Taking Our Fight to the Statehouse(s)

A bill sitting on the Maryland governor’s desk would dramatically impact journalism jobs and local news coverage across the state during a critical election year. If signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore, Maryland House 1258 would remove estate notices from news organizations and put them in centralized websites. These notices provide essential advertising revenue for the few Maryland newspapers in the state.

That’s why I sent a letter to the governor alongside CWA District 2-13 Vice President Mike Davis asking the governor to veto the bill and stand with Maryland journalists. 

“We are concerned that HB 1258 will further weaken local news in the state as well as impact the

livelihoods of many communities,’ I wrote in the letter. “The small savings for various registers of will will be far outweighed by the damage done to the news ecosystem. The solution to rising costs of publication notices should not come at the expense of good journalism jobs.”

In New Jersey, any day now Gov. Phil Murphy could sign into law a bill that would make accessing public records under the Open Public Records Act significantly harder. S2930/A4045 would greatly harm access to public records for journalists and communities across the state, greatly hinder the necessary oversight carried out by journalists as a free and fair press. You can read the full letter here.

If you’re in the area, send a letter or call Gov. Murphy’s office at (609) 292-6000 urging him to veto the bill.

In-house staff at SEIU 1199 are in the midst of a contentious campaign to form its first-ever staff union with the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild. On Thursday, members held a lunchtime unfair labor practice picket in New York City to protest management’s union-busting tactics and the termination of a member of the organizing committee. 

I joined the picket line to show solidarity and reiterate our position that union workers are workers. Full stop. If you agree (and I hope you do) send a message of solidarity to the workers here.

Guild members are being laid off at the Center for Public Integrity and launched a fundraiser to support their colleagues facing financial hardship. The new management of the 35-year-old nonprofit investigative newsroom informed the CPI Union in March that they intended to lay off nearly all of CPI’s staff amidst a financial crisis at the newsroom. The first half of those layoffs took effect on May 1. The second half takes effect today.

Funds will go to laid off employees experiencing particular financial hardship to help them cover bills, rent or mortgage, medical costs and other living expenses. Dig deep and give generously, union siblings!

Support them here

In Solidarity,

Jon Schleuss
President, The NewsGuild-CWA