Take Action in Maryland!

General Assembly 2019 Advocacy Priorities


The Clean Energy Jobs Act

Across Maryland, our faith communities understand that burning fossil fuels for electricity is pouring heat-trapping climate pollution into our atmosphere, causing climate change that hurts our neighbors, close to home and around the world. For too long, here in Maryland, communities of color, our children, and our elders have paid for dirty energy with their health. That’s why we’re preaching about our call to care for creation and it’s why we’re working to save energy and shift our sanctuaries to cleaner power.

Rev. Dell Hinton (Gwynn Oak UMC, Baltimore) shares about the importance of the Clean Energy Jobs Act in Annapolis.

Working together with labor, health, and environmental groups, we’re forming a grassroots movement to expand and strengthen Maryland’s clean energy law (Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS):

  • • We’re seeking 100% renewable energy in Maryland by first doubling the state’s current mandate for clean electricity to 50% by 2030, determining the best plan to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2023, and implementing that plan by 2040.
  • • We’re seeking to fund clean energy workforce development to ensure that our neighbors, particularly women and people of color, prosper in the clean energy economy.
  • • We’re seeking to eliminate trash incineration from Maryland’s RPS as a critical first step in strengthening the law to fulfill its purpose of expanding clean energy.

Take Action in Your Congregation

• Share this faith cover letter in your congregation and write letters to your legislators. Find their contact information at mdelect.net.
• Host a “Climate in the Pulpits” service at your congregation – resources available here!
• Ask your faith leader to sign on your congregation to the Clean Energy Jobs Resolution.

Read more and find resources here.


Healthy, Green Maryland Amendment

Across Maryland, damaged environments threaten our communities. When pollution makes our neighbors sick, we have failed in our shared responsibility to “keep and tend the Garden,” as the biblical book of Genesis mandates.

Our faith traditions teach that protecting Creation means protecting the life of our human neighbors, the wellbeing of our communities, and the health of our natural places. A damaged environment threatens all life by interfering with the rights of all people to drink pure water, breathe clean air, and live healthfully now and in the future. We are speaking out to explicitly protect the rights of all Marylanders to live in a life-giving environment.

The Healthy, Green Maryland Amendment would explicitly protect our right to a healthy environment now and in the future by enshrining it in the state declaration of rights. The Healthy Green Maryland Amendment bill asks our legislators to vote to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in time for Maryland voters to weigh in on the amendment at the polls in the 2020 election.

Maryland faith communities support the campaign for a Healthy, Green Maryland Amendment because:

• Clean air and water are blessings entrusted to us — this amendment supports all other protections for health and the environment. By affirming a right to a healthy environment, we are expressing the calling of all our faiths to protect and steward our home places.

• Ensuring healthy communities expresses our love for our neighbors — this amendment would provide bedrock protections for individual rights and legally-recognizable standing so our neighbors can have access to courts when they are harmed by environmental injustice.

• Ensuring a healthy environment expresses the calls of our faiths to promote a world in which future generations can live and flourish — this amendment establishes the government of Maryland as a trustee of the state’s natural resources for the long term, asserting that the right to a healthy environment is on par with other fundamental rights protected in our constitution.

Why a Healthy, Green Amendment?

Maryland needs to take proactive steps to protect our communities and enable all of our neighbors to be able to defend their right to a healthy environment.

We have the chance to become one of the first states to adopt similar amendments — following Pennsylvania,
Montana, Hawaii, and Illinois — that affirmatively codify our right to a liveable future, including protections for:

  • • our human and non-human communities, whether in cities, rural areas or wilderness
  • • children and seniors who are most vulnerable to breathing dirty air
  • • our economic future, wealth generation, and home values
  • • natural spaces, including coastal wetlands and old-growth forests

 

Take Action in Your Congregation

• Share this one pager in your congregation and write letters to your legislators. Find their contact information at mdelect.net.
• Invite Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin to speak in your congregation about this important campaign. Email program@ipldmv.org to schedule.