January 12, 2022 - Annapolis
A Hearse was the lead car in the Make it Right/Fix it Now Rally
Deb has been busy the last couple of days getting papers together to answer the Court, but I managed to get her to do a brief recap of our January 12th Make it Right Fix it Now Rally.
January 12, 2022 Rally Recap
Well it has taken a couple of days for me to get this recap of the Make it Right/Fix it Now Rally because of ongoing conversations revolving around the Fitch v. Maryland case. But here it is. First, Ken Fitch was unable to attend the rally that he organized. His back gave out and he lost mobility. He tried mightily to get there because of all the time and effort he had expended to make this day happen, but January 12th was not that day. So I was late to the rally point. But I didn’t worry. Ken’s sister, Kathy and brother-in-law Buzz, were willing to get the rally started if neither of us could make it so the rally was in good hands. As I was driving I received calls from people there asking about our arrival. I informed them that Ken was not coming, but I was on my way. I hoped and prayed that Ken’s efforts would meet with success. I pulled into the parking lot and was blown away! Oh my! It appeared that every car on that lot had a sign saying, Reinstate Prescription Drug Coverage for State Retirees and Save a Senior and Lord have mercy we had a hearse! James Laisure had volunteered to drive it in our rally and Ken was excited that it would be a part of our statement to the General Assembly. It was big, black and beautiful and had signs that said – Don’t Kill Seniors and Save A Senior Reinstate their prescription drug coverage! Wow.
Well arriving late, I stuck my signs on very quickly and we made our way to the Maryland House of Delegates. Our route was simple. We circled the House of Delegates. By using this route we only had to stop at one light. By using this route we made it hell for the Delegates who were arriving for the first day of session. Ken had said that he wanted to make it difficult for Delegates to get into the building and to look around and wonder why – then they would find out it was State retirees and United We Matter! Well, that is exactly what happened. We created chaos, confusion and congestion – it was great!
On my second full pass, I was stopped by Capitol police. The word was out – a bunch of pissed off seniors were circling the wagons. Police cars assumed their normal stations (ones that they established during our other rallies) with flashing lights and directing traffic. One officer walked up to my car with a smile, noting the hearse behind me. He said, “This is phenomenal!” I laughed and said, “we are fighting for you. “ He nodded and said, I know. He got my name, license plate number, asked me how long we would be there and then told me to “stay as long as I wanted” and left with a smile.
This is when I got my megaphone working. Sidenote: I drive a stick shift, so in order for music to play through the megaphone, I had to program my phone to pair with the megaphone with one hand. After successfully pairing the two, I started blasting our anthem by Twisted Sister, “We Not Going to Take It Anymore” through the megaphone. I had three arms that day. One to hold the megaphone out the window, one to shift gears and the other to steer the wheel. I made it work.
We made several more passes before I was stopped again. “You cannot have your rally cars honking horns” I was told. “The next one honks will get a $50.00 citation.” So I agreed to alert each car not to honk. I pulled to the side and told the hearse to continue the procession and I proceeded to talk to each car as it rounded the corner and tell the occupants about the citation if we honked. The response I got from a majority of cars…? “ I want them to know I am here….only $50.00? its worth it.” So the rally rocked to the sound of Twisted Sister and car horns. Wow it was something else.
Even though Ken couldn’t make it, he was on the speakerphone with me throughout the rally. So I gave him colorful commentary about the rally, the cars, the police and of course, the hearse. Ken kept me up to date with the media requests. That’s because the night before the rally, Press releases were sent out to the radio, tv and newspapers around the State. The day of the rally, United We Matter email was inundated with emails from the media who wanted to get video coverage of the rally and Ken was there to answer each one. Telling them where exactly we were, what time we would hit the House of Delegates, etc. He was even receiving and answering emails from lawmakers who heard us rallying! We couldn’t have had a better response even if we planned it.
For those of you who called your lawmakers January 12th – thank you. For those of you who couldn’t make it (for whatever reason) wish you were there. There might not be another opportunity for you to help us make an impression to further our cause.
Remember – We Matter!