On May 16, JOTF partnered with the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, Maryland Nonprofits, Advocates for Children and Youth, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, and the Maryland CASH Campaign to host a wrap-up of the 2012 state legislative session.
Henry Bogdan, public policy director at Maryland Nonprofits
, opened the event by welcoming everyone to Annapolis and introducing Neil Bergsman, director of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute
. Bergsman presented an overview of how the budget process played out during the 2012 session, specifically how the legislature – on the final day of the session – approved the budget but not the revenue and reconciliation legislation needed to fund it. A special session was called for May 14-16 where the legislature met to approve revenue and reconciliation legislation, consequently averting $500 in automatic “doomsday” cuts.
Bergsman was followed by a panel of nonprofit advocates. David Beard, education policy director at Advocates for Children and Youth
; Melissa Broome, senior policy advocate at the Job Opportunities Task Force; Matt Celentano, deputy director at Maryland Healthcare for All
; Robin McKinney, director of the Maryland CASH Campaign
; and Marceline White, director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
described the legislative priorities tracked by their respective organizations during the session and took questions from the audience.
The event concluded with a keynote by Lea Gilmore, program director for the Moving Maryland Forward Network
, on social media as an advocacy tool. MMFN is a new initiative to connect organizations focused on social advocacy in Maryland. It seeks to build a unique network of progressive campaigns working to ensure fairness, equality and justice for all Marylanders. Gilmore’s presentation emphasized the need for nonprofits to harness the power of online organizing tools.
For more information about this event, contact Melissa Broome