This page will be used to share update statements from the working group after meeting and group events.
Quaker Voice of Maryland | Phone Meeting | June 30, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland organizing group met to discuss the following agenda items:- Virtual event debrief- Next steps: Annual session- Next steps: Getting feedback on 2021 priorities- Governance structure
Friends discussed creating a founding document to help strengthen the groups work. It was agreed that a founding document would be helpful.
Members also discussed preparing for the 2021 session and the possibility of a special session of the General Assembly coming up prior to 2021 session.
Year One: Who We Are, What We've Done, and How You Can Get Involved | Virtual Event | June 16, 2020
Quaker Voice of Maryland hosted a virtual event on June 16th to update the Maryland Quaker community about our work during the past year.
There were over 25 Friends in attendance representing Quaker groups from across the state as well as Washington state.
The presentation slides are available on our Resources page and the presentation was recorded to be shared with the attendees and on our website - stay tuned!
Quaker Voice of Maryland | Phone Meeting | May 7, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland organizing group met to discuss the following agenda items:- Governor vetoes and how they affected our priority legislation.- Outreach to Meetings and how that is progressing.- Website updates.- Preparing newsletter for distribution.- Hosting a Zoom event on June 16th.
Friends discussed the veto of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future bill, also referred to as the Kirwan Commission bill. Strong Schools Maryland website has an action alert that we can share on our website.
We agreed to host a Zoom event on June 16th to share information about Quaker Voice, our work during the 2020 General Assembly, and how Friends can be involved. We will begin promoting this event starting May 17th.
Quaker Voice of Maryland | Phone Meeting | April 14, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland organizing group met to discuss the following agenda items:- End-of-session newsletter- Maryland Meeting outreach- Conducting Zoom calls with Monthly Meetings- Action items related to COVID-19
We plan to send out a newsletter to all Quaker Voice contacts that includes information on our priority issues from the 2020 General Assembly.
We agreed to reach out to our Meeting contacts about the possibility of meeting remotely with Friends to share information about Quaker Voice, keep Friends aware of our work, and get feedback on priorities.
Lobbying with F/friends | Strong Schools Maryland | March 10, 2020
Quaker Voice connected with Strong Schools Maryland campaign organizer Linsey Mayhew for a morning of lobbying this past Tuesday in support of Blueprint for Maryland's Future, one of our legislative priorities this session.
Actions included visiting all the offices for Senators and Delegates to distribute the playing-card-of-the-day -- part of the campaigns strategy to get out information about the benefits of Blueprint for Maryland's Future in a fun-but-educational way. They even host trivia to quiz the offices on their Blueprint knowledge and award prizes for the offices that get the most points!
In between distributing cards and encouragement to Senators office staff to vote in favor of policies and funding for the Blueprint (most representatives were already in meetings for the day) advocates took a break to greet Senators as they broke out of meetings and headed to a hearing in the Capital building.
Once the Senators had all been greeted advocates headed over to the House of Delegates offices to thank representatives for passing the Blueprint policies (big recent news!) and remind them that we still needed to have the funding package passed to make the Blueprint a success.
Quaker Voice looks forward to being a continued partner in supporting the work of Strong Schools Maryland in getting the Blueprint for Maryland's Future bill passed during this legislative session. Check out their resources for contacting your legislator and take action by contacting your rep!
Lobbying with F/friends | Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform | Feb. 26, 2020
Many Quakers are currently active with Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform and were present at lobby day to show support for the many legislative priorities that the organization has this year; five of these are also shared by Quaker Voice. Shared priorities include the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, Felony Murder Review, Correctional Education, and Solitary Limitations and Release.
While all the active Quakers who were present for the event can not all be named here, there were representatives from Annapolis, Baltimore, Frederick, Harford, Howard and Montgomery counties.
Looking forward to running in to more Friends at our upcoming advocacy day on March 10th.
Lobbying with F/friends | Interfaith Action for Human Rights | Feb. 19, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland joined other groups of faith for the Interfaith Action for Human Rights lobby day in Annapolis to with the goal of educating representatives about HB740 and HB742 - two of the legislative priorities for Quaker Voice during the 2020 session. Meetings were scheduled by IAHR so we could talk with representatives from across the state about the importance of these bills in reducing the use and abuse of solitary confinement/restrictive housing in Maryland. We also had the opportunity to meet with Delegate Jazz Lewis, the major sponsor of these two bills.
The hearing date for these two bills in the House will be Feb. 25th @ 1PM; IAHR encouraged people to attend the hearing to show support for the bills if they are able or submit letters of support that can be included in submitted documents.
Two members of the Quaker Voice working group were in attendance (Suzanne O'Hatnick and Molly Finch) and many Friends were present in the group of registered attendees.
Looking forward to running in to more Friends at our upcoming advocacy days on Feb. 26th and March 10th.
Participants in Interfaith Action for Human Rights lobby day take a photo with Delegate Jazz Lewis, the lead sponsor of HB740 and HB742 (Photo credit: Suzanne O'Hatnick)
Lobbying with F/friends | Chesapeake Climate Action Network | Feb. 17, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland gathered to attend the Chesapeake Climate Action Network lobby day in Annapolis in support of the Climate Solutions Act of 2020 (formerly the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act) - one of the legislative priorities for Quaker Voice during the 2020 session. Meetings were scheduled by CCAN so we could talk with our representatives about the importance of this bill in updating Maryland's goals to combat climate change.
We also shared information on additional bills of interest related to Climate Justice in Maryland: Climate Test for MD's PSC's, Community Solar, and Stopping Subsidizing for Incinerators as Green Energy.
Check out three Quaker Voice members sporting our new advocacy buttons in the House of Delegates -- Jamie DeMarco, Molly Mitchell, and Molly Finch!
Looking forward to running in to more Friends at our upcoming advocacy days on Feb. 19th, Feb. 26th and March 10th.
Quaker Voice of Maryland Presentation | Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting | Feb. 16, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland presented to Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting; members present included Molly Mitchell, Molly Finch, Jesse Greer, Phil Caroom, & Suzanne O'Hatnick.
Agenda items included: - Updating Friends on our progress since becoming a working group in February 2019.- Sharing our priority legislation for the current General Assembly.- Leading Friends in an elevator advocacy speech exercise.- Using queries to encourage Meetings to discuss how they could support Quaker Voice of Maryland's work this year and in the future.
We received lots of valuable feedback from Friends to help us as we strive to work with and activate Quakers across the state to bring a Quaker Voice to advocacy in Annapolis.
Quaker Voice of Maryland | Phone Meeting | Feb. 4, 2020
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland organizing group met to discuss the following agenda items:- Share updates on legislative priorities for the 2020 session- Review updates to the legislative priorities flier; will be updated by Quarterly Meeting for distribution.- Discuss Lobby Day opportunities to partner with groups that align with our interests
We will be supporting groups that are sponsoring lobby days that will be advocating for our priority initiatives. Groups include Maryland Alliance for Justice Form (2/26), Interfaith Action for Human Rights (2/19), Chesapeake Climate Action Network (2/17), Strong Schools Maryland (TBD), and Friday's for the Future (either 3/6 or 3/13). Once advocacy dates are finalized we will be sharing those dates with our email contacts and Meeting contacts.
We plan to be updating our events calendar to include lobby days when dates are finalized and important hearing dates for our priority legislation.
We plan to be presenting at Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting in February during the final session.
Quaker Voice of Maryland | Phone Meeting | Dec. 18, 2019
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland organizing group met to discuss the following agenda items:- Review legislative priority information resources and possible enhancements/improvements- Delegate leaders for legislative initiatives and discuss how updates will be disseminated around the group / connected Meetings- Discuss Lobby Day opportunities to partner with groups that align with our interests
We will be updating our Legislative Priorities for 2020 handout before the session begins on Jan. 8th so that it can be a resource for Lobby Days and to share with Meetings digitally/in person.
The current version of the handout can be found on our Resources section.
We plan to be presenting at Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting in February; at this point we are not sure how much time will be available for our group but are excited for the opportunity to update Quarterly on the work we have been doing and our plan for the 2020 legislative session.
Quaker Voice of Maryland | Organizing Members Retreat | Oct. 19, 2019
Members of the Quaker Voice of Maryland organizing group met to discuss the following agenda items:- Priority legislation for the 2020 session- Process to continuing outreach to Maryland Meetings- Next steps to prepare for November meeting (11/19/19)
Based off of input from Meetings and Friends that completed our survey we determined the following issues stood out as top priorities:- Climate Justice- Criminal Justice / Prison Reform- Immigration Civil Rights- Gun Violence Prevention & Peace Building
While we discussed many bills to support under each issue, we reach consensus on one bill for each issue that will be our top priority:- Maryland Renews Bill (Climate Justice)- Solitary Confinement (Criminal Justice / Prision Reform)- Override of the Dream Act Veto (Immigration Civil Rights)- Kirwan Commission Bill (Gun Violence Prevention & Peace Building)
Stay tuned for a top priority issues flier posted on our Resources section!