Keeping Members Better Informed,
Better Connected, and More Politically Effective
CHANCE: Sunday, October 1, 10:45. Join WDC for this Members Only tour of the African American Museum of History and Culture. Just a few tickets left. Contact Lucy Freeman,
ASAP, if you want to go.
September Newsletter - Volume 8, Issue 1
Thank You To Our Contributors
Thanks to Sybil Cantor, Diana Conway, Tracy Dhyani, Mary Lou Fox, Andrea Grossman, Linda Kolko, Melanie Kreidich, Enid Light, Ginger Macomber, Naomi Naierman, Barbara Nouveau, Lynn Olson, Teddi Pensinger, Ashley Rhinehart, Joan Riggs, Fran Rothstein, Paul Schwartz, Emily Shetty, Nancy Walker, and Brenda Wolff for their contributions to this newsletter.
We will publish the next newsletter at the end of October. In the interim, look for our emails and social media news (
Having Trouble Receiving Our Emails?
Some members have had difficulty receiving WDC emails sent to their Verizon email addresses.
is an article posted by Verizon about what to do with your existing Verizon email account for better service. In addition, please check your spam and promotions folder.
If you don't think you are receiving all our emails and would like us to use a different email address, please contact Tracy Dhyani at
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and WDC Members at the first WDC Luncheon. January,1957, at Normandie Farm in Potomac.
|President's Message by Fran Rothstein
Keynote speaker Dr. Jill Biden inspired the sellout crowd with her remarks. The personal highlight for me was her discussion of her teaching career and the diverse students she has gotten to know as a professor at Northern Virginia Community College. (Please see Paul Schwartz's article on Dr. Biden's speech right after this article.) Many dignitaries were in attendance, and nine of our political leaders awarded certificates of commendation to WDC for our impact and effectiveness. And, what an honor to have Eleanor Roosevelt's great granddaughter, Anna Fierst, as well as eight former WDC presidents (Dorothy Barthelmes, Daphne Bloomberg, Carole Brand, Anne Healy, Roberta Hochberg, Linda Kolko, Jane Merkin, and Susan Messitte), join 300+ members and friends to commemorate past achievements and look toward the future.
I'm pleased to report we are making good progress on the three big goals I proposed in June:
- Strengthening our County and our State by advocating for progressive Democratic policy objectives, keeping ourselves and our fellow Democrats informed through our luncheon/dinner speakers and our education programs, and building alliances with other Democratic clubs, issue-oriented coalitions, and the many political groups that have emerged since November 9th.
- Strengthening our Party by intensifying WDC's core work to support Democratic candidates and increase voter involvement, with a new emphasis on strengthening our Party structure at the county and state levels. Between now and November 7, we are canvassing, phone-banking, and doing all we can to elect Democrats in Virginia's upcoming election. WDC members are also organizing and assisting with the Montgomery County Democratic Party's "deep canvassing" -- a district-by-district initiative to gather voters' concerns, register voters, and get every voter involved for 2018.
- Strengthening our Club by connecting each of you to our work, encouraging you to join committees, and providing the high quality programs, events, and speakers for which WDC has been known for 60 years. Mark your calendar for our upcoming Education program: October 26 at the Silver Spring Civic Center.
If you follow local news at all -- and WDC members are always up to date on what's going on here in Montgomery County and across the State -- you know that primary election season is in full swing. WDC members are running for office, and WDC members are evaluating, endorsing, and otherwise supporting candidates. That is what we do -- we help elect Democrats.
However, because Club members can be sharply divided in their choices of Democratic primary candidates, WDC has adopted policies and guidelines designed to ensure harmony within the Club. Please take a minute to review these sections of the Club's Endorsement Policy, as revised in June 2015:
- Members are free (and indeed, members are encouraged) to advocate for individual candidates in a multiple Democratic primary, as long as they do not mention their WDC membership.
- WDC does not endorse candidates in primary elections if there is more than one Democrat running for the office.
- WDC supports Democratic candidates in general elections.
- WDC does not endorse in nonpartisan races such as School Board or most municipal races.
- As president, I am required to remain neutral in all Democratic primary contests. (Those of you who know me well are very aware of how challenging that restriction is for me, but I'm doing my utmost to stick to it. I am happy to meet with any candidate or candidate's representatives, but I am not endorsing, contributing to, or otherwise appearing to support any candidate in the primaries.)
- We encourage primary candidates and their surrogates to attend WDC events, where we will recognize them.
- We welcome primary candidates at Happy Hours, which provide excellent unstructured opportunities for candidates to engage with members on an informal basis.
- Candidates are welcome to place campaign literature in a designated location outside the room where a WDC function is being held. However, no campaign literature may be distributed inside a room where a WDC event is being held, nor may a candidate actively approach WDC members or guests with campaign literature as they enter or leave WDC events. (We tend to relax this limitation at our Happy Hours, where the venue itself may make it impossible for literature to be displayed outside the room.)
Thanks in advance for your adherence to these policies and guidelines. Once the primaries are over, WDC will unleash our mighty organizational force toward getting our Democratic candidates elected.
And now, a reminder and an offer: The Woman's National Democratic Club has invited WDC members to attend many of their events at WNDC member prices. I was honored to meet longtime activist Heather Booth at WNDC's screening of the new movie about her ( heatherbooththefilm.com), which I heartily recommend to you. I hope WDC will be able to arrange for a screening and discussion with Ms. Booth sometime soon. We post occasional WNDC events on our Facebook page, but they offer too many for us to post them all. Check out their website (
) for a full listing, and see WNDC VP Naomi Naierman's article later in this newsletter.
Finally, I would like to mention that this year, in conjunction with the release of its report card, the League of Conservation Voters honored 10 lawmakers as "Green Champions," for getting perfect scores this year and throughout their careers. The honorees, all Democrats, included four Montgomery County legislators: Sen. Cheryl Kagan, and Dels. David Fraser-Hidalgo, Bill Frick, and Shane Robinson.
|Dr. Jill Biden Speech at 60th Anniversary Celebration
Inspirational! That is the word that best describes Dr. Jill Biden's address to the Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County during its 60
Dr. Biden spoke of her initial entrance into politics as a child of the 60s who, in her bell bottom pants and tie-dyed shirts, cared about civil rights, women's rights, and Vietnam. Two weeks after her 25
birthday, when she married a young senator from Delaware, she came to understand that politics does not just take place in some distant capital. Rather, it involves your neighbors, your healthcare, your teachers and grocery clerks, as well as door-to-door canvassing, and phone banking. It is what we do to make our communities better. It is what the Woman's Democratic Club of Montgomery County does at the very heart of the Democratic Party. "It is how we accomplished what we did over the past eight years," she said. "Our strength is in our grassroots efforts. It is how we will overcome our current predicament."
Dr. Biden admitted that it has been a very "tough year." The policies of the Obama/Biden administration have been consistently challenged by the new administration. Examples include: attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which enabled more than 17 million uninsured Americans to obtain health insurance and which only survived repeal by one Senate vote; the roll back of Title IX's sexual assault protections; walking away from the Paris Climate Accords; and rescinding Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and denying "dreamers" a pathway to citizenship. Dr. Biden explained that she sees the divisiveness and uncertainty created by the Trump administration reflected on the faces of her students at Northern Virginia Community College. Some of her students actually fear returning to school under current circumstances. The good news is that they do return to school, and have come to lean on each other for support, and are all learning how to become more engaged just as a young Jill Jacobs did back in those turbulent 60s. Dr. Biden also pointed out that the ACLU has more volunteers and donations than ever before and that Emily's List has grown from 900 donors to more than 11,000 donors one year.
Despite our current situation, Dr. Biden reminded us that we have come a long way from the days in which a woman could only get a credit card in her husband's name, had to have her father cosign a car loan, or had to promise that she would not get pregnant in order to be hired for a job. There are now more women in Congress than ever before and there are three sitting female Supreme Court Justices. Moreover, she said, the progress is worldwide, as she saw in a small town in Nairobi where, despite being " 600 acres of mud and filth with no electricity," local women activists have chosen not to leave but, rather, to work to make a difference in their own home.
That same loyalty to our home will inspire all of us not to give up, but to work to make our home better, she said, whether we define that home as Montgomery County, Maryland, or the United States of America. We have a calling to make a difference where we are. For Dr. Biden, the direction is clear: We have to look to 2018 and beyond. We have to find leaders who can unite us, not divide us. We have to become engaged at all levels, women need to run for office, and we all need to keep caring about the direction of our country.
And we have to understand that nothing worth doing will be accomplished overnight. "With all of us in this together," Dr. Biden concluded, "we will live up to the promise of America."
Stay up to date with events added to our calendar after this newsletter distribution by visiting these pages throughout the month.
WDC Happy Hour, Lebanese Taverna, Bethesda
Thursday, October 12, 5:30 to 7:00
Candidate Forums: It's Never Too Early To Save the Date!
WDC will hold its Candidates Forums at the Silver Spring Civic Center shortly after the filing deadline. Mark your calendar for the County Executive Forum (Wednesday, March 22, 7:00-9:00) and the Gubernatorial Forum
(Monday, April 24, 7:00-9:00). You won't want to
miss these opportunities to learn about your candidates.
Oct.22 for any questions.
WDC Special Event
Thursday, October 26, 7:00-9:00
Economic Development, Housing and Demographic Trends in Montgomery County at the Silver Spring Civic Center
Register Voters in Virginia
Sunday, October 1 and Saturday, October 14, 8:30-2:00
WDC's PACE Committee and Do The Most Good MoCo need volunteers to register voters in Virginia. Voter registration for the November 7th election for Governor and the state legislature ends on October 16.
We will meet at the Tilden Middle School parking lot. We will check you in, form carpools, and direct you to the day's Virginia location, where you'll meet your organizer.
We'll return to Tilden by 2:00.
District 15 Town Hall Meeting
Monday, October 2, 7:00 to 9:00
Join Montgomery County Democrats for a Town Hall Meeting with your District 15 State Legislators: Senator Brian Feldman, Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo and Delegate Aruna Miller. Learn what they are doing in Annapolis to protect Maryland.
Marylanders Speak to Governor Hogan
Thursday, October 4, 7:30
More information available in the PACE committee report found in this newsletter.
CUAH (Communities United Against Hate) To Hold Schools Conferences in October
Saturday, October 7, Conference
Sunday, October 22, Conference
October 10, 6:30
You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships.
Thursday, October 26, 6:30
Professor Marjorie Spruill
Divided We Stand, The Battle over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized America.
Details follow in the article by
VP for Programs,
Woman's National Democratic Club, in this newsletter.
Save The Date
MLAW's Fall Agenda Conference
Saturday, November 18
Co-Chairs Barbara Noveau and Nancy Walker
WDC's Political Activism Civic Engagement (PACE) Committee held its kickoff meeting just before press time. Look for a full report in WDC's next newsletter. Meanwhile, if you're interested in joining PACE, or becoming a precinct chair, contact PACE co-chairs Barbara Noveau
or Nancy Walker
Precinct chairs have a critical role in mobilizing high voter turnout;
PACE is working with the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee
to recruit precinct volunteers.
Strong Schools Maryland Group
Strong Schools Maryland is the statewide effort aimed at creating a world-class education system for every student in Maryland.
PACE is seeing 10 WDC members for a Strong Schools Maryland Group. To learn more,
watch this short 2-minute video.
If you're interested, contact Barbara Noveau
Marylanders Speak to Governor Hoga
Thursday, October 4, 7:30, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville
600 Marylanders petitioned Governor Hogan to hold a town hall this fall or winter on key issues raised by Trump administration policies. He refused. These issues -- including public education, healthcare, and the environment --are too important for us to wait for the Governor to lead. Come hear a blue-ribbon panel of policy experts address how Maryland can respond. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions for panelists before the event and to vote on priorities in real time during the forum.
Co-Chairs Brenda Wolff and Diana Conway
Special Event: Current Economic Development, Housing, and Demographic Trends in Montgomery County
Housing, growth, and development trends affect us all. Examine these trends with Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson, Council Member At Large and former Planning Board Member Nancy Floreen, and a community respondent TBD. The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, works to maintain and improve quality of life in communities throughout the county. The Board considers large and small scale plans for new development, provides guidelines for the pattern and pace of growth, develops and manages Montgomery County's park system, and recommends sites for historic designation. Questions about the event?
Contact Brenda Wolff at
Advocacy Committee Update
Co-Chairs Ginger Macomber and Emily Shetty
The Advocacy Issues subcommittees (Affordable Housing, Children, Criminal Justice, Health, and Working Families) have been meeting with partner groups and State legislators to identify WDC's priorities for the 2018 State Legislative session. The Advocacy Committee will present its recommendations to the WDC Board for approval at the Board's October meeting and then draft and submit testimony on behalf of WDC at the November 13 Montgomery County State Delegation Priorities Hearing.
WDC testified at the September 26 County Council Hearing in favor of County Bill 28-17 to increase the Montgomery County hourly minimum wage to $15 by July 1, 2020 (with specified exemptions). A 2016 version of this bill was vetoed by County Executive Ike Leggett.
Can you make a few phone calls and send a few emails to advocate for bills that improve life for women and families? If so, sign up to Join WDC Advocacy Alerts .
Membership and Outreach
Co-Chairs Enid Light and Andrea Grossman
The Membership and Outreach Committee
is aiming for more geographic diversity among WDC members and WDC event sites. Can you help recruit new members from your community? Can you suggest new venues for Happy Hour and other WDC gatherings? Can you reach out to your local elected officials, candidates, and members of other progressive organizations to come to Happy Hours? If yes, volunteer as a Membership and Outreach Team Leader. In August, Team Leaders Tracy Dhyani and Judy Casey (Potomac and Lower Rockville) scheduled our first-ever Happy Hour at Trapezaria in Rockville. In September, WDC Board Member Brenda Wolff helped to arrange our first-ever Happy Hour in Wheaton at Bar Louie. Our newest Team Leaders Karine Lepillez and Lisa Sheehy who represent Gaithersburg would be pleased to have additional help. To join the Membership and Outreach Committee, please contact:
or Andrea Grossman
Consumer Health First Update
By Mary Lou Fox, WDC Advocacy Committee Health Issues Captain and Consumer Health First Treasurer
We are engaged again in a national discussion of reform of our health care system. Incremental or fundamental change? Block grants to the states so each state can design and run its own health care system? A single payer system like Medicare for All? It's hard work to get to our goal of universal
access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality
After the failure of the Republican bill earlier in the summer,
a bi-partisan Senate effort
made progress on a bill which would stabilize the insurance markets and make some needed fixes to the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Sanders (I-VT) introduced a
possible funding approaches. This bill would replace our multiple federal programs (Medicaid, Federal Employees, Tricare, etc.) and insurance markets with a single payer system, called the Universal Medicare Program. Read a Health Affairs
of the bill along with a Washington Post
In September, another Republican bill, the
, was introduced. Read a
of the Republican bills. This bill eliminated the Medicaid expansion, ACA tax credits and cost sharing subsidies as well as many other ACA provisions. Medicaid was fundamentally changed to a block grant to the states with the effect that states that expanded Medicaid would suffer dramatic cuts in funding. Families USA lays out the
of the block grants and the health cuts.
The impact of Graham-Cassidy on Maryland would be profound.
Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD) spells out how: "Repeal of the ACA including the elimination of the Medicaid expansion would cut over $14 billion from our state budget between 2020 and 2026
." 400,000 Marylanders who were insured through the ACA Medicaid expansion or tax credits would lose coverage by 2027. Traditional Medicaid disproportionately helps the elderly, disabled and children who would be impacted by block grants with lower funding. Refer to the
Maryland fact sheet for details.
|Community and Partner Updates
CUAH To Hold Schools Conferences
A broad coalition including WDC launched Communities United Against Hate (CUAH) last April. CUAH is a non-profit, non-
partisan organization that unites our diverse community to combat bigotry, support victims of hate, and promote inclusiveness in Montgomery County, Maryland.
These free county-wide schools conferences for parents, students, teachers, school staff, and concerned residents, will include a dozen plenary sessions and workshops hosted by leaders of the County Council, Board of Education, County Office of Human Rights, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Council of PTAs, Student Government Association, Montgomery Education Association, NAACP, CASA, Anti-Defamation League, and influential minority, religious, and community groups. Please refer to their
for a complete description of this event.
Woman's National Democratic Club
By Naomi Naierman, Vice President for Programming, WNDC
n her new book,
, Hillary Clinton longs for a nation in which a female candidate's lifelong commitment to women's rights would be "cheered, not jeered. But that is not who we are."
For nearly 100 years, the Woman's National Democratic Club has had as a central focus this commitment to women's rights and to women's leadership. Given the recent election results, we see an even greater urgency to reclaim our voices, advance women's rights, and become more proactive in supporting female candidates.
To help shed light on how we might overcome some of the obstacles Clinton experienced and described in her book, WNDC is offering two October programs that draw on current literature and historical lessons.
On the evening of October 10, we will hear from Deborah Tannen, author of The New York Times bestseller, You Just Don't Understand. Tannen will discuss her new book, You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, based on interviews with women of all ages. Using Hillary Clinton's presidential election as an example, she will explain how women's views create an impossible dilemma for women running for office. Following her talk, we will discuss how we can recast our views, embrace women in authority, and pave the way toward more successful election results for female candidates.
Then, on the evening of October 26, WNDC will host Professor Marjorie Spruill, who has just published a book,
Divided We Stand
, The Battle over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized America. This book tells the story of the 1977 National Women's Conference, the apex of the "second wave" of American feminism. Professor Spruill will recount the dynamics and achievements of this first and only federally-funded women's conference, which was attended by 2,000 elected delegates and 20,000 observers from across the United States.
The conference led to an agenda for women's rights and a march toward the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), an agenda later derailed by the emergence of the "family values" movement on the conservative side. Professor Spruill will trace the polarization of the two movements that shaped women's issues up through the 2016 election. During the Q and A segment, we will discuss strategies for advocating for women's rights in the context of today's polarized political environment.
Register here for these event.register
We are pleased to offer WDC members a discount; use promotion code WDC2017 when you register.
All Of Our WDC Members
Please take a moment to update your volunteer preferences in our revised Google Volunteer Form.
We look forward to working together!
WDC Revised Volunteer Form
Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great
er at a future WDC event? If so, please send an e-mail to: