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    Catch up with your local Democratic Party news

    Recap of all our recent activities and news on upcoming events you won't want to miss.

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    Working to End Hunger

    Calvert Democrats have teamed up to collect food donations for End Hunger Calvert County. Be sure to bring your donations to the next meetings.

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CCDCC Thanksgiving Message

CCDCCPosted 23 November 2017

Thanksgiving holds a unique place in American society. As individuals, we consider our blessings and the things we hold closest to our hearts, and we give thanks for them. We come together as families to share our favorite recipes or to cheer on our favorite teams. We enjoy sharing time with our friends and families and we appreciate all that we have.

As a society, we have plenty to be grateful for as well. At the root of this holiday is a story of generosity and partnership. These are qualities that can be seen today. People of different ethnicities and religions, backgrounds and traditions, work together to fight for our country and our freedoms so that we can all enjoy days like this one. We are grateful for our service members and the families that support them.

And we know that the ability to come together as a diverse group and fight for a common good is what makes America so effective. Just as the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims sat down to give thanks together, America continues to work toward that spirit of partnership which creates the best opportunities and overcomes the most difficult obstacles.

So this Thanksgiving, we’d like to say thank you to each of you. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication throughout this turbulent year. We wish you and your families all the best on this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Report from the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women

Posted 22 November 2017

CCDCC MLAW

Each year the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) get together to prepare for the coming General Assembly Session. The main purpose of the conference is to learn about what legislation will be before the General Assembly for the upcoming session and decide which they would like to support. While there are many bills that look very promising in 2018, MLAW is only so big and can only do so much. Over the next month, their members will be researching the different options, then voting on only six or seven. Then the group will work throughout the 2018 session to ensure the passage of those bill. While you may not be a member of MLAW to vote on the bills, nevertheless, these bills will have an impact in your life and community. You can read about the proposed legislation here.

CCDCC MLAW

Another goal of the MLAW conference is to get their members ready to advocate. This year, the panel discussion focused on methods of effective advocacy whether as a group or an individual. While Maryland was the first in the nation of supporting women in legislation just a few decades ago, we have slipped to tenth place now. In fact, there are the same number of women legislators today as there were in 1995. Here’s a summary of some of the tips and tools shared with the members of MLAW to encourage their success in engaging in government.

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  • The first thing to remember is that you can’t do everything yourself. While you feel strongly about many issues and pieces of legislation, you have to pick what is most important to you and focus your energies there. Trust that your peers and fellow activists will move on other issues while you work on yours. Likewise, you can’t force a movement alone. There are things that happen within a society that create a moment for change. The best thing you can do is be prepared for when that moment comes along.
  • Learn how to take a break. It’s so much better to turn off the news for a few days to breathe then come back refreshed and ready, than to burn out and have to give up. You don’t have to say yes to every request or every event. Learn where your limits are and then learn how to work within them.
  • Whether you reach out to your legislator in person, by phone, or by email – make it personal. Talk to your legislators about your life. How does this bill or that law effect you personally and how can they work to make it better.
  • The best way to influence national issues is to influence local representatives. Whether policy or politics, if you don’t like what is happening in on the national stage, speak to the people who represent you. Similarly, if you are personally interested in a large issue, getting involved locally prepares you to get appointed in a larger position. You have to insert yourself into the “pipeline” to make the contacts you need to make, and build the understanding you need to have in order to be more effective.
  • If you like an organization and what they do, the best way to support them is to become a member. When measuring the effectiveness of any organization, membership numbers play a huge role. The larger an organization, the more influence they have.
  • And lastly, stay informed. Even if you don’t have the time or resources to get involved in any other way, stay up to date on the issues that matter most to you and talk about them with the people in your life.
CCDCC MLAW

 

BOCC and the Planning Commission Hold Joint Public Hearings

CCDCC Calvert November 28 at 7pm at 205 Main St., Prince Frederick

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the Calvert County Planning Commission will hold three joint public hearings Nov. 28, 2017, to consider and receive comments on amendments to the existing Calvert County Comprehensive Plan, the Calvert County Critical Area Maps and a proposed Flood Mitigation Plan. The hearings will be held at the Courthouse Square Building located at 205 Main St., in Prince Frederick starting at 7 p.m. The three amendments involve:

• Adding the approved Calvert County Growth Tier Map to the existing Calvert County Comprehensive Plan;
• Clarifying Calvert County Critical Area Maps #32 and #35; and,
• Consideration of the Neeld Estates and Breezy Point Flood Mitigation Plans.

Citizens can view the amendments online at the link provided below. For additional information, contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 410-535-2348, ext. 2359, or email pz@calvertcountymd.gov. Individuals who cannot attend the public hearing may submit written comments. These written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., Nov. 27, 2017, and may be submitted by emailing COMMISS@calvertcountymd.gov or through the U.S. mail to the BOCC at 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678.

View Amendements

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Legislation Presented to the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women

CCDCC MLAW

Posted 22 November 2017

Each year, prior to the open of session of the General Assembly in Annapolis, the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) conference is held to educate its members about upcoming legislation that may be of interest to women. This year, the turn-out was huge and the conference was thorough.

The legislation that was presented before the voters ranged from issues of personal safety to issues of economic equality. For a comprehensive list, please see the attached document. Many of these bills do not yet have filing numbers for the 2018 session, but the 2017 bill number can still be used to search the General Assembly website under the “Session” tab.

First Draft of Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan

CCDCC HearingThe Calvert County Planning Commission and the Calvert County Departments of Planning and Zoning and Parks & Recreation are seeking public comment on the first draft of the updated Calvert County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). A public meeting is scheduled in December for residents to review the draft and ask questions.

The LPPRP guides land conservation and development of outdoor recreation opportunities over the next five years. The LPPRP aims to:

• Provide Calvert County's citizens and visitors with safe and easily accessible amenities;
• Encourage the enjoyment and stewardship of Maryland’s natural world; and
• Balance outdoor recreation land use with natural and cultural resource protection.

It also serves as the basis for the Calvert County Program Open Space Annual Program and qualifies the county to receive Program Open Space funding from the state.
Residents are encouraged to attend the Dec. 5, meeting at the Harriet E. Brown Community Center located at 901 Dares Beach Road. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for those who want to talk with staff, and a presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Comments can be submitted during the public meeting, or in writing by U.S. mail or email no later than Dec. 15, 2017. Submit comments via mail by mailing 150 Main St., Suite 300, Prince Frederick, MD 20678, or via email at pz@calvercountymd.gov. Review the LPPRP draft online

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Central Committee Elects New Member, Prepares for 2018

CCDCCPosted 17 November 2017

Discussion at the Calvert County Central Committee meeting last night began with recent events. All members were pleased with the picnic last month. Turnout was great, as was atmosphere. Everyone had a great time and speakers got people excited to Get Out The Vote in 2018. With so many food contributions, left-overs abounded and were packaged up and shipped over to ECHO House and Safe Harbor. Also exciting: the recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Calvert Democrats are looking forward to building on that momentum and seeing a similar result here in Calvert in 2018.

The 2018 Goldstein dinner date has been set for March 22nd, so mark your calendars today. We’ll be holding the Dinner at the Rod n’ Reel, cocktails and hors d'œuvres upstairs from 5:30 to 6:30pm. Dinner will be served at 7pm. We’re gearing up for a great event that you won’t want to miss!

The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee is pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Joe Thole as an Associate Member. Mr. Thole is retired IBEW employee as an IT Professional at the international headquarters and has been volunteering in the CCDCC office for several months. Both his expertise and his dedication to Democratic values will be a welcome addition to our team!

Here’s how you can help: Candidates need places to post signs to get their names out there before the 2018 election. Signage is a very important method of getting voters familiar with their choices. So if you own property or know someone who does, and you’re willing to display candidate signs, please get in touch with us or directly with the candidates! We need everyone’s support if we’re going to Get Out The Vote in 2018.

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House Republicans Passed Tax Overhaul

CCDCC HousePosted 17 November 2017

In a party-line vote on Thursday, the House Republicans passed a Tax Reform bill which is leaving a lot of poor and middle-class tax-payers with a larger share of the burden in order to afford corporate tax breaks. The Bill passed without any Democratic support and with 13 Republican nays, nearly all 13 from states with high taxes: California, New York, and New Jersey. The House bill eliminates local income and sales tax reductions and limits property tax deductions to only $10,000.

The plan also raises the bottom rate from 10% to 12%, limits deductible mortgage interest, repeals personal deductions, deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest, moving expenses, and more. While Republican leadership has claimed that this bill would reduce the tax burden of an average family of four by just over $1,000/year, even members who voted for the bill were questioning that math. According to one member, the fear that they were “over-promising and under-delivering” resonated even up to one day before the vote.

There is currently a plan in the Senate that, while similar in broad strokes, is still quite different in the details from the House bill. Going into yesterday’s House vote, Leadership was warning lawmakers not to discredit the Senate bill, a move that has led lawmakers to believe the plan is to adopt more of the Senate bill.

The Senate version permanently reduces the corporate tax rate, while sunsetting household and individual cuts. The gap between the bill’s treatment of individuals and corporations has left moderates in both chambers cautious. It also repeals the ACA’s individual mandate, adding even more volatility to the healthcare market.

The long-term effects of this tax reform is the most troubling aspect. The Joint Committee on Taxation – a nonpartisan panel of economists, accountants, and attorneys – explained that half the benefit of the bill will go to the top 1% and that over 22% of Americans would see tax increases after 5 years. The majority of those increases would affect middle class ($40,000 - $75,000) and upper-upper-middle class ($200,000 - $400,000). After ten years, taxes will increase across the board. And the cost of providing those corporate tax breaks will be nearly $1.4 trillion added to the deficit over ten years according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

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MD Dem Chair Files Public Information Request on Gov. Task Force

CCDCC Paid Sick LeavePosted 16 November 2017

Kathleen Matthews, the Maryland Democratic Party Chair, filed a Public Information Act (PIA) request on Thursday, November 16 regarding the Governor’s paid sick leave task force. Since the Governor has refused to comply with the open meeting complaint filed against the task force last month, there has been growing concern over the transparency of the paid sick leave task force.

When Governor Hogan vetoed Paid Sick Leave, he also signed an executive order which instituted a task force, headed by Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly Schultz and several members of his administration. The Governor announced the task force was designed to examine all aspects of sick leave in Maryland. Since its formation, there have been no public meetings and no opportunities for public engagement at any level.

After the conclusion of the 2017 General Assembly, Governor Hogan vetoed HB1 / SB 230 – the Sick Leave Bill. This bill would require businesses employing more than 15 workers to provide paid sick leave for hours worked. Under the law, workers would accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours per year. It passed both the Maryland Senate and House with a veto-proof majority, but since the veto came after the close of Session, working families in Maryland had to wait until the 2018 General Assembly to see Congress override the veto.

Working Matters, a coalition of more than 150 organizations advocating for paid sick days, has several avenues to reach out to legislators and the Governor on this issue. Currently, 40 percent of Maryland private sector employees do not accrue sick leave, and about 700,000 Maryland employees would be able to accrue sick leave under this bill.

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Women’s Club Talk Local Gov’t, Education, and Winning Elections

CCDCC Holly BuddPosted on 10 November 2017

There was a lot of business to handle at this meeting of the Calvert County Democratic Women’s Club. Several changes to meetings have been proposed for the upcoming year. First, the executive committee has changed the meeting times so that there is a 6 to 7pm “social dinner hour” and the business meeting will at 7pm. The first meeting to be effected will be January 2018. Also, the dues will be $25 at that time. Emphasis was placed on the goal of 2018: To Get Democrats Elected! Each meeting will focus on that goal, so if you have suggestions of speakers or agendas to help in that goal, please get in touch with Inez Claggett

Helenmary Ball delivered a legislative update which included information on Open Houses on Calvert 2040, upcoming MLAW conference and Women’s Legislative Briefing, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, details of which were recently released.

 

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Cheri Delavergne went into much more depth regarding current volunteer board and commission vacancies. She spoke with The Club about her desire to Get Active, and the difficulties of finding the time in her already busy life. Cheri found that with all the openings for volunteer boards and commissions within county government, she could find a topic which interested her at a time that she could make work. The County Government relies on input from citizen volunteer advisors, and we need more Democrats to get involved at this level. There are many vacancies right now, each with a different schedule. Find one that can work in your schedule and Get Active in Calvert County!

During the discussion of “Strong Schools Maryland,” presented by Inez Claggett and Dona Ostenso, news of the Virginia election going to Democratic candidate Ralph Northam broke and was met with thunderous celebration! After a year of bad news, this win provided welcome relief to all in attendance. 

 

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To complete out the Strong Schools Maryland report, Dona discussed the nine priorities for which the Maryland State Education Association is currently lobbying. Inez Clagett then address the astounding rate of poverty within Maryland schools. To build on that idea, Inez Claggett addressed the issue of concentrated poverty within Maryland school districts overall, and within Calvert County specifically. She urged members to write to the Kirwan Commission and insist that they incorporate the 9 Building Blocks for a World Class Educational System and provided all in attendance with stamped envelopes to facilitate that goal. If you could spare a moment to write a letter, contact Inez Claggett for a name, address and letter template.

 

CCDCC MSEA     CCDCC     CCDCC Holly Budd     CCDCC Kathy Smith

 

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 5th at 6:30pm at Adam's Taphouse in Prince Frederick. The speaker will be a leader from a local gun sense organization. Don't miss it!

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