As a new District Captain for Districts 21 and 22, I was so excited to attend the JUFJ legislative kickoff and share my story about growing our base and expanding our reach into Prince George’s County. The experience was especially meaningful for me, because I never could have imagined a year ago, at my first legislative kickoff, that I would grow so much during this time, and that I would be leading such a short time later. The event itself was packed with information presented by a wide variety of voices, and gave me an opportunity to connect and strategize with other JUFJers in my district. I feel ready and invigorated for the 2021 Maryland Legislative Session! – Ioana Stoica
Thank you to all 140 of you who came to our Maryland Statewide Legislative Kickoff! This was our biggest Kickoff ever thanks to you, and demonstrated the growing momentum in the fight to end persistent systemic racial and economic injustice in our region. Following the tumultuous election season, it was wonderful to be together as a community to celebrate significant wins that we achieved over the past few months alongside our partners, to dig deeper into the issues we will continue fighting for during the upcoming Maryland legislative session, and to plan for how we are going to organize in districts across the state for real progressive change.
During the 2021 legislative session, we will be focusing on five priority issue areas: Paid Family and Medical Leave, Renters’ Rights, Police Accountability, Court and Prison Reform, and Immigrant Rights. JUFJ volunteer leaders provided comprehensive overviews of these issues during the Kickoff and created informative one-page documents detailing each of the issues as well. At the bottom of this post, you can find all of the resources shared during the event, including the recording, a transcript, presentation slides, and the issue one-pagers. The slides also include news articles and research on each priority issue area.
Our District Captains are already working to mobilize JUFJers to engage on these key priorities and build relationships with State legislators. As we discussed in breakout discussions by districts, we need your involvement to have successful meetings with your legislators in December. These pre-session meetings will be an opportunity to build relationships with legislators, share our legislative priorities, and hear from them about their perspective for the upcoming session. The District Captains will be leading this work, but there are other important roles we need you and others to take on. Please join us in building power and engaging legislators in your district.
To make our advocacy efforts as impactful as possible in the 2021 legislative session, we need to know which of our key issues you’re most invested in and how you can commit to working with JUFJ. If you have not done so already, please fill out the following form with your priorities and sign up to participate in a pre-session meeting with the legislators from your district!
(If you were not able to attend the Kickoff, you can skip the event evaluation component of the form.)
Here are several resources from the Kickoff, including the full recording:
- Paid Family and Medical Leave: PDF and Plain-Text
- Renters’ Rights: PDF and Plain-Text
- Police Accountability: PDF and Plain-Text
- Courts and Prison Reform: PDF and Plain-Text
- Immigrant Rights: PDF and Plain-Text
Aly Halpert grounded us by offering beautiful music at the beginning of the event. One of the songs she sang was “Our Power” by Rena Branson, which truly highlighted the feeling of the moment, the significance of our growing JUFJ community, and the power of our partnerships with organizations across the state. The lyrics are as follows:
By Rena Branson
We will not underestimate our power any longer
We know that together, we are strong
Like drops of water
shape the rocks
As they rush down the falls
We know that together, we are strong
The full songsheet that Aly prepared for us can be found here and more of her music can be heard on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.