How Priority Issues are Chosen

SELECTION CRITERIA FOR UULM-MD PRIORITY ISSUES


Each year, UULM-MD adopts establishes its priorities with respect to legislation it will support or oppose during the next Maryland General Assembly that meets from January to April Within a limited number of issue areas (healthcare, immigration, climate change, etc.) UULM-MD considers proposals regarding specific Issues which define the aim of proposed legislation and will be introduced to the Legislature in one or more bills. Support activities for issues deemed to be priorities for the coming session are then managed by an Advocacy Team consisting or a Lead or Co-Leads approved by the Board, and other interested members. In choosing the priority issues for the session, UULM-MD’s decisions are based on grounding, accountability, fit, and opportunity.

An issue must:  

  • Be consistent with UUA Principles, Statements of Conscience, Statements of Immediate Witness, or Study Action Issues;

  • Support/advance the UU goal of dismantling systems of racism and other oppressions;

  • Involve at least one national UU organization (ex. UUA, UUSC, CUUSAN) in any national issue;

  • Have widespread support of UUs in Maryland;

  • Have Maryland UU congregations or groups working on the issue;

  • Have a UU congregation or group willing to take the lead of a UULM-MD Advocacy Team on the issue (follow issue; write up alerts & background; organize testimony, rallies, and contacts, etc.; coordinate with other organizations involved in issue; disseminate info thru UULM-MD systems);

  • Have a UU from the Advocacy Team willing to report regularly to the UULM-MD Board liaison, preferably the lead or a co-lead of the Advocacy Team;

  • Be a major issue to be considered by the Maryland General Assembly.  It must be a time when this issue is likely to move and there is a major chance of passage;

  • Have one or more partner group with expertise and resources with which UULM-MD can  collaborate, for example, groups such as Health Care for All, Free State Justice, Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform, etc;

  • Have one or more partner group representing affected communities from whom the Advocacy Team will look to for leadership; and

  • Be an issue with which UULM-MD is willing to stay active long enough to become a reputable and reliable partner with other organizations.

 

There are two tiers of issues:

  1. UULM-MD priority issues for the year;

  2. Other UU-supported issues: previous UULM-MD issues that are still active and issues supported either by MD UU congregations or a national UU organization. They may be issues that are not considered timely for the particular session, are in the stage of implementing past legislation, or are not yet ready for full UULM-MD support due to a lack of a specific legislative proposal, organization, support or lawmaker understanding. Activity on these issues in the General Assembly may be monitored by UULM-MD in the event that an opportunity arises to take meaningful action.

The level of response, such as inclusion on the website, testimonies, joint letters, and other actions will be determined by the Board. 

 

​There is an Issue Process and Proposal form for UUs to submit to UULM-MD to suggest issues to be considered for each year.