1. Health in Annapolis Night
MdEHN and the Maryland Public Health Association team up every winter to hold a reception for Maryland legislators in Annapolis. Health Night in Annapolis is an opportunity for any one who styles themselves health advocate to meet our state elected representatives and hear what bills are being considered which have EH or PH impact.
People who attend may be doctors, nurses, students, public health experts, community health advocates, and health researchers. What we all share is a desire for our state legislators to focus on the importance of protecting human health when they weigh the many bills that come before them during a 90 day session.
Consistent with the concept of “Health in All Policies”, it’s our job to remind Maryland Delegates and Senators that health is implicated in many measures they consider. As a citizen, regardless of who your employer is, you can speak out for health.
At Health Night in Annapolis, we invite all legislators to share their perspective on this with us. And we offer ourselves as resources to them as they assess the health implications of proposed legislation.
In 2015, a dozen legislators attended and spoke to our crowd of 60 health advocates. The 2016 Health in Annapolis Night will be on January 26th from 5 – 7 PM. For further information, contact Rebecca Rehr.
2. The Environmental Summit
MdEHN is an active participant each year in helping the environmental community of advocates plan an event in Annapolis at the beginning of session.
The Environmental Summit usually takes place during the first weeks of the legislative session – late January or early February. It is attended by 350-400 environmental advocates.
Every year, leaders in the state legislature attend to hear what the priority issues for environmental protection will be. Health advocates have a place in such conversations, since environmental determinants of health often begin with state environmental policy decisions.
Health advocates can ask policy-makers why they adopt policies that define acceptable levels of pollution, such as emissions levels for smokestacks or toxic contents of landfills even though we know there are attendant health risks.
Health advocates attending the Environmental Summit in Annapolis have an opportunity to speak to senators and delegates who care about reducing pollution, and policy-makers who understand that environmental degradation often triggers health equity problems.
Consider attending the annual Environmental Summit in Annapolis. Visit Maryland League of Conservation Voters for event details.