MARYLAND (WDVM) — Progressive members of the Maryland General Assembly and an organization called “Our Revolution Maryland” are focusing on legislative reform during the 2021 session.
During a virtual panel Saturday, members talked about COVID relief, the environment, criminal justice reform, protection for immigrants, and tax justice.
Delegate Sheila Ruth of District 44B and Baltimore County explained that the pandemic has only heightened the need for universal health care coverage.
“Almost 900,000 people have filed for unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic,” Delegate Ruth explained. “And many of those may have lost their employer-based health care when they lost their jobs. So this has really shown the limitations of employer-based health care.”
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins of Montgomery County discussed the ongoing rent and housing crisis in the state.
“For about nine, ten months now, we have asked people to stay at home,” Delegate Wilkins stated. “And now so many, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who are at risk of losing their home.”
Delegate Wilkins also explained that most renters do not realize that an eviction is a legal process. She stated that a landlord could not forcibly evict a tenant or remove their items from a space without following legal proceedings before any action is taken. She emphasized that “forcibly removing you is actually illegal.”
Carlos Childs is the State Organising Director of Our Revolution Maryland and emphasized the importance of statewide criminal justice reform, including repealing the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights.
“It provides officers multiple additional rights than are given to us civilians. These extra rights and protections include allowing officers to delay interrogations,” Childs continued. “A statute of limitations on submitting a complaint against to one year and one day after the alleged incident of misconduct or brutality which is unacceptable.”
Childs also explained that law enforcement officials are granted other privileges like prior knowledge to the officer who will be questioning them during an investigation and the option to delay an interrogation or questioning until they can find their own representative or lawyer.
For more information about Our Revolution Maryland, please visit their website.