Who we are and what we do
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULM-MD) is a statewide action network of Unitarian Universalists who work to educate, engage, and mobilize UUs to advocate for specific issues before the Maryland General Assembly. Working in coalition with local, state and national organizations, we as UUs promote and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all, reverence for the interdependent web of all existence, and justice, health and equity in society. We approach each issue through an anti-racism/anti-oppression lens to deepen an understanding of the impact of policies on historically marginalized communities and people of color. [revised 5/20/2021]
Our work is grounded in the belief that everyone should be able to exercise their basic human rights, to achieve their fullest potential, and to live in a healthy, sustainable environment. We are a covenantal faith, and we ascribe to a principle of supporting each other in our individual searches for truth and meaning. Upon this, a community may be created, one that aspires toward the Beloved Community that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed would achieve reconciliation among people and raise interpersonal relations to a level where justice would prevail and all would attain their full human potential. It is the community that supports, nurtures and helps to define each person’s individuality, and those individuals create, support and constantly redefine the community. [revised 5/20/2021]
To build the community we seek, we will transform our world from one dominated by a culture of economic self-interest, competition, white supremacy, and paternalism to one that builds cooperative communities that promote the common good and reinforce a society built on mutual obligations. We remind ourselves of the values of our nation’s founders that guide people towards efforts in the public interest, rather than support individualist notions that define human life in terms of fame or material achievement at the expense of others and the environment. We will work to disrupt and dismantle structures that divide people from one another and create disadvantages for individuals and groups based on gender, race, religion, national origin, immigration status, economic status, disability, sexual orientation or identity. We will make space for everyone to participate in society, including its governance. [adopted 5/20/2021]
UULM-MD is you!
UULM-MD is a collective voice of liberal religious values in our state. UULM-MD is comprised of anyone interested in making their voice heard in Annapolis on issues that advance freedom, equality and justice.
Our work is grounded in the belief that everyone should be able to exercise their basic human rights to achieve their fullest potential and to live in a clean, sustainable environment. In the last decade, UULM-MD has played a significant role in statewide education about and advocacy for marriage equality, environmental protections, increasing the availability of clean energy, death penalty repeal, preventing gun violence, transgender civil rights, increasing the minimum wage, the DREAM Act and advances in health care for all. Unitarian Universalist voices and values are now an integral part of the dialogue in Annapolis, due to dedicated advocacy through this legislative ministry.
To enhance the effectiveness of our activism, we remain mindful of the strong UU traditions of independent thought and witnessing for human rights, civil liberties and the protection of our environment. Supported and inspired by these beliefs, we work to achieve consensus among our base, then mobilize as advocates for specific Maryland issues. Partnering with like-minded coalitions and organizations as well as working with legislators, UULM-MD provides a voice for UU principles and traditions in the discussion of issues by:
Identifying priority legislation and informing Marylanders through issue coordinators and
Providing educational programs, speakers and materials on these issues;
Holding an annual meeting for presentation, debate and strategizing on issues to be addressed;
Mobilizing and facilitating testimony, writing legislators and witnessing; and
Providing updates on the status of bills, hearings and actions.
UULM-MD 2021 Leadership Team
The UULM-MD Board elected Steve Buckingham (UU Congregation of Frederick) as Chair, Rev. Diane Teichert (Minister Emerita, Paint Branch UU Church) as a Vice-Chair, Craig Beyler (UU Church of Annapolis) as a Vice Chair and Jack Taylor (Rockville UU Church) as Treasurer for 2021.
Additional members of the Board are Jan Bird (UU Church of Annapolis), Rev. Amy Williams Clark (Cedarhurst UU), Elizabeth Bobo (UU Congregation of Columbia), Don Chery (River Road UU Congregation), Betty McGarvie Crowley (UU Church of Annapolis), Rev. David Carl Olson (First Unitarian Church of Baltimore), Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon (River Road UU Congregation). Ashley Eagan is our Coordinator.
Our Leadership Team also includes Issue Leads: Medical Aid in Dying Lead Rev. Alexa Fraser, Immigration Co-leads Jim Caldiero (Channing) and Tammy Spengler (Columbia), Climate Change Lead Dr. Phil Webster (Columbia), Healthcare Co-lead Chris Hager (River Road) and Criminal Justice Reform Lead Candy Clark (Annapolis). Issue Leads are not elected Board members, but are welcome to attend Board meetings.