In a special blog series, we’re highlighting The Hatcher Group’s work to inspire social change for good at the state and local level. In addition to our extensive national work, we’re proud to partner with nonprofit organizations advancing state policies – from Virginia and Arkansas to Texas and California.
Our Annapolis office is just steps from the Maryland State House where, from January through April, we work to lift up our clients’ voices in the Maryland General Assembly. States are called the “laboratories of democracy” for good reason. Many policies first enacted at the state (and local) level provide momentum for later federal action. They also provide hope when federal action seems impossible.
Below, see how we were on the front lines of several successful efforts to protect public health in Maryland. Stay tuned as we continue to share updates about our legislative work in the coming days.
Funding for Community Health Providers
For years, the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition fought to “Keep the Door Open” for community health providers who treat people with mental health issues as well as substance use problems. To boost stagnant funding for these critical providers, The Hatcher Group partnered with the coalition to assist with campaign strategy, promote a 500-person rally and conduct a relentless social media push.
Results: Passage of bi-partisan legislation to finally increase funding for community health providers and combat the state’s opioid epidemic.
Threats to the Affordable Care Act
Consumer Health First spoke out forcefully during this legislative session about how proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would harm Marylanders, especially the most vulnerable. We provided rapid response media support, including this hard-hitting letter to the editor, to bolster the coalition’s arguments.
Results: Legislation passed to monitor changes to the Affordable Care Act and strengthen protections for the state’s Planned Parenthood centers and Medicaid program.
Antibiotics Overuse in Farm Animals
Maryland will soon become just the second state to prohibit the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals. We worked with the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition to develop an innovative “superbug” radio ad and pushed for well-timed media coverage.
Results: Those efforts helped gain much-needed attention that put the bill over the top. Thanks to the National Resources Defense Council and Waterkeepers Chesapeake for spearheading a smart coalition of public health and environmental groups.