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Reasons to Fight for Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley and his Mom - David Colwell

AS a lifelong Democrat from a Democratic family, Martin O'Malley has repeatedly stepped up to challenging elections and has consistently won the support of Democrats through progressive stances and progressive policy achievements. His efforts in office have resulted in significant and concrete progressive changes and improvements in the lives of millions of citizens of my state. My pleasure and pride in seeing him step up to the challenge of running against a Democrat with not only national name recognition, but a built-in support base from a previous run for the presidency, is compounded by the decidedly progressive positions his campaign has put in front of his candidacy.

Matching an impressive record of progressive achievement and actions throughout his years of public office in Maryland, Martin O'Malley's campaign is determined to steer our party's presidential politics in an aggressively progressive direction - that effort matched, of course, by Bernie Sander's own progressive campaign - both of which have resulted in a national discussion of progressive ideals and initiatives which have already influenced the debate in our national legislature, as well as positively influenced the worthwhile campaign of our party's current front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in the polls.

I think O'Malley's bid is a heroic effort, given the political odds he's facing - typical of his political career in which he's repeatedly run against adversity and other daunting challenges to advance the causes he believes in.

O'Malley has succeeded in almost every political contest he's participated in; beginning with his service as an assistant State's Attorney for the City of Baltimore in 1988 to 1990; serving on the a Baltimore City Councilor from 1991 to 1999 with the responsibility as Chairman of the Legislative Investigations Committee and Chairman of the Taxation and Finance Committee.

O'Malley was elected to two terms as Mayor of Baltimore, and subsequently elected to two terms as Governor of his state of Maryland. O'Malley was elected as the Vice Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association for 2009–2010, and on December 1, 2010, he was elected Chairman for 2010–2011.

As we observe the presidential race today, we're led by press reports of polls, crowds, and money which has served to elevate two of our candidates over the rest of our Democratic field; placing Martin O'Malley well behind in the speculation race. We're no more served by a 'coronation' of the two front runners right now than our political debate was served by the 'inevitability' label applied earlier to the leader of our Democratic pack.

Take the opportunity in our promary to get to know this candidate and measure his record of actual accomplishment in office - advancing progressive initiatives through divided legislatures, and enacting them by executive order where he saw fit - weighing all of those actions against the rhetoric from the others in this race.

As for Martin O'Malley's progressive efforts in office, I offer a litany here which only touches the surface of his advocacy and action:

Strengthened Maryland’s Economy
Under Governor O’Malley Maryland ranked #1 for innovation and entrepreneurship for three years in a row, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Maryland also ranked as one of the top three states for economic mobility based on workers’ ability to move up the earnings ladder, according to the Pew Center on the States. And Maryland achieved a faster rate of job creation than its neighbors Virginia or Pennsylvania, who tried to cut their way to prosperity.

Raised Maryland’s Minimum Wage to $10.10
Governor O’Malley brought people together, forged consensus, and raised Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10. Hundreds of thousands of Maryland workers will receive a raise, creating stronger customers for local businesses and good-paying, family-supporting jobs.

Protected Working Families
Governor O’Malley twice led the effort to expand Maryland’s refundable earned income credit, which puts more money in the pockets of working families. He also made Maryland the first state in America to pass a “living wage” for contractors working on state contracts.

Expanded Opportunities for All Marylanders
Governor O’Malley expanded opportunities for all Marylanders. The state ranks #2 in the nation for african-american median household income, and #2 for percentage of businesses owned by African-Americans. For the first time in state history, Maryland reached its MBE/WBE goals under Governor O’Malley – a goal which he raised the next year.

Made the Tax Code More Progressive
In the midst of the worst economic downturn in history, Governor O’Malley reformed Maryland’s income tax. Today, 86% of Marylanders pay less in state income taxes than they did before Governor O’Malley took office. (raised taxes on the rich)

Secured Marriage Equality
Governor O’Malley led the successful effort to pass marriage equality in the Maryland General Assembly. Then when the issue went to a statewide referendum, he led the campaign, helping Maryland become the first state in the nation ever to defend marriage equality at the ballot box.

Protecting the Rights of Individuals–Regardless of Gender Identity
Citing the need to create “an open, respectful, inclusive world we want for all of our children,” Governor O’Malley signed into law a bill banning discrimination against transgender Marylanders. Maryland was just the 17th state to add gender identity and expression to its anti-discrimination laws.

Fought for New Americans
Governor O’Malley welcomed New Americans to Maryland. He passed the DREAM Act. He signed legislation granting undocumented workers drivers licenses to make Maryland roads safer, and stood up for the rights of unaccompanied children at the border – Maryland housed more unaccompanied minors per capita than any other state. He ordered the state to stop automatically honoring federal detention requests, and for the federal government to house children with their families.

“It’s contrary to who we are as a people to hold children in camps… . Setting aside for a fact any concerns you have or any feeling you have towards these refugee kids, think about the sort of country we want to leave to our children. We are not a country that should send children away and send them back to certain death.” — Martin O’Malley at NGA

Expanded Voting Rights
While other states around the nation push stricter voter ID laws designed to limit people’s ability to exercise the right to vote, Governor O’Malley made it easier to vote in Maryland by expanding early voting and same-day voter registration.

Ended the Death Penalty
Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland repealed the death penalty and replaced it with life in prison without the possibility of parole, commuting the sentences of those left on death row.

Led the Nation in Public Education
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland’s public schools ranked #1 in America five years in a row, according to Education Week. Even in the height of the recession, while many states were cutting education spending, O’Malley invested record amounts in Maryland’s public schools, increasing funding by 37%.

Made College More Affordable
Governor O’Malley made higher education a budget priority and froze tuition for four years in a row. Under his leadership, Maryland did better than every state but one in keeping down college costs, according to the College Board.

Expanded Pre-Kindergarten
Governor O’Malley expanded pre-kindergarten to 1,600 more children in Maryland and laid the groundwork for a further statewide expansion.
Turned Baltimore City Around

Policed the Police
O’Malley’s administration took strong steps to police the police – increasing minority hiring, improving accountability, and fully staffing a civilian review board. Under his leadership, the city reduced police shootings to their lowest level in a decade.

Revitalized Baltimore’s Economy
As crime dropped under O’Malley’s leadership, commercial investment and housing values doubled. O’Malley also improved Baltimore’s schools, taking steps that increased graduation rates by 25% and made impressive gains in student test scores. Under O’Malley, Baltimore’s decades long population slide finally ended.

Restored Fiscal Management
O’Malley brought the city’s budget under control, producing the first surplus in decades, while cutting property taxes to their lowest levels in 30 years. These efforts in “very strong fiscal management” earned Baltimore a bond upgrade from negative to positive.
Kept Marylanders Safe

Achieved a Public Safety Trifecta
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland drove violent crime down to 30-year lows, incarceration to 20-year lows, and recidivism down by nearly 15%. Under his leadership, Baltimore achieved the steepest reduction in crime of any major city, while bringing homicides below 300 per year for the first time in a decade. He signed legislation banning the box for state employment, expanded state partnerships for re-entry programming, and approved a process for automatically expunging criminal records where arrests did not lead to charges.

O’Malley also expanded services drug treatment, doubling funding and leading the way to a 30% drop in the number of overdose deaths.

Decriminalized Marijuana
Governor O’Malley decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, allowing police to focus on addressing serious crimes.

Common Sense Gun Protections
Governor O’Malley made broad, common-sense reforms to reduce gun violence, including implementing a handgun qualification license requiring fingerprint background checks, an assault weapons ban, and a magazine capacity limit.
Launching a Jobs Agenda for the Climate Challenge

Saved the Chesapeake Bay
Governor O’Malley brought Marylanders together to reducing runoff and save the Chesapeake Bay. As a result, the State has reduced nitrogen loads by 14%, phosphorus loads by 15%, and sediment pollution by 18% while the State’s population has grown.

Embraced Renewable Energy
Governor O’Malley doubled the state’s renewable portfolio standard, setting a goal to increase in-state renewable generation to 20% by 2022. Since 2007, Maryland has grown its renewable energy generation by 41% and increased total renewable generation capacity by 56.9%. Maryland’s solar industry grew from near zero production to 173 MW by 2013.

Combatted Climate Change
Governor O’Malley established the Maryland Commission on Climate Change through executive order in 2007 and tasked the Commission with developing a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Protected Clean Air
Governor O’Malley signed Maryland’s 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, which set a statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2006 levels by 2020. By 2012, Maryland had driven down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10% compared to 2006, and by 20% compared to where Maryland would have been if no action had been taken (“business as usual” projections).
Keeping Marylanders Healthy

Expanded Health Care Coverage
Under Governor O’Malley, the number of Marylanders added to the state’s health system increased nearly 650,000. Maryland now enrolls more than 100,000 each year to the private health exchange. Maryland’s uninsured rate dropped 40%, the 9th largest drop in the United States, between 2013 and 2014.

Held the Line On Health Care Costs
Maryland is leading the nation in holding the line on health care costs. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland implemented innovative reforms to its all-payer hospital rate setting system that are designed to hold down costs. One health care expert called those reforms, “without any question, the boldest proposal in the United States in the last half century.”

Led State Innovations
Maryland succeeded in implementing a comprehensive, statewide, private-public, secure Health Information Exchange to allow doctors and hospitals to share patient information (with their consent) producing better health outcomes. The O’Malley administration further drove down preventable hospitalizations by 11.5%.

Reduced Infant Mortality
Governor O’Malley publicly set goals for driving down Maryland’s infant mortality rate. Maryland exceeded that goal by nearly double, driving infant mortality rate down 21% between 2007 and 2012.
Fought for Women and Families

Maryland is ranked #1 in the Nation for Women
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland was ranked the best state for Women in America. According to the Center For American Progress, “on matters of economics, leadership, and health, women, on average, fared the best in Maryland.” Maryland also ranked #1 percentage of women owned businesses, and #1 for lowest wage gap between genders.

Signed The Maryland Lilly Ledbetter Civil Rights Restoration Act
Governor O’Malley signed the state Lilly Ledbetter Civil Rights Restoration Act, to help women hold their employers accountable for pay discrimination.

Diversified The Court
Governor O’Malley appointed the first woman ever to be Chief Judge of Maryland’s highest court, and he named the first African-American female to serve on the court. That court, the Court of Appeals, now has a female majority for the first time in its history.

Defended Women’s Reproductive Rights
Governor O’Malley earned NARAL’s endorsement in 2010, and was honored by Planned Parenthood for his “his outstanding leadership in protecting and advancing reproductive rights in Maryland.” O’Malley signed the Family Planning Works Act giving 35,000 low-income women access to free pregnancy counseling, contraception, and cancer and STI screenings.

Enacted the Maryland Parental Leave Act
Governor O’Malley signed legislation requiring small businesses to offer six weeks of family leave without the possibility of job loss.


NEA named Maryland’s Martin O’Malley ‘America’s Greatest Education Governor’

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley received the America’s Greatest Education Governor Award from the National Education Association in 2010. The award is presented each year to a governor who has made major, statewide efforts to improve public education. The Maryland governor was the third person to receive this award. Previous winners were Gov. Richardson of New Mexico and Gov. Easley of North Carolina.

“Governor O’Malley took office in 2007, just months before the nation plunged into a deep recession,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Despite the economic devastation to his state, he kept his eye on the big picture—he understands that the recipe for economic recovery and success means preparing Maryland’s young people for the challenges of the 21st century.

“Governor O’Malley is a strong advocate for public education,” Van Roekel added. “He has made great strides in increasing school funding, expanding school programs, and taking the needs of the whole child into account in education policy decisions. O’Malley listens to parents, educators and community members when making policy decisions that affect Maryland’s public schools. He continues to be a champion of public education and truly believes, as we do, that education will lead to a brighter and better future for all of us.

“Lots of governors like to think of themselves as education governors, but Governor O’Malley has really earned that accolade.”

Under O’Malley, Maryland has made progress in closing the achievement gap. A key strategy has been the governor’s insistence that underprivileged and minority students be taught by teachers as highly qualified as those who teach economically advantaged students. That approach is paying off. In 2009, for example, 7.5 percent of Hispanic students and 9.6 percent of African-American students earned a score of 3 or better on at least one AP exam during high school. That’s up from 5.7 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in 2004.

O’Malley also secured a freeze on tuition to Maryland institutions of higher learning, making higher education more affordable for Marylanders.

Some of O’Malley’s other accomplishments: reinvigorating Maryland’s Career and Technology Education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs statewide, and launching the comprehensive Maryland STEM Innovation Network to promote the delivery of high quality STEM education at all levels throughout the state.

“Governor O'Malley has consistently placed public education at the top of his agenda,” said Clara Floyd, president of the Maryland State Education Association."In the most difficult of economic times, he championed historic funding of K-12 public schools, which has increased student achievement and led us to become No. 1 in the nation.”

In 2012, he signed a bill legalizing same sex marriage in Maryland, joining seven other states in enacting marriage equality. The law survived a statewide referendum held later that year, which marked the first time marriage rights in the U.S. were extended to same-sex couples by a popular vote.

Gov. O'Malley signed into law the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, extending housing, public accommodations, and employment protections to transgender citizens and visitors of the state.

"We are closer today to creating an open, respectful, inclusive world that we want for all of our children," O'Malley said prior to signing that bill. "This bill gives us another step closer to that vision and to that reality."
read: http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/05/15/md-gov-signs-trans-nondiscrimination-bill-law

As Mayor of Baltimore, O'Malley helped the City become the first jurisdiction in Maryland to prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals in 2002. In one of his first acts as Governor, he signed an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination against transgender state employees in 2007.

At a National Conference on LGBT Equality in 2012, Martin remarked:

“The dignity of a free and diverse people who at the end of the day, all want the same thing for their children: to live in a loving and caring home that is protected equally under the law.”

The governor added that “discrimination based on gender identity is wrong...Passing a law to protect transgender Marylanders from employment, credit and housing discrimination is the right thing to do.”

On the final day of the 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Baltimore, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley expressed hopes that Maryland would soon become the seventh state with marriage equality. The governor also talked about his support for efforts to secure gender identity nondiscrimination protections in the state.

Mother Jones magazine called him the best candidate on environmental issues.
Article here:


Martin O'Malley signed a 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act far ahead of most other states, & the EPA

Martin O'Malley boasts a strong record on environmental issues in his time as Governor, including doubling the state's renewable energy standard to 20 percent. Far ahead of most other states, and even the EPA, O'Malley signed Maryland's 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, which set a statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2020. By 2012, Maryland had driven down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 percent compared to 2006, and by 20 percent compared to "business as usual" projections.

In 2011, Maryland League of Conservation Voters gave Gov. O'Malley a B+ overall in their Governor's Report Card (and an A for climate change).

from the Environmental Defense Fund:

In addition to the 2008 Climate Action Plan and the new GGRA Plan, Gov. O’Malley’s key accomplishments include:

(2008) Amendment to the Maryland Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard doubled the existing standard to require that 20% of Maryland's energy be created by renewable resources by 2022, including 2% from solar energy;

(2008) EmPOWER Maryland Act set an energy efficiency target and peak demand reduction target of 15% by 2015;

(2008) Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Program was created using revenues from the Northeast RGGI to offset ratepayers’ electricity bills and invest in energy efficiency programs;

(2009) Maryland Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act requires Maryland to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2006 levels by 2020; and

(2013) Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 created a fund to build 200 megawatts of wind energy, which Gov. O’Malley intends to use to construct one of the nation’s first offshore wind energy farms off the coast of Ocean City.


O’Malley has received a “100 percent” rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland

O’Malley’s high marks from NARAL are proven by his track record. In 2002, while he was serving as mayor of Baltimore, aides confirmed that O’Malley supports legal abortion and fair access without interference from the government until the point of viability. He also supports late-term abortion when the life of the mother is at risk, or when the fetus has a severe abnormality. And according to NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, O’Malley has not infringed on abortion rights by signing any new abortion restrictions during his tenure as governor.

When it comes to birth control, O’Malley has increased access to contraception and pregnancy counseling, particularly among low-income women. In 2012, O’Malley signed the Family Planning Works Act, which greatly expanded reproductive-health access by providing low-income women with free pregnancy counseling and Medicaid-funded contraception, STI testing and cancer screenings. According to RH Reality Check, the act would provide these subsidized medical services to an additional 33,000 women in the state.

O’Malley has also promoted increased support for new mothers (and fathers) by signing the Maryland Parental Leave Act in 2014. The law expands parental leave for working parents, requiring Maryland small businesses to provide at least six weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of an employee’s child. Prior to the law, small businesses were exempted from providing unpaid family leave.

read: http://plannedparenthoodaction.org/elections-politics/newsroom/press-releases/planned-parenthood-action-fund-welcomes-martin-omalley-presidential-field/

When it comes to birth control, O’Malley increased access to contraception and pregnancy counseling, particularly among low-income women. In 2012, O’Malley signed the Family Planning Works Act, which greatly expanded reproductive-health access by providing low-income women with free pregnancy counseling and Medicaid-funded contraception, STI testing and cancer screenings. According to RH Reality Check, the act would provide these subsidized medical services to an additional 33,000 women in the state.

O’Malley has also promoted increased support for new mothers (and fathers) by signing the Maryland Parental Leave Act in 2014. The law expands parental leave for working parents, requiring Maryland small businesses to provide at least six weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of an employee’s child. Prior to the law, small businesses were exempted from providing unpaid family leave.

read: http://plannedparenthoodaction.org/elections-politics/newsroom/press-releases/planned-parenthood-action-fund-welcomes-martin-omalley-presidential-field/

Maryland, under Martin O'Malley, tied for having the lowest wage gap between our working men and women of any state in the nation...Maryland currently has the third-lowest poverty rate for women in the nation.

Maryland is the No. 1 state in the nation for women-owned businesses -- one-third of Maryland businesses are women-owned. Maryland also ranks third in the nation in percentage of managerial jobs held by women at 42.4 percent.

here's the report, well worth the read-thru: https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/StateOfWomenReport.pdf

GovernorOMalley took heat from the left & right for standing up for #borderkids. But he stood up when it mattered

As governor, O'Malley signed a bill allowing young immigrants illegally in the U.S. to pay in-state college tuition and to a bill to get driver's licenses.

He was the first governor to meet with Latino leaders last year and sign up to push House Republicans to bring immigration reform legislation to a vote, which they never did

He has shown respect that many in the immigrant community say is lacking in debates on immigration by using the term new Americans to refer to immigrants, whether here legally or not. He also established a state council to focus on integrating immigrants.

He opposed White House proposals to return young Central American children and families who crossed the U.S-Mexico border last summer, saying they would face "certain death."

On deportations - an issue that still vexes the current administration - O'Malley stopped Baltimore's City Detention Center from holding immigrants without criminal records for deportation by the federal government.

from July 11, 2014:

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley broke publicly with President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday, calling for a more humane policy toward the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed into the United States.

“It is contrary to everything we stand for to try to summarily send children back to death,” the Democratic lawmaker told reporters. O’Malley also criticized the “kennels” in which those who have been detained are being kept and calling for the children to be placed in “the least restrictive” locations, including foster homes or with family members in the U.S.

“Through all of the great world religions we are told that hospitality to strangers is an essential human dignity,” O’Malley said. “It is a belief that unites all of us. And I have watched the pictures of young kids who have traveled for thousands of miles. I can only imagine, as a father of four, the heartbreak that those parents must have felt in sending their children across a desert where they can be muled and trafficked or used or killed or tortured. But with the hope, the hope, that they would reach the United States and that their children would be protected from what they were facing at home, which was the likelihood of being recruited into gangs and dying a violent death.”

Hillary Clinton told CNN last month that most of those detained should be sent back. “They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are,” she said. President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the parents of the migrants need to know that “it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay.”

O’Malley went so far as to call the children “refugees,” a term with legal weight that would allow most of them to remain in the U.S. He called on Congress and the President to avoid modifying the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. That measure requires that children who are not from Canada or Mexico who have crossed the border to be given an opportunity to see an immigration judge to make their case for amnesty. Lawmakers on both sides, as well as the White House, are reviewing ways to amend that law to ease deportations of the tens of thousands of migrant children, who are largely from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

O’Malley said “the whole world is watching” how the U.S. responds to the humanitarian crisis.

“We have to do right not just by these kids but by our kids and protect the children who are here, put them in the least restrictive settings, get them out of these detention centers and these kennels where they are being cooped up, and operate as the good and generous people that we have always been,” he added. “That’s what’s at stake here, as well as the lives of these kids.”

read: http://time.com/2978026/martin-omalley-minors-immigration/


CASA Applauds Gov O’Malley’s Unwaveringly Moral Response to the Humanitarian Crisis on the Border

statement released by CASA (MD. Immigrants Rights Org.) Executive Director, Gustavo Torres:

“I applaud Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for stressing that children fleeing violence and abandonment in Central America should be treated as children that deserve our support. In stark contrast to other public figures that have called for their quick deportation, Governor O’Malley has urged that arriving migrant children receive fair, humane treatment and, above all, a fair legal review of whether they should be allowed to stay. We have heard from our colleagues across the country that they are relieved to hear the Governor become an indispensable voice for the immigrant community. We have let these colleagues know that this is hardly the first time the Governor has served as a hero for immigrant communities. Across his governorship, he has been a true friend of New Marylanders and addressing the abominable treatment of children at the border is only the most recent example of his leadership.

Like the Governor, CASA believes that as an American society we must ensure the protection and humane treatment of the children arriving at the border. We hope that most children are immediately reunited with family members inside the United States. We also believe that Maryland and Virginia need to do our part to provide opportunities to house children in facilities where they can receive adequate counseling, education, and legal services. Governor O’Malley is working with federal officials to find an appropriate Maryland location as quickly as possible. We agree with him that Westminster would have been a mistake. We have now seen two locations in our region – Lawrenceville, VA and Westminster, MD – respond with virulent racism at the thought of children joining their communities. We don’t believe that humane treatment of children includes their relocation to hostile, anti-immigrant communities. Between our two states there are a plethora of communities that would treat the children with the love they deserve. We urge the federal government to confer with local leaders and organizations to provide insight and historical perspective about these sites before moving forward.”

CASA de Maryland and CASA de Virginia are their state’s largest immigrant rights organizations. Our almost 60,000 members work with CASA to create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in low-income immigrant communities.


CASA de Maryland, supported O'Malley's decision to question the Carroll County site (a position distorted and mischaracterized by CNN, Politico, and by WH leaks to selected news orgs.).

"When we heard about the proposed Westminster site, our immediate thought was that the only place in Maryland less hospitable to children fleeing violence in Central America would be inside the Frederick County Sheriff's Department building," said Kimberly Propeack, an attorney with the group.

"We think he is right to question why the administration would propose the most anti-immigrant locations rather than the many other parts of the state where children will be sheltered and loved," she said.

Lis Smith ‏@Lis_Smith (July 2014)
Good look at what @GovernorOMalley (did) to find housing for #borderchildren http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-solicits-foster-parents-for-migrant-youths-as-omalley-meets-with-faith-leaders/2014/07/28/6a489d5a-1672-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

The state of Maryland stepped up its efforts Monday to recruit foster parents and solicit other assistance from the public to help with the flood of unaccompanied migrant children coming into the country from Central America.

O’Malley administration officials also indicated they had passed along several potential temporary housing sites to the federal government and that Montgomery County was among the possibilities for hosting a facility.

The action came as O’Malley has continued to speak out on the issue, urging the Obama administration to show compassion and resist sending the children back to dangerous situations in their home countries.

“We do not turn our back on innocent children who arrive at our doorstep fleeing death,” he said.

read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-solicits-foster-parents-for-migrant-youths-as-omalley-meets-with-faith-leaders/2014/07/28/6a489d5a-1672-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that more than 2,000 children have been relocated to Maryland in the first six months of this year.

Martin O'Malley ‏@GovernorOMalley
The greatest power we have is power of our principles. We're not a country that should send children away & send them back to certain death

*listen*: https://soundcloud.com/americarising/martin-omalley-we-are-not-a-country-that-should-turn-children-away

When waging a 'revolution' against the Democratic establishment, what stays in, what should go?

The spectacle of Sen. Sanders and his campaign spokesman opening a rhetorical barrage this week against Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood highlights a reality about political revolutions. They're often indiscriminate in their effect and imprecise in their targeting. Moreover, there's always the potential of counterproductive, destructive effects when that political revolution focuses its efforts on intra-party politics.

We had a good preview of that revolutionary effort this week when Bernie Sanders and his campaign spokesman opened up a barrage of rhetoric against Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign, two Democratic-friendly organizations with progressive agendas.

here's Sen. Sanders on Maddow:

from the Blade:

“It’s understandable and consistent with the establishment organizations voting for the establishment candidate, but it’s an endorsement that cannot possibly be based on the facts and the record,” said Sanders campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs.

“So who knows what prompted the Human Rights Campaign to do what it does — I have trouble myself figuring why they do some of the things they do over the years — but I think the gay men and lesbians all over the country will know who has been their champion for a long, long time and will consider that as they make up their mind on support for his campaign,” Briggs said.

The complaints about these orgs wasn't based on, or prompted by policy differences - even though Sander's comment was couched in rhetoric about Wall Street - but on their endorsement of a political rival in our Democratic primary. Piqued that Hillary Clinton had received the endorsement of these two groups, The Sanders team went beyond defining their own record and worth and sought to discredit the organizations.

It's not as if they weren't prepared to accept any potential endorsement from the organizations, and would likely have done so without a word about including these institutions in their fight against the 'establishment.' Indeed, this campaign is the first time Sen. Sanders has seen fit to raise these concerns.

Despite his attempt to wrap his complaints around Hillary Clinton's 'long time' service in government, there's the glaring reality of Sen. Sanders' own establishment presence in Washington, D.C.; sharing membership, along with Sec. Clinton, as a longtime fixture of one of the most discredited political institutions in the country with dozens of committee assignments and chairs.

Point is, there is a record of service by Hillary and Bernie which is marked by the compromises inherent in our national legislature, and the effects of which haven't always comported with or adhered to progressive values. In my view, that reality doesn't negate their value as allies and champions of our progressive agenda.

Similarly, the two organizations which were the target of the Sanders campaign's ire may not always make progressively favorable policy decisions, but their mission and function remains vital to that progressive agenda. So where do we draw a line between our opposition to the status quo, or establishment, and those persons or institutions which remain as essential allies to our cause?

Maybe we could start by ditching the assault on the 'establishment' and make certain we're not advantaging demagogues in a broad brush campaign against established political institutions. Certainly we can refrain from that destructive effort in our primary election.

All that it takes is understanding that our progressive coalitions, our Democratic coalitions, are a necessary defense against right-wing extremism which is intent on their destruction. We seek political power through our collective efforts in advocacy and voting, much the same as our progressive initiatives and ideals advance in our political system. We bring our firm concerns to the political arena and are challenged to reconcile them with the myriad different interests and expectations from disparate regions of the nation. We are challenged to unite to achieve the necessary level of support to propel our progressive agenda into action or law.

That's not to say that we shouldn't hold firm to our own beliefs and expectations- many of the rights we are fighting for are immutable and not given to compromise - but that we should be mindful that we can't achieve political progress just among those of us who agree.

Bayard Rustin, a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, argued in his book, 'Strategies for Freedom', that for any movement to have a permanent and transforming imprint, it should have a legislative goal attached which will transcend the whims of the emotions of the moment. Describing a different struggle that America faced with the advancement of civil rights, he wrote that:

"Moral fervor can't maintain your movement, nor can the act of participation itself. There must be a genuine commitment to the advancement of the people. To have such a commitment is also to have a militant sense of responsibility, a recognition that actions have consequences which have a very real effect on the individual lives of those one seeks to advance."

"My quarrel with the "no-win" tendency in the civil rights movement (and the reason I have so designated it) parallels my quarrel with the moderates outside the movement," Rustin wrote in his book, 'Down the Line.'

"As the latter lack the vision or will for fundamental change, the former lack a realistic strategy for achieving it." he said. "For such a strategy they substitute militancy. But militancy is a matter of posture and volume and not of effect."

Another important point Rustin made in reference to unity among blacks within the movement rings true for our own diverse, progressive coalitions which have massed to march together in protest, and have advocated within and without the system (together or independently).

"In a pluralistic democracy," he wrote, "unity (among we who agree) is a meaningless goal. It is far more important to form alliances with other forces in society which share common needs and common goals, and which are in general agreement over the means to achieve them."

Achieving legislative solutions which will adequately confront the republican minority and cause them to move away from their obstinacy is no easy or certain task. That effort will, more than likely, take even more activism and advocacy, but, as long as we keep our legislative goals at the head of our demands, and form the necessary coalitions of support to advance those legislative efforts within the system, we can assume the necessary responsibility for the consequences of our actions and transform the direction of our movements from agitation to action.

Talking 'bout a revolution...what to leave in, what to leave out. That's something best done with a scalpel, rather than a cleaver.
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