Progressive Md. Announces New Class for its People’s Leadership Institute

    Progressive Maryland, which launched a campaign training program for activists and potential political candidates last summer, announced its second cohort of the Maryland People’s Leadership Institute last week.

    The 21-member group includes three city councilmembers from around the state — Laurie-Anne Sayles of Gaithersburg, Todd Nock of Pocomoke City, and Michele Gregory of Salisbury — as well as the founder of the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition, Kristy Fogle, and other community leaders and activists.

    The class of 2021 began meeting just after the annual legislative session adjourned.

    “While the recent General Assembly Session made up in some ways for the MGA’s failure to hold a special session at the height of the state’s health and economic crisis last year, the systemic changes we need in this state were not fully addressed and delivered on,” said Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland. “That’s why we need more progressive champions in Annapolis, and at the city and county level, particularly leaders and activists from underrepresented communities who will help advance a people’s agenda and progressive platform.”

    Here’s the full list of participants:

    • Yousuf Ahmad, an Elkridge resident who is the legislative director for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby (D);
    • Katy Laurel Edwards, an Annapolis resident who works in the behavioral health field;
    • Sergio España, a Baltimore resident who is director of Engagement and Mobilization for the ACLU of Maryland;
    • Kristy Fogle, the health care activist who lives in Baltimore County, works as a physician’s assistant in Baltimore City, and worked as a health care adviser to state Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City) when Carter ran for Congress last year;
    • Jason Fowler, a lawyer in Huntingtown who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Delegates in 2018;
    • Stanford Fraser, an assistant public defender in Prince George’s County who lives in Upper Marlboro;
    • Zack Frink, a Harford County resident who recently returned to Maryland after a stint as editor-in-chief of Elevate Dayton, a community media outlet in Ohio.
    • Michelle A. Greer, an attorney from Timonium who serves as a commissioner on the Human Relations Commission and on the Women’s Commission for Baltimore County;
    • Michele Gregory, the Salisbury councilmember and early childhood educator;
    • Joie Hayes, a Silver Spring resident who works for the U.S. Department of Education;
    • Tiffany Jones, a lifelong resident of East Baltimore who began her career as a journalist and has worked in a variety of capacities for the Baltimore City government;
    • Shawn Livingston, an Edgewater resident and Calvert County native who does IT work for a school in Annapolis and has been active with Progressive Maryland’s Fair Elections Task Force in Anne Arundel County;
    • Ian Miller, a freshman at the University of Maryland College Park who hails from Catonsville and has worked with Black Lives Matter and other activist groups;
    • Todd Nock, the Pocomoke City councilmember who currently is on the staff of the Dorchester County Public School system and works at North Dorchester Middle School in Hurlock;
    • Laurie-Anne Sayles, the Gaithersburg councilmember;
    • Stephen Schiavone, a Silver Spring resident who works at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities;
    • Andrea Shedler, of Bethesda, who is currently working with a progressive advocacy organization focused on the 2021 elections in Virginia;
    • Gagan Singh, who lives in Baltimore, has worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer for Civic Works at City Hall, and as a worker/owner for the restaurant cooperative Red Emma’s, running the kitchen for three years;
    • Sanjeev K. Sriram, a pediatrician who lives in Ellicott City;
    • Christopher Warman, who lives in Baltimore, works for the Baltimore Community Foundation and has been active in the End Medical Debt Maryland coalition; and
    • Jamila J. Woods, a social worker and pastor and longtime Progressive Maryland activist who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in Prince George’s County’s District 26 in 2018.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.