The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland--Who We Are
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULM-MD) is a statewide advocacy network of Unitarian Universalists. We work to educate, mobilize, and coordinate UUs on specific issues before the Maryland General Assembly. Working in coalition with established state and national organizations, we as UUs model a reverence for the interdependent web of all existence which fosters justice, health and equity in society. We encourage you to join us on this journey as we engage Marylanders, expand freedom and nurture an inclusive, life affirming system of government.
In June of this year, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly adopted an Action of Immediate Witness in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The statement read, in part: “The 2015 General Assembly urges member congregations to engage in intentional learning spaces to organize for racial justice with recognition of the interconnected nature of racism coupled with systems of oppression that impact people based on class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and language…the 2015 General Assembly recognizes that the fight for civil rights and equality is as real today as it was decades ago and urges member congregations to take initiative in collaboration with local and national organizations fighting for racial justice against the harsh racist practices to which many black people are exposed."
As a member organization engaged in promoting Unitarian Universalist values in civic life, it is imperative that we heed this call, not only from our General Assembly, but from recent tragedies and important dialogues throughout the nation, along with the sensibilities shared and intuited within our justice work. As a legislative ministry, the Board of UULM-MD is committed to approaching each action issue through the lens of systems of oppression, to deepen in understanding of the impact of policies on communities and individuals of color and to encourage intentional anti-racism/anti-oppression sensibilities.
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 sensibilities 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;
- Providing updates on the status of bills, hearings and actions.
UULM-MD 2016 Officers and Board of Directors
The UULM-MD Board elected Steve Buckingham ( UU Congregation of Frederick) as Chair and Jan Bird (UU Church of Annapolis) as Treasurer for 2016.
Additional members of the Board are Michael Benefiel (Cedar Lane UU Church), Craig Beyler (UU Church of Annapolis), 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), Alonzo Smith (UU Congregation of Rockville), and Rev. Fredric J. Muir (UU Church of Annapolis) Ex-officio. Julie Anne Schafer, (First Unitarian Church of Baltimore) is Coordinator. Eleanor Piez is Intern Minister for the UULM-MD and the UU Church of Annapolis.