Hogan Vetoes Maryland Democrats’ Paid Sick Leave Bill
The Baltimore Sun (May 25, 2017)

“Hogan has repeatedly tried to distance himself from Donald Trump and national Republicans, but his actions speak louder than words,” Vest said. “By vetoing paid sick leave legislation, he shows he is just as calloused as Trump and the Republicans trying to take health care away from tens of millions of Americans.”

Activists Pressure Maryland Democrats to Embrace $15 Minimum Wage
Rewire (March 9, 2017)

Maryland activists and Fight for $15 supporters are picking up where they left off last year in an effort to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour even as some Maryland Democrats fight the wage-boosting effort.

Justin Vest, a lead organizer at Progressive Maryland, told Rewire that the new campaign is building on the “momentum and anger from constituents cheated out of a raise in Montgomery County.”

The ‘Fight For 15’ Continues In Maryland General Assembly
WJZ | CBS Baltimore (March 7, 2017)

Following the footsteps of Baltimore City, there’s a move in the General Assembly to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. This would be the second new state minimum wage law in three years.

“No one who works hard should have to live in poverty,” says Justin Vest, with Progressive Maryland.

Montgomery County exec vetoes bill raising minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020
WJLA | CBS7 (January 24, 2017)

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett vetoed legislation the county council passed last week to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020.

“This is an absolute betrayal of working families,” said Justin Vest, Progressive Maryland’s lead Montgomery County organizer.

Inauguration Protests: Demonstrators rally at the inauguration of Donald Trump
Capitol News Service (January 20, 2017)

Fight for $15 in Montgomery County, MD
Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 2 (January 17, 2017)

A coalition of labor, faith, and community organizations are urging Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett to stand with working families and sign a $15 minimum-wage legislation passed by the County Council today in what could become the most important achievement of his long career with the County.

“It’s time we help working families in Montgomery County make a decent living,” said Justin Vest of Progressive Maryland.

County Council Approves Raising Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour By 2020 (Video) Montgomery County Media (January 17, 2017)

Activists Fight for $15 Minimum Wage
Montgomery County Media (November 28, 2016)

“After the election of Donald Trump, it’s even more important that we continue the fight right here in Montgomery County,” Progressive Maryland’s Justin Vest said in a statement. “With a national administration poised to block wage increases and gut workers’ rights, we’re calling on local elected officials to take bold action to resist Trump’s repressive policy agenda.”

Students stage anti-Trump walkouts
CNN (November 14, 2016)

Montgomery Blair High School students organized the walkout on social media, leading an exodus of hundreds shortly after 10 a.m.

They began at the high school football field and walked about 6 miles through the city to Veterans Plaza, he said. Some drivers high-fived students as they passed, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.

Members, Allies Fight Back Against Attempts to Change County Collective Bargaining Law
Local Link Online | UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO, AFL-CIO (July 22, 2016)

Members of Local 1994, FOP Lodge 35 and IAFF Local 1664 packed the Council Office Building hearing room on July 12 to protest egregious changes to the Montgomery County Collective Bargaining law.

MoCo Employees, Labor Officials Denounce County Council’s Koch Brothers-Inspired Bill
East MoCo (July 13, 2016)

Montgomery County public employees and their union leaders packed the County Council hearing room last night, to testify against an anti-labor bill that finds some on the Council in an unholy alliance with the far-right Koch Brothers. The bill, introduced by Council President Nancy Floreen, would gut collective bargaining rights of County employees, and replace neutral arbitrators who have expertise in labor negotiations with retired judges.

Justin Vest of Progressive Maryland said having retired judges rather than neutral arbitrators would “call that neutrality into question.”

Minimum wage hike debated
The Sentinel (June 27, 2016)


Fallout from the county’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 came as expected Tuesday night as business owners and laborers found themselves on opposite sides of the issue.

“The simple reality is that workers are being priced out of their communities,” Vest said.

Maryland Legislators Don’t Fail to Disappoint: “Business-Friendly Is Not Just A Slogan
The Washington Socialist (April 30, 2016)

As Progressive Maryland organizer Justin Vest wrote, “lawmakers certainly didn’t disappoint at disappointing Maryland’s most vulnerable residents.”

“The session started out strong,” Vest continued, “with the Democratic majority overriding six of Governor Hogan’s vetoes from the 2015 session including one that returned the right to vote to 40,000 formerly incarcerated people, making them eligible to vote in the April 26th primary. But despite positive messages from both chambers, politics as usual got in the way of what stood to be a historic session.”

Social Workers to Launch Voter Empowerment Campaign
Social Work Helper (September 22, 2015)

 There are a growing number of social workers who believe our profession can play a significant role in restoring confidence in our nation’s political processes by encouraging more people to register and vote.

Montgomery County Close To Approving Mandatory Paid Sick Leave For Workers
WAMU 88.5 (June 11, 2015)

Justin Vest of Silver Spring worked part-time at several supermarkets while he was putting himself through college. He had a family to take care of too, but since his employers did not offer him paid sick leave because he was just a part-time worker. Vest didn’t take off when he was sick. That meant he was handling produce while ill.

“It was actually easier for me to miss class than miss work. I had to pay the bills. I hated going to work sick. You don’t feel well of course. You’re also aware it’s not good for the customer,” he says.

NASW joins rally in support of Affordable Care Act
NASW News (April 2015)

ACArally2University of Alabama MSW student Justin Vest was among hundreds of people outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in March, urging continued support of the Affordable Care Act.

“Not having access to affordable care leads to health disparities that disproportionately impact the poor and people of color,” he said. “I do not think the ACA is perfect, but it has done a great deal to benefit many people and is a step closer to universal coverage. A ruling against the ACA by the Supreme Court will only harm the more than 8 million people likely to lose coverage, leaving them without other viable options for getting the health care they need.”