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    A rebuke to MD-01 Rep. Andy Harris

    May 2, 2020
    Congressman Andy Harris, M.D.
    2334 Rayburn HOB
    Washington, DC 20515
    Representative Harris,
              Here we are May 2020; Let me start by saying that your behavior on 05/02/2020 was reckless.  This COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-growing tragedy.  Being as though you are a physician, I would honestly expect more from you. (I am not sure why) YOU are a disgrace to every single elected official across this state. Governor Hogan has set measures in place to protect the citizens of Maryland, and you do not care. Let me explain something to you, opening this state will KILL us! How dare you take part in a rally to reopen the state, you’re not dependable! 
              As of yesterday, we had 1,730 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the state of Maryland.  I realize even with the stern guidelines; this state is becoming more ill by the day. I have so much more to say, but you will not care. YOU ARE AN IDIOT! There have been many instances where we needed your help, and you did not show up. However, you did today; you showed up in a big way.
             Back in 2011, I met you at the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake; I remember it like it was yesterday.  My boss encouraged me to stay away from you, yet I still took a picture with you.  I did not understand at the time why Jim did not like you.  Over the years, I have grown to understand.  In March 2019, The National League of cities set up a meeting with you and I.  When I showed up to your office, they treated me like a second-class citizen. THEN you never met with me.  I was extremely disappointed, I thought you would want to interact with officials from the Eastern Shore.
             You are not concerned with the well-being of Marylanders; you are concerned with life-risking labor.  YOU are corrupt, and WE WANT YOU TO STAY AWAY FROM THE EASTERN SHORE, just like you normally do. 
    Todd J. Nock
    District 4 Council Member
    City of Pocomoke City
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  • The Voice of Stability during Covid-19: Salisbury's Mayor Jacob Day

    The Voice of Stability during Covid-19: Salisbury's Mayor Jacob Day

    The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused significant stress on all aspects of life. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and struggle to operate what many would consider a healthy daily life. In addition to new daily stressors is the anxiety that comes from trying to figure out how we will continue to pay bills and avoid getting sick during these trying times. While millions struggle, the federal government has failed to put forth any meaningful response to provide aid to working-class people or slow the spread of this deadly disease.

    Fortunately for us here on the Lower Eastern Shore, we have had a voice of stability and guidance in Mayor Jacob Day of Salisbury. Since this outbreak started, Mayor Day continues to relay crucial information that we need to stay safe and flatten the curve and to answer questions asked by the community via a daily video briefing on Facebook live.

    Mayor Day has worked around the clock with our state and federal representatives to address things such as getting relief aid for our communities and ensuring constituents still get the state and federal resources they need.

    Finally, Mayor Day has stepped up by implementing an emergency declaration to fight the spread of Covid-19 here. His orders include:

    • limiting the number of occupants who can be in retail or commercial facilities at one time;
    • prohibiting all self-serve foods and product sampling;
    • ensuring that cleaning guidelines set by the CDC and MDH are followed;
    • requiring a minimum of six feet of distance in lines, outside and inside stores; and
    • establishing 1 to 2 exclusive hours per day for high-risk populations, such as senior citizens and other high risk populations.

    These measures will establish the conditions needed to reduce the spread of the disease and help keep the community safe. While the world around us exhibits instability and chaos due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it is reassuring to know that our community is taking action to fight this disease, and that we have the stability to overcome this all from calm leadership of Mayor Jacob Day.

    Written by Jared Schablein

    Chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

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  • On migrant workers in Maryland

         Just past midnight on a Saturday morning twenty-eight year old Melva Guadalupe Vázquez of Ciudad del Maíz, México wakes up to her phone alarm in a cramped bedroom she shares with five other women in Woolford, Maryland on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. She puts on her work uniform, which despite washing still reeks of crabs, and heads out into the darkness to walk a quarter-mile to Lindy’s Seafood, where the graveyard shift is due to begin at 2 a.m. A half hour later she is part of a team of a dozen women on the picking line as crabs are wheeled in on a huge dolly and put in piles on a long, stainless steel table. Vázquez puts on her fingerless blue gloves, picks up a crab and cracks the shell. She then quickly maneuvers her two small knives to extract the meat and puts it into a small plastic container labeled #9. A supervisor will record how much she has produced during the shift, so she works fast, deshelling roughly two crabs per minute. No one speaks while working. Spanish music plays on one of the women's iPhone. Most of them spend the time thinking of their children back home. At 7 a.m. Vázquez takes an hour for lunch, when she puts a Band-Aid on a self-inflicted cut to a finger on her right hand, which burns painfully from the salt. She works another 4 hours for a total of 10 -- there are a lot of crabs to process that day. Now it’s 1 p.m., and exhausted she walks back home in the bright midday sun. She is looking forward to tomorrow, Sunday, the one day she usually gets off, when she plans to attend church and do grocery shopping.

                                           *                                                        *                                                            *

         Like the Jim Crow laws of the 19th century that enforced racial segregation in the U.S., there are ways in which our modern day temporary immigrant visa system resembles the historical institution of slavery. There are differences of course. Workers come to America of their own free will, and they are in principle afforded equal protection under the law, both in the workplace and as visitors to our country. For instance, they are entitled to enroll in the ACA if they choose while they are here. However, they are effectively segregated from the general population and take up the kind of low-paying, manual labor that occurs out of the sight and mind of most people. They are also subjected to not-so-subtle forms of racial discrimination that is inspired these days directly from Washington. “A lot of the Hispanic people are afraid of going to certain stores because there are some people who look at them disapprovingly,” said Margarita Marquez, an outreach worker. “But they know how to avoid those situations.”

     

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  • TESTIMONY FOR SB0701 Maryland Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End of Life Option Act

    TESTIMONY FOR SB0701

                                                 Maryland Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End of Life Option Act 

    Bill Sponsor: Senator Waldstreicher

    Committee: Judicial Proceedings

    Organization Submitting:   Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

    Person Submitting:   Marie Velong 

    Position: FAVORABLE

    Honorable Committee Members: 

    On behalf of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus, I am writing today in support of the Richard E Israel and Roger "Pip" Moyer Maryland End of Life Option Act to authorize medical aid in dying in our state. I would strongly encourage the committee to vote for this compassionate option that would allow a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with six months or less to live, the choice to receive a prescription for self-ingested medication enabling a peaceful, pain-free death. 

    In my 72 years of life, I have helped many of my pets to achieve a pain-free death because of the pain they were currently in. When I had to watch my husband, mother and other people I cared about die in so much pain, I could not understand why we can show so much compassion to our animals and not the people we love. Even convicts on death row get more consideration. We should at least have the option for a better death. People choose when and how they will give birth, why can't they choose when and how they themselves can leave this earth? 

    By supporting the Maryland End of Life Option Act, I hope my home state is the next to join eight states and the District of Columbia in authorizing medical aid in dying. Thank you for representing me, The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus and others in this state. I truly hope you will vote  Favorable on this bill that is so vitally important to me and our organization.

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  • Updates from the legislative committee

    Recap of legislative committee activities:

    We started out the season with a two-meeting review of a substantial list of legislative items the LSPC and the Maryland Legislative Coalition had supported in the last session, and narrowed in on six items from that list that the committee would make top priorities. 

    One item, an idea for a bill that would help young people with disabilities transition into the workforce, never made it onto paper this session. In retrospect, we could have encouraged one of our representatives to pick up the ball on this one, or I guess we could have submitted draft legislation – not sure how that works - but we waited too long, and will have to revisit this next session. 

    The remaining five are 

    1.  Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
    2.  Single Payer Healthcare
    3.  Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, moratorium on the Eastern Shore
    4.  End of Life Act
    5.  Correctional Facilities and Police Officers – Immigration status

     

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