Moving into Leadership, Thanksgiving Parade

Updated: Feb 4


Dear Friend:


We are just a few weeks away from the start of the next General Assembly. I’m gearing up for it by drafting legislation, providing advocacy on a number of issues, and regularly getting out into the community.


December 5th Fundraiser: Please consider contributing to my campaign! Join me for my only fundraiser before the next legislative session. It’ll be held on Sunday, December 5th, from 4:00 - 5:30 pm at the Takoma Park VFW. I do not take money from for-profit corporations or their lobbyists. I depend on donations from people like YOU!


Taking Leadership on Unemployment Insurance: I am honored to have been appointed as the Chair of the Unemployment Insurance Subcommittee by Speaker Adrienne Jones. Last year I led the legislative effort to improve our Unemployment Insurance system, including a first-in-the-nation initiative to allow people filing for unemployment insurance to also enroll in reduced-cost or free health insurance. Regrettably, the Maryland Department of Labor has delayed implementation of several of these improvements and last summer attempted to end the federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits early.


My 2021 bill laid part of the foundation for a lawsuit brought by the Public Justice Center that prevented the Governor from returning $1.5 billion in unemployment benefits to the federal government. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make the long-term structural changes needed to ensure a robust Unemployment Insurance system that’s built both to provide unemployed individuals a crucial safety net and, in times of significant economic downturn, to give our state economy a needed countercyclical stimulus.


Tackling Food Insecurity: A shocking one in three Marylanders is food insecure, meaning they do not have reliable access to sufficient affordable and nutritious food. The Maryland Food System Resiliency Council, created by my legislation, has just completed its first report. It identifies a number of immediate, medium-range, and long term responses to food insecurity while also building a more sustainable local food system. You can see coverage of the report here and my Op Ed on the report with Senator Katie Fry Hester here.


Reducing Medical Debt Burden: I recently joined Senator Chris Van Hollen, Vinnie de Marco from the Maryland Health Care for All Coalition, and Marceline White from the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, to discuss our efforts to reduce medical debt burden and ensure access to healthcare for everyone. See some of the coverage here.


Making Health Insurance Connections: Open enrollment for affordable health insurance continues until January 15, 2022, through Maryland Health Connections. It’s a one stop shop to browse and compare health plans and see what assistance might be available to you and your family. Help is available on the site, but if you are stuck, feel free to reach out to my office for assistance: lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us


Advocating for Bold Climate Action: State level policy has been crucial in fighting climate change, both because of the impact of the policy and in creating models to be replicated at the federal level. However, we also urgently need federal action and international cooperation and action. To support US Leadership at the COP26 summit, I worked with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators on a letter signed by over 500 legislators in 47 states and territories. Check out my Op Ed with Delegate Ben Brooks on the topic.


Reaching Out to Our Community: What a thrill to march once again in the Silver Spring Parade! Team Lorig came out in force with our people-powered float, entourage of walking vegetables, and the combined energy of the entire D20 Team. My community outreach through canvassing also continues. By going door to door, I more effectively connect with constituents to share resources and hear directly about what is most important to them.


As always, if you or anyone you know needs assistance, please contact my office at lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us. You can also leave a message at (410)-841-3423; although please note my office will not be staffed five days per week until the next Session.


Onward,

Lorig Charkoudian