon Effingham and campaign organizers. The second public campaign funding system for local elections in the state of Maryland and potentially the first in the country to appear on the ballot all by itself, the Citizens’ Election Fund is the vehicle for a more robust in Howard County and representation of the growing will for popular democracy free of corporate interference in our elections.

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00October 8th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Stepping up with us for Maryland’s Climate

Together with the Maryland General Assembly, you supported your legislators in championing the renewal and expansion of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and the Clean Energy Jobs Act this last 2016 legislative session.

“I’m honored to be the recipient of the 2016 Legislator of the Year Award from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. Thank you for standing together with me and with your neighbors in support of this important cause. Maryland, and in particular Baltimore, has some of the worst air quality on the East Coast and these legislative wins are moving our state in the right direction. Protecting air quality and improving the environmental health of all Baltimoreans will always be my top priority, as will continuing to work with my State colleagues to advance the cause for all Marylanders. We’re all in this together.” Senator Catherine Pugh, pictured right, on the importance of climate action.

Will you join me and my co-workers at Maryland League of Conservation Voters on October 13th to celebrate these climate victories?

Maryland has met its existing renewable energy standard every year since the RPS program was first implemented in 2005. Maryland now ranks among the top solar states in the nation. Plummeting solar and wind prices and abundant, untapped renewable assets—from sunny rooftops to blustery Eastern Shore farmland—position the state to easily achieve a higher goal. Collectively, Maryland’s policies to address climate change are expected to create 26,000 to 33,000 new jobs and grow wages by tens of billions of dollars by 2020, according to state data.

Maryland needs to increase our renewable energy standard to 25 percent while putting in place funding to increase the diversity of business owners and workers. The Clean Energy Jobs Act will give more Marylanders the opportunity to thrive in the growing clean technology sector and put us, on the forefront of clean energy development.

Thank you for your support of climate action, now join me at the Environmental Leadership Awards dinner on October 13th for a celebration of all our hard work>>

Kristen Harbeson.jpg

Kristen Harbeson

Political Director

Maryland LCV

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00October 6th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Celebrate Pollinators

As a Maryland beekeeper, I could not be more pleased with the 2016 Legislative Session. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Maryland passed

 historic legislation called the Pollinator Protection Act, which bans a class of bee-killing pesticides called neonicotinoids (a.k.a.neonics).

I’ve been involved with the bill since it was drafted because we have seen a sharp increase in bee hive collapses in the past several years. Maryland lost over 60% of its hives in 2015, and 50% in 2014. The numbers leapt from 20% hive losses in 2013. And that’s why it was so important that Maryland passed the Pollinator Protection Act last year. It could not have come at a more critical time to help our suffering pollinators.

Will you join me and my fellow beekeepers on October 13th to celebrate our victory, and my colleagues, on the passage of the 2016 Pollinator Protection Act?

Numerous studies have found that neonicotinoids harm bees, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators, which we depend on to pollinate one in three bites of food we eat. 

The Pollinator Protection Act will make sure that home gardens, and our families, are protected from these dangerous pesticides by taking them off store shelves by January 1, 2018. The work done by the Smart on Pesticides Coalition, Maryland Pesticide Network and longtime advocate, Ruth Berlin, was essential in this victory. This is an important protection for the bees, our bay, and our families.

Thanks to your support, the Maryland General Assembly passed the 2016 Pollinator Protection Act with bipartisan support. Come to the Environmental Leadership Awards dinner to celebrate with us!

My fellow beekeepers and I look forward to meeting you then.

Bonnie Raindrop
Central Maryland Beekeepers Association

By |2019-11-23T06:17:22-05:00September 27th, 2016|Categories: Blog|0 Comments