Donna F. Edwards: The 2020 election will be decided in my hair salon. Here’s why.

Saturday, after a couple of hours in the hair salon — always a couple of hours — the 2020 election started taking shape for me. Women. Women of color. Black women. I listened to the banter, a lively combination of speculation about HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” furloughed federal workers canceling appointments, Women’s March politics, President Trump’s wall, and more. One point of agreement: If the White Walkers can breach the mammoth ice wall across the north of Westeros, then a wall along our southern border is surely a waste of money. My salon, and thousands like it across the country, is where the 2020 election will be decided. (Wash. Post)

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How to help with escalating water bills

Baltimore state Sen. Mary Washington and Del. Nick Mosby want to end for good the harsh practice of placing liens against homes and churches because of unpaid water and sewer bills. They have proposed legislation that would permanently ban the process, which can send homes to a tax sale if there is at least $750 in unpaid water bills that are late by nine months or more. The legislation is deeply needed to end once and for all the exercise of inhumanely taking away people’s homes over a few hundred dollars. (Balt. Sun)

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Mike Rogers: Three things I'll pursue to address gun violence

Thank you for the opportunity to address your concerns regarding gun-violence in our community. Even before this terrible pandemic touched our community in the Great Mills School shooting and the Capital Gazette shooting, robbing us of the lives of Jaelyn Wiley, Austin Wyatt Rollins, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, and John McNamara respectively. I was in agreement with the American Medical Association who characterized the proliferation of gun-violence in American communities as a public health crises. It is most unfortunate that our politics have become so polarized that elected officials are unable to address this matter earnestly. (Capital)

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Chaudry, Shelley, Feldman: Md. lawsuit: Punishing companies for boycotting Israel violates First Amendment rights

Maryland is one of 26 states that have infringed on residents’ First Amendment rights by restricting companies that support a boycott of Israel from being eligible to bid for state contracts. These restrictions specifically target the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which according to its website, uses peaceful means to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.” (Balt. Sun)

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Bravo to those reaching out to help federal workers during the shutdown

Thousands of federal employees call Annapolis and Anne Arundel County home. They work at Fort George G. Meade, for the NSA, the EPA or one of the scores of military commands based on the west county military campus. They work for the Coast Guard in Curtis Bay or at the station at Thomas Point. They’re scientists for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or tax collectors at the IRS field office or nurses at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Glen Burnie. Many of them commute to jobs in Washington, D.C. or the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, or head to Annapolis for work at the Naval Academy. By some estimates, 10,000 federal civilian employees have made their lives here. (Capital)

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Over-regulating drugs threatens Md. Life sciences industry

One major focus for legislators during this year’s session is how to bring down the cost of health care, as everyday Marylanders struggle to afford the cost they pay at the pharmacy counter. Despite disagreements between different groups within and beyond health care, there is broad consensus that something must be done about the cost patients pay without denying Marylanders the world-class treatments available to them, many of which are made right here in Maryland. (Balt. Sun)

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Hate, interrupted: Coming to the Table offers a way to talk about race

It’s no coincidence that activist Mary Dadone calls Coming to the Table meetings a “12-step program” for racial reconciliation. Jane Carrigan, a co-founder of the Annapolis chapter, has shared with the group her recollection of the white supervisor at her first summer job complaining about having to work with her because she was black. Carrigan kept showing up. Eventually, he conceded he had been wrong about her. “I know I changed that man,” said the retired lawyer. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. needs a Prescription Drug Affordability Board

While the Democratic and Republican parties differ on many issues, there’s one thing that we should be able to agree on: People shouldn’t have to choose between paying bills and purchasing life-saving prescription medications. I have worked on health care issues for many years as a Capitol Hill staffer, think tank policy wonk and advocate for seniors, and I have learned how the cost of health care — especially the cost of prescription drugs — can strain personal finances and threaten public health. I’ve met people who are forced to choose between buying medicine and groceries, and people who skip prescribed doses to make medicine last longer. (Balt. Sun)

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