Yes, Maryland Is Changing Politically — It’s Due to Activists

The Washington Socialist <> March 2019

By Larry Stafford Jr.

“We are witnessing, in real time, the transformation of the Maryland General Assembly.” So said Josh Kurtz in an interesting post on Maryland Matters.

Of course, I maintain a healthy skepticism over the exact amount of progress we’ve made here, but I also see clear signs for hope in the changes that are being made in Annapolis. We are winning!

What Kurtz’s article doesn’t mention, however, is what brought about this shift in the political landscape. This would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of progressive activists, organizers, and visionaries who were the force behind this shift in Annapolis. Progressive Maryland was and is a key part of the shift taking place in Maryland politics. We don’t exist in a vacuum but within a movement that includes our Affiliate Organizations, and countless progressive organizational allies who made an unprecedented effort to coordinate together to elect progressives up and down the ballot.

A coordinated and strategic left is a powerful thing and I’m so proud to work with the great labor, faith, and community leaders we count as comrades. Though I’m glad to see the coverage here and the changes that are coming about. I’m disappointed that the author fails to recognize that these changes aren’t happening on their own but as a result of a combination of powerful and smart electoral organizing and outside agitation that have created the conditions for a different tone in Annapolis.

 The work of so many women, people of color, and LGBT Progressive leaders must not be erased as it relates to what got us to this point. A new day is coming in Maryland and a multi- racial, working class movement will change this state for the better. I won’t bother trying to name every name of each organizer, political director, volunteer, advocate or candidate who played a part in our success in 2018, but you all know who you are. I’ll let everyone shout folks out in the comments if you’d like, because our work is often thankless and tiresome — but just thought I’d write one big thank you to everyone who’s making change in our state. #LetsGetFree #LeftRising

Larry Stafford Jr. is executive director of Progressive Maryland and a member of MDC DSA. He lives in Prince George’s County. This post appeared on the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace Feb. 1.


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