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The Public Justice Center works with people and communities to confront the laws, practices, and institutions that cause injustice, poverty, and discrimination.
"Maryland Nonprofits has the resources and references I need to get my job done. Words cannot express my gratitude." -- Kristen Penczek, Interim Executive Director, International Dyslexia Association.


On January 11, 2016, Heather Iliff, President & CEO of Maryland Nonprofits, gave the first annual "State of our State: Maryland's Quality of Life" address. The purpose was to highlight the major indicators that impact Maryland’s communities, economy and environment, and point a way toward better public policy and collaborative action to make Maryland a better place to live.

Watch the recording >>
Download the State of our State: Maryland's Quality of Life Address >>
Download the State of our State: Maryland's Quality of Life Handout >>



  • We Are Not Okay with the Status Quo: Business as usual in Annapolis and on local levels isn’t working enough to improve Maryland’s quality of life.
  • High vs Low Rankings: While Maryland ranks very high in income and education compared to other states, that level of prosperity and opportunity is not available to everyone.  Baltimore City ranks near the bottom nationally in educational outcomes and high rates of poverty persist among African Americans throughout the state. Poverty also continues to be a major problem on the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland.
  • State budget issues: State budget cutbacks and spending limitations are affecting nonprofit organizations and the citizens and communities they serve across the State of Maryland.  We must take action and hold government accountable now.   
  • What do cutbacks do? Openness and accountability in state spending decisions are needed so the public can understand what they and their communities sacrifice when we don’t provide adequate support for the public structures and services of state and local governments.  
  • What’s the real cost? Greater effort is needed from the nonprofit organizations in our communities who advocate for or directly provide these services to make the public aware of the real cost of government spending and policy decisions.  
  • What’s at stake? Instead of just thinking about the financial bottom line, we must think in terms of a “triple bottom line” for prosperity – economic, environmental and community terms.
  • How does the “Triple Bottom Line” work? Maryland’s economy, Maryland’s environment and Maryland’s communities are NOT separate entities but rather work together as a measure of Maryland’s quality of life. Transportation affects employment which affects the types of available jobs and wage levels which are affected by the quality of public education, at the same time state infrastructure needs to support growing business and new industries while still offering clean water and clean air. 
  • Nonprofits help improve quality of life: The nonprofit sector itself employs 10.6% of Maryland’s workforce, and also works to improve communities, families and the environment to improve the quality of life. Over 3.4 million Marylanders volunteer for nonprofits representing more than 422.6 million volunteer hours.
  • 8 to 80: If Maryland’s communities work for 8 year olds and 80 year olds, it works for everyone.  We ALL have a role to play.
  • The Maryland Dream: Let’s be the state where we’re ranked # 1 in education, access to opportunity and quality of life because of, rather than in spite of the Eastern Shore, Baltimore City and Western Maryland. What’s the Maryland Dream we all want for our children? Let’s be the state with…
    • Transit that allows you more time with your family…
    • More jobs closer to where you live…
    • Schools that prepare our necessary workforce in new industries…
    • Infrastructure that supports growing businesses…
    • Wages that rise across all levels of income… 
    • Clean water and clean air that allow our children to thrive…



WBAL News Radio 1090 (1/17/16): Nonprofits Call For Help For Poor, Mentally Ill
WYPR Midday with Sheilah Kast (1/13/16): The Assembly Is Underway, But What's Best For The State? 
WJZ TV (CBS Local) (1/17/16): On Time with Gigi Barnett
Frederick News Post by Danielle E. Gaines (1/11/16): Charities gather in Annapolis to discuss state budget, priorities

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