By Kristen Harbeson, Political Director
And it’s all thanks to you. Maryland became the first state to pass a statewide ban on Styrofoam food service products, and Maryland is facing the climate crisis head-on with the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
Environmental champions also took up the work of Chispa Maryland, the organization’s Latinx outreach program, to pass legislation that creates a permanent grant structure to fund the transition of Maryland’s school bus fleet from diesel to electric-powered.
It’s time for us all to work together as the urgency of the climate crisis becomes more apparent with every passing day. All of these bills passed because of the work that Marylanders did in electing Delegates and Senators who prioritize a clean environment.
Once our elected officials return to Annapolis in January, we at Maryland LCV will be there to hold them accountable for their actions, or inactions.
The full Scorecard is available online and includes records of votes cast on the floor of the House and Senate and in committees, along with past voting records.
Thank you for being a part of the Conservation Voter Movement!
Contact: Ramón Palencia-Calvo email@example.com Cell: (202) 531-5091
September 27, 2019
Annapolis, MD- On September 27th, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) announced funding for electric school buses as part of pilot programs to improve air quality and provide immediate health benefits to children through reduced vehicle emissions for four school districts in Maryland.
“Chispa Maryland celebrates this critical milestone in cleaning up our school fleets. We will continue working with Governor Hogan, MDE, and local school districts to phase out dirty diesel school buses in Maryland to protect the health of children and advance our Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign,” said Ramón Palencia-Calvo, Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) and Director of Chispa Maryland, community organizing program of Maryland LCV.
Volkswagen cheated federal emissions tests and polluted the air with toxins that increase respiratory illnesses and further the effects of climate change. In 2017, Chispa Maryland launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign. The campaign, supported by thousands of parents, students, and advocates called for using the money that Maryland received from the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund to transition diesel public school buses to zero emissions electric school buses to protect the health of students and communities, especially these in communities most affected by poor air quality.
Palencia-Calvo added, “we congratulate all the youth and allies that are working tirelessly to accelerate this transition to clean electric buses and are encouraged to see the commitment of the Hogan Administration to zero emission vehicles by financing all the electric school bus projects submitted as part of this settlement. However, at a time when every dollar in Maryland’s education system is critical, we are perplexed by the fact that school districts left $2.1million unclaimed.”
After this first round of funding, about $2.1 million remains available for school bus projects. MDE intends to open this funding for new proposals in spring 2020. Chispa Maryland will continue advocating to use these funds for zero emissions school buses.
Chispa, meaning “spark” in Spanish, is a program of Maryland League of Conservation Voters launched in 2014. Chispa Maryland has been working to ensure that Maryland Latino families and community leaders are a powerful voice for protecting the environment, our health, and our future. Chispa works with Latino families, community groups, faith-based organizations, and legislators to identify and address unique environmental issues facing Latino communities in Maryland.
Maryland League of Conservation Voters is pleased to announce that Robert P. Gallagher is this year’s John V. Kabler Memorial Award winner.
Bob is an outstanding advocate on environmental issues in Maryland and Anne Arundel County, and co-founder of the Anne Arundel Chapter of Maryland LCV.
Bob developed his life-long passion for clean water at an early age while exploring in boats. He has sailed all over the Chesapeake as well as across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. When he retired from a legal career 15 years ago, he founded West/Rhode Riverkeeper and went on to leadership roles in a long list of other local and statewide environmental groups including Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Scenic Rivers Land Trust, Annapolis Green, Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition, Delmarva Land and Litter Challenge, and served from 2009 until 2018 on the board of Maryland League of Conservation Voters.
In 2009, with the late Kincey Potter, Bob co-founded the Anne Arundel Chapter of Maryland LCV to bring the same accountability to elected county officials that Maryland LCV has brought to Maryland state elected officials. By every measure that effort proved successful.
“Bob’s devotion to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, its watershed and its residents began in his youth in the waters off St. Mary’s County and continues today on both the Western and Eastern Shores of our beloved estuary,” remarked Charles Porcari, Interim Director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV).
“His countless hours of service to a remarkable array of environmental organizations offer irrefutable testimony to this lawyers’ volunteer efforts.”
Following the 2018 elections, LCV endorsed candidates who now occupy the office of the County Executive and five of the seven seats on the County Council. The group’s work also sparked Maryland LCV’s work in other strategically selected local elections. In the spirit of John Kabler, Bob has demonstrated that you don’t need to be a lobbyist, CEO, or politician to affect environmental policy. Bob and his wife Cate reside in Annapolis.
The Kabler Award will be officially presented to Mr. Gallagher during the annual Maryland LCV Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 24 at the Westin Annapolis, beginning at 6:00 in the evening.
We hope you will join us for this celebration of our environmental achievements and a robust discussion of the work ahead. Other 2019 awardees include Climate Champion Senator Brian Feldman and Legislators of the year, Senator Cheryl Kagan and Delegate Brooke Lierman.
September 19, 2019
Contact: Chuck Porcari, 240-286-7566
Annapolis, MD—Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) and Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (Maryland LCV Ed Fund) is pleased to announce that Kim Coble will serve as Executive Director of Maryland’s premier non-partisan environmental organization.
A long-time recognized leader in Maryland’s environmental community, Kim comes to Maryland LCV from US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment as their Chief Operating Officer. She worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) for over twenty years, eight of which she served as the Maryland Executive Director and lead the organization’s policy and restoration efforts in Maryland. Kim served as Vice President of Environmental Protection and Restoration for CBF and oversaw the organization’s policy, outreach and restoration work across the entire Chesapeake Watershed.
“Kim brings the breadth of experience, significant management skills, and an inspiring vision for the organization,” said Maryland LCV Board Chair Ed Hatcher. “We are thrilled to have her lead Maryland LCV as we seek to build on recent legislative triumphs and elevate Maryland to being a top-tier state in the effort to combat the climate crisis.”
“It’s a challenging yet momentous time for bold ideas and having one of Maryland’s well-respected leaders assume the helm of our organization at this time is ideal,” said Maryland LCV Education Fund Board Secretary, Joy Blackwood. “Kim’s insightfulness and astute instincts will enable us continue the fight to solve the climate crisis, strengthen existing relationships, and cultivate new partnerships within diverse areas, while ensuring we remain the leading environmental voice within state.”
Kim has also served on the Maryland Ethics Commission, acted as Environmental Advisor to the Bishop for the Maryland Episcopal Diocese, and was selected as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. Kim comes to Maryland LCV with extensive legislative and policy experience as well as visionary leadership.
Coble will be formally introduced at the organization’s 2019 Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner, celebrating Maryland LCV’s 40th Anniversary on October 24, 2019, in Annapolis at the Westin Hotel. Secure your tickets today here.
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. Maryland LCV’s Political Action Committee (Maryland LCV PAC) helps to elect current and up and coming environmental leaders. Maryland LCV Ed Fund informs and educates all of Marylanders on vital environmental issues through various programs, including its groundbreaking CHISPA Maryland program which trains the Latinx population on civics and community advocacy and helps develop grassroots leaders in local communities across the state.
30 West Street Suite C Annapolis, MD 21401 410-280-9855
By Ed Hatcher, Maryland LCV Board Chair
I am thrilled to announce that Kim Coble, one of Maryland’s most respected environmentalists, will be the new executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. She will assume her new duties on October 15th.
Kim was the unanimous choice of our selection committee which has spent the last few weeks vetting and interviewing an amazing selection of outstanding candidates. In the end, we felt that Kim’s breadth of experience, significant management skills and inspiring vision for the organization made her an ideal candidate. We are thrilled to have her lead the organization as we seek to build on recent legislative triumphs and elevate Maryland to being a top-tier state in the effort to combat the climate crisis.
Many of you are very familiar with Kim’s important work in the environment space.
Most recently, Kim served as the Chief Operating Officer at US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. US SIF is a non-profit whose mission is to rapidly shift investment practices towards sustainability, focusing on long term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. In her role as COO, she oversaw the organization’s operations and helped develop its three-year strategic plan.
Prior to her role at US SIF, Kim worked at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, including eight years as the Maryland Executive Director and then six years as Vice President of Environmental Protection and Restoration where she oversaw CBF’s policy, outreach and restoration work throughout the watershed. Kim was selected as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2015, appointed as an Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay, served as the Valedictorian of her Leadership Maryland class and has been a member of the State Ethics Commission since 2015.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
For more information contact:
Karla Raettig, Executive Director
202-674-3174 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org
MARYLAND LCV UNVEILS NEW AWARD FOR “GREEN CHAMPIONS” AFTER BANNER YEAR FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The Environmental Organization Also Releases 2017 General Assembly Scorecard
Annapolis, MD – Today the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) unveiled its first group of “Green Champions,” an exceptional group of legislators whose superlative leadership on environmental legislation includes lifetime scores above 95 percents and primary sponsorship of priority environmental legislation during the previous three years. The ten legislators honored this year are Senators Cheryl Kagan, Paul Pinsky, and Victor Ramirez, along with Delegates David Fraser-Hidalgo, Bill Frick, Tawanna Gaines, Steve Lafferty, Clarence Lam, Brooke Lierman, and Shane Robinson.
The organization also released their 2017 “Environmental Scorecard,” which highlights the environmental voting record of all 188 legislators and describes the General Assembly’s overall record on those issues each year.
“Given the stunning attacks on the environment we are seeing nationally, it is more important than ever than Maryland’s elected leaders work hard to protect our air, land, water, and people; this year’s legislative session showed that Maryland will not back down protecting our natural resources. We’re also thrilled this year to recognize our Green Champions, who have led the way on environmental progress in Maryland and represent the future of political leadership in this state,” said Ed Hatcher, Maryland LCV Board Chair.
“Thanks to the Green Champions in the General Assembly, Maryland made tremendous progress during the 2017 legislative session, including overriding a veto of Clean Energy Jobs Act and banning the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing. We will build on our progress in the 2018 Legislative Session as we continue to make Maryland a leader on climate change,” said Karla Raettig, Maryland LCV Executive Director.
Maryland LCV’s 2017 scorecard shows that, in an increasingly divided political climate, leadership in environmental stewardship can and must be a point of common ground. Maryland passed legislation that makes the state a leader in protecting our land, air, and water from the hazards of drilling, pesticides, and unnecessary antibiotics — all with strong bipartisan support.
“I am tremendously proud to work alongside of Maryland LCV and represent the great community of District 15 in Montgomery County. They are an essential resource for all legislators who want to be environmental leaders, and I am honored to be one of the Green Champions of 2017,” said Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo of the Maryland General Assembly.
The scorecard is available online and includes records of votes cast on the floor of the House and Senate and in committees, along with past voting records. Go to http://scorecard.mdlcv.org to see the scorecard and follow #MDLCVScore on social media. Maryland LCV has created an interactive map with legislative voting information, which provides Marylanders with contact information for their legislators.
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Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land, public health, 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 almost 40 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 Ben Alexandro, Water Program Director and Katlyn Schmitt of WaterKeepers Chesapeake
The Chesapeake Bay states recently released their final Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), which are federally required to demonstrate how each state will meet its clean water commitments for restoring the Bay by 2025.
The multi-state clean-up effort, officially known as the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load), was a response to the Bay’s steady decline in health almost a decade ago — with widespread dead zones and a steep decline in fish and shellfish populations. The Bay’s poor health at the time was a result of about three decades’ worth of voluntary agreements that were not adequately enforced or implemented by Bay states.
Now, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is calling on Pennsylvania to step up its cleanup efforts. And while we commend Governor Hogan for holding other states accountable, Maryland’s own plan is far from perfect.
In fact, Maryland lags far behind Virginia and the District of Columbia in progress toward reducing nitrogen pollution. Maryland’s plan claims it will exceed its 2025 target but it gives few details on what the state will change in order to get there, especially given the all-time low level of staffing at state agencies.
In the past decade, we’ve seen encouraging signs that the Bay is recovering, including an increase in blue crabs and aquatic grasses. But the states must ramp up this work through 2025 and beyond so we don’t lose the progress we’ve made under the Chesapeake Bay TMDL so far.
For a reminder of how fragile the recovery is, look at the massive dead zones plaguing the Bay this year, the result both of flagging progress by key states and the more frequent, intense rainfalls climate scientists have been warning would afflict our region.
While Maryland has more ambitious goals than Pennsylvania overall, it offers few details on how it expects to increase the rate of the state’s cleanup by six times the current efforts. Maryland’s plan primarily outlines programs and plans already in place and offers little new in programs or funding.
In fact, the plan claims the state has enough funding already — despite the fact that, for the past two years, Maryland counties and dozens of nonprofit organizations have been telling the Maryland Department of the Environment they need more funding, capacity, and technical assistance to be successful. The plan also admits population growth, forest loss, and climate change are challenges that it does not have additional capacity to address.
By 2025, climate change impacts in Maryland are expected to dump more than 2.2 million pounds of nitrogen and 114,000 pounds of phosphorus in the Bay. Maryland committed to drafting another plan in 2022 to address this additional pollution, but that only gives Maryland three years to reduce the expected pollution. Virginia specifically adjusted its pollution reduction targets to account for additional pollution from climate change; Maryland should have done the same.
Maryland’s plan also lags behind Virginia when it comes to incentivizing permanent practices on agricultural land, such as stream reforestation, wetland restoration, and grazing conservation. Forest buffers are one of the most effective ways to prevent nitrogen pollution from entering local waterways, but Maryland only expects to have about one-fifth of the forest buffers for which Virginia has planned.
Maryland has ambitious targets for agriculture pollution reduction, but it focuses too much on funding temporary, annual practices, like cover crops. Only permanent practices would ensure that agricultural pollution remain low after 2025.
To achieve the 2025 goals, the Chesapeake Bay not only needs results from each state, there must also be a clear plan with the necessary resources, regulations, and assistance. But while Maryland included statewide pollution reduction targets for each sector, it did not include any local numeric county-level planning targets that would create clear lines of accountability and transparency. Pollution projections for counties are useful but do not provide clear targets with clear plans to produce clear results.
We’re glad Maryland has committed to its 2025 goals, but it needs to show how it will provide the necessary funding and capacity currently lacking. It’s time Maryland got serious about its clean-up plans and stop pushing the hard work down the road. With increasing extreme weather events and rising sea levels, we don’t have time to waste.